Chapter 17: Social Media Portfolio Development & Integration

Every social media portfolio must have a Twitter account. Or was it Facebook? No, YouTube; everybody needs a YouTube account, unless they’re using Reels in Instagram. But you should have an Instagram account for sure… unless you’re posting a billion photos and just want to give fast access, then go with Flickr. But you could do both. Or all of that? Or is all of that too much? And do you need to manage all of that through Hootsuite? Or should you pay more for Sprout Social? Do you even need either?

The above paragraph is the chatter in your brain you need to neutralize. It may even be the chatter in your workplace; it needs to be neutralized there, too.

Building a social media portfolio (that is, the collection of social media accounts your organization uses to engage with audiences) is a strategic process that is informed by audience analysis.

Who do you need to engage? Where can you engage them? What is the best way of engaging them there? What do you want them to do next?

Those are the questions that will lead you to choosing a limited number of social media accounts to use on behalf of your organization.

Constructing a Social Media Portfolio

Choosing which social media platforms to use—and which to forgo—is critically important for any organization looking to engage audiences through the digital world. While changing platforms later is always possible—and perhaps inevitable to a certain extent—there is a real cost to either expanding into a new platform or abandoning an old one.

Some of the heavy lifting on social media platform selection has already been done for you. Unless you are in a particular niche, you’re going to be looking first at the major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X/Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn). If you’re in a particular industry, such as the restaurant industry, other platforms will leap to importance, such as Yelp. If you deal with video games, you’ll be on Twitch. Some of this is fairly intuitive.

However, having a meaningful social media presence on seven social media channels is a lot of work—and can cost a lot of money in staff time. Some of these platforms are going to be more fruitful for your organization than others, so you need to narrow your selection strategically. Again, this is where audience analysis kicks in. Let’s look again at the fours questions posted above:

Who do you need to engage?

Hopefully, this is something you’ve gathered a lot of data about and something you’ve spent time carefully analyzing, even going so far as to create audience archetypes. (If not, for goodness’ sake, go back and do your audience analysis; nothing in the world of communications is more important.)

Define the groups you need to target and analyze…

Where can you engage them?

Obviously, if you know which social media accounts they use, then that settles the discussion, right?

Well, a little bit.

If you know your target audience is going to be using Facebook more than any other social media platform, yes, you need to be on Facebook. You’ll incorporate this decision into your social media style guide and your customer journey map, study how your audiences and competitors engage on Facebook, and prepare a stellar approach for communicating there. Easy peasy!

Well, not quite. There’s another question you need to answer:

What is the best way of engaging them there?

If you simply need short blocks of text and an image—possibly a paid advertisement or boosted post—to get your audience to take the desired action, that’s pretty easy. But what if you need more than that? What if your best pitch is a three-minute video that moves them from attention and interest to desire and action (A.I.D.A.)?

Well, I guess if that’s the case you now need a second social media account: a YouTube channel where you can post all those videos that you’ll push into Facebook (or whichever other social media platforms you’re using).

Your social media portfolio has now made an important (and time consuming) expansion.

What do you want them to do next?

For many organizations, the above pattern will check. For some, however, this pattern does not check.

Some organizations, for example, are producing extremely high-value video content on YouTube that spans 20+ minutes per video. For them, YouTube is the first and primary point of social media contact. They’re goal is to create a conversation through YouTube. But how else can they engage this audience?

Maybe their secondary goal is to get them into text-based exchanges in X/Twitter. If that text-based conversation eases the process of making a conversion, then the organization wants to connect YouTube viewers with their X/Twitter account to make that happen.

As you can see, the customer journey needs to be mapped after the fact, but it also needs to be anticipated before the social media portfolio is created.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Every organization is going to have different motivations and needs for how and why they develop their social media portfolio. As emphasized, audience analysis is at the core of these decisions, but even further into the core is a matter of fundamental truth to the organization: what are your own unique and authentic communication needs for connecting with your target audience(s)?

Chasing the competition is tempting, but the return on investment in a particular social media channel may not be worthwhile for your organization—or perhaps it may be worthwhile after a period of growth. Whatever decisions the organization makes in constructing its social media portfolio, the decisions must be based on truthful self-analysis, truthful and accurate audience analysis, and a careful investigation of each social media platform being considered.

Social Media Integration

For convenience and cost, smaller organizations often have one person running their website and social media accounts, but most medium or larger organizations will have one team that manages their website and another that leads social media communications. These are often situated in a marketing or communications office (or a “MarCom” office that integrates the two). Both the web team and the social media team need to interact and communicate regularly so that the website and social media accounts have consistent messaging, tone, and usability.

Web Teams

Front-End Developers

A front-end developer is someone who works on the style and design of a website. These developers need to know HTML, CSS and usually be comfortable with JavaScript. Other web programming languages that are often desired for front-end developers are jQuery, Angular JS, and Polymer Web Components (to name just a few).

More specifically, front-end designers are often called UX (User Experience) Designers. Having the ability to wire-frame or create sample website layouts in graphics imaging software, such as Photoshop, is an asset to this position.

Back-End Developers

Back-end developers are more in-depth programmers who add dynamic functionality to a website. For example, they would be needed on a team for websites that have any user login, e-commerce database, server-side forms, etc. These developers enhance websites by using programming languages such as JavaScript (or node), PHP, MySQL, Java as well as complete knowledge of the most current CSS and HTML to build more advanced functionality into the website.

Marketing/Communications Teams


A copywriter is often the person who is responsible for creating the web content (blogs, snappy intro text, news releases) and making sure that copyright laws are not being broken. This individual usually works closely with both the communications team and the web team.

Social Media Manager

The Social Media Manager is in charge of creating, maintaining, and executing social media strategy and content. They are at the center of managing an organization’s online presence and should have excellent leadership skills, writing and editing capabilities, and advanced knowledge of web analytics. Other titles for this position might include social media strategist, social media coordinator, or digital communications manager.

Social Media Assistant

The social media assistant is typically the individual responsible for posting to social media and maintaining the voice of the company on all social platforms. The strategy will be determined by the social media manager and the assistant(s) will be in charge of ensuring the execution of the campaigns and following up with comments and questions. The social media assistant needs to have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to effectively multi-task numerous projects and expectations from the team. They are often responsible for delivering reports to the manager on the success of various campaigns and, more specifically, on the ROI of various campaigns, platforms, and even individual actions (such as paid advertising).

Graphic Designer

An in-house graphic designer can be an invaluable asset for an organization, but is often seen as a luxury. As the web becomes more and more emoji and image-centric, clear, clean graphics are more and more in demand. Online solutions such as fiverr and logo tournament are significantly lowering the bar for entrepreneurs to access high-quality graphics, but there is no substitute for genuine, professional, in-house skill.

Bridging Your Website and Social Media Accounts

Creating meaningful content for your website is essential, but if it is not publicized (usually by sharing across social media networks), the only way it will be seen is if people know to go to your website for it or if it gets picked up by a search engine. Social media posts that link back to your main website can help draw people to your content and to your organization’s products/services.

The first step to integrating your social media accounts and website is to add links from your social media accounts to your site and vice-versa. Adding social media icons is reasonably simple to do within a variety of CMS (content management systems), such as

Adding links to related posts, in-line with the body of the text on your website, can also result in a higher share rate on your blog. In reality, it is a circular process, with links from your social media posts to your website and your website to your various social media accounts. This allows your visitors to enter into the loop at any point and get access to both your other social media posts and your site content.

For example, if one of your social media campaigns uses a contest, it might be useful to have a supporting page on your website that outlines prizes, expectations, and rules for participation. You can then link to this web page in your contest post.

Evaluating Your Content’s Lasting Value

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is when you design your web and social media content to be worthwhile for years to come. This allows your posts to get more clicks over time. To do this, avoid the use of specific dates/time (e.g., “here’s what to do this New Years,” rather than “Here’s how to bring in 2024”). Refresh your content regularly to ensure it remains relevant and create posts with topics that have either more generic value or answers specific questions in an broadly applicable way.


Analytics can help you find out more about how traffic is accessing your website. Are people clicking through to your site from Facebook or Twitter? By integrating Google Analytics on your website (not available on the free plan of, you can find out what the bounce rate (time before people leave) of each page of your site is, and specifically whether they come from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This information can help “turn insight into action” (Google Analytics, 2017). By evaluating website traffic and the behaviour of individuals who access your website, you can gain knowledge about what is and isn’t working on your website.

Evaluating social media analytics (e.g., Facebook business analytics) and any other campaign analytics will also help you better define and refine your target audience, and get to know what your customers want from your business.

See the later chapter in this OER textbook for more about analytics (as well as search engine optimization and algorithms).


This chapter was adapted from Maintaining an Online Presence: Business Management of a Digital Presence by Julia Grav, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Social Media & Reputation Management Copyright © 2023 by Sam Schechter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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