Develop an Editorial Calendar
A key aspect to success in social media is to develop an editorial calendar for the ensuing month. Decide on a theme or focus for the month, think about relevant content, and map out when and what you will post each day to each platform.
Start with just one or two posts, at least five days a week (nothing to stop you adding them on weekends – it may even set you apart.) Allow for some spur-of-the-moment posts on relevant issues. If possible, time your posts to go out when your audience is likely to be on the network.
Create a maintenance schedule that lists daily, weekly, and monthly tasks such as monitoring the accounts, interacting with and responding to your audience, and writing content.
Daily activities must include:
- Interacting with your audience
- Responding to their questions, comments, criticism and praise must also be done daily, otherwise people will go elsewhere.
- Liking and sharing other’s content is vital for recruiting followers and fans, so this too must be done daily.
They may also include:
- Sending tweets
- Creating conversations on your Facebook page
- Pinning images to a Pinterest
Review and Evaluate
At the end of the first month, review your schedules and make necessary adjustments before creating schedules for the second month. At the end of this, ask your audience, friends or colleagues to assess your efforts, as outside perspectives can be invaluable for fine-tuning your procedures and maximising results.
After three months, evaluate your strategy.
- Did you reach your intended audience?
- Did you achieve your objectives?
- What worked well?
- What failed?
- Should you now add other social media platforms?
Adjust Your Strategy
Adjust your strategy so you do more of what works, while continually fine tuning the less-successful aspects.
This is not as daunting as it may seem: for most small businesses, social media can be managed in less than one hour per day. Social media management apps with scheduling tools such as HootSuite, Sprout Social and Buffer (do your research) help make it easy to plan the day’s tweets and walk away. However, you still need to check in regularly to follow up and answer questions.
Think about ways to integrate your current marketing programs with social media – but never lose sight of the fact that social media marketing is not about pushing out information: the key word in social media is “social”, so keep self-promotion to a minimum.
- With direct mail promotions, add links to your social media accounts.
- Tell your existing clients and website visitors about your social media presence and invite them to participate.
- Feature links to your social media profiles from all web pages.
- Promote these links in your email signature, advertisements, newsletters, and all marketing materials.
- Add social sharing buttons to your blog to make it easy for readers to share your content.
- Use the plugins available on most blog platforms that can feature your Twitter posts on your website sidebar or view your Facebook followers.
- Swiftpage’s Social Sharing features allow you to post your email newsletters on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Additionally, you can include social media links in your Swiftpage footer so readers can share the newsletter with their networks.
- Consider shifting certain marketing activities that aren’t achieving the results to social media. Evaluate the costs and benefits of advertising on social media first, and be sure to test your ads before spending big dollars.
While it’s essential to measure the results of your social media strategy, be sure the statistics are useful. For example, the value of a re-tweet or a follower might be minimal, but influence and sales are important to measure and analyse.