By Ashley Barforoush

When it comes to social media, take the content you already have and make it work harder for you, said Jordan Deatherage, senior manager of social media for InTouch Solutions, at the ASBPE Boot Camp in Kansas City this month. In a session on social analytics, she explained that while social media is free, it isn’t really free, which is why you should try to make the most out of every post.

“Use the term ‘free’ loosely,” Deatherage said. “It takes your time, which is billable.”

Here are three things she said you should be doing on social media to make it worth your while.

1. Pre-schedule your posts. Deatherage highly recommends pre-scheduling your Facebook and Twitter posts ahead of time using a social media manager like Hootsuite or Crowdbooster. She said it would be even better if you created an editorial calendar for social media content.

“It’s hard to stand in front of blank status update on Facebook,” Deatherage said. “It’s easier to be more creative when you don’t have a deadline in five minutes.”

She writes her social media content six to eight months in advance because every post must go through a rigorous approval process. You can bet this makes it much harder to post engaging and timely content. Deatherage said to make sure you’re aware of any social media limitations at your company before you start posting willy-nilly.

“Set expectations for how much time and how much freedom you have,” Deatherage said.

2. Post multiple times a day. How often should you post? Four to seven times a day on Twitter and at least one to two times a day on Facebook, Deatherage said.

“The lifespan of content in social media is literally 10 to 15 seconds,” she said.

After those seconds are up, Deatherage said your posts start falling “below the fold” in a social media feed. If you’re feeling short on content, Vine, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and company blogs can generate content for your Facebook and Twitter pages. And don’t be afraid to change the hook and post the same article or quiz more than once.

“Repeating the message is worthwhile because of the short lifespan,” Deatherage said.

3. Know your numbers. What types of posts receive the most engagement? Which ads have the most views? What time of day are your readers most active on social media? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, Deatherage said it’s time to leverage profile management tools (like Hootsuite or Crowdbooster) that enable you to see content shares, click-throughs and comments from readers.

You can also utilize the backend of social platforms that have these metrics built-in. For example, Deatherage said, Facebook metrics show audience demographics, when your audience is online, how many people saw each post and what topics your readers are talking about.

Her final words of e-advice?

“Try new things,” Deatherage said. “Ask open ended questions. Link to videos, other sites, articles, SlideShares, and news releases. and don’t be afraid to try new content formats, like infographics, videos and pictures.”

Ashley Barforoush

Ashley
Barforoush

Ashley Barforoush is the ASBPE Kansas City chapter secretary and an associate content specialist with Advanstar Communications’ Veterinary Group. Before joining Advanstar in January 2011, Ashley held internships at the Kansas City Star and TNT Magazine in London, England. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas where she was a correspondent writer for the University Daily Kansan