Social media management is crucial for brands as more audiences expect businesses to have a presence online and respond in real time to their questions. However, social media requires a lot of time and commitment to provide value while not being weighed down by the demands of this role.
As such, we’re here to offer you three tips to improve your outdoor social media management skills. Whether you’re a single operator or working with a team, these tips will help you find scale and sustainability to effectively manage your community and social media channels.
Tip #1: Leverage community feedback
Like any solid communication strategy, listening is key to understanding what audiences want, how they react to your content, and ultimately help you predict what they will do and the questions they will ask. By looking at your popular content, you can build tools to improve your social media responses and response times with your audiences.
This can be accomplished in a few simple steps that involves looking deeper at the information already available to you. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, the following strategies will help you:
- Create a shared document that contains answers to frequently asked questions, such as where your products can be purchased, who to contact for customer services or issues, or what is the price and specs of a specific product.
- Look at your most commented posts to identify any trends, questions or issues audiences seen on this content. This will be helpful two-fold as it can better inform the content you should be producing and what can be expected for conversations in future content. As an ongoing process, add any relevant information to your growing FAQ document.
- Post this document in a location where everyone from the social media team has access to it. This allows all team members to work from a shared knowledge base. Creating consistency when responding to audience comments or conversations, regardless of who is in charge of managing responses during that time.
- Take note of specific trends, then act upon them. For example, if your audience is always asking where to buy your product than you want your retail partners clearly visible in your social media profiles or on the home page of your website.
This document can be used as a foundation to create and expand upon specific topics to answer direct messages, comments, etc.
Tip #2: Leverage your content creation to energize social media engagement
Using the insights gained from leveraging community feedback, your social media team can focus on creating content that sparks conversations.
Every Post is a Conversation
While it may seem pretty obvious, what you post will set the foundation of what conversations your audiences will have. If you’re not posting content that will encourage audiences to leave comments or create a conversation, then it will be hard to really engage your audience. Explore various ways to engage your audiences within your regularly posted content. Don't ask, don't get! Here are some simple ways to use content to encourage discussion:
- Make comparison posts such as long barrels vs short barrels, 9mm vs 10mm or tritium sights vs red dot sights. These are all easy ways to encourage audiences to chime in with their preference.
- Use voting posts to provide several different options. Users can pick A, B, or C – top or bottom or which would you chose concepts. Each one provides flexibility and can create some interesting dialogue.
- Create educational content to narrow topics and highlight conversation. This could be 5 tips to train at home while asking users what their favorite at home training tips and tricks are.
- Comment on your the comments! Users want to hear from you – that’s why they are there.
Topics that pit audiences against each other can be a great way to create discussion. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re not encouraging or creating discord, as that will ultimately detract users and audiences from your page.
Social media is, after all, meant to be social so try various posts, topics and imagery that will inspire conversation naturally within your comments.
Commit to Unique Conversations
Audiences love to share so take the time to read their messages and respond. Get away from response templates and keep your responses meaningful and authentic.
Don’t feel like you have to respond to every comment. Quality over quantity. Unique conversations create a positive impression, build report and brand advocacy even if that conversation wasn’t directly with them. Audiences will have a good impression by seeing a few well thought, meaningful response to a handful of commenters than they will seeing “thanks for the comment” behind every name.
Remember you are creating a community, not just passively throwing posts into the cloud!
Stay on Top of Your DMs
Make sure you’re checking your DMs (direct messages) frequently and if you have a lot of them, build a schedule for when you check and respond. This will help manage your day-to-day workflow. Some social media channels like Facebook show your response time which can be either encouraging or discouraging to consumers.
DM’s should take priority during your check-in time on social media and even if you don’t have an immediate answer or response, it’s good to let your audience know you’re going to look into it and get back to them. This will build trust and reinforce that you’re trying to provide value to them as a customer.
Tip #3: Track Your Progress to Show Social Media Management Value
One of the hardest thing to do as a social media manager is to prove the value you bring to the organization. this community is built for a purpose. Know your goals, track your progress and ensure everyone is on the same page for expectations of each social account.
Level Set Expectations
The first thing that leadership needs to understand is that social media management is about building brand recognition that create opportunities to fill the bottom line. While it’s great to showcase and celebrate any sales that come from it, ultimately social media isn’t a sales machine.
It's all about making a plan and then working the plan! Awesome social accounts don't just happen - there should be strategy behind everything you do. With that said, how can we show brand recognition and engagement from your social media channels?
Report on Social Media Management
Social media offers a variety of ways to track and report your progress. Prioritize your reports it’s to look at the highest impact statistics first.
- Net Growth – Net growth is the number of new followers minus the number of followers lost. Tracking this gives you a good idea of how many followers have stopped following as well as how many new users you have attracted.
- Page Reach – Your page reach is the total number of unique audiences who’ve seen your content, a key metric in brand awareness.
- Comments, Likes & Shares – Comments are ideal here as generating conversation is a big role of social media management. However, post shares and likes also provide a lot of value and contribute towards post reach.
Analytics doesn’t stop with the social media platform. You should also be keeping tabs on how many audiences are coming to your website from your social channels and how engaged they are within your website.
- Users – Users directly from the social media channel are the primary gauge to determine how well your social media channels are capturing the interest of audiences.
- User Engagement – Using filters you should measure user engagement from each social media platform individually. User engagement on a website is defined as Average Session Duration, Pagers per Session, Bounce Rate and any accompanying goals or event conversions from this audience.
Your social media team should take some time to capture and share conversations, audience’s engagement and other trending positive outcomes from social media management. Use a mix of user engagement screen shots with hard data to provide a comprehensive report showcasing the value of social media management.