Since the dawn of the internet, news has traveled faster than it ever has before. But with the dawn of inbound marketing and social media, companies are having a harder and harder time keeping up with social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are being used to not only try to spread news about a company’s industry faster, but they’re also being used to manage and maintain a company’s inbound marketing tactics, like customer service and advertising.
- According to StatsCounter, the half-life (the amount of time it takes for a link to get approximately half of the engagement it’s going to receive) of a shared link on Facebook is just over 3 hours (3.2 hours)
- Twitter has an even shorter half-life at 2.8 hours
What does this mean to you? That you have a fairly short window of time to get a message out there FAST.
Now you may be thinking, “Three hours?! That’s it?” If you want to make the most of your social media marketing plan, it is. But have no fear! Check out our free Ebook about taking your social media to the next level here and read some of our top tips on how you can become a faster and more efficient social media marketer below.
Use Third Party Tools to Monitor Your Accounts
Not a fan of refreshing your Twitter feed and Facebook page every hour or two? Neither are we. That’s why we encourage everyone with one or more social media accounts to set up a third party tool, like the HubSpot social media prospects tool, to help monitor:
- Your current social networking accounts; and
- Social media sites to see if your brand or competitors get any mention on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
You need to be aware of what people are saying both on your social networking sites and off of them. Zendesk recently reported that 62% of consumers go onto social media sites for customer service issues, regardless of whether or not that was your intention of using social media in the first place. And when customers have a customer service-related issue, they expect a response – immediately.
Be Fast but Get the Facts
We’ve stressed the point that you have to be quick, yes, but you also have to be knowledgeable. No good can come of a quick message that you sent out in haste and didn’t think thoroughly through.
To stay on top of exciting new stories, what your competition’s doing, or a customer complaint, you’ll want to go right to the source. Never trust third party sources. This means that you’ll be able to check your facts and know what they are before formulating an appropriate response.
TIP: If you’re looking to curate content to add to your blog and social media, use tools like LinkedIn Answers or Quora to find out what peoples’ opinions are on a particular topic, or set up Google alerts.
Take Advantage of Negative Situations
In any situation that can be regarded as “negative”, take that as an opportunity to think outside of the box and use it to your advantage. For example, if you’re a newspaper company that’s produced too many papers for the day, why not give some away as a free promotional strategy? Or, if some sort of crisis happens in your area and you’re a dining or hotel establishment, why not offer a 50% discount on food or rooms?
Have a Crisis Management Plan
The most important thing of all is to have a crisis plan all set up in case your inbound marketing social media plan starts to go a bit south. You need to:
- Consider what a crisis is for your company. This may be having a customer write a bad review on your Facebook page, or it may be losing 5 email subscribers in 1 day, or it could be a product recall.
- Get your team together and assign who is responsible for what type of crisis – and then assign backups. That way it’s easier to allocate problems to the team members responsible and ensure that each issue is dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner.
- Put together a “holding statement” in advance that lets your visitors know that you’re aware of the problem (whatever that may be) and that you’re currently working on it and will update them as soon as possible. Try to always leave a time in which they can expect an update (i.e. in the next hour, or by 5pm PST).
Inbound marketing, particularly when it comes to social media, is all about being prepared. Not only should a crisis management plan be in place, but you should also have the right tools on hand to help you better manage and monitor your social networking accounts. Be quick, be knowledgeable, and be prepared to use your social networking sites as customer service channels – even if that wasn’t what you created your social media sites for.
If you’re interested in maximizing your social media marketing efforts but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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