28 February 2012

Making Time for Social Media Marketing

Finding your voice on social media and content marketing outlets takes a bit of work. You need to know what you will be blogging/tweeting/talking about on your topic. You also need to pick which outlets you will use (Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.). The timing is the most important thing to consider, though, since we are all busy all the time.

The demands for each outlet you choose are different. They each have different audiences and they each have different times of day, days of the week, and months of the year that are appropriate for your product or service. Which ones you pick depend on your:

  1. Product or service
  2. Time you can devote to the other members of your community
  3. What they are interested in now
  4. How they like to get that information
  5. Why they like to get that information on the particular outlet.

Time Management

How much time you can devote depends on what you are selling or promoting. If the product you sell (or service you provide) is complex, then the time investment will be greater than for a simpler item.
How do you time your content campaign?

Plan a few micro posts or tweets and note how much time it took to prepare each. One thing I like to use for this is Google’s Alert service. The alerts turn up interesting items that have been talked about in the past few days or hours (or week) and can be prompts for your own contributions on the subject.

Use the time data you noted and make an estimate for a schedule. You’ll see from the data how long you need to get to the point when you actually tweet or post. The sum product of this exercise is that you’ll have an idea of how long you will need to devote to your marketing campaign.

Set aside an hour or so at the beginning of every day or two to work out your schedule and stick to it. Scheduling time like this makes the process easier in the future as you get into the habits of effective social marketing.

What is your audience reading right now?

The Google Alert’s also show you what others have already written/tweeted or posted elsewhere so you’ll have an idea of what’s been done. Working from those ideas, you can create your own contributions to the global conversation; chipping in with your two pence, in other words.

How does your audience prefer their content?

The sites that generate the content from the alerts also give you an idea of where your audience is and, how they like it. Is it visual? Go to Tumblr or YouTube. Is it text? Go mobile.

Tools to use

One tool I like is HootSuite. It can connect you to FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other outlets easily and all at the same time. Using HootSuite, or TweetDeck, you only need to use one interface to post to multiple sites instead of visiting each one individually.

The time savings with HootSuite don’t end with its interface to different outlets. You can schedule your content for different times of day, and even days in advance, if you want.

My strategy

My own strategy is to take a few hours every few days to write blog posts and schedule them for posting over several days. On the days the posts don’t appear, I spend the same time working through the recent alerts and gleaning interesting ones to comment on or expand on with my own voice. I broadcast the most interesting posts through Twitter and use the rest as ideas for posts and longer comments on GooglePlus or FaceBook.

It’s a simple way to manage a social media and content marketing editorial calendar. By using your collected postings on various sites, you can get an idea of how and when the most popular of your content is being used by others.

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1 comment:

  1. Making time for social media marketing is very important. That is one of the things that you have to invest in if you want to use social media as a marketing tool. Giving the people new and fresh information on time is a good sign that you are giving importance to your audience. Updating people on what’s new and hot about your business is a good way to keep your potential customers on following you.

    *Kevin Beamer