Social media management is one of those skills that needs to be highly personalized depending on the type of company and type of strategy you’re working with. A Fortune 500 company is going to need very different tools and approaches than a small business just starting to make its way in the world.
In order to successfully manage your social media, you need to implement proven strategies that build customer connection, keep people engaged and keep the process streamlined in the meantime. You need to be able to do things efficiently, while still keeping things personal.
Here are ten ways to help you do this, no matter what kind of company you’re working with.
Tip #1: Encourage Your Audience to Participate in Other Platforms
Try to get your audience onto different kinds of platforms. If someone reads your blog, try to get them on your Facebook page. If someone follows you on Twitter, try to get them on your email list.
Why should you encourage cross-platform participation?
- It gives you multiple ways to followup with someone. You’re more likely to get their attention, since they’re seeing you everywhere they look.
- You’re less likely to lose them. If you just had them reading your blog, they might one day forget to check back. However, if you also had their email, you’ll be able to continually follow up.
- It helps build community. People who participate will often be happy to participate in comments, forums, twitter and Facebook if you give them the chance.
Don’t spent a lot of time hard selling your various platforms. Just let people know what kinds of platforms are available every once in a while.
Tip #2: Cross Post Your Best Content
Take advantage of your best content. If you wrote something that’s funny, creative, original or useful, cross-post it to your various different platforms.
It’s important that you do keep your platforms different enough that it’s worth it for people to be on multiple platforms. If your Facebook page is just reposts from your blog, it’s not really its own standalone platform.
However, when you create something that’s truly original and truly noteworthy, make sure everyone in your network knows about it. Post it to all your platforms. Just don’t overdo it and make sure you write something personal to each platform, rather than just copy and paste.
Social media integration tools can help you cross post to different platforms quickly and easily. You can access all your different social networks quickly and easily from one place.
Tip #3: Survey Your Audience Every Once in a While
It’s possible that you’re so in tune with your audience that you know exactly what they want at any given time. However, it’s much more likely that there will be things your audience wants that you simply won’t be able to predict.
Get in the habit of surveying your audience every once in a while. There are a couple different ways you can do this.
First, you can simply send personal message to people you have a connection to and ask what they like about your content and what they’d like to see more of. Use social media integration tools to spot power-fans and ask for their opinion directly.
Alternatively, you can use tools like Survey Monkey to create a survey, then post it to your social network.
Both of these methods work equally well. What’s important is that you stay in touch with what your audience wants, beyond just what you think they want.
Tip #4: Consider Your Users’ Time Zones
If you’re not using social media integration, it’s very tough to consider your users’ time zones. You post whenever you happen to be online, whenever you can.
However, with social media integration tools, you have the luxury of using software to post whenever you want to. All you need to do is figure out the best times to post, then schedule your posts to go live during those times.
Typically the best times to post are early in the morning, between 9 and 11 am, late in the afternoon, between 4pm and 6pm and late at night, between 9p and 11pm. This allows you to get people in their morning Facebook check, their evening check and their late night check.
Use tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to figure out where the majority of your followers come from. Are they US-based? If not, where in the world are they? If they are US-based, are they primarily west coast or east coast?
Once you know your audience, time your posts accordingly.
Also, track the response rates, virality and engagement of your own post times. See if your audience responds better during certain times of day.
Tip #5: Manage it as a Team
Don’t treat your social media as a solo endeavour. Often time’s the best way to really increase engagement is to work on your social media as a team.
There are a couple different approaches to this.
One approach is to let everyone post under their own name. This allows people to build a bit of a personal brand within your brand. Your readers can get to know different people on your staff and build relationships with each of them individually.
This is a fantastic way to manage a social media team if you have a team of people who’re all great at expressing themselves. However, if only a couple of you are good at creating posts that people respond well to, then you might want to use the second approach.
The second approach is to have your social media messages crafted by just one or two people, but enroll the help of your staff to manage everything else.
Have someone watch the analytics. Have people look out for and respond to direct messages and @replies. It’s impossible for one person to keep track of all of these all the time, unless it’s your full time job. If you have a team watching out for you however, you’ll be able to respond to inquiries much faster collectively.
Tip #6: Measure and Improve Your Virality
Your virality is a measure of how often people who see your content like, share, comment or in other ways cause your content to appear in their feed.
How often do people interact with your content? What kind of content do they interact with? Do people tend to share things you post in video, text or audio format? Do people tend to respond to one topic of discussion more than others?
Figuring these things out will enable you to cater to the rest of your content to your users’ needs and wants.
Use tools like Facebook Insights, as well as various social media integration tools to figure out what kind(s) of content your users like. Then create more of that kind of content, as well as experiment with offshoots of that kind of content.
Tip #7: Automate Routine Tasks
Are there things in your social media strategy that you find yourself repeating by hand over and over and over again? Chances are, someone has already figured out how to automate that. All you need to do is find the right tool.
For example, let’s say you’re regularly logging in to check your stats on your social networks. What if you could automate that by having an email sent to you instead?
Or say you always post your email posts to your Twitter feeds. Why not use a tool that’ll allow you to post your emails to your Twitter, without having to create a shortened link and copy and paste by hand?
The APIs provided by Twitter and Facebook are highly versatile. Developers can create apps that do just about anything and interact with your accounts in just about any way. Because of this, just about any task that needs to be automated has been automated by independent developers looking to create software that spreads on the internet.
Save yourself time and increase your efficiency by identifying repetitive tasks and looking for ways to automate those tasks.
Tip #8: Don’t Overlook Built-In Tools
When people think of social media integration, they often think of tools like Hootsuite or Tweet Deck that have been created by outside developers. However, there are actually quite a few integration tools that have been created by the social networks themselves. Don’t overlook these tools – They’re some of the best.
For example, did you know you can post to your Facebook account from your Twitter account just by adding the #fb hashtag? All you need to do is install the Selective Tweets app from within your Facebook.
You can do the same thing from LinkedIn with the #li tag. You don’t need to install any applications. All you need to do is enable Twitter reposting from within your LinkedIn settings.
The vast majority of social media tools, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have social sharing and social media integration tools built in. Look into these tools. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in outside tools, it might be because they already exist in internal tools.
Tip #9: Manage Your Energy
Having twenty different social media accounts you need to manage across different industries is going to cause stress and be nearly impossible to handle in the long run. Try to consolidate your social media profiles whenever possible.
Social media integration tools make it easier to manage multiple accounts. However, if you have too many accounts, it’s still going to be too much to handle – Integration tools or not. Just keeping track of all your different accounts and who’s actively following what is going to be immensely difficult.
It’s often better to manage just one social media feed well than to spread yourself thin over five different accounts. Keeping your attention focused will allow you to post personality-filled content as well as recent and relevant content quickly, instead of being bogged down by trying to juggle too many different threads.
Tip #10: Manage Problems and Follower Negativity
Even if you do everything in your power to do everything right, there’ll come a time when your customers will get mad at you. Perhaps it’s because a new product you released didn’t work as well as you thought it did. Perhaps they hate your new website redesign. Maybe your whole industry is shifting and people are directing their negativity towards you.
Whatever the case may be, it’s crucial that you respond to these issues quickly. When people push at or attack your brand, it’s actually an opportunity. If you respond fast and do so authentically, people will respect you more and become more loyal. On the other hand, if you don’t respond or respond in a mechanical way, people will lose respect for you.
Think of it as a challenge rather than an attack. If your audience really wasn’t interested in what you have to offer anymore, they would have just left. Instead, they’re sticking around to give you negative feedback. If you take that feedback, incorporate it and let people know they’re valued, chances are they’ll stick around.
Social media integration tools can play a big role in this. First of all, you need to spot the negative PR – quickly. Having all your feeds in one place makes this easy. One person’s negative comments is one person’s opinions. Two might be a fluke. The moment you see three or more people saying the same things, you should probably start formulating a response.
Social media tools also make it very easy to disseminate your response once you have it formulated. Instead of wasting time logging in and out of your various social media account, integration tools will allow you to post things all at once, then have your attention fully focused on tuning in to people’s responses and adjusting accordingly.
These ten tips will help you save time, save energy and improve your relationships with your customers, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Come to Marketing Blueprint Live in Del Mar, CA, April 4th-6th, to find out 5 Simple Ways to Create More Social Media Buzz, Traffic and Profits