Social Media Management Best Practices
The best social media management tools mean nothing without the right practices in place. These recommendations can help your business create lasting relationships with your audience through a quality experience.
You Need Consistency
How often are you posting and engaging with your audience? If you only show up on their newsfeeds once a week or month, you will have a hard time gaining traction. The recommended posting frequency varies based on the social media channel and the market you operate in, but you need to be present and at the top of mind of consumers. Scale your social media efforts down if you’re not able to stay consistent at your current level. This approach may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it gives you a better chance of succeeding in the long run.
Offer In-the-moment Content
Does your team spend a lot of time polishing your photos, videos, and posts? Authenticity is a big part of the social media experience and the way audiences engage with brands. If you only offer them professionally produced media, then they may have a hard time connecting with your company emotionally.
Offer behind the scenes live videos or post a variation on a meme going around. Professionally produced content has a place on your social media, but a mix gives you the opportunity to show what’s going on behind the curtain. Plus, it’s faster to create this type of content, so you can increase your posting frequency if needed. Canva is a great tool that offers a lot of templates for social media images.
Fully Understand Your Audience’s Voice
You have many resources available to see how your audience engages with brands and each other. Use this to your advantage by truly understanding their voice and the factors that influence it. Create comprehensive buyer personas that include common phrases, the formality of their speech, details about their demographics, the values that are important to them, and the challenges that they face. You want highly relatable content that gets your marketing messages across. Their preferred type of posts is also heavily influenced by their demographics.
Facebook’s fast-responder badge is only available for businesses that answer all of their messages in 15 minutes or less. Consumers take this expectation with them no matter how different your business is in size or scale to the ones that have this distinction. Econsultancy reports that 54 percent of people want an immediate answer when they reach out to brands on social media.
Make it clear how long your typical response time is and if you have limited customer support hours. Automated chat bots can handle many basic inquiries on your social media pages, which reduces the load on your staff. Social media management tools that include inboxes help you improve your response time, as you won’t need to go to individual platforms to check-in on your private messages. Use scripted responses for common inquiries so you can quickly go through your queue. This approach also creates consistency when multiple staff members interact with your audience.
Have a Plan for Dealing with Negative Responses and Trolls
You can end up in a social media PR disaster for many reasons, with some that may be completely unpredictable. Since you can’t always tell what will set the Internet off, have a plan on handling it before it happens. Determine the chain of command and the staff member who will handle sensitive interactions and responses. You may want to create a committee to involve multiple people to ensure that you don’t end up making things worse.
In addition to large-scale disasters, you also have small fires to put out throughout the day. Negative comments, feedback, and reviews give your brand an opportunity to open up a dialogue with upset customers. When you handle this scenario correctly, you can end up with an improved reputation and a brand advocate.
Put a set of moderation rules in place so everyone knows what to do when a run of the mill social media troll shows up. In many cases, banning highly disruptive, spammy, and disrespectful commenters rather than trying to engage with them is the right call. You don’t want your moderation team tied up all day with pointless Internet arguments.
Focus on Your Audience’s Favorite Platforms
Social media sites come in all types, from the well-established players to the niche market. Spreading your resources too thin is a surefire way to create a negative customer experience. Pick the platforms that your audience uses on a regular basis, rather than having a presence everywhere. Since customers will expect a fast response from you on any social media profile you run, play close attention to your capacity. Social media management tools can help you expand your efforts without exponentially expanding your team. If you need temporary help during high-demand periods, working with a service provider, platform or agency is a viable option.
Make More Videos
Video content is hard to do well, and the barrier to entry can be a turn off for smaller businesses and those with their marketing budgets allocated elsewhere. Facebook Live video, IGTV, and other video platforms continue to engage audiences and create many opportunities for savvy brands. Remember, you don’t need to create perfectly polished content for social media. Your audience is happy to see more informal media that appears more authentic to them.
Social media listening surfaces conversations about your brand, even if the commenter never tags you in it. You can learn more about your company’s reputation, insights into new products, feature requests, customer service opportunities, and more. A sentiment analysis tool can be useful. It analyzes the positive, negative and neutral emotions in a data set and gives you an overall view of how consumers perceive your brand.
You can use this information to guide your social media strategy. If you have a lot of negative messages directed toward your company on social media, you can find out what the problem is and address it in a proactive way. The customer success team can follow up with upset customers and resolve their complaints on an individual level once you get the process started.
Social listening tools also show you what’s going on with the competition. Watch the ways that they engage with their audience to see whether you have room for improvement in your strategy.
Effective social media management involves a lot of analytical thinking, emotional intelligence, and organization. By bringing together the best tools, calendars, and practices, you can achieve long-term business growth.