Whether you're a veteran social media scholar or an aspiring intern, you know full well that your work-day schedule is filled to the brim with multidisciplinary assignments. Posting messages. Creating engaging content. Monitoring conversations. Responding to followers. Finding intriguing images. Researching. Copywriting. Blogging. Reporting. Meetings. The list goes on. You feast and thrive off the aforementioned, but time is a challenging restraint.
Although the size of your content department may dictate the length of your to-do list, all social media specialists and brand evangelists are tasked with determining priorities and executing the demands in a necessitated timely fashion.
With social automation software and a schedule to adhere to, juggling the varying tasks as a social media specialist becomes manageable (and a little less helter-skelter). Here's a look at how I manage my role as a busy social media professional:
Morning (5:30 to 11:30)
It's been hinted at and claimed that the early morning times are best for creative ideations, so I like to begin writing, tweeting, and monitoring at the wee hours of sunrise. Regardless of your rising preferences, it's a good idea to spend the beginning of your day analyzing trends, scheduling posts, and responding to followers who engaged with your brand overnight.
Analyzing Trends: It's imperative for all social media specialists to research and remain current on social media trends. We all have felt the sting of a platform's algorithm change and the drastic performance metrics that resulted (Facebook's news feed updates). At the start of my day, I scan the blogs and studies put forth by social experts like Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, Brian Clark of Copyblogger, and Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute. A social media analyst is also expected to understand, utilize and share relevant industry content with followers, so give this area due diligence as well.
Scheduling Tweets: If you're a B2B social media manager, social automation might not exactly be foreign territory. I prefer to use Hootsuite's streamlined platform to schedule, monitor and analyze all social communication on behalf of our company on one centralized arena. Although there are fantastic algorithmic tools available like SocialBro and Buffer that determine the optimal posting time, here are some general best practices when it comes to scheduling:
- Facebook: Generally before work, around noon and 7:00PM during weekdays
- Twitter: 5:00PM for the highest retweets and 11-1:00 and 6:00PM for the highest CTR
- LinkedIn: Most importantly in the B2B space, decision makers tend to visit LinkedIn 7-8:30 AM and 5-6:00PM
- Google+: generally 9-11:00 A.M., avoiding night posts
- Pinterest: Saturday morning and 2-4:00 or 8-11:00 PM EST
Also, keep your specific demographic at forefront of your scheduling. Each audience is different, so spend an ample amount of time analyzing each platform. For example, if you market to businesses located on the East Coast while your office resides in Central California, you'll need to schedule your LinkedIn updates either the night before or at an ungodly hour to reach those 7 A.M. readers (which is a very early 4:00AM for you).
Respond to Followers: Using social tools like Hootsuite, SocialBro, Google Alerts and Topsy, you can monitor conversations concerning your brand and respond directly to prospect inquiries, complaints, and positive mentions. As a B2B brand ambassador, do not forget to make things personal. Due to busy schedules and the constraints of time, it's easy to go down the path of automating EVERYTHING.
Automation is key in managing your social tasks yes, but it would be unwise to overlook personalization. According to a 2013 study by Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association, 77% of marketers believe that real-time personalization is crucial to B2B marketing (Tweet This!) . When communicating across social channels, I like to respond with a first name and a relevant piece of content to build brand trust, encourage them along the marketing funnel, and nurture a human-to-human relationship. We're brand conversationalists, not overbearing ad-blasters.
Although fairly satisfying, retweets and Facebook likes won't provide you with the physical and mental substance you'll need to finish the day. Eat something. If you disagree, feel free to peruse the latest updates on the following blogs to hone your social media marketing skills:
- Social Media Examiner
- The Moz Blog
Most social media specialists are involved in blog content creation, copywriting, and blog outreach. If you use your lunch time to engender inspiration, then now is great time to start writing, editing, and scheduling your posts for the next day and/or remainder of the week. An editorial calendar is crucial to manage your content creation.
Although I constantly have one eye glued to my social monitoring platform, I also use this time to respond to any engagement I may have missed and schedule my "after hours posts", specifically targeting business decision makers who digitally socialize at the end of a work day.
The Final Hours of the Social Day
Time to check your analytics to see what engaged and what flopped. At the end of the day, the performance of a social media manager is made obvious by the key performance metrics. Your social media efforts are frivolous if you're not building brand awareness, generating leads, or supplying prospects with content that will aid them in their buying process. 53% of social media marketers ignore analytics, but it actually can be fairly easy to start (Tweet This Stat!). Buffer, Hootsuite, Google Analytics and SocialBro all offer easy-to-use analytics that are great high-level reporting platforms.
According to a study by Awareness Inc, 96% of social media managers measure the number of fans and followers and 84% track mentions. Although important, insights must dive deeper and measure share of voice, sentiment, leads, registrations, and referral traffic
"Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have." - John C. Maxwell