Here's something a lot of marketers and social media experts don't want you to know: Anyone can build up and manage a brand on social media. Here's something any of them will tell you: It's not easy.
Building and maintaining a successful brand takes work. A lot of it is repetitive and sometimes monotonous. It's a lot like working out to get in shape: You do the same thing forever, and sometimes you'll look back and feel like you've only achieved minimal results. The really great brand managers are the ones who keep going, even after that.
So what does it take to get started down that road? Here are four things we recommend for brand managers to focus on every day.
1. Publish content
When you're just starting a brand on any social network, this is the backbone of your activity. Don't let it take up your whole day, though. Take advantage of one of the many social-network scheduling tools available for cheap, or free. At Curator, we really love Buffer.
2. Be social
One of the reasons we advocate using a social scheduling tool is because it frees you up to spend time interacting with other accounts. Most days, I'll schedule posts first thing in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day responding to mentions and doing keyword searches to see what else is out there that the brands I manage can help with.
3. Measure your progress
Even if you're starting from scratch, set time-bound goals for the accounts you're running—they don't even have to be realistic or well-thought-out—and measure your progress against them every day. The process of doing that will force you to think about what you're actually on these networks for. For example: If you're falling short of your goal, why? You figuring that out, every day, will make you a better brand manager.
4. Do your homework
A.k.a. read. If you don't have a lot of time in your day, make a goal to read at least two things: One related to your brand's industry or area of focus, and one related to social media. Don't worry if something you read turns out to be useless. By the end of a work week, you'll have ingested 10 articles; one or two are bound to be useful.
Bonus: How to get all this done in less than an hour each day
Here's a sample schedule you can use to knock all this out quickly—we know how busy it is managing a brand.
- 15 minutes: Find content and schedule it to post
- 20 minutes (intermittent throughout the day): Interact with other accounts
- 10 minutes: Measure your progress
- 10 minutes: Read two posts related to your industry and social media
TOTAL: 55 minutes (These will fluctuate, and you'll find on some days you don't even need that much time.)
Now go out there and do work.