The one constant about social media is that it’s always changing – platforms come and go, existing platforms make changes, demographics change, tactics change, etc. If you’re responsible for your organization’s social media strategy, how do you keep your social strategy relevant? And how do you maintain your mental health?
One way to keep on top of social media is to consider it from a global perspective and develop practices to guide your overall strategy. Here are five practices to keep in mind:
- You want a community, not just an audience. If you’re using social media primarily for promotions and marketing collateral, you’re probably not engaging with your true community. You may think you want to engage with everyone, but the reality is that is not going to happen. It’s better to pick the choir you want to preach to and focus on it. Once engaged, those “choir members” will bring in other community members by sharing your message. You need to put in the work to find out what’s resonating with your community by being available to respond to comments and questions and seeing what posts and information engages them. Don’t be too dependent on automation, either.
- Manage your time. We all know that social media can be a major time suck. If your job involves more than managing social media, you first need to figure out how much time you can devote to it while still allowing ample time for your other responsibilities. Once you figure that out, then stick to that amount of time. Set a schedule for when you will monitor your accounts, post content and respond to comments and questions. Use a timer if you need to and stop when the timer goes off.
- Down time is important, too. The “always on” nature of social media can wear you down. For your own mental health, step away when you can. Manage notifications so that you have down time, especially when you leave your office. If you’re expected to respond to social media in your off hours, set a specific period of dedicated time (10-15 minutes) after work to respond, then stop. Most importantly, take care of yourself!
- Perfectionists need not apply. The thing with social media is that it’s always there and always on, so there’s no end to it. You can’t do everything you’d like to and what you do post is not always going to be perfect. But that’s okay! Don’t agonize for hours over a single post or video.
- Speak up for yourself. As a social media manager, your job probably includes more than just managing your organization’s social media presence. The demands of your job can be quite stressful. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help! Document your tasks and the time it takes to complete them.