A summary of the Social Media Management – content planning, prosthesis daily routine and tools workshop delivered on June 11 as part of BU’s Festival of Learning
“Only organizations with big budgets do well on social media” someone told me yesterday at the Social Media Management workshop I ran as part of BU’s Festival of Learning. I disagreed. While access to funding can secure access to more resources (more people, sildenafil more time dedicated to social media, higher exposure and more complex analysis tools), one organization’s social media success relies on how they can relate to people. This therefore boils down to how they can make themselves relevant to their target audience and how they can relate with them.
I have spoken before – at the Engaging the public event, at the Dorset Coast Forum and more recently at Bizcampbe #11 – about the necessity of charities and SMEs with small or even DIY communication teams to plan their social media communications and create a daily routine. The workshop however provided participants with the time to experiment with some of the tools while also receive feedback from the other participants on their social media content.
Social media does not operate in a bubble.
It needs to be associated with the organizational goals and objectives and its role in meeting those objectives needs to be identified. A channel shouldn’t do anything and everything but rather have up to 3 purposes but they need to be related to one another – for instance reputation management, lead generation and information exchange OR customer service, lead generation and product/service awareness.
Also, each social media platform provides access and contact with users with different psycho-demographic characteristics. This should inform the organization’s content sharing decisions.
To learn more about goals and objectives and segmentation read the DCSBU blog.
Routine – listen, engage, create, schedule, share and integrate
Once the social media objectives are clear and so is the target audience, knowing what and who to look for online will be easy. Monitoring (and hence listening to what others have to say) is a very good practice as it provides updates about the industry, the competitors but also about what the target audience is saying about the organization.
Creating content therefore is much easier when there is information to which one can react to. The format in which these stories are created can vary – from opinion and analyses to mashups and aggregated content.
Sharing therefore should be platform appropriate in terms of formatting and also audience relevant.
An efficient social media presence serves clearly set goals and objectives and provides content that showcases a balance between spontaneous updates and planned ones. To achieve that, creating a content calendar is essential. This ensures that the monitoring activities inform and are aligned with the organisational goals and provides the team or the person managing the social media communications with a workflow that also considers technical needs, time constraints and audience demands. The planning helps to take pressure from the creation of content and provides therefore more time to monitor the answers and contributions of others and therefore respond where needed. Jamie Griffiths from Convince & Convert has some good tips on how to build and populate a content calendar and he has a template too.
Scheduling is also important and there are tools that can help with that. Followerwonk analyzes an account’s followers and therefore makes a recommendation on the frequency and time of the day when the account should post updates. These can the be scheduled and curated via Bufferapp. Similar services are offered by Hootsuite and SocialBro for instance.
Measure the impact
Creating content and sharing in a planned and consistent manner is not enough. To be effective, the social media activities need to be measured against the set objectives and set KPIs. While there are a wide range of measurements that can be carried out nowadays due to the wide range of data being produced and recorded, SMEs and charities usually need metrics to be associated with awareness, engagement and action. These should also be included into a funnel. The guest lecture to BU students held by Brad Fry from Folk has more details. More details about campaign evaluation and social media ROI are also on the DCSBU blog.
Check out this white paper for some more detail on planning your social media and get in touch if you have questions and suggestions.