Keeping up with social media can be difficult. Even if your company has a dedicated social media team it can be hard for the employees on that team to keep up with the endless stream of tweets, emails, posts on your Facebook page, and messages on other miscellaneous networks. There are, quite simply, too many networks, and too many users for a small team to keep up.
Trying too Hard Can Backfire
If you push your employees to answer every post, follow every user, and engage with every platform 24 hours a day then this can and will backfire. Not only will this lead to employee burnout, it will also create unrealistic expectations from your users. If you ever fail to keep up this instantaneous response, the people who don’t get answered will feel slighted, and that’s not a good thing.
Instead of putting people under pressure to try to do too much with social media, try to set reasonable expectations. If you know that you have a lot of users that are incredibly active on social platforms, consider hiring a social media agency to look after those people. A good social media agency will have tools and processes in place that make it easier for them to look after brands, and they’ll do a much better and more efficient job than you’re likely to be able to do in-house.
It’s OK to Disconnect Sometimes
Even if you decide to handle things in-house instead of using a social media agency, you can still reduce the load that your employees face. One way to make things more manageable is to set a routine. Decide that you’ll write new blog posts every Thursday, and that you’ll answer emails twice a day at certain times, and look after Facebook and Twitter on a fixed schedule too.
Consider making a policy of posting answers to frequently asked questions on your blog. Instead of sending out copy-paste answers to dozens or hundreds of users, post those answers in a weekly “Grab bag”. This will save a lot of time, and cut down on the number of people that expect personal replies to every single one of their questions.
If you go on Twitter and start conversing with users, send a message half an hour before you’re going to log off, announcing that you won’t be around for much longer. Answer as many questions as you can before logging off, and then Tweet again to thank people for talking to you, and direct them to alternative support sources (e.g. email or a web form) before you disconnect for the night.
Social media is an incredibly useful tool for building a brand and engaging with your users, but using it can be very demanding. When people burn out on social media, they can say things that they regret, and public outbursts can really damage your brand. Make sure that it doesn’t happen to you and your team.
About the Author: This guest piece was submitted by Amy Fowler of social media experts, Boom Online Marketing. Read more from Amy on social media by clicking here. Alternatively you can follow her on Twitter at @AmyFowler or ‘like’ the Boom Facebook page.
Image credit: By Ragesoss (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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