Many people think that social media simply involves posting content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, as social media continues to grow and develop, it involves much more than that - especially if you want to see results.
If you're a Social Media Manager, or have been tasked with managing social media within your business, then there is a lot more you could be doing, aside from just posting.
Here are 11 things to consider adding to your "to do" list (if they're not already on it):
1. Develop a social media strategy
Before sending your first post, it's important to have a detailed social media strategy in place. This should outline what you want to achieve, such as more brand awareness, additional traffic to your website, or increased sales. This strategy should then document what you need to do in order to achieve these set objectives and be used as a guide throughout the rest of your process.
2. Update your branding
Review your branding to ensure it's clear and consistent across all of your social media channels (and other marketing platforms).
Use your logo for your profile pictures and ensure your cover images clearly display your business' USP (unique selling point).
3. Create a monthly calendar
Instead of posting on an ad-hoc basis, add some structure to your activities by creating a monthly posting plan list. This can help to ensure posts are consistent, while it's also a great way to double check for any spelling or grammar mistakes before posts go live.
4. Schedule posts in advance
It's not always feasible to sit around and manually post at set times, especially if you're out of the office or stuck in a meeting. Instead, consider scheduling posts in advance. This can help save you time in the long-term and ensure posts go live when they're supposed to.
5. Respond to comments
Make sure you're responding to any messages or comments from followers within a reasonable time frame. You could even create a spreadsheet which includes sample responses, to help speed up the process. However, it's important to always ensure that every response is personalized in some way.
6. Listen to conversations
In addition to responding to comments/messages that people have intentionally directed at your business, you should also be listening for relevant conversations that are happening without you. Search for keywords related to your business, industry and even your competitors. To help, try using tools such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Sprout Social.
(Screenshot from Hootsuite)
7. Manage your followers
It can be hard work keeping track of all your followers, however, with Twitter lists you can easily categorize them.
For example, you could create a list of customers, thought leaders, industry news, influential bloggers and accounts from the local area. You can then add these lists to tools such as Hootsuite, so you can quickly and easily monitor what is being said and see any opportunities to engage.
8. Run advertising
Although you can let people come to your social media channels naturally, you can also consider running advertising to help get noticed. You'll need to set a budget, decide on your target audience and monitor the adverts regularly. However, the more you put in, the more you get out.
9. Run competitions
Although it may not be right for every business, competitions and prize draws are very popular on social media. They can help to increase your engagement levels, get more followers and also develop your email database. Don't forget to check promotional guidelines before you get started though.
10. Create a monthly report
Check your strategy is on track with the help of monthly reporting. This is an opportunity to look back at what's happened over the last month and see whether there are any opportunities to improve moving forward.
11. Stay up-to-date with social media developments
Social media is fast moving, so it's important that you actively keep up-to-date with all of the latest developments, such as new tools, feature changes, best practices and even updates to social search algorithms.