When you have joined the social media movement, the real work (and fun) starts. I am always astonished that people ask me how much time they should spend on social media. We all know this is an impossible question to answer since everyone has a different number of accounts and a different modus operandi. However, I think we should put the time usage in function of the goal we are trying to achieve using social media.
So, I am beginning to return this question with a few other questions: “How much time do you need to spend on e-mail daily?” or “Does anyone question the time you spend on doing emails to get your job done?” Not! Well eventually social media should follow the same guidelines. However, in order to get started it might be good to create an approach, let’s call it a “social media routine”.
Here is a one I want to share with you. It consists of 3 parts: Reviewing your social media monitoring; reviewing your own accounts and posting content for your target audience; and reading and sharing content from others via your accounts.
Step 1: Review your social media monitoring results
You know people are talking about you in wide sense of the word, so you need to monitor social media. This is true for both you as an individual and for your company.
This can be done via a number of free tools such as Google Alerts (good for content but bad for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn) or Socialmention - Addictomatic (more focus on social networks but not always accurate). However, when you are serious about monitoring (and you should be), you will need to pay a monthly fee for good results from all platforms. Tracebuzz, Engagor, Attentio, Mentions.net, Meltwater, Radian6 are just a few of the platforms you could use. It important to test drive them to see if they deliver the results you are looking for.
Your daily routine is to check the messages for sentiment and get back to people. Simply put this means: thanking them for positive comments and taking actions to address the negative comments.
Step 2: Review own accounts and post content to your accounts
Though you have already looked at your social media monitoring results, it is important to review all your OWN social media accounts for any comments or posts. These are messages addressed to you. These might or not have shown up in your social media monitoring. Keep in mind that these are people talking to YOU and thus need an answer.
This is also the ideal moment to post new own content for your target audience. This is the “valuable” information you want to share with our network. Depending on the platform you will be posting daily (Twitter and Facebook) to monthly (blogs). Content can take many forms: text, images, video or audio. You can also run polls and post events. Sharing is fun!
Your daily routine will consist of reading the comments, reacting to those comments and posting new content.
The tools you could use vary from the platforms themselves to social media aggregators such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
Step 3: Reading and sharing information from others
Social media is full of interesting information waiting to be shared. As I mentioned before some content is created by you but most is really created by others. Sharing content from others can help you create visibility and position you as a valuable resource for your network. This side of social media takes the most time since you will have to do a lot of reading before sharing it with you target audience. This part of social media could take 80% of your time.
There are many ways to share content through your social media accounts. Many platforms have a “SHARE button” but I have found that Bufferapp is a great application that allows you to share information/websites on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn while you are reading the information. Even better, Bufferapp will spread your postings during the day.
So your daily routine should be about finding the websites that contain good complementary content for your target audience, read and share it with that audience.
Finally, what I have explained is not only true for you as an individual but also for a company or organization since you are trying to become a valuable partner and resource for your prospects and clients. Keep in mind that information that is being distributed via company-owned accounts (fan pages on Facebook, company profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube accounts) can and should be amplified through employee personal accounts.
Any thoughts? Comments? Best practices you want to share? Feel free to use the comment fields in this blog. I look forward to starting the conversation with you.