Vector of paper notebook with to do list and pencil

For businesses of all sizes, social media marketing has become a necessary part of the overall marketing strategy. Social media allows brands to reach broad audiences and communicate directly with consumers for free. It’s a no-brainer marketing strategy, especially for small businesses. However, this adds another business component that must be balanced across limited people and resources.

In order to deliver the highest quality social media campaigns, without sacrificing other areas of your business, try prioritizing your social media to do list. Taking control of your ever-growing to do list will positively impact your social ROI and give you a sense of direction. Starting with the biggest hurdles and working your way down to the minutiae will make your to do list seem easy!

With a few simple tweaks, you can streamline your social efforts, and save your business time and money.

Identify Your Overarching Business Objectives and Goals

Before you start any project, it’s best to have an objective or goal in mind. This is no different for social media marketing. Determine why your business is investing in a social media presence and articulate its overarching objective. Is it to increase brand awareness? Website traffic? Improve customer service? Objectives will vary by industry, company size, culture, and priorities, but whatever your objectives are, get them in writing.

From there, you can clearly write out your goals for the week, month, quarter, and year, so you have something to measure your efforts against. Common social media metrics are number of followers, engagement rate, impressions, and clicks to website. Based on your existing social presence, create milestones that would improve your business’s positioning and awareness in the digital world.

Plan for the Entire Week

Once your larger strategic goals are set, it’s time to get down to business. This is when a social media marketing calendar comes in handy. You can plan your content by day, week or month and have a central location for your social activities. At the minimum, a small business should plan its social content for a full week. This way, the company has a holistic view of its content and can weave in trending topics to its posts. Seeing a week’s worth of social posts in one place aids in simplifying your efforts and keeping tabs on strategic themes.

An equally important part of an effective social media management calendar is having a posting schedule for each platform. Decide on the frequency of posts per medium, select peak engagement times, and stick to this schedule. Consistency is king when it comes to building a social audience. Your followers will come to anticipate new posts on specific dates and times. Give them what they’re looking for by posting at regular times.

Organize Your Content Resources             

Social media is all about content. Having relevant and intriguing content is what builds followings. Yet, many small businesses don’t have the time for such a massive undertaking. Instead, have a few key content resources bookmarked for easy access. These streams can feed your content pipeline and help stimulate ideas for new posts.

If you have a blog or other original content hub, find ways to repurpose and get the most value and use out of your pieces. Break articles down into bite-sized content or repost blogs with different messaging and images. People need to see information presented in different ways, so this is a creative way to reinforce topics that are important to your audience.

It’s good practice to share other’s content on your social, but where can you find authentic outside content? Resources, like Feedly, allow you to create your own live stream of online publications. This way, you can review the latest and most popular articles from your preferred sources.

Having your content resources centrally located will save you time when you’re brainstorming themes, trends, and individual post ideas.

Schedule Time for Social in Your Day

Allocate specific time in your day for social media management. Schedule 15 minute blocks every day to respond to comments or like and retweet an influencer’s post. Communicating with your followers is a big piece of social media success, so don’t overlook the follow up comments and sharing people’s content. It’s almost as important as posting original content.

Save hours by scheduling your weekly posts in bulk. Social media management apps, like Pagemodo, allow you to scheduling posts in advance so you can set them and forget them.

Depending upon how frequently you post, scheduling a full week in one sitting can be a bit much. Instead, block off one hour, twice a week for this task. Having set time limits will help you stay focused and on track. You’ll fly through your schedule and add hours of time back to your week.

It will take a little bit of trial and error before you find your perfect system, but once found, you can set and repeat your social to do list week after week. Stick with what works for you and your business. By organizing your social media to do list, your small business will have more time for other business functions and you’ll see an improvement on your social media ROI.

About the Author: Julie Chomiak is the Content Marketing Specialist for Webs and Pagemodo. When she’s not scouring the web for small business trends, Julie loves traveling, interior design, and animals of all kinds. Get more from Julie on the Webs Blog and the Pagemodo blog.

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