Tim Priebe

Quit clowning around on social media

Clowning around onlineToo often, people are put in charge of their organization’s social media just because they use it on a personal basis. That can be dangerous! Clowning around is fine for personal use, but not for your organization’s social media management.

Social media for personal use is completely different from business use.

If that sounds familiar, don’t worry! Here are four tips for managing social media for an organization, whether you’re just getting started, or are frustrated with your current results.

1. Make a plan

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter for fun, you don’t have to worry about what you accomplish. But it should be a different story for your organization. You need to have a plan!

Your plan should include actual business goals, as well as S.M.A.R.T. milestones along the way to accomplishing that goal.

(S.M.A.R.T = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound)

One business goal could be to get 4 leads a month from social media. A milestone toward that goal might be to increase your Facebook following by 1,000 likes before the end of the year.

A milestone like that can lead to more (and better) conversations online, which you then turn into leads.

2. Block out time

Real life happens! If you don’t actually schedule time to take care of your social media, it can often get overlooked.

What do you think potential new customers will think if you don’t respond to their message online? Depending on your world, you can substitute donors, clients, sponsors, volunteer, or referral partners in there. Think they’ll appreciate you NOT responding?

Of course not!

If you’re on any given social media website, others will probably expect you to be responsive there.

If you wear multiple hats in your organization, and online marketing is just one of many things you do, just start a couple hours a week in your calendar. But be sure you keep that appointment!

3. Pre-schedule updates

Okay, this one is hotly debated. There are those who think social media interaction needs to be completely organic, and pre-scheduling removes that from the equation.

However, even with time blocked out on your calendar, consistency is challenging. While natural conversation is important, pre-scheduling updates can remove a lot of that pressure to be consistently active online.

Use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule your updates to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

Of course, be mindful of what you’ve scheduled. There will be times that newsworthy events will cause you to edit or delete what you’ve scheduled.

When the allegations about Bill Cosby began to surface, we had a client who had some Cosby quotations scheduled. Needless to say, we replaced them, just to be safe.

4. Keep it sustainable

Finally, don’t bite off more than you can chew! It’s easy to think to yourself, “If social media is good for business, then more social media must be even better!” In fact, many “social media experts” tell people they’re not spending enough time on social media.

They’re full of it.

The fact is, if you can’t keep it up, you’ll just get frustrated. Make sure whatever you plan on and block out time for is something you can actually keep up.

Remember, just because you’ve been on social media for a while, doesn’t mean it will necessarily be easy for you to manage an organization’s social media presence.

Are you already doing social media management? Great! Look over these four tips, and plan on making just one specific change over the next week.

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