Whether you work at or own your own marketing agency like I do, or you manage a suite of social media accounts for your own business while managing everything else that being a business owner throws your way – managing multiple social media profiles can be confusing.
The basics: you need to post the right content to the right platform at the right time.
However, that’s obvious. Your social media followers engage with you for completely subconscious reasons. At the core, a follower will engage with you once they know what to expect from your page. In a single word: trust. Building trust involves CONSISTENCY across the board. That means – consistency with your scheduling and consistency with your brand!
Keep in mind the brand image you want to promote when communicating with users. This becomes more complex when you are managing accounts as you want your accounts to have their own life without being exactly the same. Enter one of the most valuable yet ignored tips I could ever give you:
Do not simply turn on “share to Facebook” and “share to Twitter” causing your accounts to have the exact same content at the exact same time.
People communicate differently across each social media site and they expect different content that matches the overall culture of that social medium. Take the time to build unique content for each site. Very few sites share the same base culture and, ironically, those sites that do don’t have an automated “share to” option.
If you are an agency, you’ll likely have many accounts on the same platforms. This leads to the potential for many things to go wrong. It is easy to build a brand that looks too much like someone else’s or to accidently post the wrong thing for the wrong client. If you post the wrong content, post the same content twice, post at the wrong time of day, or forget to post to a platform entirely, you can ruin engagement. You may even lose followers–and your client.
The good news is that there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to keep your strategy straight. Here are seven of my favorite:
Use a Social Media Scheduling Tool That Matches Your Level of Business
Social media management tools schedule posts, analyze the performance of campaigns, and compare activity across various platforms. They can also provide you with insights to make improvements. By using tools to automate as many tasks as possible, you remove some of the effort (and possibility of error) from managing your social media accounts.
Top choices to consider include:
To find the right tool for you, consider factors like price, supported platforms, automation capabilities, and depth of analytics. Also look at how many accounts you’ll be able to add, since some tools are designed for businesses rather than agencies with many clients. For example, small business owners often start with a site like Buffer because it is inexpensive and simple to use. Agencies may be more keen to lean toward Sprout Social, which allows scheduling, social listening, social response, and amazing reporting elements for clients.
Note that social media apps like Buffer and MeetEdgar do not allow you to respond to incoming messages. SproutSocial does.
Detail Your Strategy in Writing
For agencies, write down all the details of your strategy for each client, including how it differs for each platform. Include a style guide and a list of all content you posted in the past, highlighting the most successful posts. You can refer to this document when planning posts, when responding to comments, and for any other activity on the platform.
For small business owners, create a content calendar that is a minimum of two weeks ahead of your current date. Plan to be active across your social media accounts at least five times a week. Note that certain social media sites are fine to minimize number of posts, like Facebook or LinkedIn. Other social media sites, like Twitter, expect a lot more daily interaction.
Use an Editorial Calendar
Use an editorial calendar for each of your clients, specifying what content you will be publishing and where. This will ensure that you always have plenty of content that speaks to the target audience. An editorial calendar also makes it easy to quickly check that content is varied and that there are no gaps.
Schedule Time for Social Media
It takes time to perfect a social media marketing service for your clients. It is critical that you schedule sufficient time for each one of your accounts. During the time you have planned for managing a particular profile, focus all your attention on the task at hand. Avoiding distractions and thinking about other profile strategies will decrease the chance you make a mistake.
If you upload content ahead of time, spend the time scheduled for an account responding to comments, answering questions, and planning future content. Only posting and never interacting with users will lead to a one-sided presence, whereas joining conversations will help you better demonstrate the brand’s personality.
For agencies, be sure to set a proper expectation of time for social media efforts. Many small business owners don’t have a realistic concept of how long it takes to create high quality posts and interact with social media.
Create Content According to the Platform
Of course, creating content with a specific platform in mind improves engagement and visibility, but it also makes things simpler for you. It will ensure that you create posts that are unique, avoiding overlaps in your strategy. This is especially important if some of a brand’s audience follow the business on more than one platform.
For instance, save your top photos for Instagram. You can also share quotes that express the values of the business or create stories to tell through pictures. On Facebook, you’ll gain more visibility if you stick to short videos, although you can also publish curated content. Post longer videos to YouTube. When you have a new blog post or industry news to tell, put it on Twitter. Company news, job offers, and other professional content should go on LinkedIn.
Use Different Platforms for Different Purposes
Another way to prevent overlaps is to assign different purposes to each platform. Learn about the followers of each account, including their demographics, what they are looking to gain from being active on the platform, and why they follow your client. Then you can decide how to meet their needs.
Bear in mind that an audience on one platform may be interested in a certain type of services, whereas on another platform users may be following your client to keep up to date with news. On yet another, users may be seeking entertainment or information.
Analyze Individually and Collectively
It is essential to look at the performance of each account on its own and consider how a profile plays a role in the overall social strategy. You may find that, for some clients, certain platforms are seeing little engagement. In this case, it may be a waste of time to maintain a social presence. Dropping these accounts will give you more time to focus on profiles that are having a positive impact.
When you apply these seven steps to your strategy, you’ll be able to maintain as many profiles as you need. Experiment with any ideas you have to keep brand personalities and audience demographics separate in your mind to avoid confusion and mistakes.