Social media is an essential marketing tool for most companies nowadays. It’s important for building an online presence and engaging with your customers on a deeper, more human level. This didn’t matter as much earlier as it does today but the market is evolving and the customers want more from businesses. They don’t just want to be sold to and would rather relate to a brand and build a relationship that can last.
This is why companies are so interested in social media. It gives them a relaxed and entertaining way to communicate with their audience. A brand’s social media posts can range from informative to funny and entertaining but they tend to be in general a lot more informal and friendly than any other way of marketing. Companies get to share their own content but also hear people’s opinions and build that deeper relationship that customers want.
That’s what social media managers do – they make the most of each platform and use it in a way which gets people to engage with the brand. It’s not an easy job and there is a lot of work to do. From posting updates and finding good content to moderating the pages and answering comments, all of this has to be organized and has to flow seamlessly – something that doesn’t come that easily. That’s why it sometimes seems as if the job of social media manager – whether it’s the main task or just a part time task – never ends. There is always something to do and that can be quite stressful for anyone.
This is why it’s important for social media managers to learn how to optimize their processes and use technologies that can enhance their work flow.
Learn to ‘hack’ your own social media marketing productivity
One of the first things that you should try to do is increase your productivity while cutting back on the hours spent working. This will make you less stressed and you’ll have more time to analyse what is happening and think about future steps.
While it’s easy to propose this as a solution, it’s not so easily done in real life. Social media is fluid and active at all times. There is always something to be done.
And one of the most dangerous threats to productivity is always interruption. Think about it – how many times during a day are you interrupted? According to research, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after and interruption. Now, if you add it all up, it turns out that most of the time, you are not even doing something that is related to your job but something entirely different. This doesn’t do anything for your productivity and you get stressed if you don’t meet all the necessary deadlines.
You need to find ways to stop this from happening – turn off your phone or talk to your team about some rules in the workplace that could be beneficial to your overall process and productivity. Maybe you could set a timer for all of the things that you need to do before you can allow yourself to do something else or talk to anyone else.
Think about using ‘the batch method’ as well. This means that you’ll do certain similar groups of tasks at once and then move on to do more of these batches of similar tasks. Just like doing the laundry – you would wash a group of clothes – whites, let’s say – dry it and fold it accordingly and then put it away. After that you would move on to other groups and so on.
The same can be done with social media tasks
Another way you can hack your productivity is by using tools for tasks you would generally do on your own – for instance, you could use Grammarly, a grammar fixing tool to correct the grammar mistakes in your posts.
Social media manager task checklist
Your usual tasks probably depend on whether you are working as a social media manager on your own or as a part of the team. In any case, most people work without having a specific schedule or a list of tasks that need to be done.
This is a mistake because you can’t lean on your memory for everything. It’s best to create clear and relevant lists of tasks on a weekly or even a daily basis and check them off as you go. This is not only great for productivity but it also gives you a great feeling of accomplishment.
Don’t let stress take over just because you forgot to do something – write it down to be sure that you’ll do it. Here are some of the checklists that you can create:
A daily checklist
- Look at private messages sent to you and mentions of your company
- Create content: images, videos, text, contests etc.
- Create a schedule for the posts
- Manage comments
- See the next day’s scheduled posts
- Stay up-to-date on current events in case that there is something that can affect your posts
A weekly checklist
- Review marketing campaign success
- Take a look at the analytics for the week and compare it to other weeks
- Look for new accounts to follow
- Take a look at what the competition is doing
A monthly checklist
- Review analytics for the month and compare it to the previous month
- Plan what will happen on your social media in the next month
- See how the current process works and how you could improve it
- Find time for a photo shoot or a video shoot
You could also
- Engage with influencers
- Create blog posts
- Listen to the community
- Plan your editorial calendar each week, month or day
These can be tweaked and adjusted so that they work best for you and your process. You can add more tasks to it or eliminate some. Keep in mind that it can be hard to adjust your own tasks to these, but there is no harm in adding some of the tasks specific to your page and business.
After creating checklists, you can start using the batch method. Meticulously plan everything and always find new ways to tweak your processes even more so that you can have more time to work on strategy and planning.
A word about social media automation
Automation is a great thing that can find it’s use easily in the world of social media. Of course, not everything can be or should be automated but there are certain processes that you can use automation for and it could make your life a lot easier.
If you want to figure out what you could automate, think about some things that you do every day. For example, when you write a blog post, you immediately share it to Twitter. “However, this process can be automated and it could save you time – maybe it will not seem so right away but you should think about how much time you spend on that task each day and how many distractions there are on the way”, – explains Providencia Hass, a Social Media Manager at Big Assignments and Revieweal.
Use the RSS feature to share your posts immediately to Twitter and you can also add other feeds besides your own. DrumUp has a feature that automatically pulls content from RSS feeds and shares it with the social pages that you connect it to.
Another thing that you could do is use Twitter suggested replies. This is not a fully automated process fortunately – it could cause a lot of problems for you if it was – but it gives you a few extra minutes. You can create automatic responses to some of the most common questions and use this feature to post them.
There is also a Facebook response assistant that can help you stay responsive even when you are not near your computer or any of your mobile devices. It sends a premade message to the customer who sent you a message and lets them know that you’ll be back shortly.
Keep in mind that you should only use automation for the processes where it’s better than to do it on your own. For instance, using automation tools for post creation would not be a good idea since the computers cannot create what a real writer could. But, for a process like sharing posts on social media from your blog, automation is better than having to do it on your own.
Think carefully about which automation tools you’ll use and how you’ll use them.
Create processes for repeating tasks
As a social media manager you probably have a lot of different processes for your tasks – some surely more consistent than others. Sometimes you notice that a process that you have works for you and you stick to it. But have you ever thought about creating the most efficient processes for each repeating task for each platform? This could save you a lot of time and effort on tedious social media tasks that usually don’t need that much thinking.
For instance, create a process for posting on Facebook and use the same process every time – if you have any team members, instruct them to do the same each time. This process could consist of sharing your blog post on social media, then using a short quote and a link an hour later, leaving it for a few days – three, for instance – and then posting an image with a piece of text from your post and then use a different quote or a photo and a link to that blog post.
The same can be done for all other social media if you study the behaviour of users on these platforms.
When you create updates for your social media profiles, you can also use tools to have all of your hashtags from all your social media profiles in one place and check them there. Find a tool that can give you insight in some of the best profiles and pages to follow. Take advantage of some of the social media features that let you find some of the most popular or relevant profiles to your page.
These processes that you can create give you a shortcut to good results – you cut your time of work and you have an effective strategy for fighting against distractions. Just imagine, for instance, what you usually do when you share a post on Facebook. Maybe someone asks a question or something interesting appears on the news page – maybe you see something that could be better but doesn’t need instant fixing – all of these things are distractions and as such, they take away a lot of your time when you should just focus on the task at hand. With the right strategy, you can do a lot for yourself and your effectiveness.
There isn’t a one right way to do social media
The thing about social media is that the platforms differ so much and that you can’t create a single workflow for all of them. You have to plan and tweak your plans accordingly. You also can’t simply copy someone else’s workflow and expect it to work for you. People are different which means that your audience may need and expect different things from you, your marketing campaign may also be different and so on. Essentially, every page or a business needs a different workflow.
But if you do create a viable workflow, your life will become much easier and better. Especially if you spend a lot of time on tedious tasks, a good workflow will freshen you up and give you more time and space to work on your marketing plan and campaign.
Author bio: Freddie Tubbs is a social media manager at Ukwritings. He regularly takes part in digital marketing conferences and contributes articles to Essayroo and Bigassignments blogs.
Feature image via Freepik.com