Using Social Media tools is about being as slick as possible in your planning, implementation and measuring. Without these you are going the long way round, making it hard work and wasting time. Now there are lots of options to choose from out there and some will suit you and some won’t. One size doesn’t fit all but you need to start somewhere.
I’m going to share with you my five favourite tools that we rely on here at Mushroom Soufflé on a daily basis. They work for us and I can’t imagine trying to do this without them.
This is the basis of everything that you will do! Everything we do here relies on bibles (or to you that’s operation manuals).
You want your Social Media tasks to become an automatic, quick, efficient process that come naturally to you. If you do your Social Media in a different way every day, it will take longer to carry out and you will have to think twice before completing an action.
Look at what you do on a quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily cycle. Quarterly would be seasonal strategy, monthly you may look at creating new content and scheduling, weekly might be tracking your stats and activity, daily is your adhoc interactions and monitoring of activity.
Create your processes and write them down, make this your method that you follow every day, week and month. It then becomes habit for you, don’t forget to update your bible when you make tweaks to be more efficient.
All this means… yup, your social media flows quicker, easier and less stressful – love it! AND it means that if you want to delegate select areas to a team member then you have already got their training manual in place. It could also mean if you go on holiday or are ill it won’t fall down without you, your backup knows just what to do!
No I’m not crazy. OK, maybe a little but not on this point. Seriously this will make your life a whole lot easier for creating your tweets, posts and updates.
You want to begin to build up what I call ‘a library of content’. This is a record of all the messages you create in the different formats needed for tweets, Facebook posts, Google+ and LinkedIn updates to share your expert hints and tips, promotional messages, events, competitions, seasonal advice, guidance on the different topics that you cover.
You can have lists of all the images that you share with the titles, links and intros that go with them, blog links and video links too. And keep track of the #hashtags and keywords that you use. Then just copy/paste them into your relevant Social Media network or scheduling tool…simples!
You should be producing fresh messages every month, so over time your library of content will increase giving you a wider variety of information to share – no chance of your community ever getting bored.
Can you imagine for a moment your seasonal messages … after 12 months you have each of the seasons covered and you can reuse them every year with a few tweaks here and there! Create a couple more each time they come around but it means you have done the hard work. Don’t be like a hamster on a wheel, it should get easier and quicker the longer you are doing it.
You can have a new tab for every different subject you can talk about in your business. I’m sure you can imagine ours, we’ve got separate tabs for Social Media Tips (naturally divided down into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Productivity, etc), Webinars, Christmas, Summer, Speaking Events, well you get the idea!
Having a central database of all of your content will prevent you from duplicating work and being able to see everything you have
3. Twitter Lists
Do you ever look at your Twitter Newsfeed and just think ‘whats the point? There’s just too much to look through?’ It can be a little like searching for a needle in a haystack if you are looking for specific information.
You can pop tweeters into lists that you can categorise in any way you like so that you only see tweets from those people! How much of a life saver is that?
Its really simple on your Twitter app on your phone or on your computer. Go to ‘Me’, then ‘Lists. Create a new list and start adding people by clicking on the cog icon on their profile.
You can have lists for local people, industry information, networking contacts, niche areas that you are interested in, associates, suppliers, leads … absolutely anything. You just select that list to be able to focus on those you want to communicate with at that moment. Streamlining and removing the white noise going on around you.
Yes, I’m going to talk to you about my beloved HootSuite.
For those of you who have escaped my enthusiastic ravings about HootSuite before, I will explain more. This is a Social Media management dashboard that gives you the ability to manage multiple social networks from one place. HootSuite is not the only one who does this, you may have heard of TweetDeck, Social Oomph or Buffer too and there’s more out there. However I chose HootSuite because that’s the one that worked for me best in terms of visuals and functionality.
Link all of your profiles including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Foursquare, MailChimp, YouTube and many others. Uh huh, no more logging in and out of numerous sites and trying to remember what you have posted where. Its about TIME SAVING, being more streamline.
Schedule your messages in advance. To be totally clear – I don’t recommend scheduling everything and then ignoring it. What you do is schedule the backbone of your Social Media activity, your expert hints and tips, events, networking, competitions and offers. Then you can do your normal interacting over the top, hold conversations, retweets and making new contacts.
Track brand mentions. Keeping up with what is being said about your brand is essential. How can you respond to correct misinformation or thank people for singing your praises if you don’t listen into the conversation?
Analyze Social Media traffic. How are you going to know if your Social Media is working if you don’t see what is happening with your Social Media traffic? You can create reports to produce the information you need but they do charge extra depending on what you want.
There are levels of plans you can have – they offer a basic which is free, the Pro version which I use and an Enterprise level for the corporates. You will have to compare the packages to see which will suit you best with the functionality that you need.
I don’t know what I would do without it!
Here is another option for analysing your Social Media activity. SumAll holds all of your your data in one spot for fast and simple comparisons. For example, if you run a promotion on Twitter, you can pull up your Google Analytics alongside your Twitter data to see how much traffic your tweets really directed.
Explore your data and see trends and patterns with the ability to roll-up, drill-down and compare periods all with a click.
At the moment SumAll is free. They are working on paid versions but get in there while it’s not charging.
Drop me a comment and let me know your favourite tools that you couldn’t live without!