The Three I's of Social Media Management. A group of friends stand holding coffees and their phone laugh together. social media marketing The 3 “I”s of Social Media Marketing Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The 3 “I”s of Social Media Marketing

The 3 “I”s of Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing (or simply SMM) is a digital marketing strategy that uses social channels — such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram – as a marketing tool. The end-goal of SMM is to create shareable content that will be dispersed by enough followers to create a large online presence and increase brand awareness.


Design Social Media Campaigns with Your Community in MindSEO and Social Media Marketing social media marketing The 3 “I”s of Social Media Marketing Free Seo Audit 01

By designing your social campaign with a certain community in mind, it is easier to trigger your followers to buy your products or services because your ads and posts are tailored specifically to them.

So, what does it take to build follower momentum? That’s where the three I’s of Social Media Management (SMM) comes in, collectively known as the 3i Principles of SMM. For each principle, the customer takes the central focus for determining the direction of a marketing campaign. Let’s take a deeper look at the 3i Principles of SMM: Initiate, Iterate, and Integrate.


1. Initiate

All SMM should begin and end with your customer. Who are they? What sparks their interest in your products or services? The Initiate principle is all about researching your target customer to know what content they respond best to.

Your market research should focus not only your industry and competitors but most importantly on your audience and their social-cultural influences (the market of Edmonton is considerably different from the market of Quebec, Nova Scotia or Florida, for example).

Tips to Initiate:

Conduct market research.

Consumer surveys, SWOT analysis of your competitors, and focus groups are a great place to start.

By the end of it you should know 10 things about your target customer:

  1. Who they are
  2. What they do
  3. Why they buy
  4. When they buy
  5. How they buy
  6. Their income
  7. What makes them feel good when they buy
  8. What do they expect of your company
  9. How they perceive your company
  10. How they perceive your competitors


Be a problem solver.

Discover what problems your target customers face. Find a way to cater your products or services to solve this problem.


Conduct social media research.

Understand what content your target customer finds the most engaging. What content do they share and like on social media?


2. Iterate

Iterate is the second 3i Principle of SMM and it’s all about analyzing social engagement to optimize your social media strategy over time. A strong SMM strategy won’t happen overnight – it often involves months of assessing, amending, and creating new content to find out exactly what your audience responds best to. To apply the Iteration principle, you need to engage with current and potential customers online, measure responses, and tweak your engagement strategy based on what worked well.

Tips to Iterate:

Measure engagement.

When judging how engaged your online community is consider whether responses are positive or negative. Also keep an eye on if you have new page follows, and the number of shares, comments and likes for each post. To properly weigh engagement here is the hierarchy of what your goals should be (in order of most to least important):

  1. New page followers
  2. Post shares
  3. Post comments
  4. Post likes


Asses what works.

Continue to share the type of content that performs the best. Also consider what isn’t working to prevent unfollows and negative reactions. Based on your analysis make amendments to your engagement strategy for the future.

Edit your content and re-engage.

Based on what works, you should make tweaks to your graphics, messaging, ad type, and the channel(s) you are using. To be top of the digital marketing game you must continuously use testing, learning, and scaling to hone your engagement strategy.


3. Integrate

Integrate is the final 3i Principle of SMM and it involves having consistency across all your online and offline marketing so that it is easy for people to follow and engage with your content. For example, if you have a TV ad, you should include a hashtag you are currently using on social media to encourage viewers to interact with your content online.

Tips to Integrate:

Integrate offline and online marketing.

All social media marketing and traditional, offline marketing should be integrated. To properly integrate all marketing materials your social handles and hashtags should be visible on offline marketing materials (such as billboards, brochures or even radio and TV ads).

Consistency is key.

Most consumers need to be exposed to a brand seven times before making a purchase decision. Consistent messaging across your online and offline marketing campaigns will help with brand memorability, prompting them to buy sooner.

Use offline marketing to promote online campaigns.

As an example, you could use a brochure to promote an online rewards program or online subscription.


SMM is About Building a Community

Did you notice a common concept among the 3i Principles? Your target customer and heir community of like-minded individuals take precedence. The 3i Principles of SMM can be summarized as: (1) initiating market research into your customers, (2) iterating a cycle of posting, tweaking, and improving your content, and (3) integrating messaging through all online and offline marketing efforts.


Social Media Marketing (SMM) at Lean Marketing

At Lean Marketing, we make your customers our focus. We learn from the social communities they belong to and interact with, to deliver a highly personalized message. At Lean Marketing it our mission to build a community of individuals who connect with your brand.


Did you completely change your marketing strategy after market research? Our team at Lean Marketing would love to hear from you!

%d bloggers like this: