With the growing number of social media platforms, it can be tempting to set up an account on each and every one to increase your web presence. However, it is important to make sure you have the time and resources needed to keep each of your accounts up to date. As a business owner- ask yourself the following questions before hopping on to the next social media platform:
Who will be in charge of maintaining the account?
Your account manager (weather it’s you as the business owner or one of your employees) should have the autonomy to post and engage with your audience and the experience to post strategically. Too often the social media responsibility falls to interns or even a younger family member. Make sure your manager has a strong idea of your company’s mission and your overall marketing strategy to avoid going ‘off message’.
What will your account post?
As the business owner, you should be involved in the overall company marketing plan which will inform the messaging, voice and decisions of your marketing manager. Your posts should take into consideration both your branding as well as what your audience engages with. This means walking a fine between providing unbranded content that your followers find funny, interesting, etc. and sharing sales messages with calls to action. Most social platforms or scheduling tools will give you feedback on your posts and how engaging they were for your audience. Remember to check the analytics frequently since this can change based on user trends and platform algorithms and use them to inform your future posting habits.
When will you post?
Most platforms will also provide you with analytics that will help you determine the best times and frequency to post to each platform. Use this data to post to your social platforms during times when your followers are looking to engage. Some content can be curated and scheduled ahead of time while other types of social engagement should happen live (for example, streaming an interactive Q&A session on Facebook Live or taking part in a Twitter chat at a scheduled time).
Will you use a third party tool to automate your posts?
There are several tools that can help as pre-plan your posts like BufferApp, Hootsuite and SproutSocial. These apps allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, find engaging content and engage more easily with your user base. However, even if you’re using a third-party app for most of your social media management, it is important to log in to each of your social platforms in order to stay up to date with changes to the user experience. Make sure to schedule time regularly or you will run the risk of missing out on key engagement opportunities. For example, Facebook Live has become an increasingly popular feature for the platform. In order to leverage this tool as part of your marketing, you need to log in to Facebook directly during a time when your followers are online- it can’t be prepopulated and scheduled through a post planning tool.
Finally, a good social media manager will always ask themselves why they are sending that tweet, sharing that picture or promoting that blog post. The answer should always be that it will reinforce the messaging your business wants to share. Sure, a cute cat photo is almost guaranteed to boost your engagement metrics for the month, but if it doesn’t move your branding forward, it doesn’t belong on your page. The same question should be asked before created a business page on any social media. Why is this platform a good time investment for your business compared to its competitors?
Once you’ve created a comprehensive plan, it’s time to pull the trigger and create your business profile. Make sure to follow through on your marketing plans and schedule enough time to maintain your accounts on a daily basis. As you continue to build your follower base, your plan should change depending on what they engage with- don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy as you gain more experience on each platform!
Written by Lauren Riley