Improve Your Social Media Management in 6 Steps
Social media activities account for one out of every six minutes spent online. That is a crazy amount of time! With companies on Twitter generating 2X more leads per month than those not on Twitter, we know that social media is an important marketing focus. The key is to find the balance and manage your social-media-for-business commitment. Here are six tips to help you do just that.
Step 1: Start Using the Right Tools
Social media is the furthest thing from free. Switching between platforms and manually posting all of your updates can take a ton of valuable time.
Social media management tools can help you save precious minutes when you’re posting to your networks. Hootsuite is a great option for everything from personal use to medium-size business use. With Hootsuite, you can update multiple profiles and multiple networks with a single click. Hubspot offers a fantastic set of social media tools that are streamlined and integrated into the rest of your inbound marketing activities.
Step 2: Take Advantage of Hootlet!
A sweet new feature offered in Hootsuite is a bookmark extension called Hootlet. With this new tool, you can tweet an article from your browser with a single click. It grabs the title of the article and automatically creates a shortened URL that you can track within their analytics reports.
You can then select which social media account you would like to update. It can even share the status across multiple platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and Facebook.
My favorite feature is the new AutoSchedule option. Automating social media publishing is a great way to help maximize your time. Instead of manually setting the time and date for your update, Hootsuite finds the best time to share your update.
Step 3: Get Fresh Content Delivered
Maintaining your social media presence requires sharing relevant resources around your niche or industry. You can’t simply share updates about your company and the weather. Staying on top of the latest industry news can be a daunting task to tackle day in and day out.
One efficient way to stay on top of the news is to set up a RSS feed in Google Reader. Head over to Google and search Google News or Google Blogs for your industry topics. Then scroll to the bottom of the page. Right under the Google logo you will see the RSS button. Copy this feed into your reader to create a constant relevant stream of content.
LinkedIn is also a great source for fresh content. Add your interests into LinkedIn Today and you will receive relevant news everyday, tailored to your areas of interest.
Step 4: Build Some Twitter Lists
Twitter allows you to categorize the accounts you follow into relevant industry lists. These lists can be both public and private, but it is better to make it public because creating a public list can kill two birds with one stone.
Public lists give you a relevant stream of fresh content to share with your following. Public Twitter lists can also be followed by other people. This means that industry peers can see the list you have put together. This can help to further position your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
Step 5: Setup Search Streams
Monitoring brand, product, and employee mentions is critical for marketers and public relations professionals. Successful monitoring has to dig deeper than just being notified when your page is tagged on Facebook or when someone @mentions you on Twitter.
Most brand, product, and employee mentions occur without including special tags, but it’s still possible to be informed about these updates.
Inside your social media monitoring dashboard, like Hootsuite, you can set up streams of updates. These streams function off of parameters that you can set. It is helpful to set up Twitter searches for:
- Brand mentions
- Product mentions
- CEO, President, Board of Directors mentions
- Industry keywords
- Industry hashtags
Step 6: Dig Deep into Analytics
The Plan, Do, Check, Adjust process (PDCA) is the only way you can make your social media campaigns more successful with time. One of the biggest advantages of marketing online is the seemingly endless supply of analytics available for consumption. Understanding what actions and exchanges are working, and which are not working, may be the difference is generating a return on your social media investment.
Hootsuite offers a decent set of analytics on things like RTs and on the number of clicks your links received. Using these types of analytics are difficult, because they are only relevant to people who understand Twitter or who know what elements like EdgeRank really mean.
To gain an understanding of ROI from social media requires an integrated solution like Hubspot. Social media is a great tool to feed the top of your funnel with qualified website traffic.
With Hubspot, social media data is collected on your leads. This allows you to target social media influencers with your lead nurturing campaigns. This integration is key to understanding how social contacts work their way through your sales funnel and convert to customers.
Social media is an important tool when it is incorporated into a complete marketing plan. If you’re trying to use social media alone to generate more leads for your business, you’re going to get frustrated.
BONUS Step 7: Attend Social Media at Work 2012!
Social Media at Work 2012 brings together some of the best social media leaders from around the country. The day is filled with an awesome line up of speakers and topics including keynotes by two nationally recognized social media thought leaders.
The discussions and topics covered will give you a full list of insights and ideas that you can take and apply to your marketing efforts the next day. Get ready for practical advice from proven players that can help take your social media game to the next level!