According to Search Engine Journal, over 93% marketers use social media to promote their businesses, with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ being their top social networks of choice. While 74% claim to have gained new customers from Facebook, about one third of them used Twitter to successfully gain new leads. However, with this rush to stay on top of social media and the 24x7x365 constantly connected culture that it has given birth to, we are putting undue pressure on the people that make this social media magic happen: the social media manager
If you’re a marketer who feels overwhelmed by the non-stop pings, updates and notifications you receive round-the-clock across your email, social networks, text messages and more, you’re not alone. The culture of overwork can lead to exhaustion, or worse. The Japanese call it karoshi and the Chinese guolaosi. In December last year a young copywriter from Indonesia dropped dead on her desk after a 30-hour marathon work day. Another young marketer in a PR firm in China died at his desk of a massive heart attack. He was just 24. Extreme work pressure and long working hours were suspected to be contributing factors in both cases.
Maybe your workload isn’t driving you to the brink of exhaustion, but few social media managers are finding themselves with lots of free time these days. Don’t let your demanding job juggling a handful of social networks round the clock overwhelm you. Manage your time smartly with this daily checklist:
1. Keep your ears open to what users are saying about your brand
You probably already do this, but it’s no.1 on my list as it is the most important thing you need to know every single day, every single minute. It gives your day clear direction, helps decide what you need to do to swing your social mentions to positive, on-brand conversations. Trend monitoring tools such as the ubiquitous Social Mention and others, or even keyword research tools will help you unearth insights about your social media marketing and the direction you need to take with it.
2. Stay on top of your metrics
Numbers, numbers, numbers—these make or break social media campaigns. Stay on top of your key social media metrics—reach, engagement metrics, new followers, CTRs to your site, advertising ROI, and the like. Layer together the analytics from individual social networks with those you’re your favorite social media tool to get a more in-depth picture of what’s happening across your networks.
3. Watch your back
Often we get caught up in the maelstrom of things happening on our own social networks to have the time to see what others are doing. But competition tracking and analysis is a crucial to-do item that every social media team must do. Tools like Rival IQ will help you do this. Equally important is to track the latest happenings and goings-on in your industry and respond to them via your social networks wherever relevant.
4. Make new connections
Social media managers who get carried away by the big picture do their brands a huge disservice. Stop and smell the flowers on behalf of your brand. Identify influencers from your social networks and reach out to them. Understand their top pain point and see if you can do anything to help them out. Wish fans on their birthdays or career milestones through the profile data that you have access to. Even saying a simple ‘thank you for being part of our family’ will make your fans and followers feel special. And social media being what it is, your good deeds will definitely get word of mouth in time.
5. Share at least one great ‘happy customer’ story every day
Make this a part of your content calendar. Besides the cat videos and memes that you may have lined up, pick one true customer story to be highlighted every day. By tagging your customer you prove the authenticity of the story. You also get the bonus of being visible across your customers’ social networks as well.
6. Keep up with customer care queries
Yes, your brand has a customer care team that handles customer queries on social media. (Let’s hope it does!) But even the best teams can miss complaints that slip through the cracks. If you see no response to a query or complaint within say an hour of it being posted, step in to help. After all, social media is your baby and keeping your fans happy is your top priority.
7. Build your content pipeline
Get out of the daily fire-fighting mode by building a solid pipeline of content that can be used for future posts. Engage an outside content agency if it comes to it, but always have at least a week’s worth of content in your pipeline—just in case.
As social media managers, most of us are lucky to be doing what others try and sneak in at work in between breaks as a full-time job. Our job can be exciting, fun, challenging, and maddening all at once.
Drink in the experience of being part of the generation that pioneered social media marketing—something that’s transforming how people and businesses communicate. But don’t let the craziness overtake your work. A little bit of structure and a dash of discipline and you can be off on your happy trails to social media success.