For many, social media is a way to connect with friends and to stay in the loop about trends and pop culture. For others, like an SEO company or marketing agency, social media is a branding and advertising necessity. How do you handle social media when it stops becoming entertainment and starts becoming work? By narrowing down exactly what it is you have to do to achieve your goals. Managing a social media campaign doesn't have to be tedious, believe it or not - it can be streamlined and automated so that you can get more done with your day.
Schedule Regular Updates
At the beginning of every week or month, schedule Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter updates to carry you through the next several days. Apps like Buffer are free (or low cost for more access) and let you set recurring schedules for each of your social media accounts. Load your posts into Buffer and add images or links - they'll be auto-scheduled for the time slots you've predetermined. What happens when a last minute post comes up that you need to shoot out across your platforms? Keep a Word document with an alternative schedule for each platform. You won't overlap posts and Buffer lets you custom schedule posts.
Outsource Simple Tasks
Some of the most successful people outsource part of their workload. If there's a social media task that a virtual assistant can handle, hand it over to them. Small tasks, like "liking" Instagram posts with a certain hashtag or finding Facebook accounts in your area can be handled by someone else, leaving you more time for the rest of your more challenging work. Have your VA organize Twitter lists, load your Buffer account, post photos to Pinterest with specific links and descriptions... anything that can be arranged by you and then handled by them.
Focus Social Media Efforts
Not every company performs well on every social media platform. Text-heavy companies aren't strong on Instagram and Pinterest while photo-heavy companies may not perform well on LinkedIn, for example. Instead of spreading your social media too thin and wasting time on sites that aren't going to improve your reach or bottom line, pick two or three platforms and focus all of your energy there. How do you choose? Find out where other businesses in the same industry are and then check out how well their accounts are performing. You can also try one or two sites, measure the results and then move on if you don't seem to be attracting enough attention.
There's no need to constantly refresh each social media account. If you want to know when your company is mentioned, sign up for Google Alerts and other similar apps that will alert you when a word or phrase is used anywhere online. This is a much easier way of monitoring your reputation than constantly checking every outlet you can think of.
Signup for Social Media E-mail
Every social media outlet has some way of letting you know when people are engaging with your account and your posts. Facebook's updates are built-in, but Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest will shoot you an e-mail when someone favorite, re-Tweets, re-Pins, responds to or shares your post. Decide which e-mail alerts you need and which ones you can do without. For example, favorited Tweets may not mean very much to you, so you may not want to get an e-mail every single time someone likes a Tweet. On the other hand, re-Pinned images can be great for retail companies, so you may want to setup that alert so that you can keep track of who's sharing your items online. Pick and choose the right e-mail settings - otherwise, you'll waste a lot of time looking through suggestions for people and things that aren't going to help your brand.