03 Mar Social on Autopilot? Not so fast.
Life in the digital age has made ‘set it and forget it’ the go-to mode for managing every aspect of our lives – from paying bills to managing the temperature in our homes. But, if you’re ‘setting and forgetting’ your social media efforts, we have some bad news for you, you can forget about your campaign’s efficiency, too. We’re not saying all automation is bad, to a certain extent the ability to schedule and syndicate posts ahead of time makes life easier for you, but a balance needs to be established between convenience and quality.
For years, automated business social media presences were perfectly sufficient. The very fact that your business had any social presence was enough to put you on the cutting edge of marketing. Then, social media was more of a niche market, something for teens and the parents who wanted to keep an eye on them and happenings on Twitter and Facebook certainly weren’t reported on by major news outlets. But, those days are gone, everyone has a Facebook page and almost everyone has an Instagram or Twitter handle. Business social media is now the rule, not the exception and it doesn’t matter that you’re managing social media, it matters how your social media is managed.
Look at it this way. Your audience is (most likely) on their chosen social platforms every day, if not multiple times a day. And when you’re being served content from hundreds of pages every day, it becomes fairly easy to distinguish who is actually making an attempt to talk to you (authentic content) and who is just aggregating and pushing out posts (automated content), even if you aren’t a professional social media manager. So, in order to catch and keep your desired audience’s attention, it’s time to be authentic with them. What does that look like? Here are a few ideas:
Rather than just aggregating content that relates to a few vague categories that align with your business, think about your customers – who are they, where are they, and most importantly, what is going to make them want to stop scrolling through their newsfeed and interact with your post? The first key to an authentic social presence is ensuring that the content you share is the content your audience is looking for.
The timing of your post is crucial, but so is the timing of your content. New news becomes old news quickly on social media, and while it may be tempting to schedule posts a week or two in advance, keep in mind that things change and you may need to allow some flexibility in your posting schedule.
Also, along these same lines, remember that your posting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Social Media managers should have an idea of what is going on in current events and pop culture. A poorly timed tweet or the wrong wording in a post could turn into a PR disaster, even for a small company.
Thoughtfully Crafted Posts
Everyone gets busy, and sometimes it just seems easier to slap a link up on Facebook, or syndicate your mailchimp flyer to post on all of your platforms. But, be careful to make sure a majority of your posting is well thought out, looks good, and makes an attempt at engaging the reader. A quick post is ok every now and then, especially if the link speaks for itself, but don’t lead your audience to believe you don’t have the time or desire to engage with them.
One of the more difficult, yet crucial, aspects of managing an authentic social media presence is interaction. People are going to post on your page – they’re going to have varying opinions on your brand or products, they’re going to have questions and suggestions, or they’re just going to try and promote themselves or their own business and take away from your audience. The key to authentic interaction on social media is recognizing what’s what. It may be tempting to delete or hide the negative reviews and comments you receive, but in the long run, a brief professional answer advising the person to contact a manager or representative is much more effective. Personal promotions and promoting other businesses on your page, however, are fair game for deletion. Questions should always be answered as soon as possible, even if you’re just directing them to your ‘about’ or ‘contact’ page on your website. Overall, keep at it, keep it professional, and keep away from ‘form responses’ and you’ll be providing your audience with authentic, quality interaction.
Need help with managing your authentic social media presence? Ask us about it. We’re ready to help!