January 31, 2016

Social Media Basics for Companies, Timing your posts and the importance of #hashtags.

In this series, I am not covering so much the specific minute details, data, facts and figures of social media as much as the common sense mindset you need to use the specifics tools and resources available to you now that you have decided to embrace social media as an extension of the marketing and customer service aspects of your company. This series is just a basic guideline for you to get started.

Timing

The average twitter user (public) checks their time line about once or twice every hour, but most may not have access at work, or are busy running businesses, households, lives. Most scroll through to see what they've missed, going back through dozens and dozens of tweets, till something grabs there attention. The right tweet or post actually takes a good bit of behind the scenes time and effort to be effective. Your 140 character tweet, for instance, has to catch my eye as I scroll down the page looking at 100 's of tweets at break neck speed, tell me a story and make me click your link. If you have done some of the due diligence I suggested in the last post, 'Know Your Audience', then you have some idea of the trends for when your customer, your fan or your audience is most likely to be online and surfing social media sites.

Example:
Stay at home moms, with busy households are never going to see a tweet from you at 5pm at night. It's dinner time, their husband is coming home, the household is in full swing. If your target market is Mom, and you tweet at 5pm, no matter how good the tweet or info offered, chances are high she will not see it.

Office workers: If you tweeted at 9am and Jenny logged on and checked her timeline at 10:45, her break, chances are she is not going to see your tweet. So, if she's your target, it is equally important as to what time you tweet or post, as it is to the content of that actual tweet or post. Maybe even more so, because regardless of how great your tweet content is, if no one sees it, technically, for them, it does not exist. A savvy social media manager spends hours watching and researching these trends. They know when to tweet and where. Have an international audience? 9am in London is 4am here EST, as an example. If your going to take on the role of social media manager yourself, you'll need this important info about your target audience.

If you do not have the hours each day it takes to monitor trends, research the schedules and habits of your target market to make sure your organization is getting the most from your social media, a social media manager can make a huge positive impact to your organization. Yes they cost money, but with the right manager, your exposure is maximized and the benefits far outweigh the cost.

To do it yourself, realize it's lots of calculating, research and time consuming analysis; the things that are essential in making a good social media manager effective. If you are unable to hire a social media manager, deciding to 'do it yourself,' applications like Hootsuite, for instance, are key. Hootsuite, and programs like it, allow you to schedule tweets and posts ahead of time, making sure your message is getting out there when you need it to be. It allows you to maintain a social media presence while not neglecting the necessities and responsibilities that are essential to running your business. Now this does not mean that once you've set up your tweets and posts for the day, you can forget about them. You must constantly monitor your re-tweets, mentions, shares etc., so you can respond in a timely fashion. And rest assured, managers like me are using these tools. These apps also offer great insights and interactive 'classes' to teach you the 'tricks of the trade.'

Hashtags

A hashtag is the cornerstone of a business’s conversation with the public on Twitter. Hashtags allow more than just your followers the ability to see your posts, as each hashtag becomes a timeline of it's own shared by thousands. With all platforms and networks now adopting the hashtag approach, it has become all the more important. The conversation can be consistent and meaningful only if the hashtags used by your business are consistent. Just creating any phrase with a hash tag does not get the job done. Monitoring what 'tags' are trending, what's popular and more importantly, what your readers, clients, customers and fans are interested in, keeps your company or brand's name in the eye of your targeted audience.

Every word, hashtag, mention and its placement, is important. That takes years of practice and years of marketing expertise and that is where the Social Media Manager becomes invaluable to your team. Remember, just because Suzy, the receptionist , or Mary the web designer spend the most time on twitter or facebook, it does not mean they are the right person for the job. The tried and true marketing dogmas and procedures still apply, so you or your social media manager needs to be well versed in marketing, customer service and the 'Psychology Of The Sale." But, once you've mastered the basics that we have covered in this series, you'll be well on your way to achieving social media success.

I hope these articles have helped, that you have enjoyed the series, and most importantly, that the concepts, mindsets and ideas here help you grow your social media presence and impact. Good Luck!

Till next time,

Lou

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