5 Ways to Streamline your Social Media Efforts

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Social Media Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

I’ve fielded several questions recently about how to improve your social media presence without a lot of effort or investment. So while I don’t write about social media as much as I used, this seemed like a good time to share some helpful tips.If you’re looking for ways to streamline your social media activities and build a strong community at the same time, try these five easy tips.

1. Streamline your networks

Don’t feel compelled to have a presence of every social network out there. The ones you need to be on are the ones where your customers hang out. Take note which social networks your customers use and where they are most likely to interact with you.

That second part is key – they need to be receptive to you. Otherwise, you’re an intruder and no one likes a party crasher!

If your buyers don’t want to share with you on Pinterest, there’s no need to be there. The same goes for sites like Snapchat, Vine or Instagram. It’s even true for Twitter and Facebook.

Once you know where you’re welcome, pick two or three platforms where you can focus your efforts. Build a strong, interactive presence on your top tier social networks and don’t worry about the rest. It’s much better shine in these selected communities than to be everywhere and be invisible.

2. Cater to your customers

Spend a little time talking to customers and looking at the followers in your social streams. Does the following you have now align well with your business? If not, you could be sending messages that appeal to the wrong audience, in which case you need to do some fine tuning.

Look at the posts that generate the most interest, and use those as a starting point for conversations. When you hit a hot button for customers, run with it. Share information that is both relevant to your line of business and beneficial for your customers.

Having an intensely customer focused communications strategy on social media inspires trust, encourages sharing and shows goodwill. All of these lead to a growing community of social media advocates for your business.

3. Create a hashtag list

Like SEO keywords for a website, hashtags can help you get found on social networks.

Once you know which topics are of the greatest interest to your buyers, do some research using hashtag tools like: Hashtagify, RiteTag or Hashtags.org. Find the keywords that stimulate sharing and use them as hashtags in your posts so you can reach a wider audience of the right kind of people.

Test several different hashtags to see what works best. Then apply those to consistently to your messaging strategy.

Also watch for trending topics, but keep it relevant. If you want to use a popular trending hashtag, there has to be a logical tie to your business.

4. Be findable

I know companies using five or even ten different identities for their social networks. They may have several handles for Twitter alone, trying to appeal to different groups or promote assorted products. This is not only difficult to manage, it’s confusing to your customers and it dilutes your value!

You don’t need an account for every product line or customer segment. Creating multiple identities fractures your audience and makes it harder to build your community.

Settle on one username (or two if absolutely necessary) so people can easily find and follow you. Use your company name or a variation that’s short and memorable. If you’re AcmeCo on Facebook, don’t switch to GoAcme on Twitter, keep it consistent.

Establish a unified presence to attract a following, and use hashtags to organize and identify your posts for different areas of interest.

5. Set a schedule

It pays to be predicable. Set up a schedule for posting on different networks. Pick times when you know your customers are most likely to see your content (test if you’re not sure).

If you have several themes, arrange them at different times or post on different days. Let customers know what they can expect, like Motivation on Mondays, Tips on Tuesday, etc.

Once you have the framework of your schedule in place, it’s much easier to identify what to share and schedule it in advance rather than trying to do it in real time.

Use the space in between your scheduled posts for impromptu customer conversations. Retweet or comment on things you like, thank people who promote you and offer help where needed.

That’s it, five simple tips to streamline you social media! Give them a try and I’m sure you’ll see your efforts pay quickly with less work and a larger impact.

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