Social Media: Handle with Care
“Do you handle social media?”
We’re often asked this question with big, hopeful eyes praying that we can take this marketing tactic off a client’s or prospect’s plate. That said, the answer is neither quick nor easy. Social media planning and management is not something that can be quickly off-loaded for someone to just “handle.”
For those who think they can answer the question with a quick, “Yes, I can ‘handle’ your social media,” their answer is most likely related to the mechanics of knowing how to post something, or replying to active posts. The mechanics of managing or ‘handling’ a social page is not difficult.
What is more challenging (and fun—at least for us) is determining what the actual content areas should be for company’s or organization’s social media efforts.
What social media content is business appropriate?
Imagine if businesses posted on social media sites in the same sporadic way your friends do—using memes, selfies, random pictures, statements of angst and whatnot. You’d soon unfollow because these posts are not reflective of the brand or company you have come to admire and trust.
Content for a business’ or organization’s social media platforms must have a plan and purpose and must be fed consistently over time. A marketing partner like Roux Creative is instrumental in helping clients create a plan for what types of posts will give their page meaning – and then deploying it consistently. Questions we ask include:
- What is the purpose of having a social media page? What marketing strategy can it help accomplish?
- What relevant information do consumers want to know?
- What outcome are we looking to achieve?
- Push people to a website?
- Engage in a dialog?
- Offer an incentive and use social media to track activity?
How does Roux Creative “handle” social media?
We work with our clients to create action plans so that social media management can be handled internally. In our experience, internal folks within an organization are able to more quickly and readily create posts than an outside group searching for content.
“I’ll just hire an intern to ‘handle’ my social media.”
(wince, cringe, pain-stricken faces is our reaction when we hear this)
While we think social media management can and should be handled internally (once you have a plan), we do not recommend handing this over to a new and/or temporary intern without guidance.
Imagine being an intern who knows how to post and use social media, but is new to your organization and must learn about its history, structure and mission, its products, services and values, and must also figure out what will resonate with customers/clients, all while probably doing this themselves. This prospect would leave anyone frazzled and wholly unsure of what they should do.
What is the best way to handle ongoing social media engagement? Engrain a social media mentality into your organizational culture.
Conduct team meetings to brainstorm social media topics that align with the identified plan. Ask routinely at these meetings what could make for a great post that specific week; ask staff to take pictures whenever they are out and about for work; and ask customers what they would want to read about. If staff are trained and encouraged to think about social media, content becomes more readily available. At that point, an identified intern or staff person can more effectively write and share posts.
Takeaways to initiate social media planning and ongoing management:
- Identify goals for social media.
- Create a plan for types of content posts.
- Begin engraining social media within your organizational culture – initiate the routine, ask for content and post ideas.
- Create a monthly calendar for posts and schedule time for identified team members to post.
- Evaluate posts and interactions and make adjustments as needed.
- Recognize that social media sites are ongoing communications forums that must constantly be fueled.