If you’re managing a social media account for a brand or business in a different part of the country or world, or while traveling, keep these three things in mind:
1. Time Zone
Timing is crucial to maximizing reach and engagement.
When live posting or scheduling posts in advance, remember to check what time your audience will see them. Scheduled posts through services like Hootsuite will go out according to the time zone of the Hootsuite account, not the account to which it is posting. Posts scheduled directly through Facebook match the time zone of the admin account.
You’ll need to do a little mental math if your account is set to Pacific time but you’re posting to a Eastern time account.
If your audience is located in various time zones, post at various times of day to ensure maximum reach. If you have a more conservative posting schedule, use your analytic tools to determine where the majority of your fans are located and post accordingly.
2. Local Voice
Slight variances in the tone and voice of your posts can make a world of difference, especially for local businesses and their fans.
The voice you use helps establish brand identity.
When posting from afar, you don’t necessarily need to throw in local jargon, but getting a feel for local phrasing and style can help your accounts come across as more connected to the community. Similarly, turns of phrase and stylistic tendencies from one area can come across as foreign when transplanted to another part of the country.
Listen to the way your client speaks and writes emails, do your research on other local businesses, and match their tone. If you don’t feel comfortable using a localized voice or you feel it wouldn’t be appropriate, stick to the TV standard “non-regional diction.”
Facebook admins: beware of the “Add a location to post” option. I’ve had this feature turn on randomly, and it can alert fans to the fact that you’re posting from afar. Fans of a pastry shop in San Francisco, for example, might be confused as to why the location of a post shows as Detroit.
3. Local Content Sources
Connecting to and generating content from local sources is a key component of a successful social media strategy and is even more important when managing remotely.
Use the local perspective and connect to local sources to make the post more relevant to local fans. If a topic is making national news, chances are a local news source is covering it as well. Share and retweet content from accounts in the area, in addition to credible national sources.
Local content sources may also be more likely to engage with accounts in their area that share their content, leading to additional local exposure.
Do you have experience managing social accounts from afar? What other considerations would you add for fellow social media managers?
Lauren Mikov is a social media consultant based in Seattle with clients everywhere from California to Texas to New York. Tweet her at @lpmikov.