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 opportunities 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.

Social media’s relentless appetite and how to satisfy it.

Below is a snapshot of how to think about a typical day’s social media activity.

It also includes a few best practices to apply on the social media platforms that you’re using.

This is box title

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?

How are you managing 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?