What would I do without Sprout Social? I would probably go a little nuttier and battier than I already am.
There’s some very good advice in there. Let’s face it, social is only going to get more intense. Those who are good at it probably already are doing the right things already. Those who are deficient may have a long road in front of them. We’re probably somewhere in between. We know we’re good at some things and need to work on others. My guess is that we are probably similar to many out there who are trying to wrangle this social beast into submission.
The daunting side is that making it work and grow can’t all happen at once.
The good thing is that making it work and grow can’t all happen at once.
If any of us try to bite off more than we can chew, not only will the product suffer, but we’ll go bananas in the process.
Managing the volume? Some days are better than others.
Which takes me to #17 from the post: don’t be afraid to automate.
I’m a fan of a level of automation. I do understand the contingent who thinks automation and pre-scheduling is verboeten.
But, from where I sit, there are also some practical sides to setting it and forgetting it.
#1: I Want To Have A Life
I’m not a huge proponent of sitting in front of the computer at all times. I live in Portland and it’s nice outside. Soon, the sun will go down at 4:30pm and I’ll be in hibernation mode with the exception of daily trips to the gym and weekly matches as a member of America’s Favorite 40+ Men’s Football Team.
Prescheduling tweets and posts relieves the “oh s**t, I think I forgot to post something” anxiety and allows me to breathe a little bit as I chase my now-crawling daughter around the house and away from sharp objects.
I do check everything on my mobile every so often and can take care of more critical alerts/messages. But it’s not always in front of my big ‘ol machine or MacBook Pro.
#2: There Is Some Information That Is Tailor-Made To Schedule
Blog posts are good to schedule, in my opinion. Figure out how many times you need to say it, create the content and get ‘em ready.
Info on an event is good, too. In our case, session information is great for this approach. When there are 200+ Advertising Week sessions being planned, having things buttoned up and pre-scheduled fills a key need as we get ready for October.
If it’s not meant to be more conversational, I say go for it. You can catch comments/interaction on the fly.
#3: The Rest Of The World Shouldn’t Be Left Out
As much as I would like to be “live” in the rest of the world, it is impossible, short of having AWSC contributors tweet on our behalf (which some do from the UK). Yes, I am an early riser, but getting up at 3am to tweet stuff specifically for London just ain’t gonna happen.
This is a place where we know we can improve — as we tend to be heavy on scheduled posts in the North/South American time zones. Which is great for us to know and grow.
Speaking of which (shameless promotion), if you do want to tweet from somewhere other than North America with us, let me know.
#4: It’s Just More Efficient
Know that there are 20 tweets to go out? Make that the first thing you do.
End of the day? A perfect time to get tomorrow set up.
Nothing replaces good efficiency when it’s sitting right in front of you.
#5: But It’s Never A Replacement For Good Stuff On The Fly
Knowing that I’m a scheduling proponent, there is a very important thing to remember: scheduling never replaces being social. Nor does it replace the great serendipity that happens as conversations evolve and fly around us from the stuff we get out there.
The common wisdom is that social is a two-way conversation. I beg to differ. It is a many-way conversation — two-way is too limiting. It also moves fast and cannot be ignored.
If you do schedule, you need to keep track and follow up as quickly as you can if a conversation starts.
This is social, and it should always be social.
Even if it means you’re keeping things on track by preparing.