Last week, I wrote some tips for those who are embarking on their personal social media journeys. If you’re embarking on a social media pathway for your company, event or brand, here are some ideas regarding how and where to get started:
Stake out your real estate:
I offered this same advice last week to those who are initiating their own social media profiles. If you don’t grab your brand’s logical username now, someone else will – and likely already has. I don’t suspect you want your customers representing your brand, even if they have the best of intentions.
Engage super-users to help carry the load and deliver the message:
All brands have super-users: associations and corporations have board members, corporations have high-profile customers and associations have governance leaders. Recruit these individuals who are invested in your brand and have them post on the brand’s behalf. This approach is especially effective if your brand is technical in nature – and you’re not.
Prepare an editorial calendar:
I can hear you groaning from here! It’s not as bad as it may sound. For the few hours you’ll initially spend on developing some content themes, you’ll be glad that you did later. When crunch time comes knocking, save precious time by referring to your list of ideas. Your calendar should integrate with your marketing plan. Editorial calendars shouldn’t be complicated: mine are prepared in Excel.
Endeavor to post at least once a week:
Pages, Groups and feeds that show a most recent posting date of 2011 won’t entice your customers to follow your brand.
Reach out to new followers:
People like to feel special. Welcome new followers to your group or page and use the opportunity to invite them to engage. In LinkedIn Groups, you can set up an automatic welcome email to deploy once new people are admitted to the Group.
If you do nothing else, do this:
Monitor your content. I actively participate (i.e. read and engage) in 20 LinkedIn Groups on a weekly basis. It is blatantly obvious when Group managers aren’t deleting inappropriate content or responding to unflattering posts. Participants also have an obligation to self-police content; blow the whistle on those really annoying overly commercial posts!
A final word: I have seen many brands post and Tweet as frequently as once an hour. I can certainly imagine that this example may be intimidating – and downright frightening – to new social media marketers.
Repeat after me: you don’t need to engage in social media that frequently in order for your program to be successful. In fact, I’d contend that you’ll receive so little response in return for your efforts that you’ll get frustrated and worse: turned off. If you’re just starting out, try posting once or twice a week and evaluate your response rate. Social media isn’t a race: it’s a marathon.