Build Your Social Media Schedule For 2012

BradFriedman
Brad Friedman President, The Friedman Group, LLC

Posted on January 8th 2012

Build Your Social Media Schedule For 2012

It’s 2012 and I can’t resist jumping on the “Things To Do In 2012″ bandwagon. Slowly but surely, people we are meeting with are starting to understand how important is is for them to get involved with social media marketing. Those who are onboard often tell me they are overwhelmed and need help, and they know we are here to help. But, if you’re one of those who want to manage your online presence all by yourself, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe we can help you organize your social media efforts and bring some balance back into your life.

Start with the – “Why?”

Many people get into social media for the wrong reason and participate in the networks they joined way too much or way too little. Now’s a great time to really give some thought to why you are involved in the social networks you are involved in. Having clarity in the “Why?” is the first step in getting yourself organized and on track. Here’s a few ideas to help you answer the question.

  • Are you involved with social media to boost your ego? Do you collect followers, connections, and Likes solely so you can tell your friends about the numbers you’ve amassed?
  • Do you really want to engage with the people you’ve connected with, or do you just want to promote yourself or your product all the time?
  • Did you join a particular social network just because “Everyone I know is on …?”
  • Are you prepared to put in the time necessary to accomplish your social media marketing goals consistently throughout 2012?

The answers to these questions are important and will help you form your social media marketing strategy for 2012. Know this: businesses and business people, wanting to succeed in the world as it is today, must WANT to connect. You must WANT to connect with you current clients/customers, prospects and referral sources if you want to be a successful social marketer. These are the people who will help your business grow. Now, when I say “connect,” I mean really engaging in conversations with people instead of pummeling them with promotions for your product or service. I mean adding value to people’s lives on a regular basis with your posts. I mean working hard to build lasting online relationships with your connections so they trust and respect you.

If you don’t consistently provide your connections with valuable content you and your business will be forgotten. If you over do it and post too much people will get irritated and stop following you. The key to a successful social media strategy is the same key to a happy and healthy life: Balance.

Whether you are a small business or a Fortune 500 Company your commitment to social networking should be consistent, compelling and engaging. The social community is a fickle one. They will follow someone who is consistent, compelling and engaging, but once you slip up, they’re gone, never to return.

Developing a social networking schedule you can handle, must also keep you accountable. Again, the goal is consistency. Build your schedule and stick with it for an entire month. At the end of the month, stop and evaluate your efforts to determine if you are still on goal. Do you need to tweak the schedule? Do you need to get involved in more social networks or less?

Here’s a sample social media marketing schedule I provide only to stimulate discussion. Use this schedule to generate ideas that will help you create your own schedule to meet your needs and the needs of your social communities, accomplish your goals, and fit your particular business and work style.

Two times a day

  • Check your Twitter feed. Reply when required and check the keywords you are listening for. Join a conversation or two.
  • Check your LinkedIn profile and visit some of the Groups you are in. Engage with your LinkedIn network in some way twice a day, every day.
  • Check your Facebook Page and post something of value or respond to comments.
  • Check your Google Alerts for information on your competitors and mentions of your own brand.

Once A Week

  • Work on Twitter and Facebook Lists to be better organized and so you are able to send targeted marketing messages when appropriate.
  • Really spend some time in LinkedIn Answers and discussions in the Groups you belong to.
  • Schedule tweets and status updates for the next week so you are consistently providing your connections with valuable information.
  • Spend some time building relationships with other influencers.
  • Keep up to date on new products and social tools that will increase your efficiency and reach.

During the Week

Monday

Schedule tweets and status updates to provide meaningful content in addition to the content you scheduled in your once a week session. This information may be more timely and less generic that the other things you scheduled.

Mondays and Wednesdays

Get involved in an industry specific conversation on Twitter.

Tuesdays

Respond to blog comments on your blog and leave a comment or two on another blog. Remember what I said about building trust and credibility!

Fridays

Check on the things you’ve been Listening to. This would also be a good day to take a look at your analytics and analyze your website and blog traffic for the week.

Okay, your schedule is likely to be very different from this one. Consider your time commitments. Be sure you are leaving time for yourself to do something like exercise or read. Make the schedule something you will really do every week. Tweak the schedule along the way but remember that consistency is key.

Feel free to share some of your own ideas below!

BradFriedman

Brad Friedman

President, The Friedman Group, LLC

is a “Recovering Attorney” living in Denver, Colorado. In 2010, Mr. Friedman parlayed his passion for technology and his business, legal and marketing savvy into the creation of The Friedman Group, LLC. Brad has developed a group of highly skilled people to work with individuals and businesses to develop strategies that enhance their online presence and engage clients, prospects and referral sources through the power of inbound and social media marketing.

See Full Profile >

Comments

scarmody
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 10:30AM

Very helpful. Clients have so many needs. And they want a full blown schedule of social media events. Thanks! http://www.sheilacarmody.com

Neil Ferree
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 10:47AM

A lot of banter recently claims that "social is becoming the New SEO" especially since Google Plus has 60MM users and growing like crazy. This article will add fuel to the argument and what's nice is the doable schedule the author recommends. I would add that if your site runs on WordPress, you would be wise to add a plugin that let's your readers share your content, especially the +1 Button since Google is using this social metric to measure digital asset quality. This is why I added the Slick Social Plugin to many of my WordPress Websites

CaroleB
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 11:25AM

This is great advice, Brad! I need to get more strategic with my SM schedule and this is a great outline to help me be more consistent in 2012! Thanks!

BradFriedman
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 4:06PM

Thanks for your comment!

Edward
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 4:04PM

Brad, first a Happy New Year from Scotland, the home of Hogmanay. Second thank you for your generous offer of assistance to those trying the DIY approach. Third, I wanted to join with, and support, your advice that. ""Why?" is the first step in getting yourself organized and on track". In the advice I provide to SMEs , especially not-for-profits, I’m periodically surprised about how far (and expensively) they have got into websites, online fora, and social media without any idea of why – beyond some notion that ‘everybody is doing it’.

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:19PM

Thanks for taking the time to comment Edward. I've been in more meetings that I'd like to admit to where I was totally surprised at the answer I got to the "Why?" question. That "everyone's doing it" answer is more prevelent than not.

 

Cheers!

 

Brad

BradFriedman
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 4:07PM

Thanks Carole! I appreciate your comment.

Neil - Good advice to add a share plugin to your site. I believe the easier you make it for people to share your content, the more it will be shared.

Sheila - Thank you too for your comment.

saucycooks
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 4:52PM

Thanks for the informative and actionable New Years gift Brad! It should do the trick in keeping me accountable. Cheers and best wishes for a social and profitable 2012. P.S. Come visit us when you are hungry at SaucyCooks.com!

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:22PM

Thanks for the comment. And thanks for guiding me to your website. As it happens, I enjoy cooking ( and eating!) and found your site to be and excellent source of information, recipes, and photos of delicious looking food.

Thomas Puglia
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 5:47PM

This is great! Just yesterday I wrote a cover letter for a social media position explaining the importance of the "why" in a social media campagin, and the first thing I see here is the same thing! Great article, and affirming that you cannot stress the importance of organization with social media. 

caBazan
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 10:13PM

Brad, it's important not to forget that any and all activities and planning have to be in line with your KPIs. Thank you for the advise.

Carlos.

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:43PM

Agreed.  Thanks for the comment.

Brad

Octologics
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 1:15AM

Great post really liked it. Keep up the great work

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:44PM

Thank you!

Neha Aggarwal
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 2:43AM
Indeed a very good article!
BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:45PM

Thanks!

wwwcoach
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 3:53AM

Great advice and something to try. another tip to help you automate your Twitter (and other SM accounts) presence:

- create a paper.li. Make lists of Tweeps who you think contribute good content in an area (including yourself). The tool will publish that on a daily basis and send a tweet on your behalf. 

- Those tweets contain the usernames of contributors, so you mention others

- It makes a great reading list for you and your followers if they're interested in the topic.

- It also shows what keeps people busy in that specific area.

 

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:47PM

Thanks a lot for the tip. I'm going to have a look at that.

Brad

adhypoetra
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 4:19AM

Hi Brad,

This is very useful indeed.

I usually do all of those activities on a Friday. Will try to follow your suggested schedule.

Have a great 2012!

Adhy Hosen

BradFriedman
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 10:49PM

Thanks for the comment. Remember we all have different work styles. My schedule was just one idea. You need to create a schedule that fits your particular needs.

Take care,

Brad

Nina Churchill
Posted on January 9th 2012 at 4:20PM

Great post!  It is really important to be organized when it comes to social media!  It cuts down on the time you have to spend on each social site = more time for other important things!

BradFriedman
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 2:00AM
Great point Nina. It seems like more and more I'm trying to be as efficient as I can so as to have time for the other important things going on.
Posted on January 10th 2012 at 1:41AM

Great read Brad, Social media is great platform and schedule is required for promotion. Awesome post for sure....!

BradFriedman
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 2:01AM
Thank you Hiren.
bpeasy
Posted on January 10th 2012 at 5:08AM

Hi Brad

Great article and simple, bite-sized steps to take on board when thinking about ongoing social media activities.

I would add to the Why section by pointing out something worth considering and applying. When thinking about the Why, think about the Who also. Are your customers and clients likely to be in those social media spaces you are considering? Perhaps creating personas (example descriptions of your target audience) will help with determining this.

Once again, thanks for the great article.

Cheers
Matt
http://www.businessplanningmadeeasy.com

BradFriedman
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 2:04AM

Matt,

You raise an excellent point. I have this conversation with each prospect I meet with. Since our focus is on attorneys, CPAs, financial services providers and small businesses, this question is cruicial and the answer is not the same for everyone. Hard as it may be to believe, not ever professional may need a Facebook page!

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

michaeltartar
Posted on January 10th 2012 at 4:36PM

Thanks for all these recommandations. I would add to schedule some face to face meetings with people you follow. I can be in a conference for example. Direct contact with a person makes relationship deeper.

BradFriedman
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 2:05AM

Great point Michael. In this fast paced world of social media we often forget how important that face-to-face meeting is.

Thanks for taking the time to share that with us.

Anil Jaising
Posted on January 11th 2012 at 7:17PM

Brad,

Very helpful advice. EkoBuzz offers a automated social marketing tool. We plan to use your advice as a starting template to guide our customers.

 

Anil Jaising

http://www.ekobuzz.com

BradFriedman
Posted on January 12th 2012 at 6:42PM

Thanks for your comment Anil. There are many automated social marketing tools on the market and I'm glad you have one you like.  I use one too. These tools are very helpful and can help you stay on schedule.  Good luck!

Lisa Ann Landry
Posted on January 13th 2012 at 1:27AM

Might I add that in this system when you decide to make a comment let it be one that adds value to the community or educates your target market. Explain why you like or dislike something, how your experience has been similar or different or what creative twist you can put on whats been shared.

Lisa Ann Landry - Social Media Marketing Trainer
Licensed Coach - The SNCC Way

http://www.lisaannlandry.com/the-sncc-way/
I’m an exuberant force of light… Come light up your life

Glenn Hansen
Posted on January 13th 2012 at 7:10PM

Fellow Readers, One of the most important points to this piece is explained under "Once A Week" but better exhibited through Mr. Friedman's examples throughout comment section here. He replies to every comment to build relationships. That's huge, and delivers potentially the most value of blogging, making it truly social. Great work! 

Glenn

BradFriedman
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 3:52PM

Thanks Glenn! I appreciate the kind words and you taking the time to comment.

Brad

Courtney Hunt
Posted on January 15th 2012 at 6:52PM

What I like best about this post is what it doesn't advocate - namely, trying to use social media successfully "in only five minutes a day!!!!!!" It's clear even from the sample schedule that although it's possible to develop a manageable approach to social media, doing it right - and well - still takes time.

I would further suggest that people create a posting/engagement schedule and track their activity (e.g., an Excel spreadsheet with time slots in the left-hand column and specific platforms across the top). This can be especially valuable for managing the sharing of content, but it can help with listening and engagement as well. Using a spreadsheet like this helps you remember all the things you want to do (and where), creates accountability, encourages discipline and helps you form good habits, and helps you measure your progress and adjust your goals. For organizations/groups with multiple people engaged in digital activity, it can also create a good audit trail of activity.

Courtney Hunt - Founder, Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community

BradFriedman
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 3:55PM

Courtney, tracking your activity and the time it takes is a great idea. Personally, one of the reason I'm a "Recovering Attorney" is that I got tired of having to keep track of my billable hours :)  Nevertheless, there are times I force myself to do this.  Aside from giving you a good idea about what you are doing and how long it is taking, keeping track of your time also seems to have the effect of making you focus on your work more, just knowing you have to write down those little diversions we all take every day.

Thanks for the comment!

Brad

AjayPrasad
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 12:27AM

Great! I like the way you have divided a week's work easily. This will help all of us to plan our commitments ahead.

http://www.gmrtranscription.com

BradFriedman
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 3:56PM

Thanks Ajay and good luck!

Brad

KeithMillar
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 1:39AM

Yes a good post that got me thinking. I need to more put more structure and routine to my posts

BradFriedman
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 3:57PM

Keith, this takes a bit of time to get started, but once you have a schedule in place you will find you are much more productive!  Good luck.

Brad

KeithMillar
Posted on January 16th 2012 at 7:12PM

Yes Brad I agree. It is also areality check on taking SM seriously. You can commit to it at this level, and I dont doubt the tim commitment you have outlined. Or just paly at it and live with the resulatant outcomes. Thanks Brad found it very helpful.

David Nikolic
Posted on December 5th 2012 at 3:25AM

Thnak Brad! Your tips are very helpful. After going through your points am now go to be more consistent with my work.