With many factors influencing the success of the real-time online conversations surrounding your company, social media can seem overwhelming at the beginning. These influencing factors include
- Learning multiple platforms (ie. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs)
- Maintaining a constant conversation with followers
- Writing & posting on a schedule
By having a strategy in place and investing time each week to maintain and grow each profile, you will be better prepared to create a successful and fun social media marketing experience.
According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report, sponsored by the Social Media Examiner, 74% of marketers saw increased traffic with just six hours a week invested in social media. In addition, many companies are focusing on an integrated social media marketing strategy approach – by using multiple platforms to improve customer relationships, increase brand recognition, and drive traffic to their website. By using an integrated marketing strategy, companies are able to reach different customers on each platform.
One of the key factors that makes social media different from other marketing platforms is that it is a real time continuous conversation, during which customers can choose to leave at any time. If you do not continue the conversation by posting messages on a regular basis, your followers will start to abandon you. To keep followers engaged, you can use an editorial calendar to both create and manage an integrated social media strategy. There are five key components of a social media editorial calendar:
- Determine Company Core Values- By determining 4-5 company core values, it will be easier to narrow down messaging subjects.
- Set goals and identify metrics – In the beginning, you should set post and frequency expectations that you can comfortably manage. Companies should set new goals each quarter to increase engagement. When setting goals, determine how you want to measure goal success: likes, re-tweets, comments, clicks.
- Frequency - How often should you post? Will you post on every platform every day, or post more frequently on one platform over another?
- Themes - What are your post topics? Are these topics important to the company and/or the customer?
- Re-evaluate - Social media is ever-evolving, and as such, you will need to re-evaluate your strategy at least every 6-8 months to include new popular platforms, alter the strategy focus as customer behavior changes, and modify goals based on previous results
The complexity of an editorial calendar will vary based on company size, goals, and potential time investment.Below are a few of the factors that will determine the complexity of an editorial calendar:
- Message scheduling: will you schedule messages up to one week or three months in advance?
- Theme organization: will types of messages be organized by day-of-the-week, by platform, or both?
- Incorporating hashtags and keywords: will you use hashtags in each tweet or for only specific topics?
It is an important component of any social media strategy. It allows companies to set realistic goals with concrete metrics to measure results, across platforms within the continuously evolving world of social media.
I recommend using a calendar application to create your editorial calendar, such as iCal or Google Calendar. A calendar application will also help you to divide up the management tasks for your social media strategy between team members. A scheduling platform, such as HootSuite, will make implementing your editorial calendar for a mutli-platform strategy more efficient.
Even though you may have an editorial calendar set up, it is important to continuously monitor all your social media profiles for breaking news and monitor any negative comments.
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