Content Marketing, Social Media Strategy

5 Step Process for Social Media Success

Social media makes big companies feel small again, and gives small companies a natural advantage because they are closer to their customers. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you have interesting stories to tell. Finding and sharing them is the first step toward social media success.
social media success process 5 Step Process for Social Media Success

What is your process for harvesting stories within your organization? Please leave a comment and let’s see what great programs are under way among Convince & Convert readers.

  • http://marktzk.com/ Mark Tosczak

    This is always a challenge (I work in an agency, so I’m thinking now of how we do this with clients). One basic, simple thing is frequent contact with as many people – executives, managers and front-line employees – within the organization as possible. Just by regularly talking to those people, asking them what they’re doing, what successes they’re having and what they’re hearing from their customers, you’ll start to hear stories bubble up. The key is to recognize when you’re hearing those stories and then know to stop, ask more questions and get all the details.

  • http://marktzk.com/ Mark Tosczak

    This is always a challenge (I work in an agency, so I’m thinking now of how we do this with clients). One basic, simple thing is frequent contact with as many people – executives, managers and front-line employees – within the organization as possible. Just by regularly talking to those people, asking them what they’re doing, what successes they’re having and what they’re hearing from their customers, you’ll start to hear stories bubble up. The key is to recognize when you’re hearing those stories and then know to stop, ask more questions and get all the details.

  • http://marktzk.com/ Mark Tosczak

    This is always a challenge (I work in an agency, so I’m thinking now of how we do this with clients). One basic, simple thing is frequent contact with as many people – executives, managers and front-line employees – within the organization as possible. Just by regularly talking to those people, asking them what they’re doing, what successes they’re having and what they’re hearing from their customers, you’ll start to hear stories bubble up. The key is to recognize when you’re hearing those stories and then know to stop, ask more questions and get all the details.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Mark just by doing that one thing – dealing with people other than the marketing department – you’re way ahead of most agencies. Nice job.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Mark just by doing that one thing – dealing with people other than the marketing department – you’re way ahead of most agencies. Nice job.

  • http://www.redheadwriting.com The Redhead

    Jay – in love with the infographic!

    You’ve hit on something that I’m sure PR pros deal with all the time: helping clients determine “their story.” And yes, social media allows the giants to become approachable again – but how do you keep finding those stories to share and encourage clients to share them?

    I ask my clients to share everything. From quirky to board room “boring.” Sometimes it’s the intersection of stories inside an organization that resonates best at the right end of the arrow. By encourage your clients to include you, they’re doing themselves a favor because the onus lifts off their shoulders to qualify the stories as they have a team to help them run them through the funnel. Share/Rinse/Mix?/Repeat.

  • http://www.stellarpointgroup.com Go2Mach2

    Thanks Jay…Your chart is a good description of how the “process” of Social Media Marketing should be viewed by most companies.

    I believe we should all view ourselves as Social Media Toddlers. We can see other companies taking advantage of Social Media; but, we are still trying to find the best way to develop more meaningful relationships as we integrate social media strategies into our own marketing mix – http://www.stellarpointgroup.com/social-media-marketing.html

    The key to the process is “willingness.” By integrating willingness into the process, it keeps the entire process moving forward. Good Post…thanks again…

  • http://www.socialskillz.com SocialSkillz

    Thanks for this Jay – great motivator.
    Being only a two week old startup, the only stories we have to harvest are stories about the process of starting up and launching. But you’ve made me realize there may be others in the same boat, or thinking about starting up, that would want to hear about this… And this sharing may also bring advice from others.
    Another story that just came to mind is our current plight to ‘gain traction’ with the site, re: http://rww.to/dfjR6P – from what you’ve illustrated above, I can see that sharing our strategy and struggles may certainly help others, and again also bring advice from others who have been there.

    Thanks again, mate!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Congrats on the new company! Perfect time to start collecting stories that you’ll one day look back upon fondly!

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Congrats on the new company! Perfect time to start collecting stories that you’ll one day look back upon fondly!

  • http://rickcaffeinated.com Rick Stilwell

    Ditto on the LOVE for the graphic – spot on, easy to explain, and makes tons more sense than the gurus trying to “help you gain more followers for less $$”.

  • http://twitter.com/Stacey_Alex Stacey Alexander

    I love how simple this is and the graphic. It’s so obvious if you know the basis for social media. Focus on the people. But sometimes it’s the most obvious parts that we never get. Thanks for sharing. I’m keeping this as a reference.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Glad I could help Stacey. Thank you.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Glad I could help Stacey. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Truly is a great graphic.

    And repeat…

  • Anonymous

    I love the 5-steps and really like step number 2. It will “Convince & Convert.”

  • Anonymous

    I love the 5-steps and really like step number 2. It will “Convince & Convert.”

  • Anonymous

    I love the 5-steps and really like step number 2. It will “Convince & Convert.”

  • Brianhxc

    Oh hey, another “social media blah blah” that describes and lists the same shit that people have been saying for the past 4 years… really insightful.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    If your standard is that everything you read has never been said
    before, you must have an extremely narrow reading list.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thanks for stopping by Finn.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thanks Donna. I appreciate that.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    You nailed it Rick. We never had control. We just didn’t have the magnifying glass to see that the way we do now.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Absolutely. You gotta wanna. That’s key in social media. If it’s not a good cultural fit right now, no amount of prodding or info graphics will fix it.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Thanks Red. The key is getting companies to understand that the stuff they find boring is actually fascinating to a subset of their customer base.

  • Maureen Monfore

    I’m a freelance B2B copywriter and I’ve noticed in the last year or two in particular, companies are noticing the need for customer stories. Case studies are one of the most popular forms of collateral. The Internet has raised the bar for the quality of content companies produce and the glossy, self-serving, text-heavy brochures just don’t work anymore. If we want prospects to read about us and our products, we need to offer true value in a piece that either educates or entertains. Case studies offer the perfect mix of both.

  • http://twitter.com/addoway Addoway.com

    Love the infograph Jay. Humanize your business and turn clients into friends which in turn become advocates for your business. Customers are people too.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a huge proponent of storytelling.

    I see the process of finding stories akin to mining for gold.

    You know they’re there. It’s just a matter of doing another digging to bring them out.

    One final thought–

    There can be a tendency to focus the “digging” with senior executives when the seed for some of the best stories is often buried elsewhere.

  • http://creativefuelstudios.com/the-talent/jim-gray/ Jim Gray

    We are both recording and creating stories to cover both sides. One of our projects is “Mission Igniter” where I interview both Church and Cause leaders in the northwest to build a content archive of stories.

  • http://www.whatisyourstory.ca Magsdoyle

    I love this image. It is absolutely perfect. Well done Jay!

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    Helpful infographic.

    For a whole day of social media and storytelling, watch for a Social Story Conference near you. Next one is in Greenville, SC on 9/24.

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    Helpful infographic.

    For a whole day of social media and storytelling, watch for a Social Story Conference near you. Next one is in Greenville, SC on 9/24.

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    Good infographic. Thanks for sharing.

    For a full day of social media plus storytelling, watch for a Social Story Conference near you. Next one is in Greenville, SC 9/24.

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Jay

    Fantastic infographic. Love it. Simple yet telling. Years ago I had worked on a campaign that was all about the residents (it was fora home builder) and whoa was it a hit. It was before the birth of social media and was heavy print, tv and billboards. It had the residents buzzing, created a “have to live there” by those outside the community. People wanted to be a part of it. Taking that into social media would have only increased and expanded upon this.

    Customers, clients, patients, etc are the lifeline of any business and giving back to them by making them a part of and not just a part of the cha ching empowers them. People want the attention and talk about the attention they get and then others want it too. This is not the main focus of a strategy but a part of it does make a difference.

    Thanks for reminding brands that the customers need some attention as much as the product/service.

    @SuzanneVara

  • http://twitter.com/antwizzel Antonia Harler

    Jay,

    I have actually just finished my thesis on Twitter for CRM. The results were 7 guidelines, specified for Twitter but are similar to your 5 steps. :)

    Nice post. :)

  • Anonymous

    You can’t know how true this storytelling flow is until you do it, and as the graphic points out, repeat it! Jay, you captured it precisely as it happens, although I’d add a second flow precipitated by storytelling.

    The first flow, as you said: stories beget more stories in a virtuous cycle – and stories impact sales! For those who don’t buy this, take a look at this empirical experiment: http://ripple100storytelling.tumblr.com/post/1118917348/value-of-stories

    But there’s a second flow: stories inspire involvement and advocacy, enabling community to coalesce. I really don’t think you can “build community”. You can enable communities to coalesce around brands, then you can nurture and grow from there.

    Stories can do all that.

    Andre Yap
    Ripple100 The Storytelling App | Agency

  • http://joakimnilsson.com Joakim Nilsson

    Storytelling and creating content is what most marketeers forget about. When the focus is on getting more sales, social media channels tends to work in the opposite way for them. Stories, stories, stories… and TALK to your customers

  • http://www.social-software-for-business.com Business Social Software

    Love the infographic! Breaking it down like that makes it seem like such an obvious process.

  • http://sifowler.wordpress.com Simon Fowler

    The elements of this, with the focus on storytelling, are great.
    But surely this is actually just one ‘step’ here, and the step itself isn’t necessary about social media, and it is no guarantee of success?

    Step one is the only action you can take. The rest are hoped-for consequences. So for social media success the big question is HOW you harvest. What type of relationship do you have with your clients? Who within your org has that relationship (could be multiple people)? How do you gather the story (informally? interviews? via SoMe?)? What about client confidentiality? … These are all interesting and challenging questions about gathering stories. And actually none of them have to do with social media, per se. They’re the basics of marketing. So the question is how is social media specifically used to gather and share those stories?

    Maybe I’m reading it all out of context, I’m a first-time visitor here. But ‘5 steps to social media success’ doesn’t seem the right title for this graphic.

    • Hussain Mirza

      Hi Simon: Thanks for sharing some useful thoughts

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Excellent, excellent comment. I have to say I agree with you. I struggled with the headline on this a lot more than the actual graphic. Because you’re right, it’s more of a consequences sequence than a step-by-step. Thanks for pointing that out. Delighted to have you as a first time visitor, and hope to see you again Simon.

  • http://extramblog.blogspot.com Andrew

    Great infographic – should be in marketing textbooks across the country!

    (the only change I would have made is more emphasis on the repeat…it’s the most important part but it’s tucked away in the corner)

    I like it though, a lot. People spend a lot of time talking about how social media levels the playing field, but this shows another side – how big companies have a lot to gain from social media.

  • http://www.chiqavirtual.com/ Internet marketing agency

    I think Social media has helped even the bigger companies to be amongst their audience, which wasn’t possible for them earlier so easily.

  • Amanda

    Good comment Simon. I agree that the title was a bit off the topic of the graphic but putting that to one side, I think the basic point about story telling is a good one although its power isn’t restricted to social media of course. Nor do I necessarily think that you need to harvest the stories from social media; they can be harvested from a variety of places and social media channels are just one place to use them to spark reaction and dialogue, which sparks engagement which sparks more stories etc etc. I think what’s refreshing though is the suggestion of a concern about an authentic story, vs the apps, followers, and range of other paint by the numbers social media approaches.

    For what it’s worth (and only a mini-shameless plug here but totally on topic I think) we have a process for this that we use with small business owners called True Story Mining. You can check out our approach at: http://www.sydneysmallbusinesscentre.com/truestory

  • http://lgmassmedia.com Briana Ford

    We harvest stories by seeing what’s going on in the industry and taking a different spin/approach to it. We share our knowledge and continue to learn more through research. It’s a constant learning experience. Trial and error is a good way to put it.

  • Robpele

    Focusing on step 2, storytelling humanizes company. What this really means is storytelling “humanizes” or makes more cuddly a company’s image, not the company itself. Humanizing the image is generally good for marketing a company’s product or service. I am not convinced that this can have any humanizing impact on the company. If it could – that would be something, really would be something. And, humanizing a company’s image while probably good for the company, may not be good for its customers, who will be misled into believing the company has human traits, like caring and empathy, which could well make the customers vulnerable. They might believe, for instance, that the company cared about them, which is unlikely.
    This also applies to the kinship idea, in which people are feeling like family to a solely legal entity. Kind of scary.

  • letstalkandchat

    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/

  • juandecop