This is a guest post by Christopher Wallace. He is the VP of Sales and Marketing for Amsterdam Printing promotions, has more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing. At Amsterdam, Christopher is focused on providing quality marketing materials to small, mid-size and large businesses.
When you’re getting a startup off the ground, every minute of the day can be a precious commodity. Although social media is integral to spreading the word about any crowd-funded business, it’s easy to let regular posting take a backseat to the constant concerns of crunching profit vs. loss in expenses, payroll and taxes.
But what if your social media marketing could be reduced to just 15 minutes a day, and still have the effectiveness of ten times that much effort? Like most things, productivity within social media boils down to organization. By developing a plan that works and sticking to it, it’s possible to streamline your outreach on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and whatever new platform inevitably pops up in 2013.
To consolidate your social media marketing down to its core fundamentals, follow these steps:
No matter how busy you are, you probably still take a few minutes here and there to check out your friends’ Facebook walls and Twitter feeds from your personal account. In that process, you’ll undoubtedly uncover material that interests you and might be relevant for a post on your company pages. Utilize a program like Evernote, your device’s built-in notepad app, or simply send yourself a text to remind yourself of post ideas you can utilize later.
It’s also smart to set Google alerts for your own company name or topics that you frequently post about. When something new shows up on the web that pertains to your company, you’ll get a notice and have automatic fodder for your next post.
Before you even log-in to your account, decide what you’re going to post. If you open your company’s Facebook page with a purpose, you’re less likely to waste ten minutes browsing around in search of inspiration. Utilize those notes and bookmarks and go in with a plan.
Depending on the size of your company, you may have a staff member (or members) whose job description includes the role of posting to your social accounts. Whether you delegate this responsibility or handle it yourself, decide a schedule for your daily posts. Social media use peaks during the workday, so if you’re a two Tweet a day sized company, schedule those at 9 am and 3 pm. (Of course, if inspiration strikes at other times, don’t hesitate to post away).
Likewise, responding to comments is equally important to your initial post. It’s the back and forth conversation that pushes a post, pin, or tweet to a higher level of visibility. But if you’re receiving emails and phone alerts about every comment left on your page, you’re likely to be constantly fending off distractions throughout the day.
It’s okay not to respond instantly, but do make a point to respond within a few hours to keep the conversation going. Turn off the alerts and decide on two or three times throughout the day that you will log in to respond to comments for a few minutes at a time.
Not every comment left by a consumer on a post should be responded to publicly, and some require special care. If you have a customer service person or team on your staff, make sure that the link between the person checking the social media accounts and the customer service department is solid. When a comment comes in that requires personal attention, you want to make sure that the commenter receives a response as quickly as possible (ideally, in the same day).
Although it can be tough to let go of control, it’s okay to trust your employees to post to the company account. Facebook allows different levels of admin capabilities, whereas Twitter is more all-in-one. Set ground rules about what employees can post, but give your managers the ability to post on the company’s behalf. These are your people on the ground, so to speak, and you want them to be passionate about your business. Give them the chance to promote for you.
Programs like HootSuite that cluster different social media accounts into a unified dashboard are growing in popularity. If you’re posting dozens of updates and tweets per day, this can be an immensely useful tool. On the other hand, punching in that many updates at once can lead to dull posts that focus on marketing messages rather than real conversation. If you utilize an automated post scheduling tool, make sure that you still have a plan to sign in and respond to comments each day, as well.
What other tools and tips have you found to streamline your social media outreach? If you find yourself spending hours a day pushing your brand through social media, do you think that the effort is worth it?
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