Let’s get to the point: social media matters to your business. Yes, I know it takes time and resource to build an online presence but manage your business social media accounts effectively and the results are well worth the effort. Just take a quick look at a few statistics:
- Over 3 billion people use social media worldwide, with many more joining every year1
- Almost 90% of marketers find social media marketing raises brand exposure, whilst 75% say it increases website traffic2
- 71% of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand will recommend it to others3
So, how do you manage your social media accounts successfully whilst juggling the 1,001 other things you need to take care of? There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution but my top social media tips are here to help.
Put a social media plan in place
Posting occasionally on Facebook and Twitter won’t do your business any favours. You need a strategy in place setting out which social media platforms you’ll be using, the kind of content you’ll be posting and how often. As well as thinking about written content, imagery and videos, don’t forget customer service. Lots of people use social media to get in touch these days, so put a strategy in place to respond quickly
If you have staff who can help manage your social media presence, decide who’ll be responsible for writing, scheduling and posting content, and dealing with online enquiries. Getting other people involved can be a big help – not just in terms of saving time so you can focus on running the business, but also for generating new ideas and initiatives.
Set social media guidelines for staff
This is really important if you’re delegating any of your social media activities. Remember the Huawei debacle where two members of staff were demoted after a New Year’s message was posted using an iPhone? According to Huawei, the ‘mistake’ has seriously damaged their brand, not least by exposing the company to worldwide derision.
This kind of incident isn’t likely to happen to smaller business owners, but social media management can still be a minefield if you don’t have a robust management policy. This should clearly set out the kinds of content that are and aren’t acceptable to post online, plus guidelines around when to post, and the key messages and tone of voice that should be used.
When it comes to customer service, things get more complicated, especially when people complain. Set out rules around who should deal with different types of enquiry, timescales for a response, and when complaints should be escalated to senior team members. Getting into online debates or arguments can be hugely damaging to your brand and giving your staff a clear process to follow should help prevent this.
Make use of scheduling and management tools
Managing multiple social media accounts can be a challenge when you’ve got a lot on. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools that can help streamline the process, so you stay on top of your activities. Platforms such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social will help you find, schedule, manage and analyse social media content across multiple accounts, which can save you a lot of time.
You can even set up ‘rules’ for your social media accounts to automatically post appropriate content in response to certain scenarios. For example, an app called IFTTT (If this, then that) can be programmed to remind your followers to wrap up warm if cold weather is forecast, or automatically post Instagram images as ‘proper’ photos (rather than links) to your Twitter page.
There’s a dizzying array of social media management platforms out there, some free and some you have to pay for. Choosing the right tools could make the world of difference to your business – helping boost your online presence, grow your follower base and increase enquiries as well as taking some of the pressure off you and your team.
But still take time to engage with followers
It can be tempting to let automation take 100% of the strain so you can get on with the day job but this isn’t a good idea. Think of those auto-responder messages you sometimes get when you follow someone on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn. They’re not very personal or engaging are they (especially if they immediately start trying to sell you something?)
Of course, I’m not suggesting you personally contact each and every person who follows you online. It pays to be a ‘real person’ at least some of the time, especially when it comes to customer service. Taking time to engage with your followers by personally liking and replying to comments on your posts, sharing their content and getting back to them quickly if they ask a question.
Analyse and review your social media results
As noted above, many social media management tools have excellent reporting functions that give you valuable insights into your activities and how they’re performing. These have the advantage of letting you collect, view and analyse information about your accounts all in one place.
Each of the social media platforms also has its own reporting tools, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. These can provide a wealth of useful data on your followers and how they engage with your accounts, helping you assess how your pages are performing and what could be improved. Build a process for analysing and reviewing your social media activities into your digital marketing strategy – and make sure it happens!
Sound like a lot of hard work to manage your business social media accounts? Let Imagine Digital Marketing help
If you don’t have the time or resource to manage your social media accounts effectively, I can help. My social media management service offers a complete, end to end solution – from identifying the right platforms for your business, through to researching and posting relevant content, and reporting on page performance.
If you’d like to know more, please get in touch to arrange a FREE one hour consultation to discuss your requirements. You can call me on 01636 922 747 or complete my online enquiry form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Digital Marketer offering a personal and tailored web consultancy service to small business owners and self-employed professionals in Nottinghamshire. I formed Imagine Digital Marketing in December 2016 and I really enjoy helping my clients make the most of online opportunities.