Managing social media seems like a lot of fun — at first. Scrolling through Twitter is a great way to find new internet to read until you’re tracking your own clicks. Instagram filters are fun until you need to track their performance. TikTok binges lead to new recipes, dances, or even investments until you start planning how your brand can start creating content.
In reality, managing your business’s social media pages means splitting your attention between what you’re doing so that you can improve and the new channels and trends so you can keep up. It’s tough to balance and keep creating posts, but it’s not impossible.
Managing social media, not just TikTok feta pasta trends.
Here are 13 tips to make your social media management more efficient and more effective — so that you can use this marketing channel for your business and keep creating fun content in the process.
1. Create a social media calendar.
I say this all the time running content and social media: It’s infinitely easier to change plans when you have plans in the first place.
Whether you’re in marketing or you’re running a small business, you’re used to plans changing all the time — and changing quickly. One of the best social media tips I can share is to have a calendar in place that you can change when you need to.
What goes on your calendar? That’s up to you. Sometimes, I only mark down the blog post that I’m sharing and the social media channel it’ll appear on. Other times, I’ll write out the copy I want to use, plus the video or image that I want to include, too. You can get started with a social media calendar and see how much information works best for you.
You can create a simple calendar in Google Sheets, or you can use a tool — we’ll talk more about social media management tools in a minute. Airtable is a great project management tool that’s free to use and has a social media calendar template that you can get started with quickly.
Here’s what Airtable’s template includes.
2. Schedule your social media posts.
I’ll be honest: Sometimes I block off my calendar at 1:45 p.m. a few days a week to post on LinkedIn. I head to the platform, write a post, tag anyone relevant, and hit post. That’s probably the least efficient way to manage your business’s social media accounts.
Instead, in addition to planning out your posts in a calendar, you can (and should) also schedule them ahead of time. That way, you can spend a couple of hours once or twice a week creating most of your new posts.
When you’re scheduling your posts, be sure to set your posts to go live during the most popular times for engagement on the social media platform. For instance, Facebook, which is social and skews older, will likely have different popular times for engagement than LinkedIn, which is primarily used for businesses (and a great B2B social media marketing strategy).
You can also find out the best times for your industry. SproutSocial has mapped out the best times to post on social media channels for education, media, consumer goods, healthcare, and more.
3. Start listening.
Part of managing your brand’s social media presence is watching out for anyone talking about you — and paying attention to what they’re saying.
This process of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, your products, and your company events or hashtags is called social listening. The key thing is to pay attention even when your profiles aren’t tagged.
If you’re thinking that searching Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and more for all of your branded terms sounds like a timesuck, you’re right. Social listening isn’t something you can do manually. Most platforms will let you follow certain hashtags and set up alerts for certain mentions.
When you’re ready for more robust monitoring, you can use a social media listening tool. This leads us nicely to our next tip.
4. Choose the right social media management tools.
The first three tips here are important for setting a great foundation for social media management. But you’ve probably noticed already that setting this up would be more efficient, and more effective if you’re using tools. You just need to make sure to choose the right ones for your business.
Here are some common tools:
You can see this tweet from Search Engine Land was scheduled with Hootsuite.
Before you make any decisions and add anything extra to your marketing budget, make sure you’re choosing the right tools to help you reach your marketing goals. Of course, you’ll need to set those first.
5. Set your social media goals.
So what are you trying to get out of social media? The most common goal is increasing brand awareness.
Social media is great for increasing brand awareness and, as long as you’re prioritizing this marketing channel, you can grow your reach and your brand’s audience.
Remember, you should change this goal over time, too. Maybe once you’ve focused on brand awareness for a while, you set a goal for your follower accounts on your most important social media networks. Then, once you’ve grown your following on social, it’s time to focus on social media engagement.
6. Do regular social media audits.
In order to improve your business’s social media, you need to check in on your performance. That’s why regular social media audits are important.
An audit of your social media will tell you what’s working and what’s not, plus it’ll identify any areas that need your immediate attention.
The first step is to list all of your social media profiles and check your images and bios here. If anything looks off, you want to change it — brand alignment across your marketing channels will help people remember your company.
Let’s take a look at an example. Here’s the LOCALiQ Twitter profile:
And now here’s the LOCALiQ LinkedIn profile:
Both profiles feature the same brand colors, the same logo, and the same brand mission. Great brand alignment.
Then it’s time to dig in. Identify your best-performing posts on each channel. Check your followers on each platform, and measure how they’ve grown over time. Measure followers, average engagement, and referral traffic on each platform to see which is working best for your business.
You can find a lot of this information right on the platforms or in most tools you’d be using. Just make sure to set up a social media audit report in a spreadsheet so that you can reference the information and use it to change your strategy.
7. Test out new social media networks.
Social media management involves a lot of keeping up with what you’re doing — posting on all your accounts, tracking metrics, performing audits to improve. It also involves testing new social media trends and channels to find the next thing that works.
Most businesses are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Those are the big ones, so if your brand doesn’t have a profile on any of these platforms, it’d be good to get started.
But with billions of users on those platforms, there’s a lot of brand noise to compete with — even before you consider all the individuals creating content for these platforms. Sometimes it’s worth testing out smaller channels to compete less and reach more people.
Take Reddit or Quora, for instance. These platforms have comparatively smaller audiences, but it’s still millions of people. Potentially millions of people interested in your offering.
8. Create social media personas.
You’ve probably heard of buyer personas. These profiles are a great marketing tool because they let you write or create directly for someone specific. These personas are usually created based on your customers so that you’re targeting people with similar motivations or similar interests.
Understanding your audience is key for successful social media, too, and social media personas can help with this. These personas are similarly based on real people: your actual followers. Use your followers to develop these personas to make your social media content even more engaging to your audience.
Example personas from SproutSocial.
9. Tailor your content to each social media platform
This is huge for social media management: You can’t share the same message across all of your networks.
Posts on LinkedIn are currently long and lesson-y, often with a link to the content in the first comment. (This popular style is deemed bro-etry, which is too good. It’s also more common from individual profiles.)
Posts on Twitter, on the other hand, are limited in characters, so they skew shorter (unless you’re starting a thread). Open-ended questions are shared often, and emojis are also really common, even encouraged.
And that’s just two platforms! Make sure when you’re sharing content, you’re not just copy-and-pasting across your networks. Take the time to edit your posts for each channel to get the most engagement. It’ll be worth it.
10. Engage with your audience.
Posting new content is important. So is engaging with your audience with comments, likes, shares, and more. One great way to get started is by responding to anyone who responds to your posts. Another is commenting on other business profiles. They’re likely to engage to boost their own posts, too.
Here’s a great example from Shopify.
Shopify responds to its replies, and Product Hunt joins the conversation. (Also, that bad news was the worst news. It wasn’t even Friday.)
11. Try stories and video content.
Video content is a must. Users on many social media platforms, including YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok, expect primarily video content to engage with. Other platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, have strong Stories engagement in addition to their other text and image content.
Even LinkedIn recently released a Stories feature.
It makes sense — Stories capture the attention of users better, so your audience spends more time consuming your videos.
The good news is that creating videos doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Phones have great video quality, and there are tools you can use to easily edit. Or, you can take advantage of another social media trend: unedited, unfiltered content.
12. Use hashtags strategically.
Hashtags have been around for a minute. Since 2007, to be specific. We’ve come a long way from spam-like strings of every hashtag that comes to mind.
Instead, get strategic. Check to see what hashtags are big in your industry or area. Find out what your competitors are using and then start tagging with that. Follow trending hashtags to see when your brand should jump in.
Here are great examples of smart social media hashtags.
A small business offering photography in the Austin area should be using the #autstinphotographer hashtag.
13. Set your social media brand voice.
Your brand voice is important in all your marketing channels — in email, search ads, content marketing. And it’s important for social media, too.
Because social media networks are often more casual or even playful, you need to decide what your company is and isn’t going to do and say on social so that you can stay consistent and solidify your brand’s voice. In fact, 33% of consumers think that a brand’s personality is what sets them apart on social.
Your voice guidelines don’t need to be too prescriptive, but it’s good to determine bigger decisions ahead of time, like whether or not you share posts or figuring out whether or not you make jokes. For some businesses, this might be dictated by industry. Healthcare, for example, isn’t great for jokes on social. But sharing other posts, featuring first-person accounts, hosting AMA events, and even explaining data would be great.
Now, if you’re working on social media management with a partner or a team, you need to have these brand guidelines and your social media strategy documented.
Having this documentation is great for reference, and you can even keep it a living document. Do certain emoji or words perform well? Note that down. A certain framework, like mistakes or confessions, get more shares? Put that in there, too. Brand guidelines for your social media will be a great resource.
Our best social media tips.
We covered a lot of social media tips in this article. Here’s a recap:
- Create a social media calendar.
- Schedule your social media posts.
- Start listening.
- Choose the right tools.
- Set your goals.
- Audit your accounts.
- Test out new networks.
- Create social media personas.
- Tailor your content to each social media network.
- Engage with your audience.
- Try Stories and video content.
- Use hashtags strategically.
- Set your social media brand voice.
You can use these tips to improve social media management and make sure this marketing channel works for your business — so that you can keep growing.