So how much time should you allocate to social media and what if you’re the only one responsible for managing it? Time is precious so focus on your objectives. Are you trying to increase engagement on Twitter and drive traffic to your site or are you trying to connect with your sector through Facebook? There may be several other platforms to add into the mix but for the purposes of this post we’ll focus on Twitter and Facebook.

We all know that posting a picture of your breakfast on Facebook and commenting on a few posts isn’t good enough but neither is just tweeting a hashtag and retweeting everything you read. This doesn’t make for ‘engagingly good content’ and you can so easily get lost in the news feed. So how do you prevent time running away from you?

4 Time Saving Tips for Social Media Updates

1. Bookmark and Plan Updates in Advance

Ok so you’re aiming for 2 tweets a day. Do you wait until you’re coffee fuelled and ready to go first thing before you dig around for that prime tweet or post? No of course you don’t – everyday as you go through the feed you’re bookmarking content. It can be a strange concept to move offline but a publishing schedule can be really helpful. All you need is an excel spreadsheet or a numbers worksheet with 3 columns headings: date, tweet copy and link to the piece of content. Create the number of rows that correspond to the number of tweets you’re scheduling weekly. An hour every week planning will reap rewards.

This can revolutionise your social media time management as you’ll always have content to work with. You can add in additional sections for other platforms and your blog so everything is in one place.

2. Share the Load – Invite Others to Contribute

A really good way to ensure social is regarded as an important driver for your organisation is to ensure that everyone contributes. Sharing your social media schedule as a Google Doc with other members of the team ensures that you get a wide contribution of relevant content from across the organisation – many hands make light work!

This collaborative approach needs weekly deadlines, a first come first served policy and the understanding that the person responsible for social media management has the authority to veto content.

3. Auto publish Updates 

Automation can make things easier but done half heartedly, it can be the pits! Approach automation with the utmost caution so your don’t end up sounding like a robot and damaging your profile! Here are two examples of management tools:

Hootsuite is a good example for Twitter scheduling and is fairly straight forward. One thing to be on top of is regularly checking your scheduled content. World events and news in your community / sector can have a really big impact on how your updates are received – so edit and remove as you see fit – we are human beings and that must be remembered in the digital world.

Facebook Business Manager is a good example for Facebook and again offers a beginners guide with a whole host of other features. One tip here is to schedule at odd times and tweak and edit so your posts are stay genuine.

4. Monitor Social Media and Real-time Content

Okay so being organised has given you some breathing space but you still need to remain connected to what is happening now. What if you win an award or your organisation gets a mention? Setting up a Google Alert in your organisation’s name with other related sector terms ensures you’re monitoring your social media and are one step ahead.

Okay so now you’re managing your social media effectively what if you go on holiday and have to leave responsibility with someone else – scary right? You know the organisational tone of voice inside out – a social media policy lays out the dos and don’ts for someone not quite as familiar taking the reigns. If you enlist volunteers or interns a social media policy is essential – our topic for social media – part 3.

Do you have any tips to share?