The discussion whether or not to use Social Media Marketing has died down. By now, the business community agrees that social networking is a must for every business. But using online networks is not an easy and fast fix, like thought before. In fact, a recent study has found that people who use social networking successfully spend an average of 6.5 hours a week on it. That is a long time in order to be successful. Now the issue is to find a way to manage the networks better in order to recoup some of the time. Let me introduce you to 3 secrets on how to manage your networks effectively. You will be more successful and save more time on top of it.
The first success secret is to link your social networks effectively.
It will not be beneficial for you to link all of your networks to each other. The result will be that you have a lot of double (or even triple) content in each of your networks. You really want to have each piece of content only one time in each network. For you to achieve this goal, you have to think carefully about how to link your online networks. Consider as well in which network you are more present and in which not. Another important point to consider is the question if all your posts fit in each network? You might have a more personable approach in Facebook and Twitter, but a more businesslike approach in LinkedIn. I link my Facebook Fanpage to Twitter, Twitter to LinkedIn and my Blog to my Facebook Fanpage. It works well for me because I am mostly in my Facebook Fanpage. This way, I do not have any double posts, but everything I put into my Facebook Fanpage will be distributed to all my social networks. But just like I said before, consider your particular strategy first before you link your social networks. After you have linked your social networks effectively, you should use a social networking management tool.
The second success secret is to use a social networking management tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
The main reason why you need a social networking management tool is to save time. You do not have to sign in and out of each network every time you want to check your messages or you want to post something. Instead, you just sign in to you management tool and you can do everything right from that platform. That alone is a huge time saver. In Hootsuite, for example, you can put your Twitter account, your Facebook profile and your Facebook Fanpage in different tabs. You simply switch from tab to tab to see what is going on in your network. You can also post status updates in all your social networks you have registered with Hootsuite. But be careful with that – you do not want to have double content in your networks. Remember how you have your networks linked together before you post. Just try it out and you will be amazed how easy managing your networks can be. Now, off to the third secret.
The third success secret is to use automation without losing authenticity.
Social networking can only be effective if you are authentic. That is a fact. Now, you could argue that automation is not authentic and goes against this very important fact. The solution is that it depends on how much and what you automate. Spending 6.5 hours a week in order to be successful in Social Media is nearly one complete workday of the week. That is a lot of time to use for effective social networking. In order to manage your time better, you don’t have another choice but to automate certain steps of your online networking. Some of the tasks in online networking lend themselves perfectly for automation, like sending DMs (direct messages) to new followers on Twitter. Additionally, you can schedule just a couple of Tweets a week to go out automatically. As long as you still go and check your Twitter account in person and answer your DMs, you are still authentic. Another area that lends itself for automation is to send out your blog post to all of your social networks. You should not automate more than 20 % of your social networking. If it is more than that, authenticity is just not there anymore.