Social media marketing techniques are intended to standardize and streamline the publishing process, freeing up time and resources to engage with prospects and improve the social experience for customers. But now that the average business is active in 5 to 9 social channels, the process quickly becomes overly-complex, breeding inefficiency that impacts the customer’s experience of your brand.
The modern market also demands instant gratification, so inefficiency can be costly. Poor use of business resources is compounded by potential reputation damage, resulting from the inability to deliver the kind of experience your customer expects.
But there are ways to overcome these problems – here are our top 5 tips to increase the efficiency of your social media management program.
1. Efficiency and the social media calendar
A social media calendar is vital to helping to keep your campaigns on track. By planning out key dates and activities in advance, marketers have plenty of time to assemble and deploy all the resources you need to keep things running smoothly.
For larger teams with multiple roles – copywriters, editors, designers, social media managers – the calendar keeps all parties aligned towards the same goals. The centralized, shared calendar also helps to raise accountability, helping to reduce the risk of missed deadlines.
A well-designed social media calendar highlights events that are relevant to your products and services – or your audience – and defines the necessary content and actions required to support each event. The calendar then functions as a central reference point for all social media marketing activities, so every team member knows exactly what they are doing and when.
By keeping all relevant parties in the loop, you prevent the kind of communications breakdowns that affect output and performance.
You can learn more about putting together a great social media calendar using this in-depth guide.
2. Efficient multi-channel publishing
As already pointed out, the need to manage accounts on multiple social networks is a recipe for disaster, if not managed correctly. With the social media calendar in place, your marketing team needs a social media tool that can streamline the publishing process.
Using a social media tool centralizes control for all of your social profiles. You can also apply social media scheduling to ensure that content is published automatically across each network for maximum reach and engagement potential. As with every other process in your business, the more you can automate, the less manual intervention required and the more efficient the publishing process becomes.
3. Using strategy to improve efficiency
No matter how useful the social media calendar and tools may be, without a strategy, your efforts will be unfocused, untargeted, and unmeasurable. A social media strategy ensures that your social media activities align with your wider business goals. You can also ensure that all content you create for social campaigns is designed to help you meet those goals.
If strategies are not aligned, your campaigns will need to be constantly tweaked to try and bring them into order. This kind of retrospective recovery work is resource-intensive, wasteful and completely avoidable.
Check out our social content strategy handbook to learn more about how to construct a cohesive and efficient social media program.
4. Boosting efficiency through collaboration
Obviously, well-defined processes are crucial to ensuring that all of your social activities run smoothly. But you also need to think in terms of the processes that exist outside the marketing unit.
If the social media program exists in isolation of other company processes, there will be natural lag as data and knowledge is transferred between teams. A social media tool can be used to prepare and share data with other departments, simplifying knowledge transfer. For example, in the event that a customer raises an issue using social media, the marketing team can quickly escalate concerns to the service department for resolution without resorting to email or other disconnected systems.
You should also be using a social media tool to pull efficiency-boosting ideas into a single interface that your entire team can use to reach shared goals. Access to the same definitive set of data means that every department can present a consistent, yet personal, experience to customers.
5. Measure to improve future efficiency
Many efficiency gains will be made by learning from the successes (and mistakes) of the past. Social media measuring tools typically help you track activities against goals, but they will also reveal where processes are not as efficient as they might be. These observations can then be applied to increasing efficiency for future campaigns.
These analytics, combined with sentiment tracking technology, can be used to set up a ‘priority inbox’ that automatically flags and orders social messages for your attention. Back this up with a good governance structure and you can ensure the right people are notified to handle any customer interaction as appropriately as possible. Twitter users expect a response to their queries in under two hours – responsiveness is increasingly seen as a differentiator between brands.