The 8-Step Social Media Workflow Broken Down
Social media is undoubtedly a fundamental component of every complete marketing strategy. Yet many enterprises still struggle to effectively utilize and integrate their social media with their existing marketing plan.
What enterprise businesses may fail to realize is that just like with any other traditional marketing medium, social media also requires time and planning to produce a high return on investment (ROI).
To ensure that the Social Media Manager invests the right amount of time into your social media activities, we’ve outlined the ideal social media workflow.
1. Research and Planning: 2 hours per week
The first step to any social media marketing strategy is research and planning. Your team should dedicate approximately two hours every week figuring out what your social media should look like. This includes:
- Reviewing your company goals.
- Sourcing internal and external content that matches your goals.
- Outlining your editorial calendar in advance.
The worst thing your team can do is immediately jump into posting and sharing without having a plan in place to achieve and measure success.
2. Creating Content: 7.5 hours per week
Once you have the plan set, the second step to your social media marketing should be creating your internal content. This mainly includes writing blog posts and articles, which can be shared on social media and in turn drive traffic to your website. In fact, companies that published 16 or more blogs posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly blogs.
The more blog posts, whitepapers, and infographics you create, the more likely that you’ll be able to establish your business as a thought leader in the industry.
3. Curating Content: 3 hours per week
Another important aspect of any marketing strategy is curating content. Getting your marketing team to spend three hours each week searching the web for insightful and inspiring content to share, is integral to engaging your audience and keeping them interested.
There are 27 million pieces of content shared online each day, so your team should have no problem finding content that works. Sign up for RSS feeds, review competitor blogs, interact with thought leaders in your industry and dive into those topics that are most valuable to you and your customers. Using a social media management platform can help you organize these large amounts of curated content and distribute it efficiently.
4. Sharing Content: 5 hours per week
Once you’ve planned, created and curated all of your content, it’s time to start sharing everything throughout social media. Keep in mind that each social media channel—whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube— has its own tone and style that should guide the way you craft your content to make it stick.
Your team should also try to share different types of content, from relevant news, to jokes, interesting tidbits, images, GIFs and videos. To get a better idea of how to post on each social media platform, invest in an editorial calendar.
In case you’re still unsure, the sharing process should look a little like this:
- Select the content you want to share (curated or created).
- Choose the appropriate social network.
- Draft the post to fit the social network and your audience.
- Schedule the post for the day and time that works best.
5. Engage with Your Audience: 2.5 hours per week
After you share your content on social media, your marketing team isn’t done – you still have to engage with your audience. The sad truth is that only 20% of social media comments receive a response from the company, which means that most businesses miss out on a valuable opportunity. Engaging your audience is a three-step process to turn customers into brand advocates.
Listening includes monitoring your brand online through mentions and keyword searches. This is an active step on behalf of your team, which typically requires 2.5 hours a week and focuses on discovering what customers, competitors, and thought leaders are saying about your brand.
The second step is having a conversation. Reading what your customers say isn’t enough; you have to respond to them appropriately, personally and in a timely manner. Your responses can include everything from addressing negative comments and complaints, offering personal consultations, directing customers to customer service, providing additional insight and more. Your team should also spend a minimum of four hours each week communicating with people on social media.
- Community Building
The third part of engagement includes community building. Your social media team should actively reach out to find new audiences, including companies, thought leaders, and influential customers, in order to build relationships with them and later turn these individuals into brand advocates.
6. Run Social Campaigns: 3.5 hours per week
Beyond the basic social media sharing and engagement, your team should develop unique social media campaigns. These campaigns enable you to increase lead generation, brand awareness, and website traffic.
Social campaigns include everything from promoting a webinar, hosting events, and distributing blog posts. Creating a viable social media campaign often requires some advanced preparation and follow-up. You can kick-off the campaign with these few steps:
- Define your campaign goals
- Understand your audience’s needs and wants
- Create compelling content that evokes loyalty and trust in your audience
- Schedule the content across your editorial calendar
- Remember to devote time to social media that is not for self-promotion
- Kick-off the campaign
- Analyze your results – there’s always room for improvement!
7. Analyze the Results: 3.5 hours per week
No social media marketing strategy is complete without analytics. In fact, 76% of marketers reported that being data-centric is key to success. Every week your team should spend at least 3.5 hours reviewing your social analytics to discover what drove the top results. You should be seeing where your audience was most active, what content generated the most leads, and which trends your business should participate in.
8. Allow for Contingency: 2 hours per week
Life happens. An effective Social Media Manager is someone who is prepared to deal with contingencies. There’s no accounting for when the unexpected happens. Your team should spare at least two hours a week in case you need to post unscheduled content, solve problems or conduct extra research.
While social media marketing can be difficult and time-consuming, understanding the social media workflow and planning your time accordingly will ensure that you get the most out of your team and their strategy. Even more, utilizing the right social media management platform to automate these processes can amplify your marketing efforts.
What does your social media workflow look like? What processes do you wish to automate so you can get the most out of your social media marketing?