Have you been thrown into a social media role recently and don’t know where to start? With the major economic turn of events, I’ve heard from so many friends and clients that they need to cut back on the budget somewhere at the workplace, so the social media role is often the target role eliminated and handed off to someone that has never specialized in social media on a professional level. To do the job right, you need a special set of social media planning skills (I hope you heard that in Liam Neeson’s voice just now.) To keep your branding consistent and to keep your followers from leaving your side, the right social media planning tools are key to keep your online presence alive and continue to grow your following.
For every brand and company, there is still a major need for someone to regularly handle the social media duties. If your brand isn’t present online, someone else will move in and take that glorious web real estate and potential sales opportunities away from you. If you or your boss have never taken on social media before, it may seem like a fun, simple cakewalk type of position. Oftentimes social media may seem like it’s as simple as posting a photo- but it’s A LOT of work! Planning, strategy, specific stylized branding, timely customer service and perfectionist tendencies are all required to do the job right. Ahead, I have mapped out the best starting points for social media strategies and planning tools to get a handle on balancing your new role in social media with your typical day job.
First, You’ll need to…
Identify Individual Roles for Team Members
Get out your calendar and plan a meeting with your team as soon as possible to set the foundation of everyone’s contributing role for social media efforts. If you’re working with a team, it’s important to lay down everyone’s role early on in the social media takeover process in order to keep things clear and straightforward. You’re probably going to need help accumulating images for your social media accounts if you’re adding this role on in addition to your normal workload.
Before going into the meeting, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you need each member to assist in contributing images regularly?
- Who is designated to handle direct message (DMs) customer service inquiries?
- Who is going to respond to general comments on posts?
Map the above questions out and know the answers before going into the meeting. It’s important to know who will be doing what so that messages from followers are not missed, and notifications/messages are left for the right person to check them.
If you’re in charge of DMs and customer service inquiries, then you should be the only person opening these messages. With multiple people opening messages and getting off track, you could miss out on critical opportunities to fix any customer issues.
The person in charge of comments on posts should be the only person opening new notifications. For the same reason as for customer service, you don’t want your opportunities to engage with your followers to be missed! By adding simple, clear guidelines like these, you’ll avoid confusion and miscommunication among team members sharing social media responsibilities.
If you need team members to contribute photos for content, this discussion lays out the expectations and holds everyone accountable early on. It helps to have multiple people taking photos and being mindful of content contribution when the opportunities arise.
Build a Photo Library
It may take a little time to build up when you’re first starting out, but try to have a nice stock of images on hand to keep your social media outlets looking nice and snappy when you have to swap things around. Ask your team members for help taking photos if it makes sense for your brand. If you’re running a restaurant social media account, for example, this would be ideal. If there is an event you can’t make it to and team members have great photos, you’ll be able to use that content in the rotation. If your team members are using your product in real life and can catch a great snapshot of the product in action, encourage them to take photos and contribute.
Stick with the Branding Guidelines
Does your brand have a brand book or guide that defines key branding characteristics? If so, use that for reference and make sure the content you’re creating matches what your brand is known for. Color palettes, typography, logo placements, brand mission, tone of voice when you’re writing social media captions, graphic details, etc. are all important pieces to the branding puzzle and shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re planning out your social media content. You want the brand to remain recognizable to your followers.
If you still need to create branding for your product or company, I have already created a simple Beginner’s Guide to Branding Your Business, for free y’all. 🙂
IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT TO…
Map Out Content in Advance
“Winging it” on social media may work for personal accounts, but is not going to fly for a brand. For a professional, business account, it needs to be planned out to show your brand’s best. Create a content calendar with ideas slotted 30, 60, and 90 days out if you’re able to (much like you would on an email marketing calendar). If you’re just starting out, it will take a little while to get to this level— but this should be your end goal to strive towards.
Have a quarterly team meeting with your team to discuss upcoming events and content that you may be unaware of that needs to be promoted.
Potential content calendar ideas:
- Promotional initiatives (Friends & Family sales, Flash Sales, etc.)
- Specific products that need to be pushed (i.e. tons of inventory that needs to sell!)
- Holidays that are important to your followers
- Trends and Product Groupings that need to be highlighted
- Product feature highlights (Made by hand in Italy? Waterproof material? Let your followers know!)
- In-store events for your local followers (Get the space filled!)
- Brand news (Keep them current and in the know!)
Everyone on the team is likely to have input on content ideas– from the sales team to designers– so you should definitely use them as a resource to start mapping out your content calendar!
A few great tools and resources to help your social media planning are Tailwind, Later, and Planoly. These tools help you schedule and layout your social media plans in advance instead of constantly staring at your phone. You can monitor when posts are sending, the best times to post, and you can see how the grid will look once it is posted in advance.
Below, I’ve created a FREE Content Calendar Worksheet that will help you outline your social media content as you go. It’s super helpful to have readily available at these meeting so everyone can have a visual of timing and placements. Download yours now!
ALSO IMPORTANT TO…
Research Strategic Hashtags
To help social media users find your account, hashtags are super important because it brings new traffic to your page. By using categorized or themed hashtags as a tool, social media users searching through the specific category are more likely to find you. When you use hashtags that are relevant to your brand and post, you’re attracting followers that would actually want to find your content– and may turn this audience into longterm followers and customers. Make sure the hashtags you select are relevant and have a large following so you can bring in more traffic!
don’t forget to…
Regularly Check in with Your Followers
The best and most simple way to connect with your target audience is by engaging with them through the comments and follow your own hashtags. When someone writes a comment on your post, respond! It’s as simple as that. Answer their questions and chat with them using the brand’s tone of voice. Instead of giving them radio silence, a brand that communicates and connects is more likely to have its followers come back for more interactions and brand loyalty.
If your brand’s specific hashtag is used on followers’ post (#yourbrandname, for example), comment on their post! You’ll find more often than not your fanbase will be tickled by this and will cause them to engage more with your brand. Take a few minutes out of your day to check in on your brand’s hashtag to see if people have been tagging or writing about you. A few minutes of your day responding to these posts can create lifetime followers.
Be Ready to Shift Content Around Often!
Social media strategies are shifting nonstop– so be prepared to make quick changes on your accounts. Know what’s going on with your brand and the social climate, and be ready to implement adjustments as needed. Although you’ll be prepared with a planned out calendar, it’s okay if things change. Being in tune with what’s going on in the world is more important and your followers will notice.
Social media is a lot of work, but with the right planning tools and strategies behind it at the start, you’ll be set-up for a successful path. Know that juggling social media and another role is a big undertaking, but it is doable. Keep your team in the loop if you need a hand with content. Sometimes it helps to throw around creative caption ideas. If you map out the roles of team members, create a photo library to pull from, put in the research and planning for post timing, use relevant hashtags and engage with your followers, you’ll be on the right path to grow your audience and maintain branding excellence!
Has social media been added to your workload recently? How have you been handling the transition? Let me know in the comment section!
hi there, I'm blaire!
I’m an expert at marketing & entrepreneurship, and completely obsessed with helping business owners transform their dreams into booming success stories. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of hands and another person’s perspective to make the business magic happen. Contact me today and let's talk shop!
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