Coordinating Social Media Channels

So many social networks and social media marketing tools, so little time. As a business owner, you want to be able to manage multiple accounts for your company, be effective in your social communications and not get overloaded. There are three main things to consider when you are thinking about improving the way you manage your social media channels and conversations.

Time management. Any type of marketing takes time, however, social media marketing tactics require a different kind of attention than most marketing tactics. You have to be “present” and be “listening” so that you can respond in a near real-time manner. Checking your social networks should be built into your daily communications but not take up too much time. If you are organized, methodical and resist the temptation to let your attention drift, you can manage half your channels in under an hour a day.

Resource management. If you are a company of one, your resources are at a premium. Time is money, and while it is good practice for you to be directly involved in the conversations taking place on your company's social media channels, you may want to invest in having someone support what you are doing to free you up for bigger picture work. A part-time assistant can help bring important issues to your attention and forward messages to you that need personal responses. Allow others on your team to be part of conversations on your company’s social media channels - with guidelines and training.

Collaboration management. If there are multiple people on your team who blog, Tweet, post status updates, and upload images and video, establish an internal process to manage these activities. Decide who is allowed to publish versus who can compose but requires editing and approval. Establish your brand personality and voice then train your team on how to best represent your company. Include social media usage guidelines in your Employee Handbook or training manual. Use tools that facilitate posting and tweeting from a team that helps keep track of collaborative social media marketing.

There are many tools - free and fee-based - that can help you manage your social media channels. Determine your specific needs to find the tools that will suit you and your team.

These tools can help you:

  1. Post messages across multiple channels.
  2. Post messages from multiple sources.
  3. Analyze your social media channel effectiveness.
  4. Manage your followings.
  5. Tracking channel growth.
  6. Measure your brand's influence in social media channels.
  7. Monitor conversations, often through email alerts.
  8. Assess sentiment or the tone of conversations around your brand.

Using more tools doesn't necessarily mean you’ll have a better social media marketing experience in the same way that having more channels doesn't necessarily mean greater impact. Look for tools that have multiple functions and that can support the growth of both your company and your social media channels. Your social media marketing efforts may be facilitated by the right tools, but ultimately, the content you publish and conversations you generate online will be the basis of your success or failure.