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The habits of the successful pros that will dramatically improve your social media strategy

Apr 21, 2015 5:56:16 PM

Social Media Expert Tips Habits Advice Guru Marketing


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Will Durant, The Story Of Philosophy

Sometimes the most effective way you can make a difference to your marketing relies on you making small, positive tweaks. Ones you can implement on a daily basis. To help you come up with something you can try out, we’ve asked some of the leading social media marketers of big brands for their secrets. They have divulged some of their daily practices that keep them at the top of their game, take notes.

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Check the big picture

Tim Love Pizza Social Media Job Recruitment Tips Openings Tim Love, Social Media Manager, Pizza Express


Every business needs an overarching plan for their social media strategy. While it can’t necessarily be planned right down to every individual post, checking the big social plan for your business every day can help ensure all of your content is aligned with your social goals.

“Mapping out the content calendar as far in advance as possible and referring to it on an almost daily basis allows me to take a step back from day-to-day posting and look at the wider content strategy. Having a thorough content calendar also gives me a proper oversight of our content strategy in action, and allows me to analyse results and trends more easily."
Tim Love, Social Media Manager, Pizza Express

Constantly strive to find & develop your voice

Greg Allum British Gas Social Media Twitter Greg Allum, Social Media Manager, British Gas


The social media strategies that have reaped the most success have usually been the ones that have helped to clearly define the brand’s social voice. It will help you cut through the noise on social and deliver a clear message. If you get in the habit of thinking about your brand’s unique voice whenever you’re executing actions on social media you’ll find yourself having a much more distinct presence delivering better results.

“We don't operate in a one size fits all medium. I encourage our agencies and internal staff to discover their own voice, then apply it to the work they do. Social Media is part art, part science and we've seen a big shift in recent times to the data being the be all and end all. My role is to challenge social media marketers to take this data and then convert it into consumable, yet engaging content for our social channels.”
Greg Allum, Social Media Manager, British Gas

Be organised

Antonia Harler The Body Shop Social Media Twitter Antonia Harler, UK Social Media Manager, The Body Shop


In a big company, a lot of things may be happening all the time and with different demands. Getting in the habit of keeping your ship in order will help to keep you efficient, flexible, and sane. Devise a system whereby you can complete your regular tasks on time and still have room for flexibility, planning, and learning about areas of the company who you may need to help out.

“If there is one thing I have learned during my time as a Social Media professional it is this: Creativity is important. Organisation as well as the ability to plan and execute is vital. Behind a brand are many moving pieces. Some move quicker than others and some departments plan much further in advance than the social department. Being able to navigate the two is critical to making any social media strategy a success. Things that help me stay on top of things are an old fashioned notebook, a detailed content planner, detailed budget sheets and tools for scheduling, analytics, and monitoring.”
Antonia Harler, UK Social Media Manager, The Body Shop

“Social media tends to be made up of a thousand tiny activities. To be more efficient, I like to batch tasks when possible. I'll spend an afternoon chunking content into social posts or creating a slew of images. Being able to focus on the task at hand helps me do it better and faster, freeing me up for the real-time, quick turnaround work that social media is all about.”
Robyn Showers, Social Media Manager, HubSpot

Always experiment

Maggy Van Eijk Buzzfeed UK Interview Twitter Recruitment Jobs Maggy Van Eijk, Social Media Editor, Buzzfeed UK


You don’t get ahead of the curve by sitting in the same spot. The more you’re used to trying out new things, the more likely it will be that you’ll find the next game changing tool, idea, or viral success.

“Experiment as much as possible! If there's a new tool available to you, try it out, even if you feel like you don't have the time, or it's not 100% worth it. Social media is always changing, so it's vital you stay on top of things. You'll keep your accounts fresh by alternating the type of posts you push out, and if things don't work, shrug it off and move on. By experimenting you might just figure something new out, before the rest of your competitors do!”
Maggy Van Eijk, Social Media Editor, Buzzfeed UK

Think About Your Calls To Action

While you want to have the funniest, cleverest, and most engaging posts, you’re still there to deliver results for your brand. Not every post has to be a direct sell, but it’s worth getting into the habit of creatively thinking about how you can call customers to action with your social posts. Even if you can’t use them that day, you could build up a library to pull out when appropriate.

“Regularly devising posts that have a call-to-action - and the measurable ROI that comes with a CTA - is hugely helpful in proving the value of social as well as giving customers the opportunity to act on the interest they might have in your business.”
Tim Love, Social Media Manager, Pizza Express


Keep an eye on the rest of the industry

Claire Warne Travel TUI Boats Yachts Social Media Twitter Claire Warne, Senior Social Media Specialist, TUI


Nobody can reinvent the wheel every day, getting your daily dose of new ideas is an important facet of keeping your social channels fresh. A regular check of social media news will keep your understanding of the industry up to scratch too.

“The best thing I find for my job is just to get involved in social media. Follow a wide range of brands (not just in your industry) and join in the conversation. Take some time to think about what works for them and why. How can you adapt that so it's relevant for your audience?”
Claire Warne, Senior Social Media Specialist, TUI

Track your performance regularly

Robyn Showers Hubspot Marketing Robyn Showers, Social Media Manager, HubSpot


As with any marketing channel, it’s vital that you regularly keep a record of how your activity has performed. This will give you an opportunity to help demonstrate the effectiveness of your campaigns and help to prove the ROI that your social channels are providing.

“Each Monday, I analyze the previous week's performance in the context of the entire quarter. I look at reach, engagement, lead generation, traffic, and conversion rates. Taking a good look at what went wrong and right puts me in the right mindset to course correct or double down in the week ahead.”
Robyn Showers, Social Media Manager, HubSpot

Regularly seek inspiration

Ian Cover Cogent Elliott Agency Ian Covey, Social Media Manager, Cogent Elliott


Inspiration for social content can come from absolutely anywhere. If you’re keeping a steady stream of news, content, and ideas flowing into your head then you’ll have a lot more interesting angles or thoughts to pluck out than if you’re creative consumption is minimal.

“A key habit we encourage the social team at Cogent to adopt is curiosity. Being interested in our clients businesses and what’s going on in the wider world is something that makes writing content so much easier. Often it’s the little things that can make a big difference. So listening to the radio or a podcast on the way to work, flicking through the papers while you grab your lunch at corner shop, or checking up on the key industry websites and social channels while having a cuppa really help the words flow from your fingers when you need them to.”
Ian Covey, Social Media Manager, Cogent Elliott

These are the social media marketing habits that the pros swear by, integrating them into your daily routine could help to make a serious mark on your brand’s social media activity. What are the social media habits that you’ve found have helped to gradually improve your social media presence?

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