Building a Sustainable Strategy on Social Media

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One of the most important aspects of managing social media is showing up consistently. However, most of us know that it’s easier said than done. That’s why, this week on the chat, we spoke to the social media strategist at MIT, Jenny Fowler, about how brands can build a strategy that’s sustainable in the long term. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Jenny Fowler
Topic: Building a sustainable strategy on social media
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is a sustainable social media strategy?

It’s realizing that social media is a marathon. To have a sustainable strategy means you have a clear goal with a steady stream of content ready for use.

As Sabrina added, a sustainable social media strategy identifies you as a leader in your field. It shows that you’re experienced and that you have a solid plan for what you want to do and how.

Q2: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen people make when getting started on social media?

According to our guest, one of the biggest mistakes people make is getting started without really recognizing the effort it takes to maintain a social media handle. This includes not having enough content ideas and creatives, and not knowing who their audience is.

Another common mistake people often make is expecting to become an overnight success, as Jelle pointed out. Social media is a long-term game.

Q3: What’s the most important metric to track in social media?

Engagement rate, undoubtedly, is one of the most important metrics you can track on social media. The more engagement you get, the wider your reach will grow, resulting in increased followers. That said, though, achieving a high engagement rate isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes long-term effort and dedication to build up your social media handles and credibility.

As Lance added, a 3% engagement rate is excellent, but anything less than 1% indicates that your audience isn’t as engaged with your content as they could be. This means you need to invest more effort into identifying and offering what your audience wants.

Q4: How can listening to your audiences inform your content?

One of the best things about social media, and Twitter, in particular, is that there’s a near-instant feedback loop. This means that people are constantly talking about their likes and dislikes on social media, advocating for brands they prefer, and commenting on brands that didn’t meet their expectations. If you listen to them, you can create content that directly addresses their needs and concerns. Doing so will also get your audience’s attention.

As Cornelius added, listening to your audience also helps you find out what type of content performs well and what more you should share.

Q5: Are there any shortcuts to building a large audience?

Nope. To build a large—and engaged—audience, you need to be relatable to people. Doing so requires having meaningful conversations and building relationships with those who interact with you on social media. There’s no shortcut to achieving that.

Q6: Can you use automation to grow your audience?

Yes, you can. There are hundreds of social media management tools that help you schedule your posts in advance. That can be an effective way to ensure that you show up consistently. That said, though, it’s also important not to rely entirely on automation. Growing your audience is all about great conversations, and automation can’t always help with that.

Vinnie also emphasized that automation can be a helpful tool. But real growth comes from having conversations—on Twitter chats and Spaces.

Q7: How do you adjust your social media strategy to algorithm changes?

Don’t make any sudden changes to your strategy. Instead, as our guest recommends, observe what each algorithm change involves and how it impacts people’s social media experiences. Once you’re familiar with what the algorithm is doing, you can gradually make changes to your own strategy.

As Jenna from Nimble also added, focus on your long-term goals, rather than making decisions for short-term benefits.

Q8: What’s the most important aspect of managing a social media channel(s)?

It’s the toughest thing to do, but consistency is the key to managing a social media channel successfully. Having a big picture plan will help you build a consistent social media strategy.

Debi added a few more important aspects of managing social media, including having a clear brand message and calls to action.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Jenny, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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