Use social media management platforms

1. Identify the gaps in productivity that your business could improve within your social media marketing strategy.

Every manual task that’s performed can take up unnecessary time, such as going back and forth between platforms, conducting searches for trending topics and hashtags, posting to each platform manually, and checking for new comments, direct messages, and mentions.

2. Research different social media management platforms and their features to determine which tool matches the social media channels and processes you use.

When choosing the right tool for your business, consider the size of the team who will need access to it. Subscribe to a tier that includes the features you need while staying within your budget. If you are trying to decide between a few platforms, consider signing up for their free trials to test and compare which one works best for your business’s needs. Some popular social media management platforms are: Hootsuite: Includes management capabilities for publishing, engagement, and ad campaigns, plus social monitoring and analytics features, and integrates with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and additional marketing tools. Buffer: Includes management for publishing and engagement, and analytics features, and integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Sprout Social: Includes management capabilities for publishing and engagement, plus social listening, analytics, and premium add-on features, and integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Tailwind: Includes post scheduling and content creation features, and integrates with Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.

3. Integrate your social channels into your social media management tool to access each platform from a single dashboard.

Build your dashboard in the platform by connecting all the social media channels that your business is using in your marketing strategy. This will help your team streamline tasks that will save you valuable time, allowing you to scale your efforts and improve your social media marketing strategy over time.

4. Design, write, and schedule your posts in batches ahead of time on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.

Consider how often your brand will post on each of your social channels to determine how much of your content can be created in a batch, and how often. This can include creating images and videos, adding alt-text, writing captions, and adding hashtags. For example, if you have a small team that includes two social media marketers, you might determine that parsing out three posts per week for each of the four channels your brand uses, can be reasonably and consistently batched on a weekly basis.

5. Monitor and manage social media engagement all in one place by responding quickly to questions, comments, DMs, and brand mentions to nurture relationships with your audience and maintain your brand reputation online.

Being able to view and respond to these types of interactions across all your social channels from one dashboard will save your team time, and provide a better experience for your audience, because you’ll be able to interact with more people and respond more quickly than with manual methods. A few times a day, a member of your team should dedicate time to check the inbox of your social media management platform to check for new comments and messages, engage with your audience, and respond to customer service questions.

6. Use your tool's social listening features to follow conversations around your brand, identify trending topics and hashtags within your industry, track competitors, and watch for opportunities to promote your products or services.

For example, identifying a trending hashtag that relates to your brand can provide you with the opportunity to quickly join the conversation around that topic to expand your reach and boost brand awareness. Another example is when a Twitter user posts about an issue they’re experiencing with one of your products, you’re able to reply to their tweet from your management tool to offer help quicker than you could by responding directly through the Twitter platform.

7. Analyze performance insights gathered by your social media management tool, such as post impressions, engagement, follower growth, and response rates, to identify what's working well versus the areas that you can improve.

Use these insights to identify high or low-performing posts and optimize your social media strategy to include the type of content that your target audience responds to. Develop a plan to analyze these performance metrics monthly or quarterly to see how well your current strategies are working, and identify ways to scale or improve your performance over time. For example, if your analytics show that your response time typically takes longer than 24 hours, your team can actively work on responding to direct messages and comments within a few hours to improve your customer service experience.