The Social Media Playbook for Small Business

Are you looking for help when it comes to managing your brand’s social media presence? Perhaps you’ve been given this responsibility while also having to take care of your primary job? If you work for a smaller company with no dedicated social media manager, that’s often the case.

While many people believe that managing social media is a 24/7 task, especially when consumers are using it all hours of the day, I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the case. With the right playbook, you’ll be able to build your brand on social media while also taking care of your primary responsibilities, at least until your company hires someone to take the reins.

I would like to share with you a basic playbook for managing social media like an expert with a basketball analogy. This playbook will get you through the first 3 quarters and then set you up for a strong 4th quarter, and hopefully the win.

1st Quarter: Ensure Consistency

The first thing you’ll want to accomplish is to learn and master the fundamentals. In other words, create a strategy and stick to it. The best way to ensure success is to be consistent. That way, you and your followers will come to know what to expect. Without a plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Without one, how can you possibly be consistent?

Start by determining what type of content you’re going to share. This can range anywhere from blog articles (both your company’s and trusted industry publications) and holidays to customer reviews and product or service photos.

Say, for example, you’re going to post twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays and you’re going to share one company blog article and one that’s curated. Identify a few trusted industry publications which you can use as go-to sources each time you need to find content. Depending on how many blog articles your own company publishes, you’ll begin to rack up high-quality content quickly. Then you can begin sharing content more frequently.

2nd Quarter: Lighten the Workload

Now that the early game jitters are long gone and you know which content you’re going to share, you can work to make it easier to manage. Start by getting help from other employees. Make it known that you’re managing the social media accounts and if anyone has exciting news or stories to share, to feel free to pass along the good news so you can share it.

Another easy way to lighten the workload is to avoid spreading yourself too thin. With only a few spare minutes each week, you’re not going to have time to write tailored posts for every social media channel. Therefore, pick one to three and make a name for yourself there.

Take Instagram for example. If you have a brand that lends itself nicely to visuals, this is one that has great potential. When uploading to Instagram, you have the option to share directly to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. If you choose these three channels, then all that’s required is to upload once to share to three places. Your primary channels to focus on can be Facebook and Instagram and then Twitter as a secondary channel.

Don’t overwhelm yourself. You know your schedule and when you’re likely to have a few minutes of downtime. Use this time and take 5 minutes to write posts for that coming week. When you’re searching for what to share, keep your strategy in mind and go back to your blog and curated sources.

3rd Quarter: Be Efficient & Effective

By now you should have a feel for how social media works. Elevate your game by utilizing easy-to-use tools (that are free by the way!) for efficiency and effectiveness.

Take advantage of tools like IFTTT which can help you save time by creating an applet that shares your Facebook posts to Twitter, Instagram photos as native photos on Twitter and so much more. I’m a big fan of the social media scheduling tool Buffer. Their free version limits you to just 10 posts at a time, but if you’re only sharing twice a week, you can schedule ahead up to 5 weeks in a matter of minutes.

I would also recommend using Google Drive to collect company updates and collaborate with co-workers. Create a Google Doc where they can go and add notes and thoughts to. Keep a running spreadsheet of trusted industry sources so when you have a spare minute, you can add their recent article.

4th Quarter: You Decide the Outcome

I leave the choice of how you want to close out up to you. You can analyze what you’ve been doing and figure out ways to improve or you can test out another social media channel. The key to whatever you choose is learning how to master your time so that you can accomplish everything you have on your to-do list.

When it comes to social media, you get what you put in. If you take the challenge head on and own it, you’re going to see great outcomes. The question of whether social media is worth it is no longer up for debate. It’s now more about how are you going to differentiate your brand.

This blog post was originally published by Search Engine People.

About Steven Eastlack

Steve Eastlack is a Content Marketing Strategist and writes articles related to content marketing, social media marketing, and brand strategy on his blog – eastlackmedia. He works for Surefire Local, headquartered in Tysons, VA and holds degrees in Marketing Management and Psychology from Virginia Tech. Through the use of developing a content strategy, writing monthly editorial calendars and content, and performance reports, Steve helps to build audience and awareness for brands across all digital platforms. When he’s not busy with work, you can find Steve either watching a movie or sporting event or writing for his blog.