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How to run a 24/7 social media machine

In my last blog post I talked about the importance of not lacking a social media strategy. I showed a very popular business case concerning a hotel which took great advantage from having a firm social media strategy. This week I want to discuss one of the most frequently questioned part of a social media strategy: the 24/7 economy of social media.

At first glance, the social media 24/7 economy seems like a hard world to live in. How is it ever possible to actively participate 24/7 to update company news, respond to your guests questions, encourage interaction, sell rooms with a discount and still be able to operate a hotel. That’s why I’ll give you some basic steps to survive in the 24/7 social media economy….

Why should you join this 24/7 race?

There are a number of reasons why you can and will benefit from continiously participating on social media sites. For example:

  1. Brand image: you would like to diffuse your brand as much as possible to as many (potential) guests. Saying your name once a week is not enough.
  2. Up-to-date: all news is getting old the second it happened. So you want to spread the news as fast as possible
  3. Sales potential: during the day people are talking about your hotel or restaurant. The moment they mention it, you want to immediately intervene in the discussion.

How to run a 24/7 social media machine?

If you want to take advantage from the 24/7 social media economy you better work efficiently. Basically, you can achieve this in two ways: organization and technology. Or a combination of both. I’ll give you some beginner tips below.

Organization:

  1. Assign one person overall responsible for managing the 24/7 social media machine. He or she has to check whether a 24/7 presence is continiously reached.
  2. Create different teams responsible for different accounts. Let them focus on a specific area of expertise. And create a planning with multiple shifts. They should read your Social Media Policy very carefully!!!
  3. If you don’t have the people to do it, hire social media teams from external companies and let the person from point 1. to manage these teams. Tip: Don’t pay these social media operators too much, so use students for example.

Technology:

  1. Since the computer has already replaced human labor in general, why not use technology for the 24/7 challenge! Hootsuite is a very nice tool to automatically spread Twitter updates during the day. So you could upload a bunch of updates already in the morning, while drinking a cup of coffee.
  2. If you have a website or blog with a lot of news items you could automatically distribute them on Twitter using RSS feeds. Twitterfeed.com is a tool which you can use for this purpose.
  3. If you use other social media sites next to Twitter (which I recommend) you should take a closer look at Ping.fm. With this tool you can spread an update on a number of social media platforms.

I want to end this blog by saying that in order to survive in the 24/7 social media world you’ll need to address BOTH the organizational and technological challenges!!!

I’m going back to Twitter to interact with my audience!! 🙂 Good luck everybody!!!

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