The problem is time. Over and over again, when I talk to people about social media, content and marketing their store, I hear the same problem repeated: “I just can’t find the time.” It’s not that store owners and managers don’t care. It’s that, more often than not, they’re stretched too thin and are dedicating themselves to so many other things than sitting down and working through things like brand identity, marketing ideas or creating social media content — let alone posting it. I’ve talked a lot about creating content recently, but not very much about how to manage it. This is where social media management platforms come in. While managing all your social media accounts can seem like a ton of work, using a social media management platform greatly simplifies that in a variety of ways.
By allowing you to take a broader overview of all your accounts, you can see interactions across all platforms as they happen. Many of us who manage social media accounts are used to natively responding to everything in-platform via a phone. However, the only time I now do this is when it’s a direct question messaged to the page. Instead, I now schedule a few minutes at regular hourly intervals to sit down and look at all the comments coming in on all platforms through my social management platform, which allows me to respond the same day as they’re posted and more efficiently by going through them as a group. Because I can see in a broader overview everything that’s been posted, I’m less likely to miss anything and more likely to respond to everything.
Using a social management platform allows you to schedule your content all from the same place, saving hours of uploading time. Individually scheduling posts on multiple platforms ahead of time, or worse yet, posting them all in real time each day, is a gigantic time suck. By scheduling most of my social posts ahead of time, I can plan out the month in a calendar accounting for holidays, planned sales, product release dates and other events. I typically do this on slow days or in the morning before anyone else is around. Using a social management platform allows me to schedule my content from a central location, so I’m not wasting time manually writing posts and uploading photos and videos to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms. I can create a post one time and the platform posts it across all my social channels. The platform I use, Social Report, even allows the post to be modified per platform, meaning I can change the text to account for Twitter’s character count and any other platform-specific limitations.
Many platforms also offer automatic services to fill holes in your calendar with evergreen content. Some even offer to curate potential content based on your parameters. This is a great way to fill in gaps with things you want to regularly talk about, like your lessons program or school band instrument offerings. This can help repopulate messaging into your various social timelines and keep it in front of customers. The only caution I’ll add is that if you don’t have enough other content built up, evergreen reposts will happen much too commonly. You don’t want the same thing posted to your Instagram grid two days apart.
Using a social management platform is a great way to allow other team members to contribute, while still having approval controls in place to avoid potential pitfalls. You can manage all the posts various team members create and turn on post approval, giving you or your social media manager final say over what gets posted. This allows you to empower your team to help create social content and fill up your social calendar. Having approval can be an important factor with team members who are still learning to use social media for business, or for making sure all your posts stay within your plan.
Powerful analytics make it easier to see your return on investment and place your emphasis where it counts. The ability to see where your customers are, what posts they interact with, what types of posts are garnering the most impressions and interaction, and how you’re performing month over month across platforms individually or as a whole, makes the analytics tools of a social platform incredibly valuable. This helps you focus your time on posting the things your audience likes to see and interact with and helps inform your future planning as well as where your ad dollars should go. This can also help inform your inventory planning decisions and give you the opportunity to compare what people interact with on social media versus your sales data. Valuable insights like this are a great reason to use social media management platforms to guide your posts.
What platforms have you tried, if any, to help you manage social content? What’s holding you back from converting your social following to into sales? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.