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4 Elements of Social Media Marketing

By May 26, 2016July 5th, 20162 Comments

Social Media Marketing is all the rage, but not everyone is approaching the task in the same manner. Some seek to build a brand reputation through engaging content, and others are focused on making a hard sell for conversions. Either way, I often see a Social Media Marketing team or strategy lacking in one of these 4 areas. Read through the list and figure out where you need to strengthen your approach.

Disclaimer: Assumed in all of this is the element of Strategy. Strategy reaches across all four areas and comes before and after this process as well. If you aren’t writing down your strategy, you won’t be able to track your progress on any of the 4 areas below. Need help? Contact us.

And Now the 4 Elements of Social Media Marketing


4 Elements of Social Media Marketing


Engaging content requires creative input. Images and videos continually prove to be the best road to engagement in Social Media and using that same old stock photo isn’t going to cut it. Invest appropriately in photography, video production, graphic design, and writing to ensure you have the appropriate raw material to power your Social Media posting.


Having good creative content does not necessarily mean you are ready to post. Unfortunately, the editorial constraints of Social Media platforms often require an additional process of editorial control to ensure the correct headlines, images, and links are provided for posting. This editorial skill set is unique and is most vital in the success of your content in Social. At the very least, you should look to have a different set of eyes on the final posting from the original content creator from the Creative stage above.


An amazing amount of work can go into just managing the posting and community engagement of a Social Media strategy. Once again, the skill set to manage the posting tools and the uniqueness of each platform is unique and often not found in the same person as other pieces of your Social strategy. This ‘power user’ should be on-call to manage and track the performance of your Social Media content in real-time and respond to customers who want to engage with you online.


After your posts have made it to their new home in your Social Media profiles, you need to have someone responsible for reporting statistics on the performance of your content and proving feedback to the above stages. This data is often skipped in Social Media Marketing and is vital to understanding the role SMM plays in the success of your business. What are your key metrics? How did one piece of content perform compared to another (Creative)? What kind of impact do your titles have on click-throughs (Editorial)? Is there a key time your followers are online (Operational)?


When all four of these stages are accounted for and owned by the appropriate individual, you will see your Social Media Marketing strategy take shape into a coherent operation that can be a predictable engine for growth for your company. Without these elements present in your strategy, you may have to live with that nagging question of whether all of your efforts at Social Media Marketing are worth it. Let’s plan for success!



Scott Bothel

I'm a digital marketing consultant living and working in the Greater Seattle area. My passion is to help small businesses leverage web marketing to accomplish great things!


  • Jakub says:

    That’s a great round-up of the elements of social media strategy! What I am always really curious about are the analytical aspects of the strategy, seeing what works and what does not, what could possibly be improved, repeated, or should be stopped. I am happy to see link tracking mentioned here, although I’d replace it with social media monitoring, which I believe should be the cornerstone of any strategy. Most importantly, tools like, for instance, support not only analytical aspects of the strategy but operational and creative too – they can be used for content research ideas as well as the support audience engagement.

  • Scott Bothel says:

    Thanks Jakub. Thanks for the thoughts, social monitoring would be right at home in this graphic as well! It’s a both/and to have link tracking and social monitoring. They are two aspects to good analytics. I tend to prefer tracking more direct impacts of social content (click-throughs) apart from the broader analytics like reach, shares, and engagement.