Tips to Keep Busy Facilities Managers Productive On Social Media
The pressure to be productive seems to sneak its way into every aspect of our lives. How can we be better and get more done in less time? If you have the right tools increasing your productivity is an attainable goal, and beneficial to you and your team at work. However, what about on social media, where the guidelines of what defines productivity are less concrete? Here are a few tips we've learned that have helped us get the most out of social in the little time we have.
1). Dedicate A Time To Respond To Comments
Just as every business expert out there recommends you only check email a few times per day, the same thought can be applied to social media. You want to respond in a timely manner (ideally within 24 hours or less), however you certainly can't sit around waiting to respond to comments that may or may not appear. A healthy schedule could be to respond once early in the day, and again before you leave your office. If you can squeeze in another time to check, that would be nice too.
There is one exception to this rule. If there is a building emergency, or a sudden event that affects the health or safety of your office, you really need to be responding to people's inquires ASAP. Social media as a much broader reach that television or radio stations, so you may be the only contact to certain individuals during a serious time of need. To prepare for the unfortunate event that your facility finds itself in a crisis or evacuation situation, it might be best to have one person on your team that you trust pre-selected to directly reply to people's concerns. As the FM, you probably won't have time to read and respond accordingly, but it is absolutely imperative that you assign someone to do so for the safety and well being of your tenants.
2). Schedule Posts A Few Days Or Weeks In Advance
If you're not using a platform to schedule your posts, you're making it so much more difficult on yourself! Even social media managers don't schedule everything in real time, it's just not realistic, especially if you're trying to reach a global audience. There are numerous free social publishing sites that allow you to write tweets or Facebook posts ahead of time and schedule when you'd like them to go out through a calendar. We use HubSpot for all of our marketing, which we are very happy with. However, if you're just using it for social scheduling, you're probably better off signing up for a free tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Each platform is a little different. Try a few to see which offers the features you enjoy best.
There is also an alternative route you can take to schedule posts. Both Facebook and Twitter allow users to write posts for future publishing dates within their site. For Facebook after you draft a post where you normally would on your homepage under "status", select the drop-down arrow to the right and then select "schedule post". To find these posts later, go to Activity --> Scheduled Posts. Twitter makes the process a bit more involved. Go to ads.twitter.com (don't worry you won't pay for anything) and then click on Creatives --> Tweets. You can then enter your tweet text, link or picture and choose your delivery date.
If you're posting content on more than one social site, it's best to use one of the free scheduling tools to keep all of your activity in one place.
3). Involve Your FM Team
If you are the head of your facilities management department, tweeting is probably the furthest thing from your mind on certain days. Enlist in the help of someone on your team who can manage your accounts for you. Preferably someone who writes clearly and pays attention to detail. It's also important that they understand your company's culture, your tenant's needs and how and what you want to communicate. Set up these expectations beforehand to avoid damage control when fixing problems later.
It is also a good practice to have just one or two individuals writing social posts. When too many people are involved the "voice" for your office can lose its direction and eventually confuse your audience.
4). Share Other FMs Content
One of the greatest things about social is the opportunity to communicate and share other people's content! If you're running low on posts, look at your FM neighbors to find industry articles or news your office would enjoy. At iOffice, we love sharing other company's blog posts, as they give a new perspective and provide our audience with something completely different than what we normally provide. You know your followers better than anyone else, and you can share with them information they may have not had exposure to.
Sharing is especially important for offices with large networks. Communicating internal information socially throughout your company creates a sense of community and coherence, even if you're on opposite sides of the country.
5). Don't Feel The Need To Be On Every Network
It often feels as though there's a new social site that exploded in popularity seemingly overnight. For companies trying to reach young teens, these new platforms are important, but not for facilities managers. It's best to allocate what little time you have to the sites that have proven themselves useful over the years. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter grew in popularity at a steady pace, and it's probably where most of your building tenants spend their time. If you notice many of your office employees spending time on another network, try it out for a few weeks and see the response you get.
Every facility's occupants are different, and how they want you to communicate with them depends on so many factors like age, gender, industry and even geographical location. Only you know your office. If you are running the social for a university building, a good bet would be to start with Facebook and Twitter. If you are the FM for an apartment complex, definitely start with those two as well. However, if your facility serves a corporate environment, LinkedIn and Facebook will probably be your standbys.
Succeeding on social is defined differently for every organization, and how you reach that success also varies on how your business operates and how you want to approach your social presence. If you have any questions, please feel free to share them in the comments below!