Social Media Tools

How do we manage our social media accounts with limited resources and possibly limited skills?
How do we track what’s happening on our social media accounts and how do we monitor those accounts?
Today let’s explore some of the reasons why social media should be considered an important part of your work and how to go about getting your message out there in a quick and timely manner.

We’ll look at 3 tools, TweetDeck, Buffer and Hootsuite. These are only some of the many tools available to make the task of handling social media easier for all concerned.

There’s plenty of social media platforms available for us to utilise to get our message out, many organisations would like to send a consistent corporate message and to do so would need a  marketing plan that incorporates social media postings. That’s beyond the scope of this post.


Organisation need to have good social media policies in place before they start to use the media. Key to this is understanding why you want to use social media, and how to maximise it.
You’ll need the policy to say who is in charge of the different platforms, who can share messages, how are those messages created, curated and then shared with your audience.
The extension to social media access from an organisation level, is how do you encourage your volunteers and staff to share the information. When the story is controlled by you or the marketing department, it’s on message with your strategy and your work. However, the story may change as others share it. You’ll need to consider this carefully as you start to share on social media, others can take it and run with it and you no longer have direct control.

A fundamental question we need to ask before embarking upon the use of Social Media. Why are we doing it? Is it enough to be on social media simply because it’s the thing to do. It’s easy to get
swallowed up and your message lost in the plethora of postings that occur these days in all social media. What is your point of difference? How will you stand out and engage with your supporters?
Do you want to engage with them, or are you there to share information? Decision need to be made about the type of messages you want to send and how to best utilise each medium.
For example, Twitter is good for building a following and sharing information with a potentially huge audience. It’s similar to standing on the street corner and handing out flyers, sometimes  people take the flyer, throw it out, other times they read it, and every now and then they engage with you.
Facebook is more like the backyard of your house, everyone meets at the adjoining fences and shares information. You know each other and share and tell stories with each other. You’ve got those you interact with regularly and those you rarely speak with.

Instagram is brilliant for sharing photos, like Facebook you’re making some direct connections with people. This is similar to sitting down at morning tea with a bunch of photos to share with everyone.

Each medium has the ability to carry the message, and should be tailored to the particular audience. Customise your message to maximise its benefits. A twitter of 140 characters with hashtags looks out-of-place on Facebook.

Establish a Social Media Schedule and work out how many posts you’d like to make a day or a week. To maximise interest you don’t want to only talk about yourself. Search the web for other like stories that support your organisation and post those so you have varied content to keep people interested.  Some organisations post several times a day, or once a day or more infrequently.

Social Media Examiner’s annual survey of nearly 3,000 marketers leads to a ton of insights into how marketers think about social media and sharing. Interestingly enough, in a social landscape dominated by visuals, it is written content that most resonates with marketers. Over half of marketers (58 percent) claim written content is their most important form of social content. Visual content came in second (19 percent.)

What you can do with this stat: Original written content can be a great opportunity for thought leadership, authority, and brand awareness. When you’re creating new content to share, keep in mind the power of storytelling. If you’d rather zig while the others zag, this stat shows you some fertile ground for developing lesser practised strategies, like focusing on visual content.

10 Surprising and Important Social Media Stats You Need To Know

As much as possible you need images to tell the story. On Twitter you’re more likely to gain the interest of your followers if you include an image that supports the tweet. Your tweet should then link to your website or other social media for more information.
Facebook is also a very visual medium. Scrolling through a page full of posts, your followers need to see your brand and images to catch their eye and want to find out more.

With all of this information now in our mind, we move to looking at some tools to streamline your online presence.  For most of us, we post to social media immediately. The posts may be sharing
others information, retweeting or creating original content.  This can lead to a glut of posts in a short period of time. It can quickly be lost in all the information on the medium. Your supporters may not see it.
To get around this, it’s possible to schedule your posts. This allows you to share the posts at times that your supporters are most likely to be using social media.  There are plenty of resources on the internet that talk about the best time to posts, and some tools, such as Hootsuite, can help your auto-schedule for the best times.
This article may help get you thinking. You need to understand your target audience, what age are they, how do they use social media, what are their interests?
A scheduling tool is then useful, you may put aside one hour a week to arrange a week’s worth of post, or perhaps it’s a daily task. You need to ensure you have sufficient time to source your posts, take the time to read any information you may be sharing to check that it’s on message. If you’re creating original content, check it thoroughly. Nothing worse than a bad link or incorrect information.
Three tools that I’ve used that I’ve found work well:
Buffer
Hootsuite
TweetDeck
Buffer and Hootsuite have basic free accounts, and a small fee for extra features.  Hootsuite & Buffer offers a non-profit discount of 50%, TweetDeck is free.
Advantages of all 3 platforms is that you can schedule your posts. Each comes with an easy to use browser extension.  One of the reasons for utilising these tools is to allow team members to post on behalf of the organisation. In all three of these products you can add team members, this means you don’t have to share your social media account passwords with them. You maintain control of the administration of your accounts and lessen the risk of a rouge employee taking control.

Even though you may schedule plenty of posts, it’s important to continually monitor your accounts.  Most people expect a response within an hour, so turn on your notifications! Make
sure it’s on your mobile, browser or email or better yet all three.
Dealing with complaints.  You’ll need to be quick to respond to negative criticism. Whether it’s a complaint about car parking or a service a client has received, you need to hear what they have
to say. You should have in place a response/complaint process.
Avoid the online fight, avoid deleting the negative posts unless they’re obscene, offensive, slanderous. Deleting them can escalate an issue as the aggrieved party may resort to bad mouthing you, causing reputation damage and bringing friends into bat for you. Social Media is littered with examples of how to badly handle negative comments.

 

Need more information?  Feel free to get in touch.

Let me know what you think