5 secrets to staying sane when you manage social media

Whether social is just one of your tasks, or part of your job title, the responsibility can drive you to the brink. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

Are you a social media department of one or few? With all the new Facebook tools, budding social networks and fast-paced Twitter chats, it can be hard to keep up with social media, much less achieve your desired goals.

But fear not, it is possible. Here are five strategies to keep you sane and savvy.

1. Create a social media cheat sheet.

This will take some experimenting. Start by determining how many times you want to post to your social networks per day. Do this through trial and error to learn how your audience responds. Then determine what type of content to share.

For example, if you post to your brand’s Facebook page five times a day, perhaps your schedule could look something like this (Facebook has a built in scheduling tool now, by the way).

8:00 a.m. – Post content from your site or write a “good morning” message
10:00 a.m. – Poll your audience
12:00 a.m. – Post something funny from another site
2:00 p.m. – Post content from your site
4:00 p.m. – Post a fill in the blank
6:00 p.m. – Post content from your site

You can do something similar with Twitter and Google+.

2. Dedicate time to your favorite sites.

Staying abreast of social media news can be trying. Figure out which websites you find most useful and dedicate at least a half hour every morning to review them. Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn Today, HubSpot, Search Engine Land, and The New York Times tech column are useful for social media news.

3. Maintain your own presence (not just that of your brand).

It’s easy to lose your voice, so to speak, when you’re busy scheduling tweets, posting to Facebook, and responding to issues and questions for a brand or client.

To ensure that you’re maintaining your social media presence, try using Buffer, or another scheduling platform, to share useful information.

Better yet, while perusing social media articles during your allotted time in the morning, you can “Buffer” the posts you find most useful to share them throughout the day on Twitter. This will help position you as a thought leader in your field and help your social media buddies find useful posts. You can use Hootsuite or TweetDeck to schedule posts to Facebook and LinkedIn, too.

4. Make it easy to respond to comments.

Create an email account just for your social media channels. This way you can receive updates from Twitter when someone mentions you, LinkedIn when someone responds to an article you posted, and Facebook when someone comments on a post all in one place.

Use tools like Social Mention to find out what people are saying about your brand.

5. Carve out time for measurement.

Ah, the dreaded talk of social media measurement. Whether your CEO is a social media fanatic or a skeptic, you need to keep track of your social media efforts. It isn’t just about showing your boss that social media is worth it; measuring also makes your job easier and more satisfying. Looking at the results of the fruits of your labor can help you identify your audience, what kind of posts they respond to, and how you can be more efficient in your efforts.

Here are some quick measurement tips:

• Google Analytics is invaluable. You can track referrals from social media platforms to your site, set goals and more.
• Start with an understanding of what your company needs and make sure you measure and track how social media is helping push these goals forward: Are you hoping to increase sales? Are you trying to reach a new audience? Are you re-branding your company image? Know your KPIs or “key performance indicators.”
• Start small. Create an excel doc and just start tracking based on your KPI’s. You’ll start seeing patterns right away and can refine your efforts as necessary as you go along.

Any times tips or secrets you’d care to share?

Samantha Hosenkamp is PR Daily’s social media director.

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