Sunday, April 30, 2017

CMOs: 3 Tips on Improving Your Brand’s Social Media Strategy

As a CMO, you know that mastering your brand’s presence on social media is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Despite your confusion, you’re still responsible for building and revising a social strategy daily. As an IMC grad student and marketing professional, I’m fascinated with how a brand is supposed to know their place within the constantly evolving world of social. I’ve come across two articles that provide basic yet important principles for guiding your brand to a strong social strategy. In the article Marketing Tips for Awkward Brands in a Social Media Era” by James Jorner, he gave the reader strong but simple suggestions such as "Infuse Humor” or “Be Interactive." Published in Adweek, the article took a macro-level approach in offering easy-to-remember tips to build or maintain a strategy around. Jorner also provided a relevant analogy on how a brand should view their place within the social media landscape: being at a party, and figuring out who to mingle with. You can approach the guests however you’d like, just make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity.

Source: AOK Marketing

In the article “See How These Brands Pranked Their Fans on April Fools’ Day” by Mary Sollosi, she allowed the social media content of 22 unique brands to speak for itself. After reviewing Entertainment Weekly's published pranks, two points became clear: each brand created their social content well before April Fools’ Day, and they followed the tips from the article posted above (i.e. Infuse Humor, Create Interesting Content). The concept of a brand injecting itself into the day’s news is called Newsjacking, and it can be an extremely relevant way to use social media. Each brand took a constructive approach to their holiday-themed content, and made sure their material was fun and inoffensive.

Based on the articles’ insight, and my own professional experiences, I’ve listed three action items to help your brand get started (or maintain) a social media strategy:

  • Don’t Abandon Social - No matter what your brand does, maintaining a social presence within platform/s you feel comfortable with is key for long-term success.

  • Be More Entertaining – Your brand’s content should preserve a balance between promotion and engaging followers with fun/interactive materials.

  • Think Newsjacking – Producing social content directly related to real-time news can be a great way for your brand to stand out.

Remember CMOs: social media trends will evolve, and new platforms will emerge. But utilizing these three tips will always be helpful to begin your strategy.

Ryan McDonough is currently a Master of Science Candidate in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Medill-Northwestern University. He is also a Chicago marketing professional with 10 years’ experience in brand communication and marketing strategy. He is graduating in June 2017, and can be reached via email ( or LinkedIn (

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