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Strategic insights
Social is a High Maintenance Job

Written by on May 18, 2010

The great thing about traditional media are that everything is campaign or event based. You put in a good amount of work, launch it, and relax. It is a very gratifying way to work. Social is not like that. It never ends. You have to be "on" all the time. There is no such thing as relaxing.

One example. One of my clients is doing an incredible job with their Facebook page. They had a person who where really passionate about it, and did an amazing job being a part of the communication.

Sadly, that person went on to do other things. She was hired on contract basis and we knew we couldn't extend it.

When she left, the rest the team tried to keep up the energy, but had to do it in-between their other responsibilities, and the effect was staggering. They lost 50% of their engagement level, and 45% of their social traffic.

We are, of course, doing something about it now, but this shows just how important "being there" really is.

The difference here is that instead of posting 6-8 times per week, they are currently posting new stuff 2-4 times per week. And instead of answering people questions 5-20 minutes after they have been posted, it now takes 5-8 hours - sometimes not until the next day.

They are still far more active than most other companies. But it is that last step that makes all the difference.

"Just coming by to check up on things" vs. "we are always here and ready for you" will double the effect. The magic starts when people feel that they can visit your social profiles and meet you.

The trick is:

  • Make it really simple to check your Facebook pages, Twitter, or blogs. Any technical difficulties or lengthy processes simply kill people's motivation for constantly "being there."
  • Make sure the people in charge have the right tool. Do you have a mobile that you can use to update your Facebook page? Can you take pictures with it? Can you answer people's comments via it? And can you do it easily?
  • Do you always have a Flip Mino HD camera in your pocket? You should!
  • Start of with a publication plan, but aim for a social culture. Everything is so much easier, once people just do it because it feels natural.
  • It makes a ton of difference if the people updating your social profiles, is also using social networks privately. They already know how to communicate with people (as opposed to markets).
  • There are many tools out there that can help you manage your social portfolio, Hootsuite is one of them. But, while they are great at managing streams, they severely lack the ability to manage comments easily (and that is where the engagement happens).

All the above is just logistics. The question you really need to ask is, "What do our fans want from us?" ...and the answer to that isn't "ads".

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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