Social Strategy Delivered


One definition of strategy is, “the science of combining and employing means of war in planning and directing large military movements.”  While social media marketing is less about war and more about sharing, collaborating and promoting, strategy indeed plays a role in the success of your social business endeavors. Learn six requirements to ensure a solid content strategy, yielding useful business results.

#1 Create a Plan

Know where you are going before you get there. Implement a team calendar to help keep everyone in sync with the overall editorial calendar and promotional plan. Keep important events, campaign happenings, press releases and other newsworthy, scheduled shareable content here. This enables consistent messaging and more impactful promotions.

#2 Maximize Reach & Relevancy

Further increase the impact of your promotions by creating content that will resonate with your online community. To do this, you need to know your community and provide them with relevant content. Share things that are interesting and engage in real-time conversations, making your message and brand have further reach.

#3 Tell A Story

Always incorporate creativity into your storytelling. Creatively telling your story helps communicate company culture, makes content more interesting and aids in consistent brand communications. Leverage the proper tools within each social platform to enhance your story.

#4 Tactically Implement

Here’s where strategy really counts. Once you’ve created great content, share and repurpose it in as many relevant locations as possible. This helps with efficiency of content production and increases the potential for viral reach. Keep in mind the need for relevancy. Don’t share Instagram photos from the office boat party on LinkedIn (unless, of course, it’s part of your strategy).

#5 Embrace Change

Part of what makes social media fun is its novelty. Staying nimble allows your team to adapt, adopt and implement as quickly as the media changes. This can have a major impact on success metrics that are so important (think click through rates and web traffic). Note: successfully nimble teams are empowered – make sure your teams know their opinions count.

#6 Capture Learned Insights

Although it can be fun to do things with no rhyme or reason, for the efficiency and benefit of your social media communications take the time to perform an analysis of your results. Make it a habit to analyze campaigns and day-to-day communications. Social media thought leaders use these insights to improve bottom lines, better understand customers, increase internal productivity and stay agile in a competitive market.

What insights or requirements have you learned since launching your social communications? Feel free to add your perspective by sharing with @KrisSuss.

For additional social media articles, visit

This article was originally posted on the Hahn, Texas website

Blog Image

Blog Image

Blogging falls into a very specific area of social media marketing and greatly contributes to a company’s inbound marketing efforts. While the CEO’s blog creates a challenge of figuring out just how much information to put out there, the articles published through that blog act as important supplements to other communications pushed through various social media channels. The blog also encourage link building and thought leadership. Someone who finds the blog article interesting may mention it and your company, elsewhere online. Linking back to your website, this drives additional traffic and increases your Google Page Rank and furthermore, effectively increases your website’s SEO and online visibility.

You can read more about how to write an effective blog here.

In preparation for the Springboard 2011 Conference tomorrow, I wanted to share with you something that inspired me during my last year of graduate school. Virginia Miracle was working as the head of Digital at Ogilvy 360 when she created this video. After viewing this video, I created this blog. Here’s the video, enjoy:

University adoption of social media
Courtesy of:

Following advice given during the Transformation 2011 Conference, by Chuck Porter, Chairman at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, I recently launched my agency, Social Distillery. Chuck Porter has been named by Inc. as one of 26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs and now I too am an entrepreneur. However, I have not yet made this list, I am now competing against all other agencies in this cut-throat industry, doing as Mr. Porter suggested, and I’m running a small digital agency. What’s interesting, as I reflect back on what must of been the beginning of my Transformation, it really did seem to start there, at that very 4A’s Transformation Conference.

Chuck Porter

Those who have read my previous blog entries are familiar with my involvement of promoting the conference. Using the Texas AdGrad social media network that we were managing at that time, we ran all of the contests on Twitter awarding The University of Texas students their seats. I was actively publishing on my personal blog, while publishing content through my personal Twitter profile (@KrisSuss) and publishing on the UT Texas AdGrad Twitter profile (@TexasAdGrad), and I was effectively link building all of the “fresh and relevant” content. Later that week I was trying to recall one of the speakers’ names. I entered my search query into Google using the keyword “Transform2011.” At that time, I had my Transformation and as Oprah calls it, my Aha moment. Within the top six, first-page search results I saw my tweets, my blog article and Texas AdGrad. At first, I was ecstatic to be getting The University of Texas Advertising and Public Relations Department this great branding, it took me a moment to realize that my personal blog was listed third in Google’s search results.

I remember this overwhelming adrenaline, realizing at that very moment, this is what it was all about. Through natural and organic publishing of interesting content, advocating for brands I love, I had created top search engine results. This is very valuable information to have. Companies pay people, departments and organizations to help them accomplish this. This knowledge reinstated what Mr. Porter had suggested, the big corporations are losing out. There’s just too much bureaucracy, too much time wasted on top-down management and not enough good-old, honest-to-God simplicity.

If you’d like to work with Social Distillery, Inc., please feel free to contact me at We specialize in social media marketing, digital PR and online advertising.

Yesterday I joined a panel at the 2011 American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference in Mesa, AZ to discuss social and digital media in the classroom. Our session appropriately titled, Blogs are Blooming, Tweets Abound, and I’ve Got Friends: Integrating Interactive, Digital and Social Media in the Classroom, consisted of a panel of seven academics and myself.

American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference 2011

American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference 2011

I love, what I would describe as, this grass roots movement within the world of academia. While social media is no longer an “if” or “when” question, but now a “how” question, it’s inspiring to see various industries adopt new media. Anyone who has studied at a university in the past five years has used Blackboard and understands the annoying nuances of the interface. One professor from Temple University, Ketih Quesenberry’s solution, was to implement WordPress blogging and BuddyPress commenting streams for his students. He uses the publishing tool to not only engage students, but also, familiarize them with the ease of online publishing.

I also wholly support the need for an overall collaboration between the social movement and the creative team. Without the big ideas, are we just pushing content for content’s sake? Professor Glenn Griffin from Southern Methodist University touched on this topic during his talk.

My talk, Digital and Social Media From a Student’s Perspective, discussed the history of the Texas AdGrad social media team, started by (then) students, Meagan Gribbin, Joclyn Lai, and Shelley Harse and explained how we have adopted it since. In addition to gaining hands-on experience just as we would with a client’s social media, within in agency setting, we’ve also learned how to incorporate digital tools, metrics, media, networking and branding. Really, the value of my involvement in the Texas AdGrad social media team is endless. I may save that for another blog post, but just to get an idea, the team has helped me to understand and learn social CRM, Drupal, basic HTML, rich media content, Google analytics, Google Ad Words, and how to run contests via Twitter. An additional positive aspect to this experience, it has allowed me to be introduced to so many wonderful people throughout our industry.

Other panelists: Cong Li, University of Miami, Sigal Segev, Florida International University, Shu-Chuan Chu, DePaul University, and Harsha Gangadharbatla, University of Oregon

Organizers: Alyse Lancaster, University of Miami and Mariea Hoy, University of Tennessee

Beyond getting my feet wet and taking the plunge into public speaking, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Boca Di Beppo, compliments of Dr. Isabella Cunningham. Last, I have to say, this birthday week has turned out to be better than anticipated. If my twenties are this great, I can’t wait for my thirties.

4A’s was an amazing conference to be a part of, especially to jump start the week leading into SXSW Interactive. There were a few key topics addressed I wanted to share:

  • Behavioral content has allowed for the creation of 1000’s of online market segments.
  • Algorithms help marketers predict what people will do online
  • The industry is not doing well with training or retaining great talent
  • $144B Local US ad spend market for mobility and place based  advertising
  • Technology for technology sake will not work
  • Instead of pushing marketing right away (when you have e-mail info) reward your customers with something useful
  • Instead of cost per click, charge cost per engagement for your clients
  • Hot Topic: Charlie Sheen
  • Great video conferencing tool: Cisco Telepresence
  • As social hits critical mass, digital transforms everything
  • Best presenter IMO: Coltrane Curtis, Managing Partner Team Epipheny

Oh, and I met Kinky Friedman and got a signed copy of his book, Heroes of a Texas Childhood.

Kinky Friedman at the 4A's Transformation Conference 2011

With Kinky Friedman at the 4A's Conference, Austin, 2011

Currently watching Blake Mykoskie, the CEO of Toms Shoes, give his keynote session for the final day of SXSW Interactive. It’s difficult not to absorb the inspirational story of how a great idea turned into the successful philanthropic effort and company known today as One for One. “Feeling good is a really good business strategy,” he said. Blake is talking about making your customers, your greatest supporters. A concept that seems so pragmatic, yet such a challenge for some corporations.

Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie SXSW Day Four Keynote Speaker and CEO One for One

“From this day forward, Toms is no longer a shoe company. We are the One for One company as the first step in rescuing the world,” Blake said as he unveiled a large box, that’s contents are unknown to the public until June 7, this year. Some people I watched with, predicted an extension into clothing lines, but I honestly wonder if it isn’t bigger or more creative than that. Will there soon be One for One Mac computers? (Note to Apple: Please don’t steal my idea without bringing me in somehow!)

My second guess led me to our trusted friend, Google, to explore the June 7th day in history. Blake’s journey for Tom’s shoes started in Argentina during an Amazing Race adventure. After he lost the million dollar prize after a month of racing with his sister, by four minutes. He returned later to truly experience the country and its people. When he joined a team handing out used shoes to the children, Blake was humbled. Next Blake lost a night’s sleep when he realized the kids would grow out of the shoes, and in order to get more shoes to the children the idea of Tom’s Shoes were born. One for One.

Tom's Shoes

A pair of Tom's Shoes

After my quick search Wikipedia taught me that June 7th, in Argentina, is a recognized holiday called Journalist Day. Now, I must incorporate this newly learned insight into my hypothesis for what’s inside that box.

Back to our business topic; We always hear that everything in life is cyclical, right? I propose this; What we are seeing through the movement of social, through the value of working with genuine hard working teams, and through transparency, this is the cyclical movement of the corporate life cycle. Large corporations struggle today as they were founded by their forefathers, then the company passed down. This change in power, I theorize, has led to some change in direction and maybe we could go as far as to say, lost direction.

Companies who are finding success today, start like the story of Tom’s. Blake’s One for One success is a great example of a smart idea, used to help people and spread the good. When we look at companies doing great things, we see the companies who are filled with committed and caring people fighting for innovation and change, with the goal of doing great things. I look forward to learning the answer to Blake’s previously unanswered question, what’s next for One for One.

At a little after nine o’clock p.m. here and I just implemented Google Analytics code into our ...and the Brands Played On website hosted on WordPress. Just two years ago, I knew nothing about html or Google Analytics, let alone SEO or SEM. Is there a hole in our educational system or has technology advanced so rapidly that these ideas weren’t common knowledge in 2004? That’s a rhetorical question. I also can’t help and wonder if Austin is more consumed with understanding the truisms of the web than other cities. If so, I don’t mind.

Google Analytics Code

I should also mention that this Friday is the start of SXSWi, one of the most coveted and respected interactive conferences in the world. I’m looking forward to attending some kick-off parties hosted by Frog Design and Springbox. Additionally, 4A’s Transformation 2011 conference is currently being hosted here in Austin and I will be in attendance tomorrow and Wednesday. I look forward to sharing some new insight from the best-of-the-best in our industry.

Transformation 2011 Logo

The University of Texas Advertising and Public Relations department was very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with @4As, the American Association of Advertising Agencies to promote the Transformation 2011 conference. The Texas AdGrad social media team and I were honored to be able to award our students with passes for this conference.

We published a press release announcing the upcoming conference and the first round of chances to win tickets. We explained the rules and directed students on how to use their Twitter accounts to win. The first of three rounds evoked responses like graduate student Jen Burkey‘s, “@TexasAdGrad I deserve a @4As #Transform2011 tix because it’d be a total adgasm for an ad nerd like me!” and Kenya Madyun‘s, “@TexasAdGrad I deserve a @4As #Transform2011 tix because right now these personal business cards are burning a whole in my pocket!”

For the second round of the contest we decided to challenge students to think about their responses by asking what student’s considered to be the most exciting aspect of digital media. Some interesting responses included Whitney Munselle‘s answer, “the most exciting aspect of digital media is its ability to surpass physical limits so that anyone can become involved” and Andrew Burton‘s, “the most exciting aspect of digital media is the ability 2 facilitate dialogue from the comfort of yr potato chip covered sweatpants.”

Last we added a touch of humor by asking students to tell us, if they were an ad agency, which agency they would be. Responses included agencies such as Razorfish, McGarrah Jesse and T3.

All and all, the contest and our efforts to create buzz around the 4A’s #Transform2011 conference were both a success.

Yesterday, I launched my third social media marketing campaign. As with anything in life, the more you practice, the better you get. I’ll share with you why this campaign is the most exciting initiative yet. First, let me explain the purpose of this campaign. It is, to promote an advertising conference that The Department of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas is hosting. Our chair, Dr. Neal Burns has allowed me the great opportunity to manage the social media marketing and networks.

...and the Brands Played On conference Save the Date designed by Melissa Martin

Now, what sets this campaign apart from others is that I will be able to track ROI and customer conversions. Using the social and customer relationship management software (SCRM), Spredfast and Google Analytics, I will use link tracking to track how many people we send to our conference’s website from our social networks, and from there who registers for our event. Beyond tracking conversions, myself and two other students will be able to use the networks and SCRM software to answers questions, create conversation and create brand awareness. Pretty cool.

Above is a screen shot of the three major metrics we will use to track our success: engagement, reach and activity. The platform, Spredfast, provides and records all measurement throughout the campaign.

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