If you are anything like me you break out in a cold sweat as soon as someone mentions social media in connection with your business. It is something we all know we should be doing but how can you manage it? We can help
Here’s the thing – except for Twitter, I’m not the biggest social media fan. For the exact reasons, I’ve pointed about above. It sucks time away from the important things in life (not just business), and ultimately takes over certain times of your day – for whatever reason. I say ‘except twitter’ because I love how quickly and easily you can send a tweet, especially via the mobile app for the micro-blogging platform. I mean, how long can it take to send a 280 character message!
Do You Have a Social Media Plan?
Businesses often fail in their social media efforts because they think it’s a good idea, but have no structure, or real commitment. You are not going to build your online presence overnight. You need to create a social media plan—a checklist, which will detail your short and long-term goals, recurring tasks and the different milestones you want to achieve.
Whether you’re doing all this yourself or working with a VA to handle the bulk of the work for you, you are investing your time, energy and resources into social media and, as a business owner, you need to know that this time is producing results.
Not all social networks are worth your time. You need to evaluate which networks you will focus on based on your business. A photographer will use Instagram and Pinterest, but a more service-based business might focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can make use of all the available services - of which there seem to be more every day - but it is best to focus on the ones which give you the best results.
I hate to say this, but Google Analytics can help. If you set up a tracking code and then include links to your website in tweets and other posts you will get user information about people who follow that link.
We are also great fans of Buffer. this is a lovely easy to use tool that not only lets you schedule your posts in advance but also gives you further analysis as to which were the most popular posts, how many people liked a post or how many people have clicked through.
If you not familiar with If you not familiar with Buffer it’s a social media dashboard. The FREE version is probably enough initially..
To get started with Buffer, you'll need to connect at least one social account. You can currently connect the following types of social accounts to Buffer:
- Twitter: Profiles
- Facebook: Pages and Groups
- LinkedIn: Profiles and Pages
- Google+: Profiles and Pages
- Pinterest: Boards (on the Pro and Business Plans)
- Instagram: Profiles
But don't forget if we are going to help you with this you will need to allow us to have access to your social media accounts.
There are a couple of ways to do this.
You will need to share your login details with us. . You can do this safely with the help of Lastpass, TeamPass, or your preferred password manager. Alternatively, you can make us administrators of your social profiles. This might not be available for all social media accounts - depending on your set up.
If you want your VA tweeting on your behalf, you can add them as a team member in Buffer to access your account and post across all of the major social networks. However, this means you need to upgrade to Buffer for Business - which is pricey at $USD99.00 per month. But this does allow you, multiple users.
Social Media Tasks we can help with
Once we are set up there are a number of things we can help with. I suspect this list could go on forever so I am just going to discuss the mist important things you need to think about.
1. Researching and Drafting Content – We all get far too much information from social media every day. In order to get the attention of your reader your content needs to be engaging, entertaining or give useful information. It is often a good idea to use links, images or quotes because they make engagement more likely.
Finding this content can be time consuming. If you prefer we can provide you with a list of post ahead of time and then schedule them once they are approved.
2. Monitoring and Engaging with Your Audience – It is a good idea to have someone keeping an eye on your feeds. We have all heard examples of businesses not responding to social media quickly enough and the next thing they know a tiny problem has become a huge one. We can set up alerts to help you monitor your accounts so these things don't get missed.
We use TweetDeck for to monitor Twitter. We are logged on as long as the office is open. This is a free service and will work on your desktop, smartphone or tablet. You can also set up streams to show you all tweets using a particular keyword or phrase.
3. Building & Managing your Network – We can monitor your LinkedIn , Twitter and Facebook accounts to see who has started following you. It is also important to remove people who are no longer active or who might be spammers. On a personal note, I have several twitter accounts - both for my business and for me personally. I have challenges with my personal one as there is an actress from the Philippines called ANNIE CURTIS. People follow me almost daily thinking they are following her - despite notifications on my profile!
You will want to interact with people on social media as this is a great way to grow your network. You can comment on someone else's content. Be careful not to overdo the links as this will start to be spam if you overdo it.
Here are some ideas you can use to encourage interaction:
- Post a ‘question of the week’ poll encouraging interaction.
- Share relevant article or link in your niche.
- Simple status update E.g - "I am planning to be in the garden this weekend. How about you?"
- Like pages in your which are relevant to your business.
- Try and find - and follow - the big names in your business.
- Interact with re-tweeters and replies.
4. Create Monthly Report on Metrics – You may be someone who freezes when they see statistics but I'm afraid this is the lifeblood of social media. It is important to have goals and now how well you are reaching them so that means statistics.
For many small business owners, this is difficult. This is why you have to have goals, even when it comes to social media. You need to define your goals so you’ll know whether or not social media is working for you.
To monitor your progress, you’ll need a metrics report every couple of weeks, or every month. It can track likes, followers, RTs, @mentions, and link-backs, among other stats that will help you decide where your social focus should be.
5. Keeping Your Social Media Profiles Up-To-Date – All social networks update their design. Facebook is now beta testing a Page design where the About section is overlaid on the cover photo. Twitter updated the profile design last year. These changes can pass you by if you’re not looking out for them.
So that you don't “miss” these updates we can let you know of any changes. You should aim to have a similar image across all networks so that your posts are instantly recognised. Make sure this is complete for all social networks and the about pages are up to date.
6. Creating New Pages or Accounts – We can create a Facebook page for your business, or for a specific project. These take time to set up and new Twitter accounts also require you to set up, with a new email address.
We can help you free up time that is currently being devoted to social media. The main problem is that when you start looking at social media it is to easy to while away several hours before you have realised it. If we are helping with this you can focus without distraction on the parts of the business which directly contribute revenue.
Be sure you know what it is you are trying to achieve with your social media campaigns and then manage it accordingly.
We can keep track of the statistics and watch your online presence grow with more engagement happening and report that to you.