Over 67% of adults use social networking sites. That number is quickly increasing with the rise of new applications which appeal to a greater number of people who are looking to find, share & connect with different audiences. For example, home makers are tuning into Pinterest for decor ideas from decorators outside their Facebook community. And LinkedIn users are not looking to connect with their current group of friends & peers, but to broaden their connections with entirely new groups of people.
But with the increase in users across an increased number of social platforms, social media management is becoming a greater task, especially for brands. Consumers are interacting with their products and services across all social media networks. Social media content creation, monitoring, sharing and engaging has become a daunting task for brand managers and marketers. It is a constant process of refining “best practices” and altering strategies as brands try to find the best ways to manage social media.
How are marketers handling the whenever, wherever, 24/7 nature of their onlinecommunities? Below are some of the most common practices in social media management and how these tactics should and should not be used in your social media strategy.
Social Media Automation:
Do this: Automate most of your content. The content in you share across your social media networks should be fresh and new. And the more you update, the more you share, the more your audience will listen and engage (provided of course, what you share is quality content). Furthermore, it will give you more time to participate in the conversations happening around your shared content and start building on those relationships.
Not that: Automate all of your content. You know what they say: spammer’s gonna spam. Don’t automate the content you shouldn’t be. Automated direct messages, thank you’s, directed tweets, conversations and responses should not be automated responses- they should be thoughtful, personable replies that will solicit further conversation and relationship building.
How: Well there are lots of ways. Buffer is one app that will help you to automate your tweets & Post Rocket will help you to schedule Facebook content. BundlePost helps to schedule content across a variety of networks using HootSuite, and Triberr will help you to not only share your content, but automatically send out approved blog posts from other authors in timed intervals.
Social Media Sharing: 20/80
Do this: Share your own content & share other’s content. A good rule to follow here is 20/80- the content you share should be 20% your own original content, and 80% other people’s content. Sharing content that is not just your’s is a great way to make new connections with other authors and marketers who will appreciate your interest in their work. It will also ensure your content stream stays fresh.
Not that: Share only your content. All too frequently businesses fail to see the benefit of sharing other’s content. The result is a constant stream of the same stuff- me, me, me. You remember that kid that always talked about himself? Yeah- don’t be that kid.
How: Well dang, this is where I would tell you to load up your Google Reader with relevant RSS feeds and alerts. But we all know how that’s gonna work out after July 1st. Instead, still find and sort through content relevant to your theme or message, but maybe try one of these 10 tools provided by Danny Brown.
Social Media Conversation:
Do This: Listen, Respond & Reply. Find out who is talking about you, your brand or your industry and talk back! Engage in the conversation. If someone asks you a question on twitter, respond to them on twitter. If there is a complaint, acknowledge it. And again, it doesn’t have to be all about you. If your business is photography, engage in the social conversation happening around the newest camera or trends in wedding photography that are taking place on forums and other people’s blogs. This will help you to build relationships with other photographers and establish yourself as a ‘thought-leader’ in the industry.
Not That: Ignore, hide or take it ‘offline’. If you see a complaint, don’t delete it- acknowledge it and try to fix it. Show-off your customer service skills & let future clients see that hey- there’s a problem, we’re gonna fix it for you. And find out what your audience is saying, what is your brand sentiment , can you improve it, what is your audience asking for?
How: There are several tools you can use for social media listening, and they range in functionality and price. Hootsuite is a great platform for monitoring your twitter @mentions, retweets and keywords available on a free plan. And TweetDeck is similar in functionality and also available in a free plan. If you’re looking for greater social media monitoring capabilities and a more powerful keyword search function, Radian6 may be a tool you want to explore.
What About You?
These are just a few of the tactics and tools you can begin to work into your social media strategy and of course you will have to find the best ways for your company to implement them. If you are working with a relatively small team, setting twitter hours when your followers can expect to get an immediate response from you, may be a good option. If you have a larger team, increasing the amount of content- original and other- you share may be a feasible.
Now it’s your turn. These are my tactics and tools- what strategies do you use in your social media management plan & what tools do you recommend? I want to know so leave a comment & let’s chat.