6 ways to manage your social media for people who don’t want to (or: You can lead a horse to Facebook, but it will hate you for it!)
I’ve been around long enough to have identified some common concerns that business owners face when it comes to social media. This blog post is aimed at business owners who have experienced one of the following:
1) You want your business to have a presence on social media, but don’t know how to go about it.
2) You hired an agency to manage your social media, but you’re unsure of the stuff they post.
3) The agency you hired now want you to learn social media and you don’t have the time or resources.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, one thing will have become clear: social media does not appear to be working for you.
All businesses want a social media presence. The problem is, it can seem such an alien terrain at times, it becomes bewildering. I was doing a bit of research this week and the number of Facebook business pages I came across with nothing on was staggering. There’s a graveyard of pages out there, created with the best of intentions, but not maintained.
But, hey, if you don’t understand, you just find someone who does, right?
You don’t have to understand how a plane works to take a flight, or how a TV works to enjoy a movie. Likewise, you can enjoy the benefits of social media without doing it yourself… just be careful who you hire.
In my experience, this is typically what happens:
1) You hire a social media agency
2) The content they post is not what you would have chosen yourself
3) You raise your concerns and this is what they say:
The best people to post on your social media is you.
I’m guilty of saying this myself, because it’s true.
No-one can tell the story of your brand better than you. However, if you don’t have time, but don’t entrust in your agency either, you’ve got a predicament.
There’s an old saying that goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Never has this saying been more true when it comes to Social Media Management.
I’ve had countless conversations with businesses just like yours, who have promised to generate some internal content to use on social media, but it never transpires. If it’s not within your company culture already, no amount of moaning and nagging will make it happen.
The fact is, social media takes time. The returns aren’t immediate. And if there isn’t a strategy behind the activity, results may never come. You do have to be patient, and few of us are.
Let’s face it, if you put a post on Facebook and instantly got some business, you’d do another post wouldn’t you? And if that generated more business, you’d find time to post again, right? And again, and again, and again…
But what happens in reality is, the 1st dozen posts don’t generate any business, and there’s a loss of confidence, and eventually it’s abandoned.
So here’s my top tips on Social Media management, for those who don’t want to manage their Social Media
1) Understand your audience
Audience is a great place to start. You probably already know who your audience is, they’re your customers. Put yourself in their shoes. What would they like to see. More importantly, what will they engage with.
2) Have a strategy
Spending a couple of hours to draft a strategy will save you a great deal of time over the long term. It doesn’t have to be minute detail, more a rough guide on what you want to share and how often.
3) Make a schedule
Build your social media posts into your daily schedule. Be disciplined. Assign a specific time each for it and stick to it.
4) Use your other assets
Got a company website? Is there any content on their you can re-purpose? Do you write blog posts? Make sure you share them on social media. What about off-line? Brochures, leaflets, video? Be creative with your existing media.
5) Use paid social
You can advertise your business on all the main social media platforms. It’s a great way to reach new audiences and you can tailor your campaign for more than one goal; website traffic, more followers, subscribers, and many other options.
6) Don’t force it
This is probably the most important point. Do what comes natural. You want to get the most out of it, but you don’t want to have to study a whole new art form in the process. The true skill is learning to use social media to bring out the best of you, not try to re-invent yourself.