Social Media Conversation Calendar for Better Planning

Have you ever wondered how large brands such as Popchips, Virgin America, Kraft, etc. have maintained a steady conversation flow on their social media accounts?  There is more to social media conversations than posting on the whim.  Although posting on the whim is within the rulebook, there is a deeper strategy to the daily tweets or posts that your favorite brands make.  The best thing about this is that you can take this social media marketing strategy right out of the playbook of these large brands so that you can adopt these for your small business social media strategy.

What is the secret?  A social media calendar of course!  It looks something like the following (this example could be for a local catering company)

The conversation calendar is simple in form: assign a post type (i.e.: Image, Recipe, Trivia, Poll, Fact, etc.) to each day and build a monthly calendar in advance.  By doing so, you will be preventing any lapse in social media conversations because you will no longer need to think of ways to generate engagement on the whim.  Furthermore, by utilizing a conversation calendar, you will now be able to divide your social media week by topic and therefore, always finding something to speak to.  For the days that you might not have a branded message that you would like to share for the daily post topic, you can use an un-branded message to keep your compelling conversations on-going.

Conversation calendars are used by all social media agencies that work with large brands – it is a way for these agencies to stay focused, provide on-going, compelling, and engaging content, and a way to measure and refine the daily post type based on measuring the reactions after making certain types of posts.

What Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Small Business

A little over a month ago, I wrote an article that discussed the “Social Media Marketing Fallacy“.  It is very easy as a small business owner to get caught up in the latest marketing bubbles.  I truly believe that Social Media Marketing is a marketing bubble because many create social media accounts to develop a social media marketing strategy, even though it might not make sense to be on certain social platforms.  If you are doing social media marketing correctly, the rewards could be great but if you are are using social media incorrectly, you are just wasting your time.  Here are some things to consider in your small business social media marketing strategy so that you are using social media correctly:

What consumers are using what platforms?

The latest marketing bubble is Pinterest.  Many are recommending that small business owners create a Pinterest account to hop on this bandwagon.  However, sites like Pinterest might not make sense for all small businesses.  The Pinterest consumer is mostly females and moms that like digital scrap booking.  If you own a roofing company or a men’s store, Pinterest might not make sense for you.  The same holds true for any social media platform – Twitter users are different from Facebook users, who are also different from YouTube users.  Find the platform that is right for you before proliferating your small business social media accounts and wasting your time!

What platforms enable you to achieve your social media objectives?

Pinterest is more for sharing visual appeal, Facebook is for interacting, Twitter is for updating, etc.  If you have no images to show, then Pinterest clearly won’t be beneficial for your small business.  If your goal is to simply send updates to your consumers then Twitter and Facebook would be best.  However, if you do not have the manpower to monitor the Facebook conversations, then perhaps you should steer clear of having a Facebook account.  One of the worst things for your business is to have consumers ask questions on your Facebook wall and not receive a response!  Whatever platform(s) you choose to use, you need to own the conversation!

A Twitter Follower vs. a Business Follower

Today I performed an experiment. To give you some background, this website was launched about 6 weeks ago and today, I have about 88 twitter followers. Granted, a small following but nonetheless, a following that will provide a statistically significant result.  As you can imagine, this website is still in the “developing awareness” phase.

I decided that I wanted to test my followers.  I tweeted that I am trying to achieve Facebook Likes and would like them to take two seconds out of their day to like eMarketingFreak.com via the Facebook Like Button on my homepage.  I retweeted this about an hour later.  Six hours later, I had zero likes.

There is clearly a way to target a twitter follower however, what this experiment has showed me is that 100% of my organic twitter follower fan base are just that: twitter followers.  I would prefer business followers, obviously.  But unfortunately, I am still in the slow process of getting ranked high in Google so that I can be found.

What does this mean for your social media marketing strategy?  Firstly, twitter is ineffective in the early stages of your website.  Your twitter followers will consist of twitter followers, but not business followers.  Business followers come through time as you develop trial, awareness, and market penetration.  Secondly, twitter is filled with business owners like yourself – people that are trying to promote their business.  They will follow you because you are relevant to their business in some way, however, they will only stay as twitter followers – never a business follower.