Social media marketing can seem like a fragmented, disjointed thing. That’s natural, especially if you’re involved on multiple networks. Using Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn and other networks individually can be difficult and it can seem like you’re just fragmenting your marketing efforts. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With the right steps, you can tie all your social media platforms together. Not only does that offer better ease of use for you, but it can ensure that your audience is fully engaged helping you build connections across all of your networks. What do you need to do? Here’s a brief guide on the ins and outs of the process.
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Use a Social Media Dashboard
For those new to the world of social media marketing, you might think that the only way to use those networks is through each individual website. You head to Facebook and post your updates, reply to comments, answer messages and then hop over to G+ to do the same. Then you jump over to Twitter to interact, retweet and tweet before heading to LinkedIn for a bit more social media interaction. Just thinking about it is exhausting. Who has the time? No one does. Thankfully, there is a way around this.
If you haven’t looked into the various social media aggregators out there, you’re missing out on tools that can offer convenience, time savings and even the ability to provide you with metrics necessary to measure your effectiveness and reach. Also called social media dashboards, these tools come in a variety of different flavors, from web-based software to desktop apps, smartphone/tablet apps and more.
What can these tools offer? The most important thing you will enjoy is the ability to post updates to different networks from one single place. From one application, you can update multiple social networks. You can also do much more than this depending on the application that you choose. For instance, you will find that some apps give you the ability to see individual posts on each social media platform, see comments left by your followers and interact in multiple ways without having to log into site after site and waste time. Two very good examples of this type of tool include HootSuite and TweetDeck.
Tips for Using Social Media Dashboards
While these tools can be immensely beneficial, there are a few caveats to their use. For instance, it can be easy (it’s actually encouraged by some apps) to post the same update to multiple social media accounts. Also, it’s possible to set it so that every tweet is posted on both Twitter and Facebook (this can actually be done through Twitter’s profile settings as well). However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean that you should do it. You need to take the different audiences on each network into consideration. Chances are good that your Facebook audience won’t appreciate seeing every single tweet that you send out.
Therefore, it makes sense that you’ll want to choose which updates get sent to which networks. It’s really not advisable to tie all of your accounts together on an automatic basis. Overloading your audience will lead directly to a loss of followers/connections/friends as they get tired of your constant stream. Thankfully, social media dashboard tools make it pretty easy to pick which updates are sent to which networks.
Another tip for using these tools is that you should take advantage of their update scheduling features. This can take a considerable amount of frustration out of the process of social media marketing and allow you to focus on actually interacting with others while putting your marketing updates on autopilot. Both TweetDeck and HootSuite provide the means to schedule tweets throughout the day, and you can include links in all of those updates.
As a note, don’t overdo it. If you are setting your automatic updates to send out a promotional message every hour of the day, you’re going to lose followers. No one wants to be hit in the face with advertising. Limit your marketing messages, even when they’re automatically scheduled. Moreover, don’t create a social media presence that is nothing but automatic updates. It’s imperative that you take advantage of the freedom offered here to better interact with your followers, friends and connections rather than just stepping away completely.
Create a Blog as a Central Hub
Creating a unified social media front does not stop at the social networks you use. If you are not already blogging, you should be. Blogs were the forerunners of social networks, and they are still very important. Use your blog as a central hub for all of your other efforts. You can do this easily. Make sure that you have linked icons to all of your social media accounts in the sidebar of your blog. Moreover, make sure that every post has sharing buttons built in so that your readers can share your content with the click of a mouse – do not expect them to go to the effort of copying and pasting the URL into an update.
Take things a step further by promoting your blog through your social media posts as well. For instance, mention your newest blog post on Facebook and include the URL. Encourage your audience on each network to visit your blog, interact with you through the comments section, share their own thoughts and more. This can be a valuable way to build engagement across every platform without much additional effort (assuming you’re already blogging, of course).
Tying your various social media accounts together into a seamless whole can offer myriad benefits. You’ll find the time, effort, and frustration saved some of the most profound benefits of all. Take advantage of the tools available to you, but choose a social media dashboard that’s easy to use, that offers the capabilities you need and connects with the networks that you use. Tie your efforts together and start boosting your results today.
I believe that a social media consultant must be attuned to the company goals and aspirations if he or she is to represent them on their social media channels. I also think that outsourcing social media marketing is a good idea for a company looking to specialize in their core business. In any case, most businesses outsource marketing and advertising and I don’t see why social media marketing should be any different. You just need to be actively involved to ensure that you are represented in the way that you want