The Madness of Managing Social Media
These days, an effective social media presence requires a lot more than posting fun pictures and random updates. If you want your brand to thrive on social media, it takes a lot of deliberate effort that relies on relevance, timing and a little bit of wit.
Are you posting enough? Or too much, that you’re over-saturating and maybe losing your followers? Is your content engaging, or just falling flat? How do you respond to enthusiastic fans or craven trolls?
Productive social media work can be difficult, but if you have the right team and just a little inside info, you can reach your audience. Social media management for a busy brand is a full-time commitment when it’s done right, so don’t sleep on the job.
Which Platforms Should You Post On?
The first rule of social media management is to meet your audience where they are. Once you’ve identified your target audience (which you’ve hopefully already done), dig in a little deeper and figure out which platforms they’re already using.
Is your target audience hanging out on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram? What time of day are they most active or engaged?
If you don’t know the answers to those questions right away, congratulations: you’re not a robot. But there are plenty of platforms out there that you can use to collect that data, and even some reliable websites and blogs that have already done the research for you. All it takes is a quick Google search—really.
If you’re using a social media management platform, you’ll have some insights built right in. Other data collection or organization tools, like MyDash, can even help tell you where your traffic is coming from.
How Do You Connect With Your Ideal Audience on Social Media?
When you understand your customers as people, not data points, it gets a lot easier to speak directly to them. Talk about what matters to you, and what matters to your customers.
Try not to think of your social media accounts as marketing tools—think of them as a direct channel to connecting with your consumers. People can tell when you’re being disingenuous on socials, and tend to steer clear of obvious marketing ploys, even if they do it subconsciously.
In fact, at least one in every four people “actively avoid” marketing on social media, which means you could be pushing your best customer away if you’re blatantly advertising yourself or your services, with no benefit to the user.
Topics that will be more likely to engage your users include inside insights on your product, services or industry; big news and updates in your industry; and customer input and feedback opportunities. People love to feel heard and understood, so making them feel included in the way you do things is huge.
When to Offload Your Social Media Management
It can be hard to let go of something that feels as personal as your social media. After all, it’s part of your [brand] identity. If you’re on the fence, ask yourself these questions:
- How much weight are you putting on your social media performance?
- Is it your primary resource for marketing and brand exposure?
- Are you relying on it to drive traffic to your website more or less than organic or paid search?
- How much time do you have?
In short, if you’re leaning on your social media performance to drive traffic, sales and conversions, you need to put a LOT of time and effort into it. In these cases, you need to consider social media management a full time position. Everything needs to be done well, and on time, so tacking those tasks on to someone’s already packed schedule just won’t work.
A social media manager might seem like a big expense up front, but if you find the right person or agency, they’ll pay for themselves in a matter of weeks. So, if you need your socials to really perform for your brand, and you don’t have an extra 40 hours each week to spare, bite the bullet and bring in a pro. It’s serious marketing, so make it part of that budget.
Go With the Flow
Remember that social media is about connection. You’ll know you’re doing it right when your followers are commenting, sharing and liking your posts, but it takes time. Organic social media growth doesn’t happen overnight. In order to gain quality leads on social media, you’ve got to take things slow and steady. Don’t worry if you don’t go viral overnight—your community is out there, go talk to them!