One morning you get to work and notice you've gotten a lot more notifications than usual. And they're still coming in. They’re coming in emails and in alerts from social media—which is your responsibility since your employer thought it would be an easy side task.
You panic. You have not been trained for this and have not even considered the possibility. You don’t have a day-to-day strategy let alone a crisis management plan.
The Changing Landscape of Social Media
For a long time, social media marketing was something that was done as an afterthought—it was considered a way to push out existing content or messaging with just a little extra effort. However, social platforms have become smarter—and wildly popular, so it now takes a carefully crafted social media strategy to get noticed.
Your customers also have different expectations now. If customers want to learn more about a company, or ask for information or customer service, many of them will look for a Facebook page, Twitter account, or Instagram account first. People spend a lot of time on social media sites now, including the 91 percent of B2B buyers who are active on social media.
So how to do you prepare a strategic plan for posting and engaging with customers? How do you navigate day-to-day social media in a way that benefits your customer and your brand? How do you prevent getting blindsided by a crisis? Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to be smarter and more confident with your company’s social media.
Proficiency and Preparation
HubSpot recognized the need for marketers to learn more about social media strategy, so they recently created a social media certification for their users. The training addresses developing a strategy, social media monitoring, building relationships, extending your reach, and measuring your return on investment.
These lessons provide a solid groundwork for planning and executing your brand’s social presence. But experts also stress that you should expect to do a lot of testing, refining, and learning. Social media is always changing, so it’s important to keep an eye out for what’s new. You don’t want to just keep up and blend in though—you want to stand out and get ahead of the curve.
Executing Your Plan
Don’t underestimate the importance—or the challenges—of writing posts, replying to customers, following trends, testing posts, and continually making updates to your plans.
To keep up, stay relevant, monitor social channels, and connect with your customers, make sure you have the right number of employees working on your social accounts, and make sure they have the right tools and skill sets.
The right plan will vary by company, industry, and goals. Can your accounts be handled by one employee? Or do you need a whole team? Do special events or seasonal efforts mean you would benefit from hiring an agency?
Make sure employees or partners get—or already have—adequate training. They’ll need to keep up with constant platform changes, take refresher courses, and read social media news and updates almost daily.
Choose the best tools for your teams and goals. For many companies, that means using a platform like HubSpot. One of the biggest benefits of using HubSpot is that it ties all your marketing efforts together. You can see where and how contacts engage with your brand and content, whether on social media, in email, or on your website.
Whatever tools you choose, it’s most important to start learning and creating a plan. For free social media training, visit HubSpot here.