We’re all time starved, we wear too many hats and the emails never stop flooding in. In this panic to get things done quicker and cheaper – I fear that too many marketers are buying into the hype that one simple tool can automate their entire social media marketing plan for 2017. If you’ve fallen prey to this beautiful promise – read on.
Like many social media marketers that jumped into these ever shifting waves as soon as the water was deep enough, I’ve learned a thing or two. I now cringe when I think of past clients that used to ask for content calendars that would detail out fresh social posts to cover the next month or even the next quarter. Sure, you could craft some general content aligned with internal marketing plans, editorial calendars and the like, but do you really think your top performing, fan favorite, viral moment can be planned out weeks in advance…no way.
As social channels continue to evolve their scarily accurate audience targeting tools, it’s vital that savvy marketers commit themselves to the idea that real-time social media management is the only way to go. There is no giant red button that you can just push and watch the results roll in. While it is certainly helpful to embrace social dashboards and one-click access to multiple social accounts – this is just the beginning. Now, what will you post across each channel to force thumbs to hover just long enough to make your mark?
As you start to think about your real-time content creation and curation process, don’t forget that each social channel has very specific text and image size best practices and these are constantly changing. If you haven’t updated your social image sizes cheat sheet lately, drop what you’re doing and go do this now. A simple Google search will pull up hundreds of cheat sheets that were created just this month alone. For the lazy marketers that forgo this step and just spray the same text and image across multiple channels – you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Your customers are smarter than you think and they will quickly breeze past poorly cropped imagery and text that cuts off before finishing a thought.
I’ve personally seen social campaigns that have gone from ho-hum to game-changers in mere hours just based on the fact that real people were actively monitoring real-time fan engagement to identify and then quickly add to the running dialogue with that perfect mix of story, imagery, tone and targeting.
While most marketers will be searching for hard proof of social ROI in 2017, keep in mind that great social campaigns provide attention, awareness, education and entertainment. These behaviors ultimately drive real-time conversations and these authentic conversations drive consideration to purchase your product or service. It’s important to remember that conversations between brands and customers are not nearly as impactful as conversations from brands to people, and then people to additional people (friends, family, networks, peers).
That post you've already pre-scheduled for the last day of January is probably not that “share-worthy," but some real-time content consideration inline with recent industry, business and cultural trends crafted by a real human that actually “lives the brand,” appreciates great photography, follows recent best practices and writes with just enough witty banter to make you smile…well, that might just get the people talking….and sharing…and buying.