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Search Engine Journal has found that 93% of online marketers promote their respective businesses on social media. They also found that the social platforms most commonly used for marketing purposes are Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. More than 70% of those who use social media for marketing have claimed to have successfully gained new customers via Facebook, although a third of them seek new leads from Twitter. With the growing importance of social media as an online marketing tool, social media managers can be placed under so much pressure, they probably no longer know what to do first.
Social media managers may not literally be tasked to do everything involved in social media marketing (SMM), but they are tasked to oversee every aspect of the business’ SMM campaigns. He will have to conduct a weekly evaluation of the daily tasks assigned to every member of the social media team. He will have to keep abreast of what’s happening on every social account the team is maintaining to make sure any issue that arises is immediately attended to. You’re lucky if you’re a social media manager and your work hasn’t driven you to exhaustion yet.
If you’re one of those social media managers who rarely have time for your social life (ironic, I know), and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the constant need for updates, the non-stop flow of notifications, and the round-the-clock need to attend to emails, private messages, comments, and more, then you definitely need to find a way to clear your mind and get your work days organized. A checklist may be just what you need. At the very least, it can help you get some “me” time and just do whatever you want (or do nothing at all). At best, it can help you avoid burning out.
The Daily Checklist
These are the things you should mark on your daily calendar of activities:
1. Respond to social messages
A lot of businesses have learned the hard way how hugely negative the impact is of ignoring customer feedback on social media. Even when you have team members specifically tasked to respond to social messages, it is important for you to make sure they do not miss any query or complaint. If you see a query or complaint that hasn’t been attended to within an hour, respond to it yourself.
2. Respond to brand mentions
Do not allow conversations about your brand to go on without any input from you. Use tools like Social Mention to keep track of what people are saying about your business and then join the conversation and respond accordingly.
3. Connect with brand advocates
Check out your followers who always have kind words to say about your brand and who always share your content. Connect with these people and build a relationship with them. They are an excellent source of free advertising.
4. Identify and engage potential customers
In the same way that you can use tools to find conversations about your brand, you can also use tools to identify online users who are looking for the kind of products/services you offer. Once you find these people, reach out to them and show them you’ve got the solutions to their needs.
5. Research current trends
Social media (and internet marketing in general) is highly dynamic, which means it can change a lot in one day. Trends come and go, and you can only take advantage of them if you are able to keep track of them. Always be on the lookout for new techniques you can use to enhance your social media campaigns.
6. Post on your social accounts and blog
As a general rule, it is best to post on Twitter three to six times each day, on Facebook once or twice, on Google+ two to three times, on Instragram one to three times, and on LinkedIn once or twice. You should also post on your blog regularly to keep readers interested in what you have to say.
7. Study the competition
Don’t fall into the trap of focusing too much on your own campaign that you fail to see what others are doing. If a competitor is making waves on social media, find out what they’re doing right and see if you can apply it to your own campaign.
The Weekly Checklist
These are the things you should mark on your weekly calendar of activities:
1. Engage with thought leaders and marketing partners
Establish a relationship with industry influencers and businesses that complement your own. A social media campaign becomes a lot stronger and more successful when you have partners who speak favorably about your brand and recommend you to their own social circles.
2. Discuss tactics
If there is a different individual handling each social account for the business, you need to make sure their efforts are coordinated. Towards this end, it pays to discuss the campaign with the entire team on a weekly basis. It is also a good idea to let everyone in the company take part by encouraging them to share at least a few of your content on their own social accounts.
3. Run social media analytics
There are tools like Sprout Social that enable you to check your performance on social media. It lets you see which of your content has been received well and which ones did not quite achieve the kind of results you expected. Use these data to adjust and enhance your SMM campaign.
The Monthly Checklist
These are the things you should mark on your monthly calendar of activities:
1. Audit your social media strategies
Auditing your strategies can be a bit time-consuming, which is why it is best done monthly, rather than weekly. More than checking your analytics, it requires you to dig deeper into the data and figure out exactly what approach you need to take for your SMM campaign moving forward.
2. Attend local events
Social media management doesn’t just require you to be active on social platforms. It also requires you to be social in the real sense of the word. This means you should attend industry-related events from time to time. These are excellent venues for meeting your marketing partners and industry influencers face-to-face.
Stress can definitely take its toll unless you take some time off at least once each month. During this special “me” time, you should also stay away from social media. This helps you avoid burnout and allows you to recharge so you’ll have fresh perspective when you get back to work.
The Quarterly Checklist
These are the things you should mark on your quarterly calendar of activities:
1. Assess performance
Three months’ worth of data on your performance should give you ample information to gauge how you’ve performed so far based on your key performance indicators. Did you manage to get as many followers as you expected within that period? Did you get as many likes, shares, retweets, and +1s as you expected for each piece of content you posted? These indicators will tell you if your quarterly goals have been met.
2. Gauge team needs
Depending on how successful you were in the preceding quarter, and on how far you’ve come towards the fulfillment of your goals, consider what else your team needs to achieve complete success in terms of your social media campaign. Do you need more people on your team? Do you need more training for the existing team members? Do you need more advanced equipment? Do you need a fresh overall strategy?
3. Adjust your goals
Considering your quarterly performance and your assessment of your team’s needs, adjust your goals accordingly. For the goals that have already been met, map out strategies for keeping your gains. For the goals that you realized are unrealistic, create a more achievable goal. If you failed to achieve even a single one of the goals you’ve set for your team, you may have to rethink exactly what you want to achieve on social media and how you should approach your SMM campaign.
By creating a calendar of activities for your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks, you’ll soon find that things are easier to accomplish and your role as social media manager isn’t really as overwhelming as it once seemed.
Remember as well that social media management, although it may be a separate department in your organization, cannot and should not operate exclusively. There is a need for collaboration with the other departments to ensure the success of your social media campaign. For example, the manner in which your sales department deals with customers has to complement the image you project online. And your customer service department has to respond to phone-in feedback in the same manner you handle online feedback.
The more organized your approach is to your responsibilities as social media manager, the better you’ll be able to appreciate your role. Soon, you’ll realize that as maddening as your job is, it can also be very challenging, highly stimulating, and a lot of fun!