Do you struggle to keep up with your company’s or organization’s social media channels? Can’t seem to find time to research and develop content? You’re not alone.
Having a social media presence requires a bit more effort than posting photos every few days. Even though the platforms are mostly free, managing the pages takes valuable time. There must be content, both original and curated. It requires quality photos, videos and engaging questions. It takes time to set up a page, build a following and, if all goes well, respond to comments and messages from followers. At larger companies, this is the job for a social media specialist or it is outsourced to a firm or agency. But for small businesses, startups, nonprofit organizations and consultants, there are several things you can do to maintain the pages on your own.
1. Pick a few channels and stick to it.
There is no reason to be on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube, Vine, Flickr, and Tumblr. It’s unnecessary and downright ridiculous to try to manage all of these platforms for one company. Pick two or three channels at most that have the greatest potential to reach your target audience. Generally, it’s best to be on Facebook and Twitter because these are the two largest social media channels. Then, depending on your business, you can add Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube. But take it one at a time.
If you find one channel isn’t working after several months, scratch it and try another. By scratch it, I mean delete it. Don’t feel the pressure to be everywhere simply because other businesses are trying out these channels. The more you focus on creating interesting, engaging content for one or two pages, the better the response is going to be. Remember: quality over quantity.
2. Check in on the page daily, but limit your time.
Be aware of what is going on both on your page and with your followers. Are there comments to address? Is it time to post another article? What’s going on in the social media world?
Of course, asking these questions can easily send someone down a rabbit hole. Suddenly it’s 2 p.m. and you haven’t accomplished anything on your to-do list. For most smaller company pages, spending 15-20 minutes per day will be enough to keep an eye on things. Set a timer if you have to; start with the comments and log off when time is up.
3. Use (free) tools to make it easier and quicker.
Twitter lists are so valuable. Divide up your contacts into labeled lists (they can be set to private so no one knows they’re even on a list) and you won’t feel overwhelmed by all the information and useless garbage. Check in on those that matter or offer good content and then be done.
If you’re worried about getting sucked into the social media black hole every time you log in, use a publishing tool to separate work from play. Hootsuite and Buffer offer free versions of their software. You can schedule posts ahead of time, check in on comments or questions and even pull reports on how well your pages are performing. Again, you don’t need to spend a ton of time or money to stay relevant and social.
4. Share the work.
There comes a time when you must delegate. If your page is getting a lot of comments, questions, page likes and shares (hooray!) it may be hard to manage that alone. After all, you’ve got a company to run.
If you’re part of a team, ask for their help. Have a few people provide engaging content each week. Ask a few others to take a day to manage the comments and messages. If you spread out the work, it’s not taking too much of any one person’s time and you’ll likely see a great response to the content.
Bonus: your team will be more interested and engaged in the company social media pages if they are part of it. They’ll like and share their posts as well as direct their family and friends to the page. You may even see an uptick in employee engagement by implementing this plan.
Overall, having social media pages are increasingly important for any business, but it doesn’t need to consume your work and life. Make it fun, try new things and let us know how it goes!