The Real Benefits and the not-so-real Myths
The CEO of Facebook sits in front of Congress to discuss the data of 80 million Americans getting its way into the hands of a shady political campaigning firm. Twitter discloses that it has closed hundreds of thousands of terrorism promoting accounts. And over on LinkedIn, videos of cats doing funny things that are then labelled as business parables is getting out of hand.
Social media is never out of the news in 2018. And it’s not good news.
At Yatter, we’re not letting this get us down. Social media can add real value to your business. Social media scheduling can save you countless hours, make collaborations easier and let you stay in touch with your audience when you’re not online.
Social media scheduling has some real benefits in 2018 and has been the subject of some not-so-real myths. Let’s walk you through the what’s and why’s of social media scheduling as well as what to ignore.
Create a core of backbone content
Open for Business
Many consumers will check out your business on social media before engaging with you – either online or on the high street. By simply presenting them with a regular feed of plausible content you are reinforcing your realness in a world full of dropshippers and dodgy online businesses. Opening hours, soup of the day and seasonal greetings are enough to show that you exist. But is existing enough? Here are some other content types to help your business thrive:
Explain your products and their benefits
Sounds simple, right? The followers you’ve already acquired (as well as the ones you hope to acquire) can’t be expected to know everything you do and when you’re doing it! This includes, but is not limited to, your entire catalogue, product specs, how they compare to the competition, price points and offers. Communicating benefits is at the heart of marketing and keeping a steady stream of social media content highlighting these benefits going out can help activate consumers by either intriguing them or reminding them about what it is you offer!
Re-use evergreen content
Blogs, customer testimonials, press coverage and case studies are at the centre of brand building and are perfect examples of content that can be reposted with a different spin on social media. Many customers and potential customers may have not seen this content the first time round and might just be interested. As for a blogging strategy many people, ourselves included, stick to the EAT model.
By creating content that shows your expertise in your field you can build trust among consumers and begin conversations in your chosen field. Longform content that is well researched, well written and well referenced will be looked upon favourably by both search engines and potential customers!
Manage events and collaborations
Weeks or months can go into organising events or collaborations, so why should the social media that goes into them be last minute? Flyers, event pages and ticket purchasing pages all require a great deal of effort and you should feel comfortable proudly promoting them on social media in advance. By keeping the essential details of an event scheduled (remember everyone, doors open at 7pm) you can spend more time focusing on the dynamic social content of the event whether that is live-streaming, live tweeting or taking pictures that are to be posted later on. Phew.
Bonus: Yatter is the only social media scheduling platform that allows you to chat with people from other organisations, see their schedules in advance, share images, videos and links and schedule interaction on each other’s content. That is to say that Yatter is the perfect place to manage collaboration on social media.
Share your brand story
How did you get started? What was your motivation? What events have you been attending? Who have you met along the way? People who discourage businesses from scheduling social media often argue that scheduling removes the authenticity of social media but we believe that you can tell your brand’s story and engage audiences with scheduled content just as well as someone live posting. In fact, we believe you can do it better – by preparing, editing and allowing people to preview your content in advance you can refine your message down to a fine art.
Manage Marketing Campaigns
Black Friday. Merry Christmas. Sales. Happy New Year. Valentine’s Day. There will always be key events in your marketing calendar that can come along with an overwhelming amount of offers, events, graphics, videos and greetings to prepare. Most social media content is derived from a marketing plan. This means it’s much easier to take that extra step when you’re preparing your Christmas Sale offers and flyers by plugging them into a social media scheduler and having them post when you’re ready to let the world know!
Remind and refresh
While we would never encourage the use of duplicate content, what we do know is that some platforms (like Facebook) have low organic reach while others (like Twitter) have extremely fast moving feeds. This means there’s a very good chance that your followers will miss out on your message the first time you post it. The solution? Post something similar to remind them at a different time of the day.
This is the obvious one. By taking some time out once a week or so to plan and schedule your content, you can take full advantage of the extra productivity that hard work brings and you can save yourself from having to be reminded to post various messages on various platforms several times a day.
Dealing with Common Social Media Myths
Will my scheduled content be de-prioritized/get me banned?
This myth has emerged around the banning of nefarious bots from various social media platforms. You are not a bot (well, at least I hope not). The biggest companies in the world schedule their social media content and the platforms aren’t punishing them. The platforms shouldn’t punish you either (unless you’re a spammer). Why shouldn’t you benefit from the productivity gains that the biggest companies get?
I should be always-available for my followers
A crop of business coaches will have you believe that because good relationships are core to good business that you should be ready and available to your customers at the flick of a notification light and you should spend every waking hour chin-wagging away on social media. If you’re a part of a small team running a small company then this sort of access is not sustainable and not scalable. Companies have office hours for a reason! Yes, swift responses can lead to good customer service but time is much better spent establishing your customer service policies and announcing changes on both your website and on social media! By being transparent and by documenting things well you’re less likely to be asked the obvious questions in the middle of the night. We’re only human after all.
The level of scrutiny in social media platforms has never been higher. Consumer trust in them has never been lower. Yet social media remains a great way of communicating with your audience – whether through events, promotions or customer service. There are key messages and core content that are simply better off scheduled.
By scheduling content you are much less likely to make mistakes and do something rushed, regrettable or off-brand. By saving yourself time you can immerse yourself in the more authentic types of social media interaction or be off doing something more interesting elsewhere.
Active social media feeds show customers that you are open for business. People are reluctant to buy from businesses that can’t manage the basics of social media.
By committing to scheduling social media you can test and evaluate the quality of your message, continue to refine it and grow your business.
Social media scheduling is here to stay. Haters be damned.