You’re leaving on a long road trip. You’ve checked and double-checked everything – the car, the kids, the pets – check, check, check. You’re a little uneasy but you leave anyway, got to get a move on.
An hour or two into the trip it hits you: You have no idea where you’re going. You forgot the directions. You knew just enough to get you where you are, but now you’re several hours in, completely lost. You’ve got two options: double-back home and start over again or stop, pull over and ask for directions.
This is EXACTLY what it’s like after you jump into social media. Sure, you had a few ideas for posts, a fancy Twitter background and a Facebook page. Now what?
Where am I going…
Here you are, stuck with a few lousy followers, little interaction or engagement and even fewer posts. And all the while worrying about compliance. Is this worth it?
Consider yourself pulled over. I’m that friendly gal in the cute little town in Kansas you’re talking to on the side of the social media road.
This your stop-and-pullover guide to finding the right Social Media direction.
START HERE – Strategy
- Purpose – Everything you write or do for your business needs a purpose. You need to know why you’re doing this? See HBS’ take here.
- Real-time – Social Media unfolds in real-time, so your content MUST be timely. 2007 called, it wants its articles back.
- Facts – Make sure you’ve got your facts straight. There are a lot of smart people out there and they will call you out.
- Opinion – Your opinion is WAY MORE interesting than the facts. It’s yours and and makes you unique no matter how often a story has been told. Bonus – the more popular the story, the more likely you are to engage someone.
- Process – You need a social media process. Without it, social media can be a black hole for your time.
What is a social media workflow? It’s a system of process and tools to execute your social media plan every day that will save you TONS of hours. Here are some quick steps to take TODAY:
- Use Twitter Lists, RSS, Google Alerts, Twilerts, SocialMention & other tools to make sure there’s fresh content in your lap every morning. This will save you countless hours of refreshing your feed and hand-curating the most valuable content among the chaff.
- Reference List: Create a list of the top 5 industry / news sites that will keep you in the loop at all times. That one day where you just don’t have time for social media? Round-up a few posts from your favorite news sources and schedule them to go out through the rest of the day.
- Measurement Tools: Tracking your efforts in social media doesn’t have to cost you. With a variety of free tools like Google Analytics, Crowdbooster, PeerIndex, Klout, TwitterCounter, and other measuring tools to get instant or weekly reports to track your progress.
After you have all those steps and tools set up here is a daily checklist:
- Use Safari’s Bookmark folder auto-click (this opens all the Windows you need w/ one click) __
- Review your twilerts in the morning __
- Check your twitter list for the top 10 influencers in your industry to see what they’re talking about __
- Engage in conversation with relevant topics __
- Research material to write, tweet, or post throughout your social channels __
- Use RSS feeds, Google alerts to skim for news and other content material relevant in your industry __
- Set daily goals to achieve (i.e. 3+ followers/ day, @reply 3 people) __
The bottom line is this: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Do yourself a favor – stop and pull over if you’re not sure where you’re heading with your social media efforts. Take a day off from posting and get on the right path.