Doctor Digital, I’ve followed your advice, and am active across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and even have my Linkedin profile up to date. Now I’m kind of overwhelmed. Is there an easy way to manage all this content?
Well done for getting your portfolio together so comprehensively. Yes, there are ways to ensure that you can manage your accounts more strategically. But a couple of comments upfront – it is always important to confirm that you are putting your efforts into the right channels, rather than spreading yourself thinly over everything. So after building your audience for a few months, take some time out to analyse your metrics and insights, and see which channels are performing best.
This means not just looking at the number of likes and followers, but really looking at what channels are resulting in conversions on your website and making money for you. If particular channels are under performing, it's time to make a call as to whether you need to downsize and put greater focus into fewer channels.
However, if all are firing for you, you need some strategies to cope with getting your messages out regularly, meeting the needs of your customers and not taking the oxygen out of your other business work. And you may be not just managing your own multiple channels, but multiple brands at once. Either way, you need support! That support comes in the form of social scheduling tools.
These are platforms structured as dashboards that enable the management of all your channels and brands too, in one place. You can schedule a single post across every channel or multiple different posts, for a day, or a week or even a month if your content has a very long lifespan or you have a full pipeline of events locked down. Some of the more common ones are Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Hubspot, FanPageRobot and Everypost. Not all of these support all social media channels, so you need to have a close look to make sure what you use is available.
All of these tools are web based and are a subscription model, some offer free initial signups for individuals with an increased fee for multiple users, others are a monthly fee, or an annual amount with a sliding scale for longer contracts. These are without doubt the key to timesaving, as you have everything in one place. No multiple logging on, and flicking from screen to screen. Each one offers a form of analysis too which makes it much easier to look across your accounts and see which ones are performing and when.
Of course its not just having everything together that is a time saving winner, it’s being able to schedule posts, batching your content for the optimum times of day. Depending on what tool you choose to use, the dashboard format gives you the chance to at a glance see who is engaging with which posts. Engagement stats like shares and replies are some super signals that people are excited to connect with you. Finding and replying to these people is a great social media strategy, made easier when you can access all this interaction from one place.
Other ways of managing your accounts is to set up some automation, this can be done through apps like Dlvr.it, Zapier, Social Oomh or IFTTT. Definitely time savers, and great for following people, thanking them for their follow, pushing out time unlimited content like daily quotes in your chosen field and many more complex tailored actions. Be careful you don’t become to robotic when interacting with real people who want real responses. Automation can also be inappropriate during times of local, national, or global tragedy. While other social media users are expressing their grief over an event, your account could be continuing to promote a product with cheerful abandon. If you're going to use automation tools, it's important to know how to quickly turn it all off.
The problem of social media management is going to get easier rather than harder as more and more businesses grapple with time management which keeps the market for solutions constantly growing and evolving with new tools and tricks. As long as your customers are at the center of your decision making and your social media channels are regularly audited for relevance and traction, you should have plenty of free time to focus on growing your business and getting more sales.