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How to satisfy social media’s relentless appetite.

How to feed the Social Media beast

I recently attended a seminar titled: Building Brands with Social Media in San Francisco. While the content was prepared for marketers and agencies, two themes in the day’s presentation kept popping up:

  1. | Social media is not a one-time event or a marketing campaign
  2. | Never underestimate how resource intensive social media can be

New opportunity presents new challenges.

As marketers shift from traditional campaign-centric or direct marketing models towards multi-channel customer engagement, many businesses want to dive into the fray to exploit all of the opportunity that free social networks provide.

So how much is a brand or business biting off once they decide to seriously engage in social media? Quite a bit considering that social media requires continuous and consistent participation in order to achieve any success in creating and furthering more relationships and building a broader community interested in your value.

Daily Social Media investments required for success.

Below is a snap shot of how to think about a typical day’s social media activity. It also includes a few best practices to apply once you’re actually up and running on the popular social media platforms that you choose.

1. | Email: Always the first place to start.

Look there to see all of the comments, requests and follow ups others have left for your posts and submissions. Scan all of the groups you follow and their discussions, content, posts, and comments. And of course comment and/or reply to the content that has value or interest. Or even better, start a new discussion and link to your blog for more engagement.

2. | Lean on your dashboard.

Check all of the social media streams you follow (Twitter, facebook, Linkedin) with a social dashboard like Hootsuite that organizes all of your social media activity including: direct mentions, replies, posts, comments and groups. Scan/review the streams and comment, reply, retweet/repost or engage in the conversation by adding some value or sharing with others.

3. | Keep up on housekeeping.

Check your blog for comments, poll responses or submissions. And of course comment and/or reply to those generous enough to contribute to further your relationship while building back links.

4. | Always know how you measure up.

Check valuable ROI tools like Google Analytics to see how your social activity has increased traffic to your blog. Check out your traffic sources, what keywords are getting your posts found, and review your most popular posts. Engage social media analysis tools like Twitter Analytics to see how your tweets and activity are trending with velocity, frequency, follows, mentions, influence and many other valuable insights.

5. | Stay current.

If you use WordPress, Typepad or some other widely available platform for your blog, be sure to log into the admin page and update any social sharing widgets that you use to stay compliant and compatible with the latest release.

6. | Always be on the lookout for content of value.

Scan Feedburner or your RSS reader for blogs and content that you subscribe to that may be relevant for your brand, prospects or followers. Select, consider, write and comment on content that is of value or interest.

7. | Never stop creating.

Draft content for a post or outline post/ideas to ensure that your pipeline of content is always being replenished. Create, edit and post blog content with the ever important tags, directory submissions (like digg) and broadcast your content over the social networks for others to see it, share it or comment on it.

8. | Patience required, not optional.

Social media success is not a one-time event. If your goal is to become an authentic, trusted resource that others look to for content that is of value to them and that they will share with others, achieving this often elusive goal can only be accomplished one way: over time and with consistency.

What’s working for you?

Are you using any of these techniques to manage your social media efforts? What have you found most valuable or effective in addressing the need to continually create content and engage with your community?

Please share your experience.


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  • Thanks Paul for commenting on my post! I agree with your points especially the last one: time and consistency. Nicely written. Looking forward to more. 🙂
    Wendy

  • Social media marketing sounds a bit too personal to be used by big corporations and I think individuals on a social site might be suspicious about the content. Things like Twitter and Facebook may be a fad for a certain generation of users but with the pain of increasingly high maintenance, it will soon be replaced by software that requires less work. I’m guessing.

  • db

    Paul – thanks for this great overview of things to do to build credibility on social media. If you have the opportunity to explore this further, I’m sure many would be interested in your advice on what should the highly time-constrained do? For example, if you run a small business and can give a half hour a day to social media what would you do? What would you add if you could give an hour a day? Under what conditions is it worth hiring someone to extend your capacity to generate social media? (I’m not referring to the design issues, I’m talking about the ongoing day-in day-out work of scanning, responding, posting, etc.) It’s easy for this to become a time-sink or cash-sink, so how do you make the *right* level of investment?

  • David, thank you so much for your comments and interest.

    Your inquiry raises an insightful question: That is, how to address the new requirement for a business to now be a continuous publisher of valued “content” and a distributor of it (just like a media company) through the pervasive social networks.

    As you have discerned, success is no longer about a one-time marketing campaign investment. It will require continuous participation either by internal resources or outsourced to a partner organization that will provide guidance and ongoing value.

    Determining the right level of investment in these efforts should always be viewed through the business metrics that matter.
    1. Are these efforts improving the ability of prospects to find your value online?
    2. Are you enabling prospects to become leads by capturing their data and moving them through a structured selling process that converts them over time into actual customers?
    3. Are you continually analyzing your efforts to see how to improve your performance on the above activities to help you meet your revenue objectives?

    The links below share some additional insights on the changing world of marketing and the impact on business. I hope you find them of interest.
    http://bit.ly/a6T826
    http://bit.ly/i0SdWg

  • db

    Well, if I posted 2.4x / day 1300 words per post I wouldn’t have time to do any actual consulting which is after all the reason I’m interested in social media in the first place. So that formula is not a practical solution unless someone (a) has staff doing the posting for them (b) is able to monitize their blog to justify the time directly, or (c) has a trust fund. What’s Plan B?

  • David, FYI I posted this today.
    Points to the pinnacle of online success and the investment required.

    What’s it gonna take to make a top 10 blog? 2.4 posts per day, (1,278 avg word count) for the next 6.7 years. http://bit.ly/idu2KF