Nonprofit staff and business owners often cite the sheer number of social networking sites and the seemingly-overwhelming amount of time required to keep up. But they don’t want to fall behind either. What to do?
How to actively and effectively participate in the constantly shifting social media landscape without completely losing it?
Here are my top 10 tips for controlling the social media chaos:
1) Before you begin, understand your target market. Who are you trying to reach? If you are trying to reach men in their 50s and 60s, then Pinterest is not going to be the place you want to spend your time. On the other hand, if you are selling any type of product geared towards women (jewelry, clothing, make-up, hair services), then Pinterest is absolutely mandatory.
2) Know your limitations. Ask yourself and be honest: How much time can you reasonably dedicate to social media? Do you have any help? Write down a complete list of all the tasks you need to accomplish in one day, and see where there is time for social media marketing.
3) Keep a shared Social Media Editorial Calendar on Google Docs. I like this template for keeping track of social media content and posting.
5) Do your best. There is really no absolute right and absolute wrong in social media marketing – there are methods that work and tactics that don’t work. Learn the difference.
6) Don’t spread yourself too thin. You do not have to be all things to all people, and you do not have to be a superstar on 10 social media channels.
7) Keep an open-mind and be optimistic. Positive posts get much more engagement than negative ones.
8) Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to spend 15 minutes a week on social media and get 10,000 followers and fans in a month. Encourage your supervisors and co-workers to get more training on social media if they don’t understand this concept.
9) Be constantly learning and improving. Allot some time per week to read certain blogs (Mashable, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today) to keep up-to-date on the frequently changing environment of the social web.
10) Measure your progress. Allot time every week to review Facebook Insights and Google Analytics (which you should have installed on your website) to determine what types of content are getting the most engagement from your community. What is falling flat? What times work best?
The hard truth is that in success in social media takes much more time than you think. (Sorry.) The most successful brands and nonprofits using social media don’t just post once a week on Facebook and then log out until the next week.
An effective social media campaign involves planning, a calendar, a set of monitoring tools, acknowledging and responding to comments and questions, and analyzing what is working and what isn’t.
If you approach you social media campaign with an open mind, an optimistic outlook and some easy-to-use tools, it won’t seem as daunting. It may even be fun!
Time-Saving Resource: Check out this handy One-Page Social Media Posting Guide to serve as a helpful reference – keep it by your desk.
How to you manage your time on social media? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section below. Thanks for reading!