Social Media Management – Can You Afford To Switch Off?
How to keep on top of your social presence when you’re on the go.
Like it or love it, social media marketing is here to stay. It’s also an important part of any business.
A big part of social media marketing is responding, regularly participating in conversations, and curating and publishing content. But there’s this pressure to be everywhere and to be there all of the time.
Here are some tools that can help the social media management of your community when you’re on the go.
We think we need all social media channels
There’s the expectation to be on multiple social media channels. To be active on Instagram, keep up with your friends on Facebook as well as have a FB business page. Perhaps you also have a FB community to manage as well.
Add to that there’s the professional presence on LinkedIn, publishing to Google+, creating arty pins for Pinterest, or getting stuck into the latest channel Snap (formerly SnapChat). Plus the next channel about to take off for business too. Whatever that may be.
Trending content and features we need to know about
You’re also expected to be on top of the latest trending topics. Buzzsumo is great for this and finding where your audience is.
You need to also know about the latest features of each channel – Facebook live, Instagram stories plus how to use them. All of which will be replaced or added to with another feature.
A feature that promises to skyrocket your engagement. One that will keep you ahead of your competitors.
Pressure to respond
Exhausted yet? I am. In an environment that is constantly changing and evolving, it can feel like such a burden to keep abreast of it all.
People expect fast responses – even Facebook expects a 15 minutes of less response time to turn on its business page ‘fast response badge’.
People expect engagement. They want to connect. They don’t want to wait a few days for you to acknowledge them.
So in all this social media flurry, it’s easy to get waylaid on one social channel and just not have the time for the others. So this is why I strongly suggest picking one platform to focus on first.
Pick one platform and do it well
What’s really important is to carefully select which social channel is right for your business. The one where your customers are. And when you decide on that, you need to be consistent and be posting regularly across that channel.
Spreading yourself too thin across multiple channels will probably leave you with no time to spare to engage with your community. You’ll be spending your time creating content for each different channel, as well as trying to schedule your posts.
Being a slave to social media
At best, when you’re using multiple channels, you become a slave to it. You become great at automation, but automation is not what audiences want. They want engagement. So how do you engage and monitor this engagement?
There’s a number of tools to use that will allow you to use your time wisely, and they’re also designed to use when you’re on the go.
The trick with social media is to schedule in some posts in advance, that then leaves you with the time to engage.
Content curation tools
I often have a buffer of 100 scheduled posts to Twitter at a time. I’ve used IFTTT to save to my scheduling program. When I like a post in Twitter it saves it with an IFTTT recipe to Buffer. I then go in and clean it up before it’s posted.
Another trick is to save articles you find worth sharing to Pocket. Pocket is available as a mobile app and allows you to save articles that you want to read later (or schedule later).
Other options which are also mobile-friendly is Hootsuite. Publish, by Crowdfire is another one I sometimes use as well. It allows you to quickly and effortlessly schedule a post for the best time or post it straight away.
Facebook also has its own scheduling tool so you can set up a variety of posts in advance.
Engagement and automation
But, while you can schedule a set amount of posts each day, social media marketing thrives on quick response times and providing a high response rate to your audience.
So how do you do this? Well, a part of it is having tools you can use on-the-go. Which means on a mobile device.
Apps that allow you to see engagement levels. Apps that allow you to respond when needed.
If you have 10 minutes while you’re waiting for a friend, or at your child’s soccer game, utilise it. Engage. Like a post, Tweet, Retweet, Regram, comment. Strike up a conversation.
Social media is all about connecting with your audience. Showing who you are and what your brand is all about.
Tools for monitoring engagement
There doesn’t seem to be one tool that does it all.
But HootSuite is probably my favourite one, and there’s a mobile app too.
I’ve got Instagram, Twitter and Facebook set up. This is the free version too. I can see my posts, and add different streams for each channel.
So you can add on the Twitter channel your likes, mentions, inbox, messages, scheduled posts which is really handy. Then you can move between Twitter and Instagram or Facebook really easily.
At the Nillumbik Business Networking event in Eltham that I recently attended, the majority of small business owners raised their hand when asked if they used Hootsuite. So it’s worth a look at.
Buffer – If you’re using Buffer you can view the performance of your posts. If you’ve paid for their Awesome plan you get to monitor 10 channels and have a total of 100 posts scheduled. So you can go back over your recent posts.
Buffer gives you a summary by post – so for Twitter you’re shown how many mentions, likes, retweets and clicks from a Tweet. If Instagram is connected then you can see likes and comments.
But it doesn’t show you who has sent you a direct message, mentioned, followed or unfollowed you.
TweetDeck – Ok, the name gives it away and it’s all about Twitter. But it does allow you to see who has mentioned you, liked your Tweet or RT’d your post. You can directly message people too.
Commun.it – another tool that can be helpful if you’re using Twitter. If you’re using the free version there’s a limited number of engagements per week, plus you do have to put up with the ads. The platform is only available on desktop (no apps at present).
It gives suggestions for top tweets, who to follow, consider replying to.
Communi.it also shows you who has sent you a direct message that you’ve yet to respond to and a host of other tools.
You can monitor engagement and produce reports. You can view how many mentions and retweets you sent, and how many you received. It reports on your reach as well.
Analysis within each channel
Now you can also view some great analytics on the platform or app of each social media channel.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all report on engagement levels of your posts, your follower growth and all of these can also help you to determine the best posting times for your audience.
Instagram, for instance, shows you some audience demographics (age, gender) and also reports on which days were more active, and times for each day.
These insights can really make a difference. If you’re finding that your engagement levels are low or your audience isn’t growing, or worse you’re losing your audience, check your engagement on posts.
Look at what’s working and what’s not. Look at when your audience is using social media and gain some more insights into your social media engagement.