Improving Efficiency In Your Social Media Strategy
As most of you already know, social media is an invaluable asset when it comes to establishing your brand, connecting with a wider range of potential customers and staying visible in highly competitive industries.
Unfortunately, for many newcomers, social media can be a time-consuming challenge that poses more stress and confusion than efficient, effective connection with your most valuable potential customers.
Learning how to streamline your social media process and even find some shortcuts in how you create, curate and post content can be critical to your success. You definitely understand the struggle of working through the initial confusion to construct a better social media presence.
But how many of us actually know where to start when it comes to establishing these more efficient habits?
To help inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of techniques you can implement to accomplish more with your social media program in less time.
Make a Plan
According to Scott McFarland, digital marketer and brand strategist writing for the Huffington Post, many companies fail to see their social media efforts as vital to their overall marketing scheme.
Social media (with its constant changes) move at warp speed. If you enter the social media playground without a plan, you’re simply not going to accomplish what you can and should. Formulating a plan for your company’s social media presence is as easy as understanding what kind of tone and personality you want your brand to take on.
Ask these kinds of questions when planning:
• What do my potential customers value most about my company?
• Should my brand adopt a humorous or business-like tone on social media? Or maybe both?
• What kinds of content are my potential customers most likely to read, like, and share?
• What kinds of content do my potential customers find most useful?
Answering your potential website visitor’s questions is fabulous fodder for blog posts.
We have designed a convenient and functional content calendar to help you lay out the content posts for your business ahead of time. Planning your content based on things like industry trends and the needs of your buyer persona saves a lot of time and energy.
Instead of posting willy nilly, here and there with no real idea in mind of what you want to accomplish – a content calendar gives you an overall picture of where you are going each week, each month, each campaign.
When you have a solid, well-researched plan in place, you can devote less time to establishing your brand’s tone, getting to know your target audience and deciding what types of content are most valuable to them.
Know Your Audience
Continuing on with the first point, knowing your audience is probably the most important way to accomplish your social media strategy in a fraction of the time.
Getting to know your audience means, first and foremost, finding them. Know which social media sites they’re using.
Are you targeting an older demographic or a younger one? Cater your social media presence to the sites where your target audience spends their time.
Once you find where they are, pay close attention to what they post, share and like. Are they more interested in being taught how to do something, or is it personal engagement that they value in the brands they follow?
These are definitely points to consider when getting to know your potential customers and learning how to engage with them effectively.
HubSpot has a great buyer persona planner that will allow you to specifically target who your company is reaching out to when you establish your social media presence. Creating your buyer persona BEFORE you begin posting on social media is a major time saver, and will also create better reach and results for your company.
Less is Often More
Many newcomers to social media erroneously believe that the only way to stay visible is to constantly post things to each of their social media accounts.
What’s more, they often post things that are lengthy and packed with information, or completely irrelevant. When you think about the average internet user and how much time they are willing to spend viewing a web page or post, it’s clear that a better angle is to post easy-to-absorb content that will provide your users with an instant return-on-investment.
Your reader wants value for their time.
Additionally, creating high quality content, as well as posting only during the time of day that your buyer is online can reduce the amount of time you’re investing in managing your social media presence.
Vary the Types of Content You Post
Creating and curating content for your social media platforms is time-consuming. It can be a bigger and more time consuming task is you don’t vary the types of content you’re posting.
For many companies, posting blog content and self-promotional blurbs is the main purpose of their brand presence on social media.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that varying the types of content you post is far more engaging to the majority of internet users, and will likely help you cast a wider net into your buyer persona demographic.
So what types of content should you post, in addition to blogs and promotional posts? Here’s a short list:
Video content on your social media is a quick and easy way to engage users. Just copy and paste the link, and you’re done. Also, video content is one of the most successful things you can post in the social media system.
Here is a great video by Shimi Cohen about social media and its affect on our society. It has recently gone viral. Watch it and see why.
Pictures generate a more engagement than text alone.
The variations between content and visuals on a page makes a difference in how the reader absorbs and retains your information.
Pictures can lighten the mood, create feelings, trigger emotions and move the reader through your lead nurturing process.
Pictures can make someone smile or laugh out loud.
Why not make someone laugh every once in a while?
Infographics are a great way to teach your followers something while still providing them with the visual payoff that keeps them interested. Try something different, think out of the box, borrow if the creator allows it – and always give proper and prominent attribution.
In this interesting piece, an anonymous United States Scientist continues to post his scientific findings and studies in infographic form on his website.
The infographic has gone viral among visual junkies.
Polls are an interesting way to get your audience involved with what you’re doing and show them that their opinion matters to you.
Here is a poll conducted recently by eMarketer.com. The poll asked what part of social media was a marketer’s biggest challenge.
Although the poll shows that their biggest task is managing social media during non-business hours, we wonder what the chances are that plain old time made the list?
Share Your Industry Peers’ Content
Another way to find and post awesome content to your social media accounts without investing a ton of time is to share the things that your industry peers post.
There are three awesome benefits to doing this:
1) It helps you network and connect with your industry peers through support, rather than competition. Not only do you get the benefit of their awesome content, they get to enjoy the exposure you’re providing them.
Similarly, sharing industry peer content increases the chances that you’ll get reciprocal shares from them in the future, which increases the scale of your own company’s exposure.
2) It saves you time because, of course, all you’re doing is clicking “share.” It’s a win-win, on both the exposure and time-saving scales.
3) It helps combat company narcissism. In the world of social media, where humanizing your brand is an important part of success, sharing is a way to promote an attitude that there is always enough to go around.
It is, after all, SOCIAL media.
Quality Over Quantity
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but quality generally trumps quantity, in the vast majority of situations in life.
The same is true of your company’s social media presence. It’s better to have a smaller number of qualified, engaged followers than a huge number of followers that never interact with or promote your brand.
Similarly, when you’ve culled a smaller number of followers who regularly interact with you, it’s easier to curate and post content that is useful to them in their lives. Because you know them.
Don’t waste time posting a slew of uncharacteristic pictures or blogs because you’re trying to get an impressive number of followers. Be selective in your posts so you can engage the followers who are most valuable to your brand.
Combine Your Engagement
If you have trouble organically managing all of your social media platforms, have no fear. There are several options for maintaining control over each of your social media accounts from a single portal.
One of our favorite social media management tools is Hootsuite, which is allows you to control a host of social media platforms from one convenient, easy-to-use portal.
Additionally, Hootsuite will let you schedule posts on your accounts, analyze your traffic and track brand management.
When you’re looking to save time on your company’s social media efforts, there are few tools more valuable than Hootsuite.
Here are a few other social media management tools to look into:
The influence and importance of social media on our branding and marketing strategies is staggering; adapting to the marketing universe in the age of information requires that we establish ourselves on social media and become visible to our most valuable customers.
For those of us who are new to the social media universe, this can sound like a time-consuming chore; that’s why establishing the most efficient habits and having the right tools on hand are vital to your brand’s social media success.
Buyer Persona: HubSpot
Donkey – Flickr – Gianni Diurno