How to Manage Multiple Social Media Platforms Without Disaster
I have had a couple social media near disasters in the last couple months. I manage several social media accounts and platforms. Between my own blog, my husband's football team, a Rocket Football board and a bond proposal committee I volunteer on, work, church, and a social media client, I manage seven Facebook pages, three Twitter accounts, two Pinterest accounts, a Google+ profile, three websites, and two Instagram accounts. Yep, that's a lot to keep straight.
About a month or so ago, I had two moments when I realized I needed to get myself organized when it came to managing multiple social media platforms. The first one was when I hit publish on a comment on another blogger's site, only to realize I had commented from the bond proposal's Google profile. I had to quickly delete and repost from my own profile. The next was when I realized there was a post on the Rocket Football Facebook page about voting yes for the school bond. I kept thinking I didn't know how I had posted on the wrong page. Then I talked to another Rocket Football board member and he told me he had shared it on the page. Neither was disastrous, but the wrong post on the wrong platform, could be.
My near misses were the wake up call I needed to figure out some strategies to stay organized and effectively manage multiple pages and platforms without mixing anything up. I developed three habits to manage multiple social media platforms without disaster.
- Get in the habit of double checking. At a minimum, you need to develop the habit of double checking the account you are using when interacting online. I've started a double check system. I check which account I am using before writing my post, whether it is a comment on another blog, a Facebook status, a Tweet, or any other content being credited to a social media profile. Then I check a second time before hitting post, comment, publish or whatever else will send my content out into the interwebs. Check first, check last.
- Schedule your social media posting as much as possible. Obviously, not all social media can be scheduled. That defeats the entire purpose of the social aspect. But most promotional and informational posts can be scheduled. I devote dedicated time to social media content planning and scheduling. This avoids the errors that can often come from multitasking and window hopping while online. I focus on one account at a time. For example, my Facebook posts for the bond campaign I'm volunteering on are all scheduled out for the week at one time. I dedicate a block of time to create the content for the week, then schedule it to autopost when needed. During the week, I just have to interact with the comments and share more timely or conversational posts as they come up. I use a paper and pencil calendar for the bond campaign and transfer my ideas when I sit down to schedule for the week, but I use a different strategy for my blog. Which leads me to...
- Take advantage of social media management apps. There are a lot of apps and websites out there that allow you to schedule multiple platforms all in one place. Hootsuite and Buffer are a couple of the most popular, and two that I am most familiar with. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts as well as interact on various platforms all from one spot. Buffer allows you to schedule content to post on various different platforms. For my blog, I have recently started using CoSchedule and am absolutely loving it. It is like an editorial calendar and social media management tool all rolled into one. I can keep a calendar with my planned posts. It syncs with my Wordpress blog using a plug-in, so when I draft my post, I can also create and schedule my social media promotion on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+ pages. With this app, I can focus on the social media promotion right when I create the post, so no need to flip back and forth among accounts or tabs to get the job done. And less transitioning, means less room for error.
By using these strategies, I find I not only stress less about posting mix-ups, but I am becoming more efficient as well. By cutting down on the multitasking and flipping back and forth among platforms and accounts, I am more focused on each task and completing it quicker and more easily. My beloved checklists are almost becoming unnecessary. Who would have thought a near miss of a social media disaster would lead this paper and pencil checklist girl into the efficiency and productivity app world? Change and progress - they're good my friends.
How do YOU manage multiple platforms without disaster?