When it comes to social media, one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is that it’s always on - even when you aren’t. And because you have limited time and a small staff, it often seems like you’re swimming against the current. In this video, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman offers tips on how to organize your staff on social media and prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed. And he shares a sample content calendar and idea template you can download in the exercise files.
- [Voiceover] When it comes to social media, one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is that it's always on, even when you aren't. Because you have limited time and a small staff, that can make it seem like you're swimming against the current just to keep up. So how can you organize your staff to keep the engagement levels high without sacrificing the time they need to work at their regular jobs? Here are a few tips to help optimize your business resources and time.
Think ahead and get organized. You can't be everywhere so pick the channels your customers are on and where you can have the biggest impact. Establish an easy-to-read social media policy and share it with your staff. Then you should consider what type of content you'll create, how often you'll post, and what you'll do in case of an issue or a crisis. Next prepare a content calendar, a monthly schedule for your posts.
This can include ideas and themes. For example, many people use the #TBT for Throw Back Thursday. This is a great way to look back and share something memorable from the vault. Tying into seasonal events is another good source of content. Remember you can reimagine past ideas as long as you keep them fresh. For instance, Topsy Turvy knows it will post during grad season, Father's Day, and for June weddings, so they can look back on what they did in the past and build on that.
We've included a Content Calendar Template in the Exercise Files that you can download to get started. You may also want to create a shared document where everyone on your staff can contribute links or ideas that can eventually be turned into social media updates. Make sure you have a place for the person's name, and then the idea and whether that idea is a blog, a Facebook post, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, video, or a combination.
Encourage your staff to be creative, to write the text of the post, and suggestions for visuals. Add these to the document. Like the Content Calendar, we've developed a template for the idea collaboration document. You can download that from the Exercise Files. Schedule social media updates with a content management system like Hootsuite. So start by going to Compose Message, paste in your Tweet, and then click on the calendar, and you can choose a time and a date for your message to go out.
But be sure that you check back throughout the day and respond to any comments. Also it's okay to Tweet the same link more than once though you should change the wording to keep it fresh. On Facebook and Instagram, however, don't repost the same content. But if there's bad news or a crisis, be sure to turn off your scheduled posts, especially if they're promotional, otherwise it'll seem like you're insensitive or out of touch.
Sometimes questions or issues happen after hours, so have an on-call social media person to address that and help you avoid a potential customer service crisis. Rotate the responsibility and be sure there's always one person on-call. Finally, have some fun. The great thing about social media is it lets you be social with your customers. You can help them, celebrate them, and showcase your company's personality.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success