3 Tips to Reduce the Workload on Social Media

By: Sofie De Beule

September 22, 2014

Running your social media presence is often very hectic and takes up a lot of time. With high volumes of incoming mentions, companies can’t see the forest for the trees and fail to be productive in a tough, chaotic working environment. To prevent getting lost in the stream of incoming social media mentions, companies are desperately looking for crucial shortcuts or best practices that can help improve their efficiency and ultimately, save time and money.

Although many companies are extremely motivated to take great care of their customers, they often lack the right tools or support system to put their ideas into practice and provide exceptional customer service to every single customer. In urgent cases, especially when dealing with angry customers or in emergency situations, they’re missing out on important opportunities to acquire and retain customers.

Take a look at these 3 essential tips we’ve compiled to reduce the workload on social media and consequently, increase efficiency.

1. Delegate Clear Responsibilities

Divide and conquer.

On any social media team, it’s important to make clear distinctions between multiple functions and give essential responsibilities to the right people. Too often, companies are fixated on the amount of money it will cost to train and coach employees. However, empowering your employees and investing in crucial resources will hugely increase efficiency. The more you can empower your team with straightforward social media guidelines, the more your efforts will pay off.

For example, you can make the distinction between social media team leaders and social media operators. Social media team leaders will be responsible for managing the bigger picture and producing reports on your social media team’s performance. Social media operators have a more daily function and make sure every single incoming question gets a reply.

Delegating responsibilities refers to the role people take on when providing support to your customers, and it refers to assigning internal specialists/experts as well. If you’re dealing with a huge number of different questions on a daily basis, getting the right reply to those messages means directing them to the right people and to the right department. Don’t be afraid to involve other divisions. Social is, most certainly, not a one-man job managed by a single department. Involve everyone, but make sure you manage this process effectively by appointing at least one, social media savvy person from every department as the main point of contact.

2. Filter Through Bulk Data Instantly With Tagging

With billions of conversations happening on social media every day, it’s often hard to filter through the noise and only tap into those conversations that are important to your brand needing an instant reply. That’s why in-depth filtering will take you one step closer to reducing the workload. Based on certain conditions, (automatic) tags can help you group those mentions that, for example, require extra attention and categorize mentions based on importance.

Quickly identify your most important pain points and automatically add a level of “urgency” to your mentions with tags.

On top of that, add tags to individual users who frequently interact with your brand. Identify your most important influencers and label them with a tag (for example, add the “influencer” tag to people talking to me with more than 1,000 followers). This way you will able to identify important pain points more easily and add a level of “urgency”. Use tags while setting up specific campaigns (such as hashtag campaigns, competitions, etc.) to quickly identify the topics people are talking about when mentioning your brand and the context for the mention.

3. Automate, Automate, Automate

Social media tools obviously make anyone’s life more efficient. Therefore, with the automation recipes integrated in these tools, you can save your staff hours of time each day. They enable you to connect easily with your audience beyond what you thought was possible.

During emergency situations, automation allows you to immediately communicate with your customers and engage in two-way conversations to provide them with the support they demand. During a crisis, sending the same reply to thousands of incoming mentions happens within just minutes or even seconds at important peaks during a crisis. Get your message out there before things get out of hand!

Don’t get me wrong, automation should never be used by default to engage with your customers. Engaging with your customers means communicating with them in the same language on just one, specific topic. For certain situations or typical incoming questions (such as, “Where can I access my personal account?”), canned responses with important links prove to be very successful to manage the workload.

Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Social media isn’t an exact science leaving much up to continuous trial and error. Don’t lose track of the essence of your brand, and never let a single customer slip through the cracks.

This article originally appeared on Maximize Social Business.