Social Media is a growing beast. You need to take it seriously in your business if you are to be present online.
Positioning your business on social media is a marathon. A marathon won with sound planning, training, and discipline. 42.195 Kilometers of sprint-less, well hydrated and deliberate activity. The biggest social media blunders have been the ill-planned sprints.
“Social Media”, in the scheme of Marketing and Advertising, has never been more important. There is no excuse anymore. All the information you need to be successful is out there for you in droves.
With that growing importance came the “Social Media Manager”. An innocuous place designed for a tech savvy person with above average communication skills. A role that is often invested in without a plan. *I am not taking anything away from the role. I just don’t see the return of having a focused manager in the role for a lot of brands.
This role has proven valuable. Valuable for many reasons, but for the sheer metrics these people have generated so you never have to. The trial and error. The huge social media campaign success and major misses. Well publicized, with a recurring theme of “lesson learned”.
After more trial and error than I would like to admit. Here is a concise list to getting that social media plan in place and locked in for the foreseeable future.
- Determine your business’ voice. What is the tone you want to keep? Playful? Serious? You need to ask yourself the hard questions on how you want to be seen in the social media landscape. A restaurant may enjoy taking a playful tone. A funeral home should likely take a more serious tone. THIS STEP IS A REAL KEY TO SUCCESS. It is best to think of the business as a person or a representation of a person. [WARNING; Remember that if you choose to take the voice of a specific person you will need to consider that voice is human. Humans may have the “less than professional ” tone in those human moments. Consider yourself warned]
- Schedule, Schedule, Schedule. This may seem like something only the big brands do, but it is not. It is best practice. Create a content management schedule that matches your target demographic. Use things like Hootsuite. With the data everywhere to find your target group, you need to be a sniper targeting every post. Never splatter your social media. A bar or restaurant would look to target people in “happy hours” or just before lunch hour and dinner time. Hitting up the activity walls, just in time for salivation. A funeral home would likely target a more professional time of the key times. Perhaps more in the evening, when people would be considering these services. When scheduling; don’t take a black and white. Approach be sensitive to the natural lines in your industry. If you are targeting wine drinkers, hitting them up at “happy hour” is likely a safe bet. targeting the wine drinkers during CINQO DE MAYO, will see a wasted piece of content. Don’t over-share, and understand what is spam. (Example: 1 FB Post Daily, 3 Tweets, 2 Instagram posts, Cross over FB to Twitter.)
- Diversify your content creation. With a plethora of mediums in the social media spectrum, you need to manage what you use and don’t use. Blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the core. With some growing players that could show some use for your brand. Crafting companies may consider Pinterest, but Tech Brands can likely be without. Now the DO NOT USE list is very important here too. Constantly working with NEW tools that get you the same result, with a new sheen. a) Create your own content (instagram, blog, etc). b) Share content that relates to your field and industry. Be a well researched professional. c) Acknowledge your ideal customer attention span and don’t reach past it. We read less, watch more videos and scroll less and less, every day. Sad, but true.
- Many hands make light work. Here is where I tear down the idea that ONE person needs to manage social media. Where content comes from the safe hands of ONE person. As a business, you have many perspectives, but ONE voice. It helps to show strength and consistency. So how do you manage to have MANY content creators, with ONE voice.
- Easy, RULES. You create the voice and you detail the posting schedule. You manage it with strong communication among those responsible, you win. Allow for many mediums to collaborate into the schedule. Pictures, Blogs, Content posts etc. Let it all run with a rhythm that matches your scheduled plan. Some will stand out with blogs, some with instagram, some employee’s may even surprise you, or make mistakes. It’s OK to let go, unless they go rogue of course.
- Measure and Manage the Patterns. The analytics range from free to expensive. But even the free can help you see the patterns and spikes. What topics garnered the best results? What time was the key to hit the demographic? Make sure to create a consistent reporting schedule to measure goals. Adjust and grow, and seek meaningful fans, not just a lot of followers.
Don’t get bogged down by the stats. Create real content. Share real things. Find a genuine voice that represents your business and brand.
Be bold, and get to doing.
Done is better than perfect with social media.