99 Problems and a Tweet Ain't One
Lest you think this article is just another blog about how social media is a challenging profession, read on. Our social media manager, Katie Redmond, chose to dig a little deeper and take a serious look (with a twist of humor, of course) at real problems facing social media professionals and how to solve them.
1. Finding a Good Social Sharing Platform
Social sharing platforms are a social media manager’s best friend. They cut out wasted time, allowing you to spend more time creating cool stuff and engaging with followers. The problem with social platforms is that there’s just so many of them to choose from! While Buffer is great for scheduling posts, it isn’t the best at monitoring engagement, and even though Sprout Social offers one of the best metrics reports out there, it’s pretty costly to use. Taking the time to try out each social sharing platform is key, because they’re not one-size-fits-all.
2. Consistently Engaging with Followers
It can be hard enough to keep up with your own social networks – imagine how difficult it becomes when there are 5, 15 or 50 to keep your eye on! While likes, retweets, and comments can get overwhelming at times, responding to them is paramount. After all, why have a Facebook page if you aren’t going to use it to converse with customers? A good social media manager engages with followers every day in one of two ways: with instant communication or through scheduled engagement times.
Engaging with instant communication means that every time a follower interacts with you online, you respond immediately. Customers will love that their questions and comments are answered right away. Another option is to engage at scheduled times throughout the day. Checking to see if anyone has reached out to you through social media every 3 or 4 hours is a good way to stay up to date without sacrificing too much personal time, but it also means that complaints could go unanswered for a while. Whichever method works for you as an engagement strategy, you have to stick to it, because interacting with followers is the most important part of a social media manager’s job.
3. Curating Interesting Content
Haven’t posted any blogs lately and need something to share on your social networks? Here’s where curated content comes into play. While it sounds easy to share articles and images from the web for your brand, it can take more time and effort than you think. There are only so many times you can post kitten memes before your customers stop caring. Finding content that is relevant to both your brand and your customer is difficult, but doable. The trick is finding and hanging onto the right resources for curated content. In the beginnings of my days as a social media manager, many an hour was wasted scouring the Internet for the perfect article, or image, or quote for an engaging post. It took more time than I’m proud to admit before I wised up and realized there was a better way to curate content. Once you find a site that offers great content for your brand, save it! Whether you use bookmarking, spreadsheets with links, or even Twitter lists, having all of your resources in one place can be a real time saver.
4. Creating a Rewarding Posting Schedule
When are your clients’ customers most likely to be on Facebook? What about Twitter? How often do they log onto their social media platforms? Is it once a day or ten times a day? The answers to all these questions are what you need to form a good posting schedule for your clients. If your target market is teens, you’re not likely to reach them with a 5 a.m. tweet, and you’re probably not going to generate a lot of engagement with a primarily European target market if you’re posting schedule is made for the Eastern Time zone. Because there’s no set posting schedule for every market out there, social media managers have to be smart in creating a tailored schedule. Check out our blog post on social media shelf life for some tips and tricks that will help you come up with the right posting schedule for your brand.
5. Keeping Things Fresh
If your clients fill a niche need, you know how easily you can slip into the rut of posting the same content over and over again. While it may seem like your only option at times, it’s not! When you’ve hit the creativity wall, turn to innovation. Instead of reposting the same tweet you sent out last month, try repurposing it as an Instagram. Or maybe turn the info in that blog article into a short, engaging YouTube video. With the social media revolution happening around us, there are more creative options for you to choose from every day!
6. Avoiding Distractions
While it might sound like a dream come true to get paid to be on Facebook and Twitter all day, social media managers know that this job can be really distracting at times. It can be tempting to click on those links in your newsfeed, but it’s important to resist the temptation to stalk while you’re doing your job. A good way to banish the pull of procrastination is to sprint through your work – for every 50 minutes you spend working, take a 10 minute break to give into the desire to browse the Internet. After your break you’ll feel refreshed & ready to work and the urge to scroll through Pinterest will be all but gone!
7. Managing Time
Finding time to do all that posting is half the battle. Sure, it may take you seconds to tweet your own thoughts and just a minute to pick out a filter and post your latest Instagram, but when you’re creating and curating content for multiple clients, things can get tricky. The key to posting good content is simply setting aside the time to do it. If you don’t give yourself enough time to schedule, you’ll end up spamming your followers with boring content. Putting time and consideration into everything you post allows you to create content your readers will actually want to learn more about.
image credit: michal marcol/freedigitalphotos.net