With technology advancing at lightning speeds, it's nearly impossible to stay on top of it all. And of these innovations, social media has become its own beast, demanding more attention in your marketing strategy.
So when marketing "gurus" are pitching advice on how to optimize your strategy, how can you sort through the noise and find a legitimate approach to social media management?
Well, these six steps will simplify it for you, helping you to save time and increase engagement.
Social Media Management Made Easy
Somewhere over the past decade, social media has become a mandatory avenue in marketing. It took a foothold and provided us with channels that are instant and free, easy to measure, present faster feedback, and let us capitalize on social proof.
Still, jumping into a social channel with no plan or management strategy can be detrimental to your brand. Social media management is the process of analyzing your audience and building an approach that's tailored to them.
While it's not easy, it doesn't have to be hard. Use these tips so managing your social media accounts doesn't eat up all your free time.
1. Choose the Right Social Platform
There are dozens of social platforms to choose from. They range from well-known sites, like Facebook, with over 2.3 billion users to channels like hi5 that are so small they use Facebook as a login option.
Finding the right platform can take some research (we'll help you get started), but it's essential to reaching the right audience. LinkedIn serves a very different population than Instagram.
Analyze your customer personas, looking at target ages, genders, and occupations, to pick the match that's best suited for your company.
2. Plan Your Content Calendar
This should go without saying, but showing up without a plan will wreak havoc on your brand.
Create a social calendar (more on this later) and fill it with the content you want to publish. This gives you an idea of what's coming up and what you need to prepare. It also lets you tie your social posts into other marketing campaigns to amplify your message.
A good habit is to mix up the types of posts so that you're constantly engaging your audience with something new. It also ensures you're not spamming their feeds. Plotting this on a calendar gives you the macro-view that it makes significantly easier.
3. Create Your Content
If the previous step is where your strategy starts taking shape, this is where you put meat on the bones.
There's one important rule here, and it affects everything you do with your brand.
You need to focus on customer-centric marketing.
If you're not providing as much value as you can muster, you're doing your customers a disservice, and they'll recognize that. Every post should have a plan to offer value. While there's no reason you can't toss in some fun posts or jokes, people will flock to your social profiles if you make it a point to give them plenty of value.
Since you understand that, the next part of this step involves creating the actual content. Tell stories, incite emotion, use humor. Let creativity reign as you build out your content.
While building content, ensure you're attaching images to each. Sites like Unsplash and Pixabay offer free stock photos that can give your posts some added flair to catch eyes. Then use tools like Canva or MakeAGif to customize to your liking. Similarly, you can use Visme to create infographics, presentations, and other visual content with a drag and drop interface, that limits your need for designers.
4. Schedule Content in Advance
Now comes the easy part. You get to sit around, monitoring your social accounts for the precise moment to post.
But, wouldn't it be nicer to get out and enjoy your day? You can let someone do it for you -- specifically, some of that technology we discussed earlier.
Social media management tools like Hubspot, HootSuite, Buffer, or CoSchedule enable you to streamline the publishing process. You select what posts and when you want them published. They'll also monitor data, the same way some of the larger social platforms will, meaning you'll get all your information from one place.
5. Interact and Engage Your Audience
Finally, you need to make use of all that content. Interacting with customers or followers is one of the most significant benefits of social media. You get immediate feedback from content and can engage to further shape opinions on your brand.
To start interacting, answer questions and comment on other material, but ensure you're authentic. You can also create contests or engage influencers. Most important, though, you need to share content, whether it's yours or your followers.
Remember, if you were providing value, as you should be, your content is already in the right place to evoke a response. It makes building engagement that much easier.
6. Monitor Social Data
The less exciting part, but one that gives you valuable insights into your performance is the monitoring of data.
You should conduct audits every few weeks, and multiple times during campaigns. If you need to pivot, it's better to catch it earlier, by seeing what's actually engaging your audience.
Use the ability to "listen" to hashtags if your preferred platform supports them. You can see what's trending and how you can adjust your plan to gain traffic from those search terms.
Finally, if you're struggling to achieve the results you want, you can look into tools like Socialbakers that'll use AI to study your accounts and build profiles based on the audience you're actually reaching. That information could go a long way in helping you build your profiles.
Managing Your Social Media
While there are a lot of variables, social media management is much easier than it first appears. If you're like most marketers, you need to be productive, and you rely on the right tools to do it.
Social media management is no different. That's why we created an eBook to help you multiply your effectiveness. Do more in less time with a free copy of our Guide to the Best Social Media Tools and Apps.