Sunday, July 27, 2014

Remember SAPCOTE When Adding Social Media to Your Marketing Mix

Many people talk about the value that social media adds to a brand’s marketing outreach. But if you’re a small company or have limited personnel who already wear multiple hats, how do you find the time to participate in social media, let alone succeed in social media? Here’s the answer: Remember SAPCOTE. I have created an easy way to remember the basics and am not referring to the small town about two hours north of London, England, with the same name. SAPCOTE stands for strategy, audience, platforms, content, timing, and evaluation.

Before thinking about all the nuances of social media, consider these questions first:

  • Do you have a strategy?
  • What are your goals for social media participation?
  • Do you have a written social media plan that aligns with your overall marketing plan?
  • Who will execute your social media outreach?


As you think about current customers and prospective customers, consider these questions:

  • Who is listening and who will listen?
  • Who is responding and who will respond?
  • Who is engaging and who will engage?


While there are hundreds of social media sites, depending on your company size, audience, and time allotment, consider spending time on the platforms that form the tip of the social media iceberg:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Foursquare
  • Flipboard
  • Blogs


Don’t get overwhelmed by the prospect of developing content. What are your company’s areas of expertise? Who are the experts within your company? What advice can you provide to your regular stakeholders? What advice can you provide to new stakeholders? Here are some ideas to consider as you craft your content:

  • Determine news for your current audience.
  • Create content to attract new audiences.
  • Determine your brand’s voice.
  • Find a balance between sharing your own information and listening to others.
  • Reply to people’s comments.
  • Invite people to comment and share.


If you ask 10 people about the best times to post on social media platforms, you will get 20 answers. Depending on your industry and when your audiences may spend the bulk of their time in social media, your timing may need to be adjusted. But here are some suggestions as you get started.

  • Post several times a day to Twitter.
  • Post daily to Facebook.
  • Post daily to Instagram.
  • Post daily to LinkedIn.
  • Post daily to Google+.
  • Post once a week to your blog.
  • Other sites TBD based on your core audiences.


As you create content, you will develop a routine, and the days will move by quickly. So, every six months, evaluate your social media outreach.

  • Do you remember your objectives?
  • What does social ROI add to your overall marketing mix metrics?
  • What do you want to measure?
  • Who comments on your content?
  • Who shares your content?
  • Have you expanded into other social sites?

Keep in mind that in the social media Olympics, comments are considered to be Gold, shares are considered to be Silver, and likes are considered to be Bronze.

Lastly, don’t forget one key point as you spend time adding social media to your overall marketing mix: you don’t own the social platforms. So make sure to drive all traffic from those social sites to your main website, where you own and control all the content.