By UCLA X425 Student Heidi Simonian
As a New Media Strategist at Bullfrog & Baum, Corianda Dimes (@Corianda) manages social media platforms for restaurant and hospitality clients, as well as big name chefs including Wolfgang Puck. When approaching a social media campaign, she first defines the brand and identity of the client to determine the objectives. She asks the following questions to make these judgments: What are the offline goals? What will success look like?
Once these questions are answered, she conducts research to determine which social networking sites would be the best fit. One of the most important bits of advice she offers is to listen and learn constantly. Dimes said, “You have to be a voracious reader and be flexible.” She advises using a variety of tools to help provide research, including Google alerts, Feedly, Pew Research, and Edelman’s Digital Social Media Trends. If all else fails, she jokingly yet sincerely advises to “ask that smart guy you know.”
Once the social networking campaign is up and running, it is imperative to continue monitoring what’s engaging your audience. She asks, “What do they care about and what are they listening to?” Having these questions answered can help you make adjustments to your posts such as subject matter and time of day. Tools such as HootSuite and TweetDeck can help you execute your campaign and measure results. Other tools such as Traackr and Klout can help determine online influence. In addition, Google keyword searches can help indicate what your online audience is reading.
To provide dynamic content in a timely manner, Dimes advised the class to enhance real-time engagement with scheduled social media posts. Tools such as Buffer, Tweetdeck, and Hootsuite allow users to set up tweets and other messages throughout the day. Dimes said, “Deal with what you have to in real-time, then schedule everything else.” The scheduling of social messages should be based on an editorial calendar – plan content strategy, then fill-in the holes.
Lastly, the final key element to a successful social media campaign is reporting. Dimes suggests using built-in analytics and qualitative feedback. Two of her favorite tools are Bit.ly, which shortens URLs and tracks how many people click on them, and Statigram, which provides key metrics about Instagram so users can develop content based on data. Dimes concluded by saying, “There isn’t a silver bullet; figure out what works for you, and read a ton.”