Many people think that social media management is easy based on the idea that social media is only about posting content. In my opinion, social media management is not easy, and it is much more than just posting and sharing content on social media. If you want to grow your social media and see results, you need to go beyond just posting content. Sharing content can only take your brand so far, there are other strategies to help grow your social media presence. Managing social media platforms mean scheduling your posts, being an active community member by monitoring and responding to comments, and engaging with your followers.
Social Media Marketing Plan
It’s important to develop a plan because without one you won’t know how to get there and what you need to do to get there. The plan should outline any social media objectives or goals you hope to achieve over a period of time. Goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Once you have set your goals using the S.M.A.R.T criteria, determine what metrics you will be using to measure your success.
Once you have decided on your goals, conduct an audit on your current social media platforms, such as your current number of followers, and engagement rates. These numbers will serve as a benchmark so you can compare the numbers on a month to month basis. After conducting your audit, take another look at your goals again, do they seem realistic? For example, you currently have 100 fans on Facebook, and your goal is to reach 1000 fans in 6 months, does that seem realistic? It’s not realistic! Adjust your goal to something that’s more achievable. You will feel less pressure and be more likely to achieve a realistic goal.
Monthly Social Media Calendar
I find using a monthly social media calendar is the best way for me to stay organized and motivated. I like having the calendar on a Google Spreadsheet, because you can share it with your team, and they can make changes. The calendar should list the times and dates you intend on publishing on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I suggest using themes, pick a theme for each day of the week. For example, Monday is for Motivational Monday; I would share an inspiring quote, image or video. I found that having themes made it easier for me to come up with messaging.
In your calendar include any images, video, or links you plan on sharing. The calendar will help you with scheduling your messages in advance, and you can use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Everypost. Planning your social media post ensures you have content to share regularly. By scheduling in advance, you will free up more time to do more important things. You can always update your social media on the fly, so you can update your followers on what’s happening, and being spontaneous will encourage people to engage with you. Maybe when you’re attending an industry event, you can tweet about it live.
Choosing a social media management platform
What is a social media management platform? It is a tool that streamlines your social media accounts in one place. It is a scheduling tool that will publish your post on the intended platform when you want. Having the right social media management platform can save you a lot of time. There are many vendors to choose from, and cost may vary from each vendor. These vendors often offer free trial periods for new users, so take advantage of this to pick the right one that works for you. There are many articles on the web that have comparisons on the different vendors, so do your research. A social media management platform is a great tool to have because it is a time saver. So there is no excuse for not posting regularly. I use Hootsuite because I find it easy to use and their blog is a good resource too.
Respond to Comments
Are people leaving comments or sending you messages? If so, make sure you are responding to your followers promptly. Each social media platform will notify you if someone comments or send you a message if you allow for these kinds of notifications. Try to personalize each response, your followers will appreciate it.
Participate in Discussions
Host a discussion or participate in an existing one. Being active in discussions is one way to show how you are an expert in your field. Twitter has Twitter Chats, a public Twitter conversation around a unique hashtag that lets you follow the discussion and participate in. Get involved in a few Twitter chats before you host your own. You can host a Q&A session on your Facebook Page to answer questions your followers may have. This is a good way to engage your followers.
Social Media Ads
It can be difficult to grow your following organically, especially on Facebook. Consider adding social media ads as part of your social media strategy. Set a budget that you are comfortable with. Decide on what you want your social media ad campaign to achieve. Do you want to use your budget for a Like Ads to grow your followers? Do you want to build your email list with an opt-in piece?
As I mentioned, in the beginning, it is not enough to just post content. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with content to share that’s why I suggest having a plan in place and a monthly social media calendar. If you don’t see the results you want after a few months, then it’s time to make adjustments and try another approach. Social media is a great way to connect with your audience, and it’s also a great tool to drive traffic to your website. But often many small business owners neglect their social media when things get busy. Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Having a plan and an organized calendar will make updating your social media regularly a breeze.