Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a social media community that loves your content, is compelled to share it and keeps coming back for more? While the answer may feel elusive, the truth behind it is surprisingly simple.
Creating an active social media community is far less about pushing out content, and more about the framework and substance surrounding your shared content. What does that mean? Simply put, social media influence is created by your willingness to give. Give of your time, your knowledge and most of all – yourself.
Creating an active and engaged social media community requires commitment and a willingness to empower those that follow, friend and LIKE you through genuine and authentic communication Whether that is writing, video, text, photography or going old school by (gasp) picking up the phone — social media influence is a stewardship that takes time, patience and perseverance.
Want to begin building a community of like-minded individuals that eagerly share your content? Read on!
Building your community takes planning. A pre-requisite to an effective plan is an efficient use of your time. To maximize your time spent on social media you must identify your target market, understand their needs and know how and when to meet them.
Is your product or service aimed at young adults or senior citizens? Will the target market be of the rural variety or urban? There are many questions that have to be answered as you work through the planning process.
Once you begin to build out your plan, make sure you choose a social platform that will allow you to target that market in the most efficient and effective way while freeing up your time to engage, interact and build meaningful relationships.
What to Track
Tracking key indicators and analytics will give you the guidance needed when
- Keep track of what time during the day attracts the most attraction from potential consumers.
- Pinpoint specific keywords that work in engaging consumers (hash tags for Twitter).
- Learn to get rid of any spam accounts that are being followed by your accounts.
- Analyze what competitors are doing on their social media accounts.
- Learn to schedule tweets (pre-timed) in order to maintain consistency.
- Keep track of messages sent to your account and leave none unanswered.
2. Make use of automated tools
One of the biggest benefits of social media is the availability of automated tools to master just about any task. Many social media management tools are free or available for a nominal cost. A few of my favorite tools that facilitate social media time management by automating postings to Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn.
My two favorite social media management tools are:
HootSuite is an excellent option whether you manage one social profile or multiple. It’s an easy to use management tool that allows you to build your presence on multiple social profiles, schedule updates plus track and measure your results through their report dashboard.
Sprout Social –
I am an avid fan of Sprout Social. From the Smart Inbox to their detailed reporting and analytics, I have come to love the functionality of this social tool!
Social media has varying platforms that offer a unique user experience. While some of your potential customers may choose to spend their time in the professional environment of LinkedIn, others may find the relaxed atmosphere of Facebook more to their liking. This makes it critical that your business meet clients where they feel most comfortable.
Time is a finite resource. Ten minutes spent on a low-payoff activity equals ten minutes not spent on a task beneficial to your businesses bottom line. Keep this in mind as you build out your social media strategy, making sure to allocate certain time frames for specific activities such as responding to mentions or commenting on posts.
The biggest danger with social media is the user immersed in any specific activity to the extent that it dominates your life, leaving too little time for more important things.
4. Take Time to Explore
Social media is an ever-expanding space. Developers publish new tools, apps and other resources almost on a daily basis. Such tools allow the you to perform daily to-do’s better and faster and also enable new possibilities.
Allocate some time to explore and experiment with such tools on a regular basis, taking time off from the daily grind. Consider this time an investment into a more efficient use of the moments in your day.
5. Call it a Day
Doing the same thing repeatedly soon leads to boredom and boredom leads to a lack of creativity. Avoid falling into this rut by getting up, walking away and shutting down the computer several times throughout the day.
It is a good social media time management practice to take a break from time to time and recharge ones batteries. The duration and periods of breaks depends on the individual and the nature of activities.
Those are just a few of my strategies to create an active social media community. What are yours?