Social media has reached the point where simply managing a Facebook and Twitter account is not adequate for an effective social content strategy. The emergence of a number of dynamic social media sites over the past decade, and the need for businesses to embrace these profitable platforms, now requires business owners to develop a strategy that can effectively combine and make use of all of their social media accounts.
This may be easier said than done, however, as doing so will require tackling some complex issues, including coordinated promotion across platforms and developing efficient internal workflow plans. But the effort is necessary to maximize your company’s content potential across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. And don’t forget your industry-related social sites.
Having a cohesive strategy also keeps companies from making some basic mistakes, such as leveraging the same (duplicate) material across several platforms or contradicting a message on one platform with a different message on another.
If you find yourself in this position, here are some helpful guidelines to follow in managing multiple social media accounts.
1. Have an overall strategy.
It’s tempting to rush out and get social media channels up and running as fast as possible, but leave that to the teenagers and soccer Moms. They can afford to post online without a plan, but as a business owner or stakeholder, you cannot. Before opening even the first account, sit down with everyone involved and formulate a strategy for how, when, where and why you will post on a social media channel – and then stick to that plan, making adjustments as you go.
2. Don’t try to do everything.
Managing the scope of your social media initiative is an important first step. Just because another company is on Pinterest does not mean it is right for your company. The same principle applies to every social media outlet. Sit down and develop an overall plan before simply going online and creating multiple social media accounts.
3. Post new content regularly.
This can prove to be one of the most difficult tasks – the creation of compelling content on a regular basis that is not simply a rehash of content previously posted on your social media channel. Keep track of the reaction to posting frequency and adjust posting times to coincide with when people are showing the most interest. Do your own frequent testing, as different audiences will give different results.
4. Cross-promote, but don’t duplicate.
As stated previously, it’s a bad idea to simply post duplicate content on multiple social media channels. However, this typically should not preclude the practice of cross-promoting across multiple channels.
For example, Twitter provides an excellent method of pushing readers to content on other platforms – just be absolutely sure the content is helpful and informative, and that it is accurately depicted in the originating platform’s post.
5. Keep an eye on analytics.
Is your website gaining a large audience that is growing? Are you “converting” a respectable percentage of that traffic, i.e., are they taking the action you want them to take, such as purchasing a product or clicking through to another Website? By studying your website tracking analytics – the free Google Analytics is often sufficient – or going more in-depth with purchased tracking software, it’s easier to determine how Web traffic is behaving and where adjustments need to be made with social media content.
6. Plan your work, work your plan.
Because there may be numerous people involved with content creation across the various social media platforms, it’s important that a clear plan is developed about who will do what. Otherwise, employees may waste time doing the same tasks.
Don’t expect immediate results. Smart use of social media platforms will typically translate into slow, steady growth. It takes time to build up a loyal following – time spent creating quality content and promoting it properly on the various social media channels. Those looking for fast, massive changes will likely be disappointed.
Whatever the details of your social media plan, it’s important to first actually have one. Spend time developing the proper course for your business and then stick to it. Trust in your strategy and it may very well result in more traffic, better branding, higher conversions and an overall improved business.