How To Develop a Routine to Manage Social Media

This is a guest post by Justin McGill.

When it comes to your social media routine keep it simple. There is too much information floating around out there on social media to consider it all. Bottom line, if how you’re using social media isn’t helping you meet your goals, DON’T DO IT!

social media routine

Photo Credit: Mark Biddle

Developing Your Routine

The following will help you get on the right path for developing a social media management routine.

1. Start by getting tools that make your social routine easier. Consider tools like TweetDeck and Hootsuite that allow you to incorporate Twitter and Facebook into one platform in which you can find friends and followers, monitor your newsfeeds and search for what people are talking about.

2. Be sure to make your messages count. Don’t overpopulate newsfeeds with constant updates. Instead, send out a few powerful, all-inclusive messages that entice readers enough to want to share your posts. Three posts a day, per network is a good routine to follow.

3. Stick to what works. Test the waters with each social network. Determine which work and stick with those. The only networks you should use are ones that help you reach your goals and objectives. Staples for most businesses are Facebook and Twitter.

4. Quality over quantity. If you gain the type of social media following you’re hoping for, it will be impossible to keep up with all your social groupies. While you should address all your followers through general posts, you’ll only be able to maintain extended relationships with some.

5. Have a social media schedule. Unless your full time job is being a social media guru, set aside two to three times a day to do social networking. Consider the morning, lunch and before you leave for the day or when there are lulls in your schedule. During “social media time” avoid doing anything else.

6. Use your social breaks to develop powerful message as described early. Trying to multi-task while Facebooking, tweeting or YouTubing can lead to inaccurate posts. Stay focused.

7. Avoid social media as a distraction. Stumbling Upon websites, watching funny YouTube videos and reading celebrity gossip on Twitter is a great way to get way through the day, but it’s also a way to get absolutely nothing done. Avoid social media demise by adhering to the following tips.

8. Close your Twitter tabs and apps. When you’re writing a document or crafting a presentation, there is no need to have your browser open. So when you need to concentrate, X out of Internet Explorer.

9. Put them to work when they’re not busy. Employees love lull times because it opens the door to social media breaks. Only allow social media use at work as it relates to job duties and company social releases. Instituting a clearly-defined social media policy will assist with this.

Tips for Managing Multiple Profiles

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube… Oh my! Between various passwords, email addresses and inboxes, managing multiple profiles can be overwhelming. In addition to struggling with profile management, keeping your messaging, content and images consistent across every channel also presents a challenge, as does keeping these items unfailingly fresh. Thankfully, managing multiple profiles can be simpler with a little organization prior to executing your social media campaigns.

1. Make an excel spreadsheet of all your social media usernames and passwords. Store this in an easily accessible place.

2. Sign-up for every social network you think you may use in order to reserve your desired username. Be sure to record these usernames and passwords in your spreadsheet.

3. Organize your email. Create folders for each of the social networks you plan on using. Use these folders to filter and store updates and emails you receive from these networks.

4. Make sure your profiles are consistent. Keep your logo, about us, website, hours and location consistent across all profiles.

5. Make sure your profiles link to one another. Most social networks provide areas to link your other social accounts. On YouTube for example, there is an area to link to your Twitter and Facebook pages. Check each network and see where you can integrate links to your other profiles.

6. Consider a one-stop shop. Tools like HootSuite.com allow you to update multiple profiles at once. Consider using a service like this. Remember however that messaging can be different across channels. On LinkedIn, for instance, you’ll have a more formal tone, whereas on Twitter you may be more casual. So be mindful if you use a multi-network updater.

At the end of the day, the hardest part is actually just getting started. This all becomes second nature over time and is not difficult. When clients come to us for their social media marketing needs, we try and help them to do it first by leveraging what we call their “couch time.” Watching a game or a television show? Put some postings together during commercials! There’s always time for social media – you just have to make it!

What is your social media management routine? Please share in the comments!

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Comments

  1. says

    Great post on social media. These are good tips. I’ve taken a little more relaxed stance with social media, but I’m not sure if it’s working for me. Since I prefer not to have multiple profiles on each platform I use mine as my personal self and my writer self. I think they mesh well … What do you think?
    Petula just posted Mother’s Day gifts for new moms, moms to be

    • says

      That can work just fine. I think it really comes down to personal preference. It is certainly easier to manage everything under one profile, but might be a little more difficult to express your sometimes non-politically correct comments. :)

  2. says

    I actually do something extremely similar to the majority of the suggestions in the list:

    I have a white board with my “daily” activities which generally involves:

    1. Generate SM discussions for the day
    2. Update existing profiles
    3. Submit and cue BufferApp posts
    4. Interlink FB to Twitter
    5. Monitor and engage with community

    One thing that I’ve found to be especially helpful is creating the initial discussion on my Facebook fan page and then linking to it through a tweet – this sends over existing community members but also gets the whole community interested (and may lead to them following my FB brand).

    I used to do a lot more social media participation but I’m far too busy to do everything hands on which is why scheduling and having a strategy has been a godsend for my work and limited time.

    Thanks for the suggestions – I’ll see what else I may add to my resources.

  3. says

    Wonderful tips indeed!

    You are absolutely right about not doing anything when you are on social media, and not opening up your browser when you are working! Something that is to tough – but the only thing that really works, if you really want to work!

    I used to have a tough time due to the messages or tweets that kept coming and it distract me while I wrote, as I am a freelance writer, which demands me to sit and write constantly.

    The only thing that worked was to close the Internet and just have the relevant matter with you to write. And when you end your work and it’s time to socialize, then spend those limited minutes on social media.

    I have started following a routine just as you suggested of visiting the main social medias thrice a day, and so far so good! I think I am manage my time much better this ways.

    Thanks for sharing and a wonderful reminder :)
    Harleena Singh just posted Why are Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren?

  4. says

    I agree with almost everything here, though I do like to update Twitter a little more often so the chances are better of showing up in the feed. I try to post somehing between 5-9 times per day, but I work hard to make sure it’s engaging and informative.

    I have my schedule listed by day on a Word document, and each day I finish the activities listed to keep me focused.

    Instead of usernames and passwords on an excel spreadsheet I use “lastpass.com” to organize me in that area.

    Some great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Darlene Hull just posted Automating your Social Media

  5. says

    Excellent tips Justin,
    I would add as it relates to Twitter (since I find it to be such a powerful tool, yet understimated), people should create LISTS of followers that fit their niches, and periodically tweet tinyurl-links of these follower’s blogs by referencing them using their twitter handles. People LOVE to be acknowledge. You will get more retweets this way, and progressively, you will get more love, and of course higher Klout scores over time!
    Kodjo just posted 4 Healthy Recipes that are Easy to Make and Can Cook in Minutes

  6. says

    I like the tip about having a set time to perform your social media functions. This has two advantages, as it focuses you on your social media interactions, giving you a centralized time to ignore all other things and really get things done.e The second advantage is it keeps you on a regular schedule, preventing you from losing track of your social media outlets. This avenue is all about remaining current. To fall behind means being forgotten. Very helpful advice.

  7. says

    Ooh. You mentioned a few tips that I hadn’t heard about. I really love HootSuite and of course all the staples like facebook and Twitter.

  8. says

    Thanks Justin for giving us your tip and insights about social media. With a bunch of them, it’s kinda hard to keep up with them.

    I like your tip that tells us to “Stick to what works” and “signing up to social networks to reserve the user/brand names we use”. I think namechk.com and knowem.com is a big help in terms of checking and signing up desired names to each and every social network. Hope I added value to your post.
    RonLeyba just posted How To Lose Weight Effectively

  9. says

    Hi Justin,
    It’s a very common problem of newbies or even who are blogging for long time. Managing Social media is not a very time consuming work if you do it in a proper way. Thanks to HootSuite.com , it save my precious time and manage my websites easily.
    Pete Goumas just posted PrimalForce Coupon & Review

  10. says

    Honestly all valid points, really this stuff can take over your life or you can check int 2 or 3 time a day like you start. Ya you will miss some stuff but the good news is other people repost and you will hear about it any ways. Not sure I agree with “9. Put them to work when they’re not busy.” though. Honestly, I have always been a fan of I dont care what else you are doing so long as your job gets done. Kind of think you can destroy an office environment if you obsess over controlling this crap to much. FYI if this gets posted 2 times I am sorry, at the suggestion of the webmaster I have added a Gravatar, in the hopes that he post will go through.

  11. says

    Thank you for these great and useful tips. It happens so easy, ooops there was another hour spent on FB instead of doing some work. It needs a lot of self discipline to not get overwhelmed and destructed I think, or,… a daily routine can protect you from that too:-)
    Birgit Jurock just posted New WP Plug In: Covert Messenger

  12. says

    In the spirit of establishing a routine to manage Social Media, I agree with 99% of what you wrote above.

    The 1% is the secret sauce. That it, the je ne sais quoi of your online footprint.
    I used to tell people to only post a certain amount of times but realize that people use Social Media differently at different times; similar to radio or TV usage habits for gender/age/demo/marital status/children in household.

    Depending on your goals, you need to be there when they are there. (that might mean some scheduled or buffered tweets.) The right message, to the right people the right amount of times. I constantly tell/consult radio morning shows that aren’t getting the results they want that people are getting ready for work/driving to work, not necessary online when you are on air. SO you have to be the digital daypart. We are all an online correspondent for ourselves or our brand.

    I interact and engage a lot. I look for Country Music information and serve as an aggregator/currator to my audience. Doing this has earned me a seat at the credible media source for Country Music table now; online, on the red carpet, live TV broadcasts, music conventions and celebrity interviews. If I had followed rules I wouldn’t have any of this.

    I love your ideas for a new person with that one caveat of thought that people would let quality/quality issues hold them back from becoming the “organic” them online. >> Blake Shelton is well known for being “addicted to twitter”, over-tweeting, cursing and being so inappropriate that he tweeted himself into an Grand ole Opry induction, 6 back-to-back #1s and a seat on NBC’s the voice.

    I push out a lot of stuff but still get 10-100 retweets per aggregated/curated posts and 100s of replies sometimes for questions/statement/observations. It didn’t happen overnight. I tried the way you described Less=More, didn’t work for me and doesn’t work for a lot of the entertainment industry. So maybe that is something that is more specific to us?? I don’t know. It’s all I have ever done.

    That you for a GREAT post that made me think! a. lot.
    love Kristi and nice to meet you!
    Jessica Northey just posted I Might Disappoint You.

  13. says

    Good article. Social media is a great tool but there is just so much of it! Trying to keep on top of all the differing options is a headache. Although I tripped over a nice little tool last weekend which will post to twitter and facebook. You’re all thinking “thats nothing new?!” but this site looks at your past click throughs from both network and decides the optimum time to post to each network and it tells you your penetration, so its like tweetdeck but with AI 8-)
    Its called timely.is

  14. says

    I am sure some of your readers can relate to my experiences. I would spend 2 or 3 hours a day on Twitter. What a waste! A plan and a few consistent posts in each network sounds like a great way to go.

    I realize you were talking about a plan to deal with multiple sites in social media. But, one should always keep the real purpose of social media in mind. That is to interact with key people, create relationships, and then do business. Doing shares and making positive comments about other’s posts is more important than anything you can say… Unless, you are Mark Zuckerberg.
    David Sneen just posted Lights, Camera, Inaction; No Way to Earn Money Online

  15. says

    Good advice, I can and have wasted days with social media to find what works and I try and keep it simple now. There are a lot of tools and apps out there but only a few work for me. I don’t like multiple profiles on one site because it gets confusing and I think if you are not really giving yourself people know, so I would suggest sticking to one profile and giving it your all.
    Matt Kinsella just posted Bucket List Ideas

  16. says

    This is a very timely blog post for me because I’m just now REALLY trying to get a handle on my social media involvement. I now have time blocked out on my calendar for social media, which seems like a good start, but other than that, I’m not very organized. I plan to come back to this post again and really work at implementing the information in it. Thanks a million!
    Rebecca Livermore just posted 10 Reasons to Start a Podcast

  17. says

    Hi Justin,

    I think its very important the fact that you mentioned point number 8. Although the most simple, you can easily get tied up in Twitter and other social media sites, communicating with your friends rather than finishing that important document!
    Michael just posted Hello world!

  18. says

    I admire your courage to make an advice such as “if social media doesn’t meet your goals, then don’t do it!” True, we are sometimes carried in the flow of networking just because we hear it’s fashionable to do so, without identifying clearly the relevance for our particular business. After reading some statistics on Hubspot I tend to believe that B2Cs are better served by Facebook and B2Bs by LinkedIn, Twitter being universal.
    Laura just posted White Label Forms & Surveys

  19. says

    Thank you for the quality over quantity pass. If you’re site’s just huge, you simply can’t answer every DM, email, @ reply, and so on…unless you’re a robot. On the social media schedule tip, those who work at intensive, physical jobs might not have a lot of time to stop and tweet or get on facebook. Unless I’ve missed something (if I have, please let me know!). It seems the social media breaks for lunch and before leaving for the day are tailored to the occasional break at your desk-type job. That is, as long as the boss ain’t looking too hard. For those who work more intensive jobs, have you been able to make those social media breaks happen? If so, what have you found is the best way to do it?
    Samuel just posted How To Write A Good Article!