It’s been predicted that business leaders will increase their social media budgets in 2014. As organic reach declines across Facebook and Twitter, it’s inevitable that companies will be forced to pay to promote their posts to a wider audience. And while mobile advertising and traditional display advertising will also eat up a sizable portion of budgets, that’s not the only way social media management will cost more this year.
Managing social requires time and dedication. And that costs money. It takes time to build your social media communities, wherever they may be. It took time to learn more about where your customers are and what they want to talk about. It took time to develop the right types of content and messaging to engage your audience across platforms. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it takes time to manage and cultivate it all — the conversations, the questions, the comments, and everything in between.
Find Your Rhythm
Managing social media is more than just scheduling tweets or promoting posts. It’s about understanding the trends and relevant issues influencing your audience. It’s about understanding what they want so you can respond accordingly. Managing social media is a push and pull between letting your fans and followers lead you and leading your fans and followers.
Focus on the Big Picture
Many think the hard work lies in thoroughly discovering your audience so you can deliver the right message at the right time in the right place. And while that’s a big part of the social media management process, the real work is putting it into action. It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture on social media. Slight changes to algorithms and audience metrics can throw you off course if you’re not focused on your goals.
Social media success isn’t about the size of your budget; it’s about being dedicated to the ebb and flow of your community. Building your online community is not a sprint. It’s not even a marathon. It’s a ultra distance that requires trust, determination, flexibility, and humility.
As you begin to define your social media goals for the year ahead, be sure to think about what your budgeting for — short-term success or a long-term investment?
Photo credit: via Palmer’s Planners, www.etsy.com/shop/kspalmer