Everyone by now knows that social media engagement is, well, the key to social media success. I tell my clients, you don’t HAVE to be on social media, but, by all means, if you’re going to do it, you have to do it well. And to do it well you have to be regularly engaged, and in my opinion, it needs to be personal.
There are a lot of shortcuts out there that can blast hundreds of posts out every day, but it doesn’t take long to spot them. And if you’re using them in the ways outlined below, it’s probably a sign that you could do a better job with your social media engagements.
1. Employing auto responses. Nothing irks me more than when I follow someone and I get a completely irrelevant response. As a healthcare marketer I often follow a variety of topics related to healthcare. A recent canned reply thanked me for the follow (fine, boring, but fine) but then went on to offer to help me with my practice. Um… I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV. I probably shouldn’t have been incensed but I kind of was. The Twitter universe is HUGE — to actively be so narrow in your expectation of who will follow you, can risk putting off media, investors and amazingly talented marketing consultants who now think you have nothing to say to them.
SOLUTION: Sound like a human! Question why you think you need an auto response. How many legitimate follows are you getting? And if it’s too many to filter the hay from the chaff then, well I guess kudos, but I tend to think you’re probably falling behind when it comes to your engagement efforts. Step it up and reply to the good ones personally.
2. Relying too heavily on scheduled posts. We all probably use tools like HootSuite or Tweetdeck to schedule our content. I know I do it — it’s a huge time saver. This blog, for example, will be used to feed my Twitter and Facebook posts for the next 4-5 business days. I’ll likely repurpose some or all of it for a LinkedIn post, too. However, I don’t rely exclusively on my scheduled posts. I still read and reply to those that I follow and those that follow me. If I’m at a local event, I share pics and quotes on Instagram, Facebook and sometimes Google+ (which I’ll admit is my weakest platform.)
SOLUTION: Schedule your posts because no one has time to spend hours every day doing it, but make sure to spend an hour or so throughout the day engaging with real time content. Whether you’re retweeting with a response or posting a pic of your workspace it helps show your brand’s personality.
I like to use my train time to do my “real time” social media: 20 mins a couple times a day is all it takes to prove you’re real and that you’re listening.
3. Turning over too much of your engagement and monitoring to automation. Very similar to the automated replies, bots get fooled, hashtags get hijacked, timing can get bad. Rather than recapping them I offer for your reading pleasure this article from 2014 and this one from Social Media Week.
SOLUTION: You have to monitor your social media and be prepared to adjust as you go, even for a small business or startup. A good social media consultant can execute very good social media management work for you for about a couple hundred bucks a week.
As you’re planning the 3rd and 4th quarter social media, keep these solutions in mind. You’ll likely find that your overall engagement will increase without much of a time investment: should be a great ROI!
Willing to share your social media faux pas? Tweet me @jrfoster75231