8 tasks that define a social media workflow

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.

4. Blogging

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!

8. Eventualities

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.

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Social Media Workflow – Optimizing and Managing your Time in Social Media

Social media can be – well, is- truly time-consuming. So, in order to optimise and manage your time, I strongly recommend defining your workflow. That is to say, identifying all the key tasks you do throughout the day and place them into a structure divided into blocks of time. This will allow you to have clear goals for each task and set up milestones.

The Social Media workflow is designed to optimise and best manage your time in Social Media, as well as help you become more efficient and achieve better results.

Here is an example of a Social Media Workflow, which I designed for a Social Media project with the Government some months ago:

Optimizing and managing your time in Social Media

How It Works

First, we planned the Social Media Strategy- what I call the “philosophical stage.” Once planned, we moved to a more complex scenario where we developed, integrated and implemented the Social Media Strategy.

Secondly, we built a Social Media Framework to fit in all the tactics and actions.

Finally, we worked on the Social Media workflow. We took the results of the Social Media Framework we defined by job description within the flow chart and identified a social media process to follow. This was dependent on the possibilities, goals, requirements and resources of the brand we were working with.

Once we had achieved this, we split all the tasks we needed to do into three blocks of time (morning, noon and afternoon) based on a working day of 9 am to 6 pm. Then we organised the tasks by priority- not for ourselves, but for the audience:

  1. Reputation – Listening
  2. Updating
  3. Distribution
  4. Blogging
  5. Planning
  6. Research
  7. Content sharing
  8. Engagement

Basically, this model is aimed at Social Media and Community Managers. The main idea behind it is that by following and consistently tracking this type of model, you will be able to boost performance in less time, with the same resources. This will also lead to a more dynamic and efficient output. But hey! I developed this workflow according to the needs of my team- your mileage can vary and your version can work well too!

What’s your take? Do you have a Social Media Workflow? How does it looks like?

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Social Media Framework

Have you ever thought in your social media framework? Since I’ve been here in the States – Oh! Did I mention it before? So yes, I’m in the United States researching and studying about social media trends, expanding my knowledge and gaining new ideas and approaches – I’ve thought in how I could empower other people by architecting and disassembling concepts and ideas for maximize their reach, build influence and harness the power of global communications and build relationships within a social media marketing perspective. So, I thought that explaining how you can manage your social media framework would be a good start, right?

To me, the social media framework aids comprehension of workflow experiences by describing their components, it also optimizes my social media workflow in an easier way since a framework may include components that are applicable to them all.

Why do you have to care about? because badly designed processes lead to slow and inefficient response of your audience, ineffective communication, wasted time, disappointing experiences and poor degree of engagement. Not to mention driving yourself to nowhere.

This is how I’d do it – Actually, it’s how I do it –

  • Did I mention the word sharing? Share news resources, tools, best practicestips and guides through social bookmarking platforms.
  • Rock with Twitter: Use it heavily for different purposes such as, RT useful linksWOM, spread the news, share insights with professionals, learn what is hot now, real-time conversations, gain more affluence and traffic in your social networking platforms, support interesting initiatives, building an outstanding reputation being taken into account in the field I work on, promote your blog, look for trends topics , getting ideas and enlightening tips from brilliant people.
  • Your effort and sacrifice deserves being showed and shared for the benefit of others: Posting papers, concepts, frameworks, reports, projects, strategies, marketing plans or campaigns I’ve developed, so the job people can get insights from them.
  • Knowledge don’t belongs to you nor me, but to the universe: Spread what you know, share what others shared with you, teach what you’re good at, learn from everybody, write about how you put in practice these campaigns or explain how you reached that conclusion, which made you successful, but above all, quote your resources!
  • Fall in love in a “long-term relationship” with LinkedIn: Use it insistently for giving and receiving feedback, reading interesting posts, commenting on them, find your key connections and engage with them, share ideas in the groups discussions, also participating in Q&A (either giving advice or receiving it). Should increase your visibility, it will improve the chances of being contacted.
  • Have a break and have some fun on Facebook: Aim it to talk and engage with your friends. Create lists to giving different degree of permissions to your crowd and segmenting the information according to the content you usually share with them.
  • Don’t make waves, ride them: Use Google Wave for a collaborative tasks, develop projects, exchange ideas, brainstorming, conceptualize campaigns and seeing how others can enhance your work.
  • Grease the hub of your timing belt: Your blog, Do you love it? No? You must, because it’s the place where all your efforts, time, money and even romantic relationships are going to end up. All you do on Social Media has being meaningful to your blog. If not, I suggest you may want to reconsider your strategy. Give him a personality, a sense of humor, a purpose, a regularity,  a bottle of Möet if he wants it and you’ll have your reason to give the very best of yourself in this URL.
  • Managing and optimizing:  As I explained in my last post about the social media resolutions for 2010, it’s essential define your strategy, set your goals and  monitoring your results but, it’s vital not being overwhelmed by its magnitudes. Hence, write down every procedure, pattern or system you follow to implement your social media workflow and start developing a schedule with all the tasks you performs every day, together with the time spent, the activities, the allowance, restrictions, and of course, deviations.
  • Plan for failure: If it doesn’t work, try changing and adjusting things to your needs. I know how it works to me, for you instead it can be slightly different. Be aware that you need to have hundred of bad ideas to have 1 or 2 great ideas. Do you get the idea?

Does it works for you? How would you enhance it? What would you add? Do you have your own social media framework? I’d like to know your thoughts…

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