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:
- 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.
- Up-to-date: all news is getting old the second it happened. So you want to spread the news as fast as possible
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!