Social Media – One Chord at a Time

It’s like learning to play guitar

Music has been a large part of my life for decades now. I still remember sitting on the living room floor as my father showed me how to play a “G Chord” on his nylon-stringed Spanish guitar. I’d contort my hands, concentrate, and strum. It wasn’t pretty.

You can’t play great music with one chord, so I quickly asked for another. My father told me to go practice that chord time and time again, and once I could play it perfectly every time with my eyes closed, he would teach me another. It was a painfully slow process, but I soon mastered that one chord and he taught me “D”. He sent me off to play G and then D with my eyes closed of course. Once I mastered those two chords he taught me “C”. I was now playing a progression, which could be turned into a song.

For you musicians out there, G,D,C is the chord progression of multiple hit songs, including “Bad moon rising”, “Ring of Fire”, “Sweet Home Alabama” “Knockin on Heaven’s Door”, “Brown Eyed Girl”,  “Wild Thing” as well as 20 or 30 other hit songs. My father made me focus on subtle steps of mastery that, when combined, could be turned into a hit song.

Integrated social media marketing is a lot like learning to play the guitar. You have to master one thing at a time or else the music you play can be pretty awful. My father had a set of criteria to determine when I was ready to learn another chord. Social media is the same way. If you’re asking when you need to add another social media platform, here are some criteria you should follow.

Note: Facebook is still the king of all social media, so we will start with the assumption that Facebook is the social media starting point.

1. Content is posted regularly and on a consistent schedule

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Your Facebook content should be published on a consistent schedule and usually planned and scheduled in advance. It might be hard to believe, but social media marketing takes just as much planning, if not more, than traditional forms of marketing. So if you’re struggling to create original content on a consistent basis, consider focusing more on improving your Facebook feed than jumping to the next social media platform.

2. You have, on average, at least two weeks of scheduled content at any given time

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Make sure you have two weeks (5-7 posts) of content scheduled in advance. That number may sound extreme, but having a buffer of scheduled content in case of illness, business, circumstances outside your control will help make sure your social media marketing is always buzzing. Secondly, having a buffer of two weeks will help your social media manager feel less pressure to create in the “here and now” and give him or her more flexibility to plan out relevant and valuable content.

3. Your engagement rate is meeting industry standards

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If you post on Facebook but nobody responds, does it really matter? The engagement rate, which you can learn about HERE, helps identify the value of your Facebook page to your fans. If you aren’t reaching the industry benchmarks, focus your time on creating quality interactions with your fans instead of searching out new fans on another social network.

4. Your Facebook page is growing at an appropriate rate

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In this video HERE, I talk about the appropriate way to view page likes. This is a good indication of whether your page is healthy, stagnant, or sick. Obviously, page growth is a good thing and the industry average for pages with about 1,000 fans is approximately .5% per month. If your page isn’t growing at a healthy rate, consider spending some time giving it some TLC instead of running off and starting a new social network.

5. The process of maintaining your Facebook page is doesn’t add a significant amount of stress to the work environment

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Work-related stress is an often under-emphasized aspect of taking on new marketing responsibility. If meeting checklist 1-4, or the thought of it, is causing you or your employees a significant amount of stress you probably don’t want to consider adding another social network that will most likely just add to your existing issues. Instead, talk with your teams, delegate responsibilities, and have a conversation about making Facebook a fun and lower-stress advertising campaign.

6. Facebook marketing is a valued and integral part of your marketing plans

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Startup Stock Photos

Does your work environment intentionally schedule time during meetings to talk about social media strategy or is the social media marketer more of an island in a corner office or cubicle? A Facebook page requires a fair amount of time and strategy to yield results. Multiple social media accounts will, no doubt, require collaboration and teamwork from your team. If your work environment can’t schedule a 10-15 minute meeting every week to discuss planning, strategy, and integration into your other advertising efforts, you might want to reconsider adding additional social media channels to the mix.

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