By Ann Smarty
Scaling is all about making repetitive tasks more productive to be able to focus on more creative things and experiments.
I know a lot of people will cringe at the idea of scaling social media marketing because it is supposed to be all about human connections.
There are also many people who don’t believe you can attract any substantial amount of clicks from social media.
Well, both may be true but only if you do that wrong:
That’s not possible to build good traffic from social media without at least some sort of automating / scaling.
- Social media audiences are fragmented: You cannot catch all of your social media followers with one single update.
- Social media is multi-platform (has been for quite a while) and it’s impossible to be everywhere at the same time.
- Social media won’t send you any traffic unless you are constantly there both engaging and broadcasting.
And while truly effective engagement cannot be efficiently scaled, you can scale all other parts of the puzzle, at least to some extent:
- Social media posting
- Social media tracking and analysis
Cross-post with calendar publishing tools
Even if you have a dedicated full time social media team at your disposal, constantly publishing on social media is difficult to achieve. Big corporations have rotating shifts that handle it but for most of us we have to operate on a smaller scale, especially budget wise.
We can get around that by publishing scheduled posts, which includes cross-posting from one platform to another. That will cut the time spent on social media in half.
That doesn’t mean that all of your posts should be pre-made and scheduled, or that they should go to every single platform. It still takes intelligent planning.
My personal method is to sit down every month and plan a month’s worth of social media posts based around content that is going to be circulated and is already scheduled to post. Using ContentCal, I get all of those posts ready to go on all platforms.
ContentCal is an affordable social media editorial calendar with some cool productivity features:
- It makes things easy to delegate (Your team members may add posts to a “Pinboard” for you to drag and drop them throughout your calendar)
- It makes it easy to review your monthly calendar and make sure you have something to go live daily
- It make it a breeze to update multiple platforms with one click
From there, my team will dedicate time every day to manage regular social media interactivity. They will respond to posts, find brand mentions using listening tools and searches and do the more thorough work involved in the process.
Supported platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram
Put your content in front of influencers where they expect it
The power of influencer marketing cannot be overstated. Twitter has become a particular powerhouse for the tactics, but Instagram, YouTube and even Snapchat are gaining a lead. Cultivating a relationship with influential social media users is mutually beneficial and can have lasting effects on your brand.
I have done the long term version of this, which takes a lot of time and effort for both you and the influencer. Viral Content Bee (Disclaimer: This is the project I co-founded) strives to make it easier by connecting you and the influencers straight away.
You share their content, they share yours. Both get some much needed exposure and without shady pay deals. It is easy and effective.
The main thing it eliminates any possible frustration of the “being used” feeling when influencers receive pitches to share something daily. Instead, they join that platform to find your content: All you need to do is to put it there.
Supported platforms: Twitter, Linkedin, Mix, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Track your growth and learn from that growth
Growth for its own sake is important enough and that doesn’t even get into the importance to a brand, organic traffic and profitability. But one thing we sometimes forget is what we can learn from exponential growth and how it applies to future campaigns.
Some things work. Some things don’t. We need to be able to clearly see which is which and change it up accordingly. This is where watching every one of your social channels is critical, so you can respond to every tick up or down you may see.
Over time you will also begin to notice trends that can have a huge influence on your branding. Business can change their entire social direction based on the findings of these types of analytics.
There are endless tools for this purpose. My personal favorite is Cyfe because it is an all in one business dashboard that is fully customizable. You create your own widgets, monitoring whatever you want to and all for $19 per month (they have a free version but if you are going with a higher number of channels you will want to pay the money for the full features).
Cyfe can manage both social media monitoring and growth for you, from one single dashboard.
Furthermore, the best widget I ever created was a Google Analytics dashboard that monitored the traffic that came from each one of my social media accounts. It really showed where my team and I needed to focus our energies.
Supported platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google Analytics…
What NOT to scale
Some things you just cannot scale or automate well, so it’s better to stop trying.
- Always participate in discussions. Interactions boost your social media “rank” making your updates more visible. This is true for all networks but especially Twitter where you can join any discussion out there, without being invited. Here’s a nice article on how to find comments on Twitter and engage with them.
- Always engage with your social media mentions: Until we have a social media bot smart enough to talk to your customers online in public without sounding like a bot, do it manually. It will also give you a better feeling of your audience and customer base which is very useful in the wrong run.
Truth be told, marketing is going to be more and more automated going forward. Technology is making authentic and effective personalization possible, so marketing automation (including social media automation) discussion should mature. If you want to see your social media marketing bring any kind of ROI, automate.
And how do you scale social media for it to bring more traffic and leads? Share your tips!
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