In 2010 I spoke about the social media workflow to handle and optimise the time and effort you dedicate to social web activity. I updated this in 2012 with a new version that included a graph designed by Luis Calabuig.
While adapting this for a new project, I quite recently realised that this workflow could be further completed by describing its steps and adapting them to the current times.
Which 8 tasks define a “social” workflow?
The following tasks will optimise the time and effort you dedicate to your social web workflow.
1. Reputation – Active listening.
Monitor and follow up on key words regarding what people say about the brand from one day to the next. Analyse and classify mentions according to their nature (positive, negative or neutral.) A new tool has recently appeared to help you with this: SocialVane. It has an interesting ‘artificial intelligence’ feature: the more you use it to filter words out, the more it can classify mentions according to their nature, offering better search and filtering results. There are other tools on the market that can do this, such as Pirendo or Mention. The latter is quite complete, boasting a more comprehensive search feature that searches not only across social platforms but in other channels too.
Once you’ve gathered and analysed this information, select the results that are of greater interest to your organisation. Present a daily report or document with active links to each news item, mention or post.
2. Updating and interacting.
First of all you will need to define your social objects according to a content plan (a day early or even previously for the entire week or month; see below.) Now you need to create this content and disseminate it using the different channels available, not only social platforms. Interaction is another significant moment in your workflow: respond to comments, offer and get feedback, provide information and connect with the brand’s community through bilateral interaction on any of your ecosystem’s platforms.
3. Content marketing – Distribution
Draw up a content plan for the next day (or for the next week or month) and decide how to promote and circulate your content through different platforms and channels. Decide also what pieces you will create: press releases, videos, audio, newsletter, pictures, etc. You must also take into account the call to action linked to every piece of content you publish and how you will measure its result: what action are you expecting once the content reaches your community? Make sure that the result is in line with your objectives: subscriptions, visiting the online store, download of ebook or podcast, contact form requesting more information or a request for a quote.
If you have a blog or offer news on your website, you should previously define what this section will be like as part of your content marketing strategy. At this stage you simply have to write, optimise and publish your post, news item, event or whatever it is you will be publishing. If you’re writing a post that is meant for the following day, leave it ready to be posted by scheduling it. Consider sharing it on platforms or using tools such as Buffer, Twylah or ScoopIt.
5. Planning and brainstorming
It may be interesting, even advisable, to spend up to one hour every day thinking about creative actions, contests, promotions, campaigns and other tactics that are in line with your objectives. They must add value to your community and your brand. By doing this on a daily basis you will be able to run a tight operation that works constantly.
6. Community engagement
Identify the conversations held by your community and take part in them. Share content that is valuable to them, engage with them by putting them in contact with resources, allies or people that meet their needs and interests. Do this by being one more in the conversation, not the one dominating the conversation or the flow of content.
7. Search and analysis
Monitor how your organisation performs in online conversations. In this case, intervene in the case of both negative or positive comments (acting to put a positive spin on things or, in the latter case, to reinforce such comments). Remember to watch your tone in doing so!
The chances are you’re not only in charge of the “social” side of things. You therefore need to combine all of the above with any other duties you have outside this area. Don’t worry if you can’t always follow this workflow strictly; there will always be other distractions: emails, phone calls, unexpected meetings, you co-worker’s love life, etc.
Find your own formula
The best thing about this is you don’t need to follow the precise order of tasks and responsibilities I set above. Distribute them across your day however they work best with your strategy and time. You can repeat more than one task within a day; some may take two hours, others 15 minutes. This will depend on your objectives, the time you can dedicate to online tasks or how relevant all of this is to your organisation.
Everything boils down to what you require. The idea is for you to define and structure what tasks need to be carried out. Don’t approach them all at the same time and dedicate time to each one separately. Online activity is increasingly integrated into the day-to-day running of companies, so perhaps they’re part of customer services and you need to integrate the social media workflow into your own workflow mix.
What is your workflow like? Are there any other tasks you think I left out?
Photo credit: woodlyewonderworks.