Tips, Tricks and Tools for Managing Social Media

Many small businesses find it challenging to find the necessary time to perform marketing, especially via social media.

This posts aims to highlight some of the ways to keep up with the overwhelming world of Twitter, Facebook, and other popular platforms.

Quite often, business owners we speak to are fearful of the following things

  1. What to say
  2. When to say it
  3. How to say it

Further to this, many of our customers haven’t even set up a Social Media account because they don’t know how to get started and are fearful of looking daft by saying the wrong thing or not saying anything at all. It can look bad if your social profile has no followers and you haven’t posted for months or years, so before you embark on this necessary journey, be clear about what you want to achieve from it and how you will go about it.

Get Started by doing these things first

  • Choose a single Network e.g Twitter and set up your account. It’s FREE and EASY so just do it to reserve your name now
  • Consider setting up additional Social Networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn! for the purpose of this post

Whether you have one of these, or all three of them running, the following information will help you to find content and schedule your posts. Finding, creating, and scheduling good social media content will help you stay on track and create an engaging brand for your business online and there are lots of tools out there to help you find content which you can adapt for your own business. Sites like Drumup, Feedly and Hootsuite Suggested Content App can deliver relevant content which you can use to post to your customer base.

1. Curate & create content

First, it’s important to understand the difference between content curation and content creation. Content curation is information that is not original to you or your business, for example an external media article. Content creation is something you own and have created yourself, for example a business blog post or a photo of your store — it’s unique to you.

It’s best to stay as close to the ‘80/20’ rule as possible.

80 percent of what you share on social should be non-promotional content. The basic rule is to be seen by others to be helpful to the overall community, rather than concentrate on relentless self promotion (which will do little more than get you ignored). Post information relevant to your business which is helpful to you and your followers.

The other 20 percent should directly lead followers back to your website or blog through created content, but even then, be subtle and avoid blatant self promoting adverts. These promotions should be lead generation or subscriber driven. It’s important to not focus too much on your own product or service, because then it becomes like a sales pitch. A one-way conversation does not engage or excite an audience, but rather makes them feel like they are being spammed.

Example of curated content: Share content that is related to your industry, and that you think your audience will enjoy. We recently re-tweeted an offer by a local printing firm who were offering some fantastic deals and free samples on printed items. No skin off our nose to promote them and in turn, they will hopefully do the same for us. Our followers get to benefit from an offer that might otherwise miss them and our action in helping another firm, will likely be returned by exposure to their followers at some point.

2. Select a platform & time of day to post

Which social network you choose (one or maybe all of them) will depend on the type of industry you are in. You may find that your presence on one platform engages your audience better than another does — and that’s ok! Focus on the best performing channels and maximize your presence accordingly.

Using modern day tools detailed on this post, you can quite easily concentrate on one channel but cross promote into the other channels automatically. For example, our FREE Social Media tool (yes FREE and no card required) will allow you to post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn! from one control panel and also schedule the time that post is delivered. This will save you heaps of time, as you can allocate a couple of hours a week / month to prepare your content in advance and schedule it to go out during optimum times. If you are in the UK and dealing with UK business, schedule your posts to go out Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm for example, maybe one post every 2 – 3 hours for example.

Twitter tends to have more high volume engagement throughout the day, from the hours of 8 am and 8 pm. We suggest spacing your posts out evenly from morning until night and then use Twitter analytics to see when your specific fans are most active.

Keep in mind that social media isn’t just for businesses that sell products and services directly to consumers. Sharing industry articles and commenting on current news trends, as well as sharing company news and offerings can be effective tactics for companies that market to other businesses. Sharing photos of your business or of your customers, and thanking them for their loyalty, can also be a great way to highlight your personality and community fellowship.

Social Media tools used by Industry Experts

With so many Twitter tools out there, it’s hard to know which ones to trust with your Twitter account management. So why not take a look at what the social media and industry experts are using! Here are ten Twitter applications and tools used by some of the top Twitterers.

WEBS Social

FREE Social Media Scheduler

It’s FREE and distributed under the Freemium method, so you can use the tools to schedule your posts easily. If you want to upgrade to the Pro version, it can be done at the click of a button on a month by month contract and unlike all the others, we can manage your social content writing if you choose to outsource it.

Bit.ly

Social Media Tips suggest looking into BIT.ly the URL shortener

Bit.ly is a fantastic URL shorteneing service which you use to paste links into your tweets. Rather than posting a long URL from your website, you can use this service to post shortened URL’s and even brand them with custom URL’s, which point to your original long url.

Paper.li

Social Media Tips suggest looking into Paper.li

Paper.li is a unique application that allows you to collect tweets and curate them manually or automatically in a newspaper-style format which can be automatically shared daily on your Twitter account. This app is a great way to collect the top tweets from your followers, people on a specific Twitter list, or even anyone who mentions a particular #hashtag.

Tweet Deck

Social Media Tips suggest looking into TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a desktop Twitter management tool. It has features similar features to HootSuite in terms of creating columns to organize your Twitter activity as well as the ability to send longer messages using their Deck.ly service which creates a shortened URL that directs followers to the rest of your tweet beyond 140 characters. I love the interface of this one, but since I use multiple computers, it makes more sense to use a browser-based application instead of one you have to install on a local machine.

Twitter Feed

Social Media Tips and Twitter Feed

Twitterfeed allows you to add RSS feeds (yours and others) to be shared automatically through your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts each time there is a new update to them. You can customize the tweets to show the title of the new post, the link (shortened by your preferred URL shortener), and even add a RT @username or via @username so you let the blogger know you’re always tweeting their posts. It’s a great way to curate content for your audience automatically, but just be careful that the blogs whose feeds you use always publish quality content.

HootSuite

Social Media Tips suggest looking into Hootsuite

Whilst our own system offers many of the features and more, it would be unfair not to mention HootSuite. It is also a freemium tool, meaning that you can use the free plan if you have fewer than five social profiles to manage.

Need help with Social Media?

We plan to post regular information to point our clients in the right direction. If this helps you manage social media in house using your own staff, great! However, we recognise that many business don’t have the time or resources to handle this, so we are on hand to help you with your digital marketing and social media marketing. Give us a call on Freephone 0800 756 9975 to discuss your requirements.