Juggling social media for your business would be a breeze if it weren’t for having a million other roles to take on—marketer, manager, editor, accountant, you get the idea. But that’s not the case, so what you need is a really good, non-intimidating system for managing it all. These three items will allow you to do that, whether you’re a one-woman show or have the help of a team.

Best ways to manage social media (effectively) via Funk Digital Media

1. A social media calendar. In this intro to the best way to manage a social calendar, I touched on how to go about this. Having this structure and plan for how organizing your social gives you a framework for executing strategy. If it’s you’re first month planning out your full strategy, here are five things you’ll want your calendar to include:

  • Date to draft + date posts go live (make sure to differentiate)
  • Who is responsible for what (if multiple people will be using this calendar)
  • Exact time to post or schedule posts
  • Copy/talking points (decide whether this will be in the calendar or separately drafted)
  • Any requirements for sponsored posts or partnerships
  • Category this falls under (in order to balance types of content

2. Brand guides. Ideally you already have these three brand guides filled out when putting a social strategy in place. This is something you and your staff can refer to each time you’re building out a calendar, and it will ensure the brand’s voice is on track and goals are being met. Posting social media without these in mind isn’t really managing your online presence at all, actually—it’s merely getting by—which is a big reason why there are just so many ineffective social media accounts floating around cyberspace.

3. A way to schedule. Anyone familiar with social media knows about scheduling but if that isn’t your thing (or wasn’t until now)—it’s bound to be a whole new world. Take the time to learn about platforms like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Buffer to familiarize yourself with the convenience of social media scheduling. Let us tell you, it’s life changing. Hootsuite, a go-to for a ton of businesses large and small, has an education program too, FYI. Once familiar you can implement a system for taking posts from calendar to scheduler. It seems like a few extra steps—can’t you just post a photo directly to Facebook when you’ve got a few minutes instead of drafting copy and pasting them in a scheduler?—but an hour or two scheduling out the whole week’s posts in bulk means not having to pop in constantly, shift gears so often, and most importantly, it covers your bases. Without planning and scheduling, (lots of) things are going to fall through the cracks.

In essence, it’s not that you can’t post on social media without these tools, it’s that you can’t effectively manage your channels. Bold claim, we know—but true.