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Social media strategies beyond content plans

Content plans are the bedrock of social media strategies for many organisations. They have become the planning and execution portion of social media and, in many ways, are the aspect of social media that takes up the majority of the time for social media professionals.
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Content plans have driven the desire to see our content distributed through advertising channels, influencers, competition channels and just about any other medium we can find. An over prioritisation of content plans has led marketing professionals to believe that the value of a social media strategy is all about impressions, comments and likes.

Single essence of online presence


Content plans definitely have their place in the eco-system of a social media strategy, however, for many it’s become the single essence of their online presence and this is concerning.

I recently had the opportunity to speak at The Sunday Times Next Generation Conference about this exact issue. I want to share a few ways that we can break beyond the content plan in our social media strategy and start making the most of this incredible technology that our customers use every single day.

SA youth's favourite brands revealed in 2018 Sunday Times Generation Next survey

The 2018 Sunday Times Generation Next youth survey announced the top performing brands the at the highly anticipated Sunday Times Generation Next Awards that took place in Sandton on Thursday, 14 June.

14 Jun 2018


To form the foundation of these ideas I need to state these primary insights about people and social media:

  • Social media is a crowded environment.
  • People use brands to build their own brand.
  • The post-truth era has degraded trust in information. More than ever, a consumer’s perception becomes their truth.
  • The power of social media is not in likes and comments. The power in social media is that it builds relationships.
  • Content plans push us towards distribution thinking. Distribution thinking does not build trust, which is the bedrock of good relationships.

Now, with these insights in mind, let’s dive into the strategies that can break your social media strategy past the content plan.

Framework 1:
Social media strategies beyond content plans: Apply the 80/20 rule

Brands are chasing every single platform. Wanting to be everywhere, making sure that each platform has their voice, their content and their flavour...

By Mike Saunders 13 Aug 2018


Framework 2:
Social media strategies beyond content plans: Improve the trust equation

Social media is the first internet-based platform that has facilitated a people-to-people connection. It provided a structure to build a personal presence online that could be used to build personal relationships, broadcast to our entire network and, importantly, it helped us build that network...

By Mike Saunders 28 Aug 2018


Framework 3:
Social media strategies beyond content plans: Nurture advocacy

Building advocacy has always been a priority for brands in the past, and today is no different. Brands engage social media influencers to become brand ambassadors or to help distribute content to a wider audience...

By Mike Saunders 20 Aug 2018


Framework 4:
Social media strategies beyond content plans: Embrace the mosh pit

Social media is not a marketing channel, rather it's a mosh pit of conversations that surround our marketing channels. If it were a channel, we would be able to control its distribution and conversation better...

By Mike Saunders 4 Sep 2018


Framework 5:
Are you the cause of your negative sentiment online?

Think about it for a second. Someone is upset with your brand and you respond with a simple statement: "Dear @someone, we are sorry for the problem you are experiencing. We will sort this out ASAP!"...

By Mike Saunders 4 Nov 2015

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About Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders is the CEO of DigitLab, an international speaker, and has had the privilege of working with some of the worlds most prestigious organisations including Vodafone, IBM, Microsoft, KPMG, Norton Rose, Mr Price, Toyota and Exxaro. Along with his experience in business, Mike has also contributed to leadership programmes for Gordon's Institute of Business (GIBS).
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