Social Media Engagement – Why I (did) Get Frustrated

August 26, 2015

I allow myself half an hour a day for social media engagement.  That’s 2 1/2 hours per week to monitor, listen and reach out to my connections.  So imagine my frustration when at the end of a half hour block I’ve scrolled through my Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Pinterest feeds, G+ communities and Twitter lists … and contributed a big fat zero.  Groups are full of link baiting and promotions, communities have nothing I can contribute to and news feeds … nothing.

This has happened to me and to our clients.  There is just so much noise in social media it’s next to impossible to find valuable conversations consistently the good old fashioned, manual way.

So, time to practice what I preach (I say to myself) and work smarter.  The tools are out there and with a bit of planning … well, my half hour a day has turned from frustration to focused. I might skip a day (or 3 but that’s another post!) but I’m happy to do that when my engagement days are productive.

No secret formula.  Just a bit of research and some planning.

How to Engage on Social Media, Smarter!

I found Nimble and uploaded my influencers, clients and social connections (which took me about 10 minutes). Nimble is a CRM that gathers together, in one screen, all your contacts’ conversations from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. This allows you to listen and respond in real time, and interactions become part of the contact record so you have context. You’ll build deeper relationships when you see a well-rounded view of your contact’s social universe.  You can search the whole range of social streams right from Nimble to find business-relevant people, companies, and topics.

This is the option I have chosen, it works well for me, has a simple interface and is easy to use and I can basically have all my communications (listening, monitoring, engaging, emailing, calendar and tasks – to name a few).

Now in case I’m sounding a bit like a paid advertisement, an option like Nimble might not be the best option for you.  You may already be using a CRM and want to keep social separate.  Worry not, I have looked into some other ways to take the frustration out of your engagement.

Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that pulls information you ask for from all channels into one steady stream of content.  So you can set up searches for hashtags, keywords and phrases, find out what people are saying about you, a particular product or service … search any topic you can think of.

Search results then show you sentiment around that search; top keywords, users, hashtags and sources as well as the mentions themselves.  You can download results or set up email alerts and RSS feeds.

I used to do a similar exercise with Google Alerts; pulling the information into my Feedly account so I can simply login to Feedly to see recent updates at a glance but Social Mention provides a lot more information than a basic alert.

Hootsuite we use for scheduling content but the free version fell short for me when it comes to monitoring and searching for conversations.  For Twitter the saved searches worked a treat in Hootsuite but that’s a small sample of where I want to be engaging.

Topsy is similar to Social Mention though like Hootsuite, for me the free version doesn’t meet my needs (and I pay for enough tools and apps, I wasn’t looking for another monthly commitment!).  Where Topsy does shine, even in the free version, is in it’s focus on influencers and top conversations, as opposed to all conversations.

I love engaging on social media but doing it smarter means I’m happier about the time I allocate personally, and ultimately I achieve a better ROI.  Not ROI in terms of generating new leads; but in terms of creating better relationships online, being more informed (no more head in the sand for me!) about what’s going on and in terms of adding value to my customer relationships.  That’s my primary goal.

I’d love to hear from you on how you find engaging on social media; and what tools you use. 

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