I’m not telling you your growing operation should be active on social media but consider the stats: there are 2.85 billion monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook. LinkedIn has 740 million MAU and Twitter has 353 million MAU. So, I’m going to go out on a limb and expect you are already there and you’re now looking to tweak your strategy to become a more active participant and to assist in your client development.
I’ve worked on social media campaigns since before Facebook allowed ads in the newsfeed and the majority of online advertisers were affiliates selling Acai diet pills. In that time, the ways we relate to the internet, businesses and even each other have changed dramatically.
Therefore, my goal is to impart some experience-based wisdom and assist you in better managing your social media presence and how to best track your improvement. In particular, what many business owners and top managers, like yourself, need to learn is how to budget time and whom to rely on to manage your social media strategy when you don’t have the bandwidth to hire a dedicated social media manager or outsource to an agency.
When watching a webinar online or reading an article about marketing you are invariably exposed to others’ sales experiences where they either sold a car via Twitter or boosted their client portfolio through Facebook. Glamoured by tales of lead generation and revenue building, and most owners and managers asking themselves, “How in the hell do these people do this?”
The short answer — it takes a lot of leg work. The long answer? Well, outcome is always going to be unique to the business. However, it is possible to find inspiration in between the long and short.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that social media impressions rise gradually. Again, we’re going to assume you understand the basics, if not, enter bit.ly/3hUpcUT into your browser to check out my article in sister publication Snow Magazine: “Helping your presence take off.”
So, we know it’s also important to make sure you establish a consistent voice for your brand, have a plan for responding to comments from your audience and have established a consistent posting schedule. Now, the question is who manages our social channels?
There are many factors to consider, but I prefer to distill it to these three questions:
Can this individual navigate their own personal social media accounts?
Do they enjoy engaging in customer service?
Do they understand your customers?
If the answer is “yes” to all three questions, then that person is fully capable of managing your social channels effectively.
Next you must determine how much time is appropriate to dedicate to social media. Now, you may think, “But we already have a posting schedule. What’s the deal?” Well, simply posting and leaving your content in the void is a great way to make the glacial process of creating a loyal and consistent following much, much slower.
Social media is difficult to coach for because every company is unique. However, if you’re committed and consistent, your audience will begin to tell you what they want, what they don’t have, and how you can bridge that gap.
My recommendation is to take 30 minutes out of each day to devote to social media. During this time monitor and note the trends on how visitors and followers interact with your page. Next, connect your page with relevant content. Common ways of doing this are to comment on topics, postings or shared articles related to your business.
Another useful exercise it to tag other companies in your posts or share content from other companies on your page. The reason to make a habit of this is to appease each social media platform’s content distribution algorithm. While there is a considerable amount of nuance between platforms and the goal posts are constantly moving, the core values basically remain the same.
Remember, the more you interact with a user and a user interacts with you, the more they’ll see your content. Therefore, a solid rule of thumb is consistency, but in shorter bursts over a longer period of time as compared to taking three hours once a week.
Also, you can get a nudge for your page through advertising. However, I would recommend posting about a month’s worth of content before paying for advertising so there is a backlog of fresh content and new followers will be able to see your cadence and know what sort of information they can expect in the future.
Social media is difficult to coach for because every company is unique. However, if you’re committed and consistent, your audience will begin to tell you what they want, what they don’t have, and how you can bridge that gap. Good luck and keep posting.