social media marketing and social media monitoring

For many of us in corporate communications, there’s too much to do to focus just on creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy, especially when we’re also in charge of writing the content and posting it. So how do you make your social media marketing count? Especially when you (secretly) feel like you’re acting on the fly…

Here are some tips for making the most of your time, and keeping your social media presence engaging:

1. Get a social media monitoring and management tool

This one’s a no brainer. Instead of having to go to each channel to monitor activity and publish posts, free up some time by using a social monitoring and management tool. You’ll be able to keep track of your brand mentions and the people who are engaging with your social handles. (Disclosure: here at Meltwater, we happen to offer one of these.)

2. Prioritise your accounts

You don’t have to be everywhere. You just have to be on the channels that your target audience is most likely to frequent. These days, the rule of thumb is: consumer brands should be on Twitter and Facebook, while for B2B brands, LinkedIn and Twitter are musts. Don’t join other networks just for the sake of joining if you don’t have time to invest in them. Before you launch your brand on a new network, take a few minutes to outline what you plan to do there. Pinterest and Instagram may provide you access to highly engaged audiences, but they probably won’t stay interested for long if all you have to offer are repetitive photos of your products and staff.

3. Find a balance between original and curated content

Not everything you post has to be original content. In fact, most of it might not be—at least not 100%. The time you spend reading the news and keeping up with your industry can serve a secondary purpose. It provides you with content to pass along to your audience. Every time you read an article or social media post, ask yourself if your followers would be interested. If yes, post a link and every once in a while provide a short comment on why you think it’s interesting.

Tip: Follow thought leaders, competitors, and community trailblazers in your industry.
Know what they’re up to. It’ll keep you on your toes. Plus, you can always share their posts on your own feed!

4. When someone mentions you, respond

It’s smart to sign up for Google alerts or use media monitoring (and social media monitoring) software to track your organisation’s online presence for mentions. If the mention is positive, repost it or link to it and offer a thank you. And if it’s not so positive, carefully think out a helpful and respectful response and make your case.

5. Stay on top of trends

When you’re used to staring only at your organisation’s specific platforms, it’s easy to forget that when people scroll through their own feeds, they’re seeing everything at once—your posts and everyone else’s, all mixed up. But your post will fall behind if there’s something major going on in your community or the world at large. When it’s appropriate add your voice to trending topics. If you can take it a step further by connecting an event or trending topic to your organisation’s product or services, you’ve got a goldmine.

6. Don’t forget real-time content

Hopefully your events are fun and informative for the people who attend them. But thanks to social media they can also be fun for the people who don’t. All of the effort that goes into throwing an event should pay off in real life and on social. Twitter is great for live updates during events. But if you don’t have time to post while things are going on, take photos, and post them right after. Encourage audience members to post live by providing an event hashtag.

7. Create meaningful templates

Come up with a mini-brand, series, or naming convention for certain kinds of content related to what your organisation makes or does. For instance, at Meltwater we host a weekly Twitter chat called #Marketing Minds. Every week we post a transcript of that chat (for instance, a recent on was about trend analysis). Is there anything you already do that you can package up in a similar way? Followers begin to recognise and even come to expect these, and your work is already half done, because it’s something your company is doing anyway! Snap a photo or plug some text into the template, and post away.

8. Use (basic) data

Still not sure what your next post should be? You don’t have to be a data scientist to look back at previous posts to see what’s worked for you in the past. When you see a post was well shared or liked, don’t just chalk it up to luck. Was it funny? Did it have a photo? Was it personal? Or newsworthy? Figure out what made it stand out and put your effort into creating more of the same.

9. Images, images, images

Not a designer? No problem. Lots of companies or organisations don’t have the resources for an in-house designer, and even if they do, their list of priorities probably doesn’t include your Instagram campaign. Fake it instead. Through simple, free online-based programs, you too can create gorgeous graphics in the sizes you’ll want for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Even a photo with a basic text overlay can look professional and engaging. Try Canva—you’ll thank me later.

10. And finally, set a routine

It helps to set aside some time every morning (and then one or two more short blocks of time during the day) to monitor social conversation around brand—and quickly engage. You’ll feel great you got it done and also more connected with your audience and their concerns.