The number of recommended actions and suggested tasks that social media managers must engage in can seem downright overwhelming. Not only are you supposed to update dozens of different profiles every day, you have to connect with potential new followers and monitor your company’s branded keywords in order to manage any negative mentions you encounter. And more.
To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed and unable to get anything done at all, refocus your efforts on the following daily social media habits made up of tasks you know you can complete. Doing so should help you to form positive brand recognition and responsive follower bases — without driving yourself crazy over everything you could be doing.
1. Check the pulse of your social profiles. As a social media manager, the first thing to do every day is to log into your social profiles. Although this seems like a fairly common sense recommendation, many companies create their social profiles only to let them lie dormant for weeks or months on end.
So whether your company has chosen to focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ — or any combination of these and other social networks — your first step every day should be to simply log in. Once inside, you’ll be able to complete your goals, all of which play an important role in effective social media marketing.
2. Respond to direct interactions from followers. One of the most important things you can do within your social profiles is to respond to any direct messages you’ve received from followers or potential fans. These interactions come in a number of different formats, including:
- Facebook messages
- Posts to your Facebook wall
- Facebook status or picture tags
- Twitter direct messages (DMs)
- Twitter “@” replies
What’s important about these interactions is that they represent people who have put forth the effort to engage with your brand on a higher level than simply observing your content. While these interactions may be good or bad (as in the case of negative reviews), it’s important that you respond to them out of respect for the initiative these followers have shown.
3. Post stimulating content to encourage conversation. After you’ve responded to any direct interactions that have occurred since you last logged into your social profiles, take a few moments to post a status update or message that’s designed to encourage interaction among your followers. For example, you could:
- Ask a provocative question
- Share an interesting blog article
- Comment on a recent news item
- Post an inspirational picture or quote
- Request follower feedback on the specific products or services you offer
As you create these messages, make your call-to-action obvious, as social followers are often so overloaded with media inputs that it takes a clearly-defined request to encourage action. Pairing your stimulating content with a statement such as, “Let me know what you think” or “Share your thoughts in the comments” can prompt the type of action to make your social profiles appear more welcoming and engaging to potential new followers.
4. Seek out new followers. Ideally, the bulk of your new social profile followers should be coming from people who love your brand and your website content so much that they can’t wait to hear more from you on social networks. But sometimes — whether your website is new or your company hasn’t built the necessary market traction to attract followers naturally yet — you’ll want to be a little more proactive when it comes to building up a follower base for your business.
One way to do this on Twitter is to seek out the profiles of authority figures within your industry. Then, follow people who are following them, and whose profiles indicate that they’d be interested in your company as well. A number of these people will most likely follow you back automatically, increasing the size of your follower base.
Attracting new followers on permission-based websites like Facebook can be more challenging, but the same principles apply. Seek out those who have demonstrated an interest in your industry and the authority figures you follow, make your introductions through direct message and see what happens.
5. Search for your company’s branded terms. One final daily habit is to conduct a quick search for any of your company’s branded phrases, including any common misspellings or abbreviations you’re aware of.
Specifically, what you’re looking for are instances where users you aren’t immediately connected with are mentioning your company’s name. These mentions could be left as unsolicited reviews or questions seeking clarification. Either way, proactively seeking them out enables you to connect with potential followers and create the impression of an engaged, customer-centric brand.
This story originally appeared at Entrepreneur.com