Managing a brand's social channels is about more than just coming up with witty posts. You've got to ensure that your message is on-point, that you're reaching key influencers, and that you're generating a return-on-investment (ROI) for all of your marketing and sponsorship campaigns. Although this process may sound daunting, social listening tools can help you track your interactions across all mediums so that you're always one step ahead of the curve.
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Once you're plugged into your social listening tool, you'll want to develop a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual checklist to follow so that you're able to juggle all of your swords without getting sliced. I spoke with Leah Pope, Chief Marketing Officer at Synthesio, about what it would take to develop a social media marketing checklist and how it would help to improve your team's daily and periodic workflows.
For Pope, the most important aspect of social listening and managing a social media checklist is making sure your software and team members are connected to your company's salespeople and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. "You've got to have an integration in place to share the data," said Pope. "Make sure the right people can go in and take advantage of whatever that data is telling you." Otherwise, she warns that your posts, campaigns, data, and even your checklist are less valuable than they should be.
1. Daily Checklist After you've set your status updates and tweets for the day (if you're not scheduling them in advance), you should be running a quick scan to see if any crisis management needs to be done. If someone at your company has posted something inappropriate on LinkedIn or if a customer posted something severely negative about your brand, you'll want to step in and remedy the situation as soon as possible.
If you've managed your crises (or you're certain there is no crisis), you'll want to monitor overall chatter to determine if there are any sudden increases or decreases as compared to what you've witnessed on a typical day. "Sudden drastic changes are a good indicator something is blowing up," said Pope. Either you're generating a ton of praise or you're being lambasted by your social audience. Regardless, it's an opportunity for you to step in and do some good.
Whether the chatter is good or bad, you should use this opportunity to gather insights about your detractors and advocates. You'll be able to study those people who are talking about your brand, study where and when they're most likely to start conversations, and take note of these people, places, and times for later use. Someone who is a huge advocate on Twitter might not even follow you on Instagram; you'll want to use this opportunity to understand why.
If you haven't already, today would be a good day for you to establish key performance indicators (KPIs). What does a good day look like for your brand? How many mentions, shares, new followers, or social buying opportunities are logged on a good day? Use this data as your daily benchmark moving forward.
2. Weekly ChecklistOn a weekly basis, you'll want to measure advocacy, activation, and top content, Pope advised. What did your brand advocates say about you this week? Were they quieter than usual? Did they sing your praises more often than not? Is there any way for you to take advantage of their advocacy by including them in your campaign or by arming them with additional information? If so, get them started. If not, keep them in mind for future activities.
You'll also want to log new activations on a weekly basis. Did you see an uptick in shares of branded content? Did you see a boost in usage of your company hashtags? Did you witness an abnormal number of posted links or videos on Facebook? "Sudden surges in these kinds of numbers can often be traced back to a single source or origin," said Pope. "Start benchmarking; any of these metrics can be rolled into a regular cadence. You can start to understand themes and audiences to construct strategic successes for the future and ongoing measurement."
3. Monthly Checklist Your weekly and monthly checklist can be entwined. However, you should add competitive positioning and campaign analysis to your monthly KPIs. How are your campaigns working over time? Are you getting extended reach as your campaign ages or do you get a sudden burst of activity before it trickles off to a painful death? Use this time to determine how you can optimize for the future.
Your main points of emphasis should be your reach, share of voice, and awareness, specifically in comparison to your closest competitors. Most importantly, you should determine whether or not your campaigns are delighting or educating people. If they're not, then get back to the drawing board so that you're prepared for next month.
4. Annual Checklist Now it's about market research. Use the end of the fiscal year to take stock in what you've done and use that information to determine next year's strategy. How will social media drive your company's overall corporate strategy in the new year? Where will you be spending sponsorship dollars? Do you need to change audiences by targeting a different demographic or have you built up a loyal and financially rewarding following? Do you need to change channels or have you been using the right mix? All of these factors should be monitored closely on a daily or weekly basis, but major strategic decisions shouldn't be made too often lest you run the risk of prematurely changing focus before your plans mature and materialize.
You should also work with other departments to figure out how your company can spend money on social campaigns, social data, and social analysis to drive revenue outside of social media. Use your social data to understand the success and failure for every line of business possible, and use those insights to help other departments make strategic decisions that will benefit them in the new year.
You shouldn't wait for the end of the year to take dramatic action, especially if something becomes immediately apparent. However, even if you're making constant tweaks, you should take pause at least once a year to look back on everything you've done. Determine which tactics should continue to be employed and which need to hit the scrap heap.