The life of a social media manager is a hectic one. You’re responsible for monitoring, managing, and measuring the growth of your entire company’s social media presence, and that means constantly coming up with new ideas, checking for new comments, and staying ahead of new developments. Every time you catch up on tasks, a new pile of tasks is waiting for you, and there’s never an end to the stream of content you’re responsible for maintaining.
It is a challenging and stressful responsibility, but fortunately, there are a number of strategies which can help you manage the chaos and make your job easier as a social media manager:
If you’re like most social media managers, you’ve probably claimed a profile for your company on every conceivable social profile—you’ve got the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but you’ve also got some small-time players like Snapchat, Vine, and some new up-and-coming network that nobody’s using yet.
Take a look at the response rates and incoming traffic from your individual profiles. Are any of them significantly lacking compared to the others? For example, if you spend half an hour a day on Pinterest and you’re only bringing in a few new visitors a week, you may want to consider eliminating that work and putting it toward something more valuable, especially if that means enjoying a less frantic schedule. Don’t waste your time on inactive social profiles. Quality is better than quantity.
Rather than timing your posts appropriately, or trying to schedule each set of posts for each social media profile, a social scheduler will allow you to schedule the posts for each of your profiles and manage that schedule all in one platform. If you plan it right, you could schedule your posts more than a month in advance and virtually eliminate the time it takes to draft and plan out the timing for each one.
As a bonus, these scheduling tools usually come paired with some kind of analytics tool, so you can easily look back and measure the impact of your work.
If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas for posts or if you’re spending too much time brainstorming when you could be doing something else, try looking into your company’s own past for inspiration. Look to blogs you’ve posted a few years ago and see if they’re relevant enough to rewrite. Find new headlines to reintroduce links to your newest content. Look at your older social media posts and see if you can rework them or follow up on them with a new idea.
The key here is to preserve some level of variation. Don’t repost your older content verbatim, but feel free to dress it up in new packaging. Doing so can eliminate hours of your workweek and keep your content streams just as full as they were before.
Part of the job of a social media manager is to facilitate great discussions that stimulate community growth and help your company appear as an expert in the field. Typically, managers try and start their own conversations with open-ended questions and debatable subjects. While this is a good strategy, you can save time and cut right to the chase by hijacking conversations that already exist.
Look to fellow members of your industry or other influencers for discussions that are already in progress. Jump on as a participant, or share the post on your own feed, inviting your users to chime in with their own ideas. Doing so is a shortcut that could save you a couple hours a week, depending on how much discussion you usually facilitate.
Most social sites allow you to create custom news feeds that give you exactly the type of information and content you’re looking for. For example, Twitter allows its users to create “lists” of the people they follow, grouping them into categories based on subject matter, relationship status, or pretty much any other qualities. Creating and maintaining lists like this can help you zero in on the exact content you need to learn or draw inspiration from.
Similarly, you could subscribe to a free blog reader program, which can generate new reading material for you automatically based on a pre-existing set of preferences. Either way, you’ll eliminate the amount of time you spend searching for news or potential material to base your posts on.
Social listening is an automated tool that can help you stay apprised of any developments on your social media profiles—without checking into each profile individually. Rather than checking for new comments, posts, and mentions on each of your individual profiles and doing manual searches for mentions of your company name, a social listening tool is able to aggregate any activity of types you specify. For example, you’ll get an alert any time your name is mentioned on a social profile, or any time a user posts a new comment on your news feed.
Once you’ve set your listening tool up reliably, you can virtually eliminate all the logging in and logging out that comes with social media management.
It’s easier to manage your time when you can visualize it in chunks and segregate it based on your priorities. It’s too easy to lose track of time when you’re reading the news for inspiration or scrolling through news feeds and search results for new comments.
Block your time out every day to overcome this—set a firm schedule, such as one hour dedicated to checking emails and checking news feeds, a half hour dedicated to reading news, and an hour dedicated to scheduling posts. Keep yourself accountable for maintaining those timetables, and you’ll be able to effectively avoid spending unnecessary time on low-priority items.
Measuring and analyzing your results is one of the most important functions of a social media manager. On a weekly basis, you should be logging in to each profile and Google Analytics to measure your effectiveness and make adjustments to your strategy for the future.
However, it’s much easier if you set up automatic reporting whenever possible, so you can take a look at consistent metrics at a glance. For example, in Google Analytics, it’s possible to have yourself emailed a PDF for each report you typically view, for any time period you set. Most social management platforms offer similar functionality to report new likes, follows, and shares.
Your job as a social media manager may never be “easy,” but it can be made easier by applying these strategies. By eliminating some of your unnecessary work, automating the tasks that can be automated, and creating an environment that allows you to thrive, you can maximize your productivity and increase your impact in the social world. Not only will your job be easier to handle, but you might even see a boost in your followings as well!