The Importance of a Social Media Schedule for Your Business
We’ve all rolled our eyes at the repetitive spam mails from companies you’d rather never hear from them again. It’s probably pretty hard to think of a company at the top of mind that doesn’t contact quite enough, right? You’ve likely forgotten about them! Just as in email marketing, having a successful social media presence is all about finding that delicate balance between those ‘in-your-face’ marketing plans and ones you can’t remember ever hearing of.
As with all things in life, balance is the key. There needs to be a balance in the amount of content your business pushes socially, but there also needs to be a balance in the life of a business owner! Running a business Facebook page, blog, website, Twitter account, LinkedIn page, Google+ account… the list continues. A person could spend hours and hours a day managing all of this. Designing and sticking to a clear schedule is the best way to maintain consistency in providing interesting information that your followers will value
There are several web apps that will allow multiple updates on all types of social media all at once. Hootsuite is one of the most popular among small businesses and does a great job of allowing an individual or business to update on this one site and push the information to the associated Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and a handful of other social sites. This is a huge timesaver and one of the best ways to manage a social media schedule. Sites like Hootsuite, known as social media dashboards, allow one individual to schedule updates, posts, and pictures to publish at designated times of the day, from a computer or even on the go with a smartphone.
Once you find a dashboard app you like, how do you know when to schedule posts? Here’s a basic recommended schedule for the average business:
Twice a Day – Morning and Afternoon
- Check the business Facebook page for activity and respond if necessary.
- Check LinkedIn. Reply to emails and comments if applicable.
- Look at Twitter to check for activity and respond to @replies.
- Fly through the Twitter feed to check for relevant posts. Re-Tweet or comment, as they would apply.
- Log into a Google Alerts account, which will notify you of keywords posted relevant to your company.
Throughout the Week
- Monday morning – Write and schedule two or three Tweets to post at spaced out intervals throughout the day. Ask a question, provide exciting information, or take a poll.
- Monday, Wednesday and Friday – Join in a hot trending conversation on Twitter or Facebook. These sites get all of the quick action. The more you converse on others posts, the more your company will be recognized.
- Tuesday and Thursday – Respond to blog comments and post new photos or exciting information to Facebook such as discounts or special deals.
- Friday afternoon – Survey your traffic on all of your sites. What is drawing a response? Where else should you focus next week? Take notes for next week.
On a Weekly Basis
- Update new content to Facebook: a new video, late-breaking news, an article link, an inspirational quote or photo. Remember: keep it professional.
- Search through LinkedIn questions on all of your networks, reply and ask some questions yourself.
- Send out LinkedIn invitations to new connections made within the past week to build a stronger connection in the relationship.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from established relationships.
- Spend 5 or 10 minutes brainstorming ways to change up your content, your approach for posting as well as research what others are looking trending to be able to reach a greater audience.
- Setup and update saved searches in Hootsuite to scan what topics are being read and to what is being responded.
- Reorganize and build new Twitter lists if necessary to build ongoing conversations and reach further via re-Tweeting.
Of course the schedule above is simply a suggestion for any given company to build a consistent social media presence. Change or tweak this schedule as you see fit to work for your business or industry. You don’t want to be a pest, and you don’t want to bombard your followers with worthless ramblings. The key is to be consistent and provide value!
What other tips can you share on scheduling for social media? Give us your input in the comments below!