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Whether you currently manage a branded social account, or you just post to your personal profiles, staying on-top of the constant updates on social networks can be extremely difficult if you’re underprepared. Whilst it may be a challenge, utilising your social profiles outside of work hours can help boost your business and give your brand access to all new audiences that you may not have spoken to before. With that in mind, I’ve put together five top tips on how your brand can win at social even when you’re not actually working.
As the great Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Your social media plan needs to be exactly that: a plan. Get together with the different members of your team either monthly or quarterly to discuss upcoming projects, themes and topics which which you’ll be updating your social accounts.
The importance of organisation and planning cannot be emphasised enough. This helpful slide deck from James Perrin explains it perfectly:
When you’re putting the plan in place, remember to consider the fact that, unless you work for some kind of omnipotent, always open business, it is impossible be active on your accounts 24/7. The next point will help with that.
Editorial calendars don’t just let you look organised; they can help to keep everything up-to-date, and everyone in your business on the same page. It’ll also allow you to lay out exactly what is getting posted and when, meaning you can begin to identify what will be going out when you’re not there, and what needs to be scheduled. You can plan out the themes and topics to cover months in advance, and then schedule specific updates every week (or even day) in order to ensure relevancy.
Facebook and Twitter don’t suddenly stop after 5.30pm, so why should your brand?
You can keep your accounts regularly updated when you’re not there by using scheduling tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite. You can also use plugins like IFTTT (If This Then That) to automatically send stories and updates from relevant websites directly to your social media profiles, or queue them up on your Buffer schedule to be tweeted out.
You shouldn’t just schedule away without a care in the world though, use analytics tools like Tweriod to determine when your followers are most active during out-of-office hours, and let that knowledge help you determine when to tweet.
It’s worth remembering, Twitter and Facebook are real-time networks. So obviously, this may lead to a drop in user interaction, especially as you’re not able to tweet back and reply to people. But scheduling services such as these are also a great way to retain your presence on social media, even when you’re not actually at work.
Nobody wants a solid wall of updates from your brand. There’s nothing worse on social media than brands that post too much, or try to loop themselves into every event that’s happening.
Don’t turn your social accounts into assembly lines. Schedule sparsely, and when needed remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your updates should be articles, pictures and interesting information that relates to your industry, and more importantly, your followers. Only 20% of your social updates should actually be focussed on the brand. I would even go so far as to say you should only post brand related content when it’s either newsworthy (awards, expansions etc.), or it can in some way help your users (whitepapers, instructional articles, videos etc.).
Automating at the correct times is all well and good, but at its very core, social media is meant to be a two-way street, and it requires engagement from both the user and the brand in order to work effectively.
Bear in mind that even when you’re not at work, there’s no harm in checking your accounts by phone in order to jump on and update your profiles naturally. This is especially important if you hear of relevant breaking news, or something big happens that is related to your industry.
To quote Aaron Lee of PostPlanner:
These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.
Also, don’t forget to check your accounts every morning at work, especially if you’ve had scheduled posts going live the previous evening. Browse through the updates and respond to those who have shared or commented on your content.
I outline more tips and tricks to win at social after work in my latest video:
To summarise, you don’t have be online 24/7 to still establish a social presence, and you don’t have to post constantly to remind people you still exist. Keep your posts relevant, timely, and helpful, and your brand should succeed on social.
For more information on managing social media accounts, why not take a look at my previous post, 10 Top Tips For Seasonal Social Media Management, or contact a helpful member of the Koozai team today.
Featured image from BigStock