If not well managed, social media can be very time-consuming. Even if your college or university is active on a limited number of social media platforms, building and maintaining the necessary community can easily take several hours out of your week, thus becoming more of an obstacle than an asset to your overall social campaign. As a marketing professional in higher education marketing, your sanity depends on the efficient management of your social media presence. Here are 5 quick tips to help you share content smoothly.
1. Define a clear social media strategy
Being active on social media does not require you to activate 20 different accounts across various platforms. If you are just getting started or have not adventured much beyond Facebook and Twitter, venture off slowly and give yourself time to develop the best practices on each of your chosen platforms. To start, take the time to:
- Focus on 3 or 4 relevant platforms where you know your students are
- Create a spreadsheet of all the accounts, complete with the usernames and passwords so that the information is easily retrievable for you and any other participating members on your team.
- Integrate social media to your content strategy: It all starts with content, and most specifically the high-quality content your school needs to create to build traction. Creating a content calendar for your college’s blog is a great way to create blog posts efficiently. It will also help you determine key messages and monthly themes to be used for your social media activities.
- Determine a sharing path: what happens to your content after you publish it on your school’s blog? Will you share it on Facebook and Twitter automatically? Will you share only a link and a photo on Google+? Determining this in advance will save you a lot of time.
- Determine a social media schedule and treat it like business appointments.
2. Make your content social
Beyond great quality, a solid social media strategy depends on content that is easy to share. Make your college’s site social by adding a few social plug-ins to your pages, thereby allowing them to share posts with a mere click of a button. Making your site social also means that your web content needs to be visible from mobile devices. Be sensitive to format when creating content. Responsive web design (link) allows your visitors to share your content easily via smart phones or tablets.
3. Organize your followers
Create lists on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ circles to make it easier to follow some conversations and to make your messaging as tailored as possible to these different groups.
4. Manage notifications tightly
A huge part of social media management that your audiences don’t see is all of the notifications that are sent to your inbox. As you activate more social media accounts, the number of notifications will follow suit, and nothing says disruption like a badly selected set of notifications! Make sure to set up your customized notifications in ways that make sense for you and your schedule. Only use notifications if you are not regularly on a platform, or if you rely on them for reminders.
5. Consolidate your accounts with social media management tools
- Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts or auto-schedule them at times when your community is most active on the most popular platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+). Its Hootlet feature allows you to directly share any content you may be reading with your audience. Hootsuite is also great for monitoring what is happening on the various social media platforms.
- Instagram can be used as a management tool for all your photos. Indeed, this tools allows you to upload all photos to FB, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.
- Selective Tweet is a great tool to avoid automatic updates on Facebook and Twitter. Many colleges that do not create or have the resources to create enough content decide to populate theirTwitter feed directly from their Facebook updates, and vice versa. Consequently, they are sharing the same content on all platforms, which is detrimental to the incentive to follow the school on other social media platforms. The Selective Tweet application is the perfect tool to really differentiate thecontent on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. This tool allows you to pick tweets that you want to share on Facebook by adding the hashtag #fb to your tweets.
What time-saving tactics and tools have you been using?