How to Establish a Process for Presence on Social Media

Listening, responding, following up with social media engagements — all these activities take a lot of time, but they also demonstrate your commitment to being present in your social channels. Being present around the clock isn't a realistic option, so put in place strategic processes to ensure that your brand has presence even when the humans behind the brand aren't sitting behind their computers or holding their mobile devices.

Your presence process can include messaging that's precrafted and scheduled. When developing a plan that best serves your audience, allow your business goals to be your compass — and build from there. Whether you aim to increase brand awareness, build your audience, or sell a product, having a goal is only a start — you need a map to go along with that compass.

Before you embark on a vacation, you probably research to find the information you need and study some maps. As you embark on SME activities, you can benefit from doing similar research and developing a road map to guide your communications in your social channels.

In the beginning stages, the process for maintaining a visible social presence includes these steps:

  1. Identify your goals, the audience, and the actions you want to drive.

  2. Assess your assets, such as the content you have (or that you can create) and the images and video at your disposal.

  3. Locate your audience online wherever they congregate, communicate, and connect.

  4. Choose the networks where you can best reach your audience.

  5. Build and design your presence (possibly in multiple locations), and create any additional assets to properly benefit from each network.

  6. Begin engaging strategically, by reaching out in the right way to the right people with the right messages.

To get the engagement right, you have to do some planning, by answering these basic questions: How will you engage with others? What will you say? How will you say it? Who will you address? Where and when?

Before you start engaging online, your planning process should include two components: a social media messaging map and a social media editorial calendar. Those two tools serve as guides to maintaining messaging that's consistent, on-brand, and targeted while you're in the midst of communicating across social channels.

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