Social media has become a staple form of advertising within the corporate world. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter respectively (amongst other platforms) you need to be. Why? One word. Engagement. Social media provides a way to hear what your customers are saying about your products and/or services. It’s a venue to try out ideas, and discuss what works and doesn’t work with the very people who spend money with your company. It’s a way to find out what your competitors are doing, and what’s working and not working for them.
And of course, it’s a way to reach a new audience.
The problem many businesses have is spending too much time, or too little time on their social media. I’m going to give you a few pointers on how you can keep your blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and more down to one hour a day, while still making social media work for you.
You can break all social media down into two main brackets.
1. Listening. You can learn a lot about market trends, competitors, customer feedback and media commentary if you refine your social media channels.
2. Contributing. You must contribute useful, valuable nuggets of info, through original content, commentary on existing content or simply referring quality content to your followers.
If you have 5 days in a regular work week you should be breaking your time down accordingly. Spend at least one hour of the week doing research. Listen. Pay attention to comments that people are leaving on your Facebook page, or replies on Twitter. And likewise pay attention to what they’re saying on your competitors sites as well. Positive AND negative feedback. Research what’s trending. What people are responding to and what they aren’t.
When it comes to contributing, make sure it’s tasteful and not overdone. No one likes a spammer. On that same note, spamming also includes blowing up your social media accounts with links in every post. I know personally the accounts I follow the most are the ones that interact with things other than just something about their company. Take, for example, the companies with quick online customer service response time. With these guys, I feel like their social media channels are a way for me to be noticed and responded to faster than waiting on hold for a half hour.
Keeping a blog updated is important as well. Daily is best, but not everyone has time for that. Spend at least a couple hours a week researching and posting things that are relevant to your niche. And then promote that blog. Again, promoting is different than spamming. You can find out when the best times to catch people’s attention are and post based on that information.
Last but not least, tracking statistics is also an important factor. Numbers don’t lie. Google Analytics is free and easy to implement. Facebook has insights that are easily accessible. Lump everything together and you’ll have a tidy report to keep on file to track exactly what’s going on. But most importantly, it’s about the people you’re reaching. Not the numbers.
I could go for hours into specific techniques for each platform, but really if I were to break an hour a day of social media down it amounts to this: 30 minutes of watching, reading and listening and 30 minutes of contributing, commenting and discussing. And more than everything else I’ve said – keep it relevant and useful.