4 key questions to sharpen your social media strategy in 2016.

With 2016 just around the corner, it’s time to freshen up your digital presence with a sharpened social media strategy.

I’ve compiled these four simple questions, based on my own experience of advising and developing social media strategies for many businesses. 

Just by asking these you’ll already be on your way to creating a more effective, higher ROI, social media presence for your business in 2016.

Like any good question, though, they are simple to ask, but will take time to answer.

Vitally they will help ensure that the wonderful content, that you are spending so much time to create each week, will actually bring you the business results you want.

The four questions are:

  1. Audience Development: How will we gain the right audience?
  2. Content Planning: How will we create the right content?
  3. Measurement: How will we measure the right metrics?
  4. Monetisation: How will we monetise our audience?

Audience Development

Audience Development is like marketing for your social media channel itself. Newspapers do it all the time – each time you see an ad for a newspaper you are being marketed to by that newspaper’s audience development team.

Their job is to bring you to the media channel, discover interesting articles and hook you into their content.

I suspect, today, that you are expecting your audience development to “just happen” by creating relevant content. Well this does work but it’s slow.

Putting an audience development hat and thinking marketing for your social media channel, will help you identify ways to build the right audience faster.

Take City AM’s Fintech Power List as an example of audience development in action. What better way to encourage Financial Technology Influencers to read their digital newspaper than by promoting a Power 100 leaderboard of the top influencers? Their one post has been shared over 6,000 times!

Content Planning

Creating great content takes time and effort. Most of us are already working hard at it, planning it, creating it, sharing it, promoting it.

I have been reading the excellent book Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising recently and I can highly recommend it.

This is probably the area you will change the least.


If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it” goes the old saying, but another saying is “only analyse what you plan to optimise“. Too many metrics can be as bad as too few.

There are so many metrics to measure when it comes to Social Media. Most of us tend to choose the easiest ones – how many fans do I have? How many retweets did I get on that last post?

So how do you choose what to measure?

I prefer to measure my performance alongside my peers. That’s why I like the social media leaderboards that Rise.global runs (Twitter Followers Club is a one good example)  which you can join for free.

The club compares your performance each week in incrementally growing your followers – that way you can see the rate at which your Twitter social media presence is growing. By comparing with other businesses like yours you truly know whether you are doing well or badly.


Monetising is the million dollar question.

The key to success here, is to keep asking your audience how you can help solve their problems? What are their pains? Understanding their true needs will not only help you create better content but it will point you to products and services you can provide for them.

One way to monetise in 2016 is to look at online learning and courses. Often people who subscribe to a social media channel really want to learn something new. By creating and selling an online course specifically for your audience, on a site like udemy.com, via an ebook or a paid webinar series, you monetise your expertise.

The principle is important – ask what your audience really need and then provide them solutions.


So that’s it – four questions to revolutionise your social media marketing in 2016.

I’d love to hear, which of these four areas do you feel is your biggest challenge in 2016?

Tell me in the comments and you might win a free 1hr digital strategy session for your business in 2016.



Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.