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This used to be a very hotly debated issue in social media, is it OK to schedule your posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn? Or is it vital that everything you do is live and of the moment? For those who run small businesses and lack the luxury of a social media team then the reality is that sometimes scheduling is the difference between being able to maintain a strong social media presence or having nothing at all! Scheduling has become more acceptable and therefore more achievable. On your business page in Facebook you can use the clock next to your posts and decide when to share them, so you can schedule weeks or months ahead. Using Hootsuite you can schedule posts to all the key social media networks. Although scheduling provides us with greater opportunities it is important to remember that at the heart of social media is relationships! So alongside any scheduled activity it is really important to spontaneously respond and interact with other users across the networks.
We have established, in our wanderings through the alphabet, that social media is about relationship building and connections are largely established through communication. Sometimes I see this forgotten and neglected on social media. If someone asks a question on Twitter they are normally expecting a response within the hour, on Facebook it is similar and yet many large organisations are not meeting their customers expectations in this area. All too often queries and questions go unanswered.
However no one likes a negative comment or concern to sit on their social media profile without an acknowledgement or a response and so they are often jumped upon and dealt with very quickly. How about the lovely warm and encouraging comments how do you handle them? Do you show your appreciation in the form of a response or do you sit back, sigh contentedly and smile to yourself? It is so important to respond to the good, the bad and the ugly. Otherwise the person at the other end of the exchange is left wondering if you saw their comment / picture / link and if you did then why didn’t you react. Nurture those wonderful warm encounters as they are the nourishment that sometimes proves invaluable in your business.
We all know the difference between open and closed questions and the impact it has on an answer. Take that knowledge into social media and you begin to see how powerful questions can be throughout the different networks. By finishing a blog post with a question you are inviting others to engage with your thoughts and share their ideas and opinions. Completing a Facebook post with a question encourages others to get involved and engage with you. Ask a question on Twitter and you never know who is going to reply! How are you using questions throughout your social media channels?
For every social network that you sign up for you will be provided with the opportunity to present your brand, personality, ethos and image in the form of a profile. After looking at this statement of who you are and what you will be sharing a visitor will make up their mind about whether or not they want to follow / connect / friend you. Therefore don’t estimate the power of your profile and the impact it can have.
One of the biggest complaints about social media is that there’s just so much drivel passing through the channels it can be demoralising and unrewarding trawling through it all. I do agree that not all posts are informative, enlightening or inspiring but that is why I listen out carefully for those who are educating and entertaining me and ensure I interact and engage with them. Whilst I remove those from my feed who appear to post for the sake of posting and repeatedly add nothing to my day! Of course we are all allowed to be little bit frivolous at times but there is only so much noise we can take. Make sure you are adding value and not just noise in the posts that you share.