Social media marketing has become so pervasive that 93 percent of marketers utilize it. The problem isn't whether it's important and whether to integrate it into our marketing plans. It's how to integrate it into our daily business lives on a day-to-day basis.
What may surprise you is that social success isn’t dependent on some X-factor or trick, but is instead based on consistency, connection and a little creativity.
24-Hours: Responding to comments and questions
First and foremost, our hypothetical business (let's call them Company X) knows social media has become like a second arm, an arm that posts updates before we've barely gotten out of bed. But they know it's not just a way for individuals to share cat photos, it’s a chance to interface with customers, raise brand awareness and help solve their problems before they become bigger ones.
7 a.m.: First post goes live
A good social-media presence never sleeps and neither does your social following. Someone is always tracking what you're doing and ready for the next update. A successful social strategy is all about knowing your audience and preparing for their schedule. Every network goes through peak periods and doldrums based on the activity of users, and a successful strategy knows how to work around that.
But Company X takes it a step further and intimately understands the fluctuations of its own user base. With a target demographic of entrepreneurs in their mid-to-late 20s, Company X knows that 19 percent and 71 percent of its target audience is using Twitter and Facebook respectively.
With 79 percent of individuals ages 18 to 44 keeping their phones by their bedside, the team puts content on these platforms and in their hands when they first wake up. They also look to reinforce their efforts by planting blog posts, building their newsletter list and otherwise being everywhere their client is looking.
8 a.m.: Checking analytics
Any strong social strategy is predicated on two things: consistency and a deep understanding of its audience's psychology. Even Buzzfeed's popular GIF lists and cat collections manages to hit more than 7 million global unique visits per day thanks to 3.4 million Facebook fans and 1.17 million Twitter followers.
A social-media savvy business takes a good hard look at its performance stats, demographic information and referral traffic every day. When the numbers for yesterday’s posts come in, the team looks at what went well and why. They adjust their strategy based on hard numbers, with special attention paid to long-term trends, so as not to get too hasty with adjustments.
10 a.m.: Meeting with content team
Businesses recognize social-media marketing isn't just about posting questions and images, but giving its audience information they want from products to sales to an inside scoop on industry trends.
Company X meets with the content-marketing team daily to make sure that all ducks are in a row. Both teams discuss promotional priorities, opportunities and schedules. The content team conveys the creative or contextual significance of content, and the social team makes sure that everything is presented in a way that captures readers’ attention.
Noon: Second post goes live
Just like clockwork, Company X's marketing team has a carefully curated list of scheduled posts packed with useful information, ready to publish to all relevant platforms. Like always, these posts have great visuals, formatting and content and hit the social-sphere just in time for their readers’ lunch breaks.
2 p.m.: Monitoring site traffic for hits
Social media works because it enables rapid conversation about anything and everything. An article or two that strikes a chord with viewers are not just hits, but opportunities to engage your audience and start a real dialogue.
Company X knows what to look for in site-traffic statistics and keeps the momentum going with timely posts and promotions. Also, the team knows social media works best when it’s topical, so they spend some time monitoring what people are talking about on other sites and capitalize on the buzz.
4 p.m.: Brainstorming meeting
There are endless formulas involved in leveraging social media. A Google search for “how to write great Facebook posts” yields results so dense that USA Today is pushed to page 3.
Needless to say, people feel that this stuff is pretty well figured out. But this team knows better. They know better than to look for a list of keywords. They rely on audience knowledge and creativity to grab attention instead of cheap tricks.
The team sits down for a brainstorming meeting to discuss promotional ideas for the coming week. They look at cultural trends and viral content and emphasize the importance of nailing the company’s target tone.
5:30 p.m.: Third post goes live
Even if Company X isn’t going home for the day, they know that their audience is. As soon as they wrap up their commutes, there’s some juicy, targeted content waiting for them.
Looking back on the day, it’s easy to see why Company X was so successful. In addition to tending to the needs of their followers, they carried out a strategy, content and publishing plan to the letter.
By remaining consistent and hitting all the basics each day, they know that tomorrow will be just like today -- successful.