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Keeping Social Media Social

At Red Fan Communications, we are huge fans of keeping social media, well, social. That might seem simple enough, but with the emergence of new tools that make the management of social media easier – and in some cases, even automated – it’s important to remember the original purpose of social media: Engaging with people and brands you like.

How can you avoid the automation and, instead, embrace the conversation? We've outlined some high-level tips below to show you.

1. Establish a social media strategy.

Make note of the objectives you want to accomplish with your social media presence and establish what you will do to meet or exceed those objectives; decide which social media sites you want to be on, how frequently you will post, etc. Be sure to outline this information somewhere that you can easily access in the future or hand off to any new hires who may assist with social media management.

As time goes by, having a historical knowledge of your business’s social media strategy will be a huge help when it comes time to evaluate your social media activity (some people might call this completing a social media audit) to identify areas of improvement.

2. Look at your analytics and keep track of what content is resulting in the most engagement.

Whether it’s weekly or monthly, be sure to take a look at your social media data to see which posts are encouraging people to talk (or like or retweet) and what’s not.

If you notice that industry-related articles aren’t getting a lot of traction and you’ve been posting them three times a week, consider cutting that number down. If you see that behind-the-scenes photos of your staff are getting record-high likes and comments, consider increasing posts that show your company culture and brand personality.

What’s most important is to use social media as a means to push out content that is interesting and relevant to your audience, and taking a look at engagement levels is one way to find that out.

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3. Know when your audience is online, and talk to them when they are.

In addition to evaluating what kind of content gets the most engagement, be sure to also look at the best days and times to post. “When is that?” you might ask. When your audience is online.

Not only do social media management tools offer great analytics to tell you this information, but Facebook also has great analytics, which are 100 percent free, to tell you when your audience is online.

Once you’ve identified these windows of time, be sure to publish posts then.

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4. Spend time each week (ideally each day) interacting with your social media audience on each social platform.

If you’re a social media manager who relies on tools to schedule and publish your posts, it’s important that in addition to using these social media management tools, you are also spending time within each social website interacting with your audience as often as you can. We recommend at least once weekly (the industry your business is in certainly impacts this frequency), but if you are able to do so more often, that’s ideal.

If someone tweets you, be sure to favorite it and reply to their tweet. If someone leaves you a comment on your most recent Facebook photo album, be sure to comment back! It will welcome that level of engagement in the future.

While some of these capabilities are available within some social media management tools, that is not true for all, and Red Fan has found that doing this level of personal maintenance goes a long way.

It’s important to keep the conversation going because that is what social media is designed to do – peak your audience’s interest and encourage conversation.

Now go and be social, you social media manager, you. If you have any further questions on how Red Fan might be able to assist you with your social media strategy needs, give us a ping here.

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