Let’s face it: social media is an essential part of doing business today. But if you don’t want to waste hours on Facebook and Twitter, scheduling social media messages in advance is a smart practice for staying active on social media channels.
But if you’re trying to build real relationships with your audience of prospective clients, simply scheduling messages in advance isn’t enough. You’re not a robot after all and you’ll miss out on real time communication! Therefore, it’s also important to monitor your social channels for timely, relevant conversations.
But monitoring social media doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Start by setting aside thirty minutes at the beginning and end of your work day to monitor and respond to social media conversations. You might find that time to be sufficient!
To maximize the return you get on those 30 minute check-ins, it’s important to have a clear idea of how you want to go about monitoring social channels.
Here are three best practices to guide your check-ins:
1. Choose terms to monitor.
The first step to effectively monitor social media is to identify the terms you want to monitor. Don’t fall into the trap of only monitoring conversations that mention your company or your company’s products. You’ll miss out on a boatload of conversations with potential buyers. Make sure you’re monitoring for terms relevant to both your company as well as your prospective buyers.
So, what terms should you monitor? Just like when you’re choosing keywords, it’s important to monitor terms related to your industry that your audience is searching for (or at least paying attention to). For example, your ideal audience may consist of brides, so you should monitor terms like “weddings,” “wedding planning,” and “wedding photography.” All of these terms are relevant to your audience and the services that you offer, but they don’t limit you to conversations about your company.
2. Segment your audience.
The more you segment your audience, the easier it is to understand their conversations and pinpoint words and topics that are relevant to them. You’ll want to monitor different terms for different buyer personas, as well as the various stages of the sales funnel. When you have a limited time to monitor social media and respond, segmenting your audience will help you prioritize what to do during that time. You’ll find it helpful to monitor different terms for each of these contact lists:
• Buyer Personas
• Marketing Qualified Leads
• Leads at the Top of the Funnel
3. Personalize your response.
When it comes to conversations you have on social media (just like in email marketing), personalization is key. When you communicate with a prospective client, pay attention to what makes their situation unique and customize conversations to cater to their idiosyncrasies. When you do, you’ll find your messages will:
• Give your company a human voice
• Make your contacts feel cared for
• Encourage your audience to engage with you again
All of these responses will lead to more positive relationships with your audience, leads and customers. And that’s the point of taking the time in the first place, right? Right.
So what are you waiting for? Take the first step to becoming a social media guru.