Managing Your Social Media Schedule
As you know from the rest of your business experience, if something isn’t important enough to schedule, it never gets done. Social media, like the rest of your marketing efforts, can easily be swallowed up by day-to-day demands. You must set aside time for it and assign tasks to specific people.
Controlling the time commitment
Social media can become addictive. If you truly like what you’re doing, the time problem might reverse. Rather than spend too little time, you spend too much. You might find it difficult to avoid the temptation of continually reading what others have to say about your business or spending all your time tweeting, streaming, and posting.
Creating a social media dashboard
Your social media marketing efforts may ultimately involve many tasks: Post to multiple venues; use tools to distribute content to multiple locations; monitor visibility for your company on social media outlets; and measure results by using several analytical tools. Rather than jump back and forth among all these resources, you can save time by using a graphical dashboard or control panel.
Building Your Social Media Marketing Dream Team
In a larger company, the nexus for control of social media varies: In some cases, it’s the marketing department; in others, corporate communications, public relations, sales, or customer support takes the lead. Some companies disperse responsibilities throughout the company and have tens to dozens of people blogging and tweeting.
Seeking a skilled social media director
A good social media director should have an extroverted personality, at least in writing. This person should truly enjoy interacting with others and take intrinsic pleasure in conversation and communication. You might want to look, based on your chosen tactics, for someone who can
- Write quickly and well, with the right tone for your market
- Listen well, with an ear for your target audiences and their concerns
- Post without using defamatory language or making libelous statements about competitors
- Communicate knowledgeably about your company and your products or services
- Recognize opportunities and develop creative responses or campaigns
- Work tactfully with others, alerting them when problems or complaints surface
Think about using professionals for the tech-heavy tasks, such as podcasts, videocasts, or design, unless you’re going for the just-us-folks tone. Professionals can get you started by establishing a model for your staff to follow, or you may want to hire them for long-term tasks such as writing or editing your blogs for consistency.
Many advertising agencies, PR firms, search engine optimizers, marketing companies, and copywriters now take on social media contracts. If you’ve already worked with someone you like, you can start there. If not, select social media professionals the same way you would select any other professional service provider:
- Ask your local business colleagues for referrals.
- Check sources such as LinkedIn and Plaxo. If appropriate, post your search criteria on your site, blog, social media outlets, and topic-related sites.
- Request several price quotes. If your job is large enough, write and distribute a formal request for proposal (RFP)
Protecting Your Brand Reputation
It’s important to start protecting your brand now by registering your company name for social media accounts. To avoid brandjacking (others using your company or product brand name on social media for their own purposes or to write misleading or negative things about your company), try to choose the most popular, available handle that will work across multiple sites. Use your company or product name and keep it short.