No More Spaghetti Social Media!

7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Do you practice Spaghetti Social Media? Like throwing pasta against the wall to determine if it’s done cooking by whether or not it sticks, Spaghetti Social Media a crude form of social media strategy where a employee tries using social media platforms in hopes that his efforts will succeed in achieving business results without any clear marketing goals because social media is free.

7 Ways to improve your social media strategy

Here are seven signs of Spaghetti Social Media and ways to address them to make your social media marketing more effective and yield better results for your business.

  1. Don’t understand how social media works. FIX: Instead of blindly diving into social media, try one or more of these alternatives.
    • Acquire test or personal social accounts to observe how participants behave on social media platforms and practice without putting your company at risk.
    • Get social media training either in formal education or by reading social media resources.
    • Outsource the use of social media, at least to start, to an expert or agency.
  2. Don’t listen to conversation. You don’t understand that social media is community driven engagement. As a result, you only listen to the sound of your own corporate-speak not realizing the community’s not interested. FIX: Here are two steps to help you.
    • Lurk and listen to learn how the community engages and hear what’s being said before you participate.
    • Monitor the social media environment to determine when you need to engage. In the short-term, there are free options and longer term use a more sophisticated form of social monitoring.
  3. Don’t have a social media personality.  Try to participate on social media networks like other forms of media. FIX: These tips are relatively easy but often overlooked.
    • Get rid of the corporate-speak.
    • Sound like a real person.
    • Breathe life into your social media profile in a way that incorporates your brand. For example, don’t have any eggheads on Twitter.
  4. Don’t participate in the community. You use social media as another one-way media distribution channel to push company and marketing messages. FIX: Rethink your firm’s social media engagement strategy with these tips.
  5. Don’t have a focused plan for use. This often happens because social media is considered a test or an opportunity to use some of that “free” stuff.  FIX: Here’s some old fashioned marketing advice.
    • Determine your social media goals. This will help you decide which form(s) of social media are optimal.
    • Build tailored strategies and tactics to achieve these goals.
    • Create related metrics to measure results towards your objectives. Since you probably won’t have tailored tracking, try to leverage the information you currently collect to help give you some directionally correct data.
  6. Don’t connect social media with other online and offline marketing activities. Bear in mind that offline activities and events can be a rich source of social media content and interaction. FIX: Here are some suggestions to improve your results.
    • Integrate social media into your online and offline activities and events. Ideally, do this in the planning phase to take advantage of your marketing investment to create related content and promotion.
    • Cross-promote social media engagement via owned media.
    • Create and enhance social media content at events that can be used across social media platforms.
  7. Don’t have a long-term commitment to social media requiring on-going marketing engagement. FIX: Instead of viewing social media as another advertising or marketing campaign with beginning and an end, follow these suggestions.
    • Think of social media as a long-term investment to grow your brand, audience and sales.
    • Integrate social media with the rest of your marketing. Use content from your social media participation in your other marketing communications and promote your social media presence on your internal media.

Social media can make a significant contribution to your marketing plans. It’s critical to get an understanding of the environment and what’s being said about your organization before you jump in. Understand that social media isn’t an addition to your marketing media, it’s a way of communicating, engaging and building relationships with your customers and the public.

Are there any other forms of Spaghetti Social Media that are missing from this list? If so, please add them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo: John-Morgan via Flickr

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