Marketing Automation to the Rescue
We recently took an in depth look at the various departments that may believe they have an exclusive claim on their company’s social media channels. If you didn’t get a chance to read that blog, the answer is simple: members from each department (PR, marketing, and customer service) should work together to create a comprehensive social media plan.
However, some companies may not have the staff, resources, or time to create a dedicated social media team. After all, creating and implementing detailed social media strategies as well as sifting through countless possible and actual social media interactions is no easy feat!
Fortunately, there is another way to handle your company’s social media without putting it into a specific silo and forgoing the other possible uses for your channels. With ever-increasing technological capabilities, it’s entirely possible to automate at least a significant portion of the work that social media upkeep requires.
Through a combined automation-human approach, your company will be able to save a significant amount of labor that would otherwise be spent trying to keep up with all of the latest interactions, trends, concerns, suggestions, comments, and possible buying signals on social media channels. Think about how lost you can get when browsing through your own social media channels - now imagine three to ten people simultaneously going over the same information and distractions.
Not a pretty picture, right?
Determine which social metrics are meaningful
You may have had several “important” metrics drilled into your head over and over by social media managers, marketing blogs, or a variety of other sources. However, not every company should measure the same metrics because not every company has the same goals regarding social media.
Think about your short term and long term goals stemming from social media. Do you intend to increase your brand awareness, drive customer feedback to a specific social media channel, or increase conversions?
After determining your goals, select metrics that will allow you to measure progress towards your goals from one point in time to another. For instance, if you want to increase conversions on your website, measure how many socially assisted conversions you achieve and then set a goal to increase those conversions at a later date. You can then test messaging, timing, and other elements of your social media posts to nudge your socially assisted conversions towards your goal.
Find the right social tool for your company
Once you’ve determined which metrics are the most important to you and your company, you can begin to search for the correct social media automation tool. There are a plethora of tools available, ranging from basic free scheduling tools to extremely powerful paid tools (like Astute’s SRM solution) that utilize natural language processing and workflow management to properly sort, filter, and route social media interactions. Because you’ll still need collaboration between PR, marketing, and customer service regardless of whether you have a dedicated full time social media team or not, make sure that whichever tool you choose at least has routing or collaboration capabilities.
Be sure to take enough time to perform thorough research on the tool you’ll be using. It should be user friendly and offer responsive customer support (a feature that many people forget about until they need it).
Implement, measure, and revise!
After you’ve decided on your metrics and the automation tool you’ll be using, it’s time to implement your planning. Grant at least one person from your marketing, PR, and customer service departments access to the tool so that they can take part in the collaborative efforts.
After a sufficient amount of time has passed, look to see if you are progressing towards your goals. It’s likely that you’ll see areas that need to be tweaked or replaced entirely to help your rate of progress - don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your existing system and strategy!
Once you’ve found your stride, don’t stop! By continually adjusting your methods, you’ll be able to not only meet your goals but to soar past them.
Need help with your social media automation? Click here to contact a social relationship management expert.