Life is busy. When you are building a business, you invariably work long hours, managing multiple things. As a business owner you need to maximise time, save energy, and increase productivity. Many of us think we need work long hours in order to increase productivity, but that is not true. Research says that working long hours makes us less productive! So the secret to success is not ‘hard work’ but ‘smart work’.
To work smartly, you need to find ways to remove distractions.
Study shows that one major factor that drives us all to distraction is Social Media. All the tweeting and posting and chatting can have a major negative impact on productivity. So, one of the smartest things that you can do in business is to streamline your social media workflow, so that it does not distract you, but in turn helps you achieve your goals.
Infographic: (Click on image to enlarge)
7 Right Ways To Streamline Your Social Media Workflow
1. Set The Right Social Media Goals
Distractions come towards people who lack vision and focus. You can be effective only if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how. So set your social media goals and objectives clearly. Here is a great resource on social media goal setting from the Buffer team.
Often, the most popular measure of success may not be the right measure of success for your business. For example: Businesses think that getting more ‘Likes’ is a good objective to have for Facebook marketing. That is not necessarily true. Having more ‘Likes’ is good, but it is of no use if there is no ‘Engagement’ on posts. You have to gain credibility and the trust of your target audience by creating useful and actionable content, that will create engagement, that will in turn bring you business. Try and focus on your customers’ need & tie it up to your business objectives; that’s a good way to set your goals.
2. Choose The Right Social Media Channels
Every social media channel has a specific purpose.
Facebook, the top social media channel in the world, can be effective when it comes to promoting events, Press Releases, Forums, Community, Research and Development, facilitate Word of Mouth Marketing etc.
Twitter can be used for following key influencers, driving traffic to your website and blog, presenting brand information and much more. If you are new to Twitter, check out our blog post that outlines the basics of using Twitter for business growth.
Pinterest is a great tool to expand the reach and visibility of your brand; it’s ideal for marketing visually appealing products and services like real estate, home products, food, etc.
If yours is a service or a product that does not have a visual element in it, then Instagram and Pinterest may not be the best place to go.
Choose the kind of audience you want and see if the particular social media channel is where your audience spends time in. For example, Snapchat is more suitable for millennials. If you have an industrial equipment business, you may not want to focus on Snapchat.
Having presence in all the social media channels is good. However, choosing the channels that serves the exact requirement of the customer is the right way to go. The point is for you to be where your audience are.
3. Hire The Right Talent
You have two options when it comes to putting together a team for Social media – Getting people from within the team or looking for an additional team member from outside. Both ways you need to be careful as this is relatively a new field and you may not find many people experienced in social media. Most people have a basic idea about social media channels because of their experience as a user. But managing social media requires much more knowledge than a normal user would have. And this is a constantly evolving field. Apart from their qualifications, you could look for these qualities:
- Passion for social media
- Passion for continuous learning and implementation
- Willingness to experiment
- Good command over the language
- Creative in nature – Learn from subtle indications to understand why something is working or not working
- Ability to interact with outside agencies
- Team player
4. Use The Right Tools
Social media success depends on 8 key activities
- Learning from trends (see our blog on latest social media trends)
- Acquiring information about news & updates
- Creating content on your own or out of the information collected by you
- Sharing it with your community
- Monitoring the feedback
- Responding in a timely and appropriate manner
- Measuring results
- Tweaking your offering so that you get better results in future
Sounds very elaborate, right? Most of the above can can be accomplished by a tool (for free or almost free!).
Some of the tools I recommended are
- Feedly – Filter selected content based on your interest
- Hashtagify – Hashtag trends (See our detailed review of Hashtagify)
- Hootsuite – A social media dashboard – helps you monitor and respond to people
- Analytics from different channel
Having the right tool to monitor will help you watch over your customers, competitors and industry influencers.
5. Deploy The Right Processes & Systems
By now you are aware that social media management is a lot of work. If work does not get you, distractions will. So focus on setting up processes and systems to ensure that you are able to complete the activities that you have started.
The following steps will help you do that:
- Set up a pre-defined timeline everyday for collecting industry information
- Ensure that the content is created, downloaded and stored with proper naming conventions.
- Create a calendar for social media
- Execute the calendar diligently
- Set aside a time for review
- Implement new learnings based on the review
With good processes and systems, you will soon find yourself accomplishing more in less time. I also highly recommend a project management tool like Trello or Asana to help you do away with unnecessary and frequent emails.
6. Measure The Right Metrics
Digital media is measurable – you will know exactly how many people read your content, how many of them came to the website from social media and how many of them did a transaction on the website.
Use the analytics provided by the respective social media channels to get more of this information.
Here are a few suggestions:
- If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then track URL shares, clicks and conversions.
- If you want to measure engagement, then look for metrics like shares, comments, replies.
All these metrics can be measured within social media channels using their internal analytics tool. Facebook insights can be used to measure the metrics for Facebook, Twitter analysis for Twitter, Google analytics for websites and YouTube analytics and so on. Google Analytics provide you with a lot of information about client demography and what they did on your website.
Once you are able to correlate these information from Google Analytics and the social media analytics, you can get powerful inferences which will help you realign your social media activity.
7. Review Progress At The Right Time
Conduct regular reviews, preferably weekly and monthly. Check whether the time, money and effort going into your social media marketing is producing the expected results. Sometimes, it is possible that even after a good amount of activity, you are not able to see the ‘Likes’ or impressions or views etc. Then it’s time to check whether you are doing the right thing.
The following are some of the basic check points:
- Are you creating quality content for your clients?
- Have you attracted the right client base to your social media?
- Is your website optimised to receive traffic from social media?
If you are sure that you have covered all the points satisfactorily and still do not see results, then it could be the right time for you to get professional help from a digital agency like Open Minds Agency.
Once you know how to make social media work for you by streamlining workflow, it could provide you with an almost unlimited source of opportunities.
And that is something which you don’t want to miss!
Leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts. I appreciate it.