How do you optimize a social media schedule to get the most interaction with your ideal audience? Start by researching the timing and the topics of your ideal participants.
This is the third article covering social media for tech events. Let’s look at active examples from the current Deep Sensor Conference in Perth. My past client, Stewart Snell from Atamo Electronics Engineering and the Solder inventors’ maker space is helping organize the Deep Sensor Conference in Perth. I am throwing him my support by tapping into my social media channels.
Refer to the Workbook
Refer to the Social Media Marketing Workbook 2017 for steps to research your target audience by channel (an example of channels are Facebook, Twitter, and websites). Consider this your study guide:
- Facebook, see page 50
- LinkedIN, see page 95
- Twitter, see page 142
The workbook also includes YouTube, Pinterest, and local search.
Know Your Brand Participants
To optimize your schedule you need to know your brands. I like to use a table in Microsoft word because I can share or email it to my clients. Word also gives me the ability to add line breaks (press the return key), where Excel puts me in the next row when I press return.
(Click on the images to enlarge the images.)
Write the title and dates of your event above the table.
Find the social media channels by going to brand websites. Start with the speakers and sponsors on your event list. You will optimize your schedule and add brands to your list as you start posting. Expect this to be a living document.
Include your social media and website info in the list. Often your participation in social media will extend the influence. You will demonstrate what your brand does by making your posts part of the plan.
Keep your editorial plan simple. A simple editorial plan will make optimizing your social media schedule easier For example, an editorial plan can be as basic as:
Create recognition for my colleagues managing the event and improve attendance
Network people who may have mutual benefits in industrial IoT around Deep Sensor
Tactics (specifically how)
- Tap into personal relationships
- Introduce brands with mutual benefits
- Coordinate shared comments
- Reach out to speakers
- Limit to a few high quality posts
I speak to my colleagues and clients on the phone and by email. I know that my engineering clients sometimes catch up on social media for work during the middle of the week. They also reply to and share my social media posts early in the evening on Sunday.
I will post 3-5 times midweek and 1 time Sunday late afternoon based on my knowledge of my personal clients. Your schedule may be different based on a target audience in multiple time zones or how often your ideal person accesses social media channels. Be respectful not to spam (send too many posts) or to get your schedule timing from the wrong industry, like the high volume retail or entertainment industries.
Be ready to change the timing and frequency of your plan after you have 2-3 weeks of activity. You may find that your best interactions are at a different time than the times your colleagues use social media. (See page 73-74 in the Social Media Marketing Workbook for how to measure actual activity.)
Use the simple editorial plan to create an editorial calendar. This is where you will optimize and even move around your posts.
My editorial calendars start in Word. I research holidays and activities that may interfere with my event. For example, I need to be aware of school holidays if I am trying to recruit senior school students to the event as a transition to engineering careers in university.
Add the major dates of your event such as registration opening, deadlines for discounts, and major activities during the event. Consider adding daylight savings time or public holidays to your calendar and adjust the time and type of posts to fit the events. Color the holidays and informational rows to ensure these standout.
Use the year-month-day date format (2017-03-22). This ensures that you can sort the dates in a Word table. Think ahead, and know that you can edit the date and resort the list to change the editorial calendar. You may want to add the day of the week at the end of the date to remind yourself of your sequence.
Optimise the schedule by saving good ideas into the same file. Often we get ahead of ourselves happening upon great articles we would like to share, but we have no idea when that article will flow with like topics. Use the space under your table as a “parking lot” for ideas and notes.
Reward Important People
Social media rewards us with traffic when we share or comment on our colleagues’ posts. Sometimes we get a brief boost in traffic by mentioning major brands.
Retail social media thrives on 80% of the posts being fun and 20% of the posts being sales. In engineering we want 80% of the posts to reward our colleagues and 20% of the posts to associate our colleagues or event with a major brand or media.
Start by opening up the links and reading the posts your speakers and sponsors are sharing.
- Are they a reseller or certified consultant with a major brand?
- What buzz words are they posting about?
- What is the topic of their presentation or item they are showing at your event?
Example of a LinkedIN Post
An example of sharing a LinkedIN post by one of the Deep Sensor speakers:
Is it safe? Martin Abbott from Satalyst will explain Microsoft Azure #IoT Hub at the Deep Sensor Conference in Perth, Apr 6 from 3:30-4 pm.
Don’t forget to check the link — click and check the link is useful. This link when to the Deep Sensor home page. Martin is mentioned about halfway down the page in the schedule of speakers. A visitor might be confused why they landed on the home page if they didn’t know the Satalyst employees through LinkedIN. So, the other channels will link to the informational page at the vendor’s website and mention the speaker.
Example of a Tweet
Complement the LinkedIN post with a Tweet to the product Satalyst consults on:
Is it safe? @Satalyst to explain Microsoft @Azure #IoT Hub at @deepsensor Apr 6 3:30-4 pm https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/iot-hub/iot-hub-what-is-iot-hub
Create a flowing theme between the brands you are rewarding and 20% major media or brand topics you will add. (See page 141 in the 2017 Social Media Workbook for instructions on how to use @ and # in Twitter.)
The essence of the problem we are discussing is data security, regardless of the #hashtag or @person we mention. We use the problem to branch into flowing topics. Find and add posts from our “important people” about cloud data security, physical hardware to provide security, and results from data security surveys.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
There are many scheduling tools that allow you to queue your content to be posted on a specific day and time. To optimize the schedule, use a mix of scheduled posts of milestone material, and using the functions inside each social media system.
Learning the features of a scheduling tool takes time. Use the native social media system functions and hold off on using a scheduling tool if you are setting up this editorial calendar “just in time” to start posting today or tomorrow.
Using the native tools for your first project improves your “listening” to other people and brands using that channel. While you are using the tool you will see what others are saying. You should add spontaneous, social actions of commenting and sharing. Additionally, you can pick the best scheduling tools in the future if you know which functions work best for you inside the native social media system.
Get Started Optimizing the Schedule
Download my files with data and get started with your schedule. Use my data as an example. Don’t spam (post unrelated marketing content and sales offers) to this list. Instead, click on some of the links that interest you and look at how that brand is using their social media and website.
Download these example files (in progress as of Thu 23 Mar) from Box:
If this is your industry and you want to participate in the conversation, tag us. Or, email or call me directly to coordinate a useful volley of posts.