Not many people know (or understand) how to manage social media accounts, especially managing multiple social media account for clients. Sure, you can post a picture or witty caption and hope for a few likes, but there is so much more to it than that. Especially if you are using social media as a marketing tool for business.
I recently was blessed with an opportunity to do social media for a local company. I was so excited to do some work for someone in my area, because it would be a great way to showcase my home.
During negotiations the company expressed that they didn’t know anything about social media (I would be building accounts from scratch) which lead to discussions on pricing.
After explaining what it takes to manage various social media profiles in the unique way each platform requires, I realized that not many people knew (or understood) exactly what goes into a project like this.
The result-this post.
I will be sharing with you the steps I take to manage [several] social media accounts on a daily basis. This may no means be a full list (I still have a lot to learn) however, this is the best way I have found to keep me productive and organized.
Read now or pin for later!
This post may contain affiliate links, and while it doesn’t cost you anything extra, if you make a purchase through my link I may make a commission. All opinions are my own whether I am paid or not. Thank you advance for trusting me!
First things first – what is social media?
Social media is websites and apps that you use to engage and network with others socially.
Some that you may be familiar with are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, etc.
And while you may use those platforms for fun on a daily basis, you can also use them for business, too. Since there are people on it daily, that makes it one of THE BEST ways to get some FREE advertising. (Of course some of the paid features are beneficial too, like promoting/boosting posts or running ads.)
So, how DO I manage social media accounts for business purposes? Read on!
How I manage social media accounts for clients
1. Set up the account
If you don’t already have an account for your business, you can set one up quickly and easily. If you have a personal one, then you already know how to create a new one. Except this time, it will be for business purposes. (And yes, you want to keep your personal and business accounts separate.) Some benefits of a business account are:
- Analytics – see how your account performs, if you are getting traffic, etc.
- Ads and promotions
- Keeping business and personal separate (while it’s cute to show your friends and family that your infant poo’d all up its back, it’s not as cute to show your potential clients/buyers that. Even if it IS #reallife)
- Sometimes you can only connect different platforms to each other if they’re business accounts (for example, you can’t connect a Facebook and Instagram account unless you’re connecting two business pages. It can’t be one personal and one business.)
- Look professional and legitimate
This can take roughly 20-30 minutes. (Most likely less!)
Related posts: What is a Social Media Manager?
2. Optimize the account
Add a profile picture, bio, links, etc.
Not sure whether your profile picture should be your face or your logo? I use this tip:
- If you are selling a product, use your logo. You will be most known for your brand or most popular selling item, but rarely by the person who creates it (not in every case, though).
- If you are selling a service, use a [professional or really nice] headshot. People want to see that they are paying a real person (not a robot) to provide the service to them.
What does it mean to “optimize”? Basically you want to prime your profile for SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. In lay terms it’s just taking keywords (words people use to search for your specific item/service) and add them wherever you can. This allows you an opportunity to appear in searches. (Read more about SEO in this post.)
Add keywords to your name/title, to your bio, wherever you can.
As for links, be sure to include where you can be found and contacted- a website, another social media channel, email, an online store, etc.
This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two+ hours, depending if you already know what you’re going to say, know what picture to use, if your links are set up, etc.
3. Create content for the account
Next step it takes to manage social media accounts is to create content! You need something to post to those platforms. An easy way to do this is to create a content calendar first. Get a calendar template (or planner, scrap paper, whatever you prefer), write out the next 30 days (depending on when you start this, it may not be within a “calendar” month. Your “month” might be March 20th-April 19th. Know what I mean?) Fill in anything that is happening in those thirty days (a holiday, event, special day), etc.
Next, plan what you’d like to share. Common posts are intros (especially if you’re just launching a new social media account), about me/my business, what you do/specialize in, where you can be found/reached, behind the scenes, service(s) your provide, product you create, etc. etc. (download mine here.)
After you figure out what you want to say, you’ll have to figure out if you need a picture or graphic to go with it. (Hint: if it’s an Instagram post or Pinterest pin, you’ll definitely need a graphic.) You can use a program like Canva or Over to create these. Best thing about these programs are that they have templates sized for various social media platforms, and they’re premade! Just add your info, personalize, and download.
This can be a full day’s work (batching), or broken down into a couple of days (one task each day, i.e. mapping graphics, creating them, proofreading, etc). This doesn’t include the time it’ll take for creating various graphics in different sizes, different styles, wording, etc.
Optional: Research hashtags (optional step that can be done at a later time)
Hashtags are one of things that help your posts get seen in searches for Instagram and Twitter (and now Pinterest!). It is a great way to see everything related to that long keyword all in one place. One of the key aspects in managing social media accounts properly is the ability to get seen and gain followers.
What I mean about hashtag research is that:
- You need to know how to use hashtags on each platform (they aren’t used the same way on all of them)
- For Instagram, you want to use hashtags that have certain amount of posts attached to them, so that it gives you an opportunity to be seen. A saturated hashtag (500k+ posts) might not help you show up at the top of searches, because there will always be a new post popping up with the same tag that pushes yours down. (That’s the way it goes in IG hashtag land. I’m just studying this.) IG allows you 30 tags per post, so you want a mixture of tags, which includes broad tags, niched tags… I can go on and on. You also want to use different hashtags each day, so that IG doesn’t mark your account as spam.
- For Twitter a hashtag can be used to participate in “chats”. You follow the hashtag and use it to “chat” with others about a certain topic. I haven’t quite figured out Twitter chats yet, but it’s on my to-do list. It is recommended you use no more than 2 hashtags per tweet, however you are welcome to use as many as you like (characters permit).
- For Pinterest, hashtags help you discover related pins (same as with IG and Twitter), however, Pinterest shows the most recent pins that uses that hashtag at the top of the search result. So, you have a great chance in being seen if someone searches a hashtag that you’ve used recently. It is recommended that you use between 2-4 hashtags per pin.
This in itself can be a day’s work, if you sit and research your tags for each different platform. (Tip: create some type of spreadsheet to keep track of them!)
After figuring what to post and when to post it, you should, well, post it! If you’re starting a brand spanking new account, I recommend having at least one post up before you start following people or trying to get followers. (People like to see what profiles are about, what value they can get from it, and if you have nothing to see they may not want to follow you.)
Now, there are two ways to go about this-manually and automatically. I’ll explain.
If you choose to post manually (and there is DEFINITELY nothing wrong with that) it just means that you will take your content and add it to the platform(s) each day yourself. In the beginning you can post at different times during the day and see what works for the audience you have (once you have an audience). As time goes on (at least a month), your analytics will tell you the times that are best for you to post because those are the times that your followers are active (and are most likely to see your content!). Posting when your followers are active allow you to get the most interactions out of your post. After all, why craft an awesome post if no one is going to see it?
Also, if you’re busy (or forgetful like me) you might have to set an alarm to remember to post something each day (and in the beginning, for at least a month you should post at least once a day so you can get the momentum going). That requires you stop what you’re doing and post! (Ok it may not be THAT dire of a need.) Don’t forget the hashtags!
This can take about 10-15 minutes, give or take. Depends on your set up, what you’re posting, where you’re posting it, how many platforms you’re posting to, and if you’re prepared.
Automatic posting refers to using a tool to schedule your posts. Some popular social media schedulers that I use and are affiliates for are SmarterQueue, Planoly, Later, Tailwind, Hootsuite, etc. Each one has its advantages and I encourage you to review them (or others). You can read my review of a few of those apps here and here.
First things first, you would need to create an account with whatever scheduler you go with. Then you have to set up your content, and schedule. It’s not quite that easy, but you get the picture. This is great for setting up content to post for you, to save you time.
The scheduling can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. It depends on if you’re batch scheduling, if your content is ready, hashtags are chosen, account is set up, etc.
5. Engaging with your audience
When you are trying to build a following, keep those followers, and also build trust, you absolutely NEED to interact with those who comment, post, or message you. People want to feel/see that there is a real person behind the scenes, and not some bot or fake. This allows you to establish authority in your profiles, shows you genuinely care, and allows you to answer questions (which can lead to prospective clients/sales!). This is the number one task (I feel) that makes your a great social media manager. To manage social media doesn’t only mean posting!
This should be done – AT MINIMUM – once per day. Ideally it should be done twice per day (morning/evening) for comments, or each time a message comes in (because it could be a lead). This does take time out of your day, so you can be the judge of when you do this. (For Instagram, it is suggested that you interact for at least 30 min before and 30 min after you post. This tells IG that you are an active user, and they decide that they’ll show it to users.)
You should spend at least 30 min – one hour doing this, each time you decide to do it. Interaction is key, and remember-the more interaction the post gets, the more it can be “bumped” or perceived as “popular” (which means more people will see it!)
6. Account Analytics
One of the final steps is review the analytics of each platform to see if your strategies are working. You can also check what posts are popular, so you can create similar ones (to get that engagement). You can check analytics weekly, biweekly, or monthly, it all depends on what you need to know. If you are doing management for clients, you will also have to craft analytics reports.
Analytics in itself takes a bit to learn how to interpret, and a little more to be able to explain to your client(s) what they mean. They also allow you to craft strategies for each account. (Each social media channel will need a different strategy.)
This can take an hour or more, depending on how well-versed you are in interpreting analytics. It can also take longer, depending on how many accounts you are analyzing.
These are just SOME of the things I do to manage social media accounts. (I know I’m probably forgetting something.) Along with doing all of the steps above, I also create worksheets and logs tailored to each client and their business, so that I have records of everything I do to manage their accounts. (This keeps me accountable and organized.)
It isn’t an easy job, but once you establish a routine, it becomes manageable. If you have multiple clients, this is where routines and time blocking should come in play, so you can be sure you are giving equal time between all accounts. The best way I have done this is to create files, both physical and digital, for each client; utilize my planner and business tools; and create task and to-do lists.
Social media is a fickle thing-one day your followers and viewers are the highest they’ve ever been. 24 hours later, you are missing 400 followers and not getting any like on your new post (which you’ve worked hard on, and we’re quite proud of). What gives right? It takes a lot to stay on top of the changes with each platform, and to manage accounts you need to be sure you know them. Social media management is a little more than just posting a pretty picture and hoping people like it and comment on it.
If you are overwhelmed at everything it takes to run your social media smoothly, I suggest outsourcing! There are many people who specialize and dedicate their businesses to doing so, and that allows you more time to dedicate to other areas in your business.
Feel free to check out the services I offer. If you don’t see something that you like, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can set something up for you. I am always looking for a new platform to “practice” on, at a discounted rate.