Top 10 Ways to Get Your Social Media in Shape for the Summer

5/27/2015

- Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President

As we all get ready for Summer and mourn the loss of David Letterman on late-night TV ---- my newsletter article this month should help with both!

10. Proper Channel Selection. Do an audit and inventory of all the handles and accounts your company is in possession of. Determine which are worth keeping (well, keep them all, but decide which should be actively used) and identify those aligned best with your audience. Once channels are established, validate that your social media strategy is able to be maintained and managed with the resources available.

9. Create a Social Media Calendar. Ideally, this should be an extension of your company's Digital Content calendar, which would also tie into your corporate marketing and events calendar too. Cohesion and synergy is critical in these areas.

8. Establish a Social Media Policy. It should be clearly outlined internally at the organization what the tone and voice of your social media persona will be. Decide on the personnel resources to manage these channels and ensure that these people are empowered to respond and engage appropriately and without too much red tape. This eliminates the channel from backfiring, especially during critical customer service or real-time client interactions.

7. Define Success. How will your organization know if Social Media is working or worth the investment? There are a variety of metrics and KPIs that should be established to measure Social Media performance. Some of these will come right from the social platform, others may be found in your web analytics data or CRM. The key metrics here will vary from your other digital marketing mediums, but are important to communicate and then report on within the organization.

6. Visual Appeal. Many of the social platforms are conducive to images and video, in addition to short or longer form text passages. Leverage the opportunity to use photos, custom images or stock photography, as well as infographics, where possible. This will help your post to stand out and draw attention in social feeds that are oftentimes flooded with content. The same goes for video. For best results, your videos don’t have to be professional grade, but they also shouldn’t be too commercially oriented.

5. Cross-Channel integration and Promotion. Leverage your other marketing channels (online and offline) to give more visibility to your company's social presence. Don’t be afraid to cross-promote channels, or other social content, where appropriate. Embed a YouTube video in an email newsletter and link out to the corporate channel to encourage a follow for future videos released. Have your staff's signature lines include icons and hyperlinks to the active/prominent channels the company maintains.

4. Respond to Me - Take an Interest. Simply posting on the channels or your page is not enough. Monitor your brand or product name in other people's posts or content to capitalize on opportunities to engage outside of your own page or posts. Show your audience that you are listening and your brand is interested in its loyalists or upset customers. It’s a great way to win over people, grow your audience on the channel, and help build brand trust. This is an easy way to identify brand ambassadors or super fans who can then be leveraged for unique marketing opportunities like Page/Handle takeovers for the day or User Generated Content placements.

3. Test Promoted/Paid Options to Boost Visibility. Most of the channels offer some form of paid advertising or amplification to enhance your organic content and conversations. This allows you to magnify your reach on the channel in most cases, as well as test out different types of content to see what works best. In addition, it's also a great way to quickly help establish a following for a new account or channel AND push promotional offers or unique/special content to audiences that may not otherwise be exposed to it.

2. Be Authentic and Timely. There are many times where it is easy and efficient to schedule social media posting through an automated system or program. While in some cases this works well when limited in resources, it can also work against you if someone isn't monitoring the upcoming posts against current events or world news, especially things like natural disasters, acts of violence or destruction, harmful weather or unexpected deaths

1. Content, Content and More Content. You can't just talk about it – content must be continuously produced! Without it, your strategy and calendar will seem great, but it will never have a strong chance to succeed.

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