Is Managing Social Media a Dream or a Nightmare?
Social media, done well, is able to confer a huge amount of business benefits. A few of these perks include:
- More Customers – A good social media strategy raises your brand’s reputation and reach. This means more people will know about you, which, in turn, means more customers.
- Instant Feedback – Social media gives you instant access to positive and negative feedback, allowing you to respond to complaints and ensure your brand isn’t compromised.
- Increased Web Traffic and Search Ranking – A good social media presence will increase web traffic and search ranking. This is because social visitors can be directed to your site and, for every share or review you receive, Google will boost your ranking.
- Meaningful Relationships with Customers – Social media allows you to engage customers in meaningful conversations, which allows you to improve brand loyalty and trust, while also gaining insightful feedback.
For those planning, implementing, maintaining, and reviewing social media marketing campaigns, making sure that these benefits materialise can be difficult. This is because managing social media isn’t easy. And, although designated positions such as “Community Manager” and “Social Media Coordinator” do exist, many companies (especially smaller ones) have yet to create proper processes for managing social media. This means that it can often seem like all of today’s professionals are expected to be social media experts.
And because social media changes so quickly, keeping up-to-date with the latest tactics can be a real challenge.
In order to make your social media management experience more of a dream than a nightmare, I’ve listed five habits that successful social media marketers stick to:
1. Spread Your Efforts Wisely
Which social media sites you use will depend on which demographics you wish to target (Pew Research Centre has a good article about the biggest social media sites’ demographics here). This means that you can avoid wasting time on networks which your audience don’t use.
However, many social media managers make the mistake of focusing on the sites on which they’re currently seeing the most success. But, if you’re not seeing success on a network which you know your audience uses, then you’re effectively limiting your reach (as well engagement levels and potential click-throughs).
The point is, in order to reach the maximum number of people, you need to keep successful accounts running smoothly, whilst also spending time developing accounts on networks which you know your target audience use but which you aren’t currently seeing much success on.
2. Respond to Direct Interactions from Followers
Social media has changed the way companies communicate with their followers from a one-way outpouring of information to a two-way conversation. Customers have become accustomed to this type of interaction and have come to expect it. In fact, many social media accounts rate businesses on their average response time to direct messages. Responding to direct interactions (good or bad) shows that you are playing the game, and, if the exchange is public, provides a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your brand’s ethos.
3. Post Regular Engaging Content
In essence, social media is simply a way for people to exchange information with each other within some predefined limits. For this reason, social media sites are awash with information – photos, updates, links, videos, etc. Your content should be targeted, interesting, invite conversation, and regular. There are some great tips for how to create engaging content here.
4. Build Your Follower Base
Your social media sites should always be looking to attract more of the right kind of people. This means proactively seeking new followers and fans. Good content will entice people however, as organic reach keeps shrinking, you may need to use paid advertising solutions to ensure that yours gets seen. The benefit of paid solutions is that they allow your content to be targeted far more precisely than was previously possible, which means you can build up a following of exactly the people you want.
5. See What People Are Saying About You
Social media allows companies to eavesdrop on what people are saying about them via social listening. By tracking who’s mentioning you and why, you will gain a very deep real-time understanding of your customers. This will allow you to act quickly and in context, responding quickly to any problems.
Doing all of this on multiple networks can be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to delegating various roles and ensuring everybody is on the same page.
By using a social media management tool, you will be able to create content, reply to interactions from each of your social accounts from one place (and see if someone else has already responded), access help and tutorials, monitor the impact of previous campaigns, communicate internally with others managing social media, share and store preapproved content, and more.
In short, a good tool can turn your social media management nightmare into a sweet dream.
However, with the wide range of tools available, it can be hard to know which one to pick. Luckily, iag.me recently partnered with g2crowd.com in order to find out which social media management tool is the best.
Using ratings and reviews from real social media users, the companies created this infographic. The infographic ranks the four best tools – AgoraPulse, Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Sendible – and assesses them in terms of the most important metrics. For those looking to make social media more manageable, the infographic represents a great place to start researching tools.
Is your social media management experience a dream or a nightmare? And what areas do you struggle to keep on to of? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so let me know with a comment!
You can read more from Lilach Bullock – How To Manage Customer Service Effectively Using #socialmedia inside #BizRocks Magazine Issue 1