LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit… The list goes on and on. With so many social media channels to choose from it can feel overwhelming figuring out which platforms your brand should use and how you will manage all of them effectively. Here are 5 tips that can help your business take control of the presence it has on social media, resource your time more efficiently, and communicate messaging that engages your audience.

Develop a Strategy

Creating a cohesive strategy is extremely important when it comes to social media, as it allows your business to lay out an achievable road map for success. When developing this strategy it's important to address the following questions: 
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What channels will you use to reach that audience?
  • How will you engage with that audience?
  • What is your brand trying to achieve?
By answering these questions you are able to get a clear understanding of your goals. With this you can create a successful strategy that is both focused and achievable for your business.

Create a Calendar for Every Month

Sharing quality content on social media requires planning. Brainstorm ideas ahead of each month for what you want to put out on each platform, and the visuals that will work best with your content. Having this calendar will allow you to optimize your posts for every channel, as each platform has different requirements. The visuals used on every social media channel need to be tailored to that specific audience with customized language to match each post. When you have the time to plan, you can spend more time thinking about your branding and what elements you want to include in your posts to reflect that personality and further resonate consistent messaging. Take advantage of this time and look at what posts have been successful for you in the past, and create content that moves in that direction. If you have an old post that performed exceedingly well and garnered a significant amount of engagement, repurpose it by creating new imagery and copy. Most importantly, have fun and be innovative. This is an area of marketing that you can be creative with and take risks. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your content.
Social Media Management Calendar

Take Advantage of Tools

There is a plethora of tools available for social media that can be a great asset when it comes to effectively creating, planning, and managing, engaging content for your social media accounts. When it comes to posting this content, timing becomes essential, so having a tool that helps you schedule out your posts can be a great help. One I would recommend is Hootsuite, which gives you the ability to select an image, set the time, include a link, and generate a post in an extremely organized way that can then be used across your platforms. Another important aspect of social media is finding great curated content to post that provides relevant information and valuable resources to your followers. A great tool for this is Feedly, which aggregates content from your favorite sites or news publications and even provides suggestions for other relevant sites you should follow, allowing you to stay on top of the latest happenings in your industry. Aside from tools you can use for both finding content and scheduling it out, one of our favorite tools for creating the perfect image is Canva (picture below). With this tool you can upload images, and then find layouts, frames, and fun effects to make your photos both unique and eye-grabbing. If you're looking for more tools, Neil Patel, lists some other great ones here.
Social Media Management Tool- Canva

Stay on Top of the Trends

Social media is constantly evolving and it's important to stay up-to-date on all of these changes. From Facebook reactions, to Twitter polls, to the integration of GIFs on Twitter, there's something new happening each and every day. Take advantage of these features and think about how your company can use them in a way that still reflects your brand personality. For example, if you're testing out a new product try out a Twitter poll and ask your followers what they think.  Social media gives your business the ability to gain insights directly from the customer, so it's essential that you leverage that knowledge and use it to shape out other digital marketing initiatives as you move forward. With traditional marketing, it wasn't as simple to directly communicate with the user and get their feedback, comments, and concerns. Social media has given us the ability to interact with them first hand--so take advantage!  Following blogs like Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, and Hootsuite are great resources to be sure you're constantly "in the know" with industry news and other digital trends.

Monitor & Engage

It's important to check each platform every day. Maybe a customer has a question and left a comment on a post, or perhaps they're sharing an awesome experience they had with your brand. Every interaction is important when it comes to social media as these interactions are the core reasons why the platforms exist in the first place.  Make sure to comment on every post left by a customer, whether they are good or bad comments. Responding to these comments shows that you care about your customers, that their voices are heard, and that you're listening to their feedback so you can improve their experience with your organization in the future. The best brands on social media are those that interact and engage with their followers on a regular basis. It's important to participate, whether that be through Twitter chats, or by creating interactive campaigns that get your customers involved.

Review your Performance

One of the most influential aspects of social media you need to focus on is the numbers and hard-data related to your efforts. They not only break down what is doing well and what's not, but they tell a story. They will show you what your followers are engaging with, what they aren't, and if you analyze the numbers correctly you can find out why. An organized way to record the numbers is to create an excel sheet with all the channels that you are on. Then each week record the number of followers, impressions, and engagements you are seeing on each channel. You can find these numbers directly on the social media platforms--Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have an analytics tab that you can use to make this even easier. By organizing this data and keeping a record of it for yourself, you can see week over week how your audience is engaging with your content and define areas of improvement. Now that you have the tips to effectively manage your social media, sit down with your team and begin creating a clear strategy defining what your goals are and how you will achieve them. Spend time thinking about your branding and identify the imagery and copy that will best reflect who you are as a brand, as well as what will resonate most successfully with your audience. Most importantly, remember that social media is a place where users are looking to be entertained, find out something new and exciting, and have fun. Keep this in mind when creating your calendar each month. Do you have any other strategies you find helpful in managing your social media? Leave a comment below or tweet us @BFMweb.
10 Ways to Integrate Social Media Whitepaper
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