If you've decided that content creation and social media is an important aspect of your marketing then you will quickly realise how much of a commitment it is. This is probably the most common problem that SMEs have. The vision may be there, but the ability to make it happen within the limited resources we all experience is incredibly challenging.
Here are 6 tips to help you manage content creation and social media effectively because despite your vision, social media won't work effectively if you don't allocate enough human, budget and time resources to it. These tips are based on what I have learnt from my personal experience of running two related businesses and attempting to manage three websites, four blogs, blog contributors and more than 10 social media channels! Our vision is most certainly there but the delivery and resourcing is still a work in progress...
- Delegate some of your existing roles
If you are the person to manage and/or deliver content creation and social media then you will need to restructure your role. Be realistic and understand that this work will take time. For example, I have recently delegated email enquiries (30 minutes a day), book keeping (2 hours a week) and meeting transcriptions (3 hours a week). That equates to 7.5 hours a week or a whole day that I can now apply to this work!
Delegating is a real discipline. To do it effectively, you need to be aware of what you spend your time on so keeping a time sheet will help. Then you need to spot areas of work that someone else can do. Then you need to select the right person to help and equip them to be successful by ensuring they have the knowledge and time to deliver. It will take time to reassign the work but after that, you'll have more time! And if you don't have a team to delegate to then look at how Virtual Assistants can help you.
- Get the team on side and decide who is responsible
If you make up a one person dream team then you are the team and you are responsible! But if you are more than one then it's really important this is not a one man crusade. Get the rest of the team on side. Slowly but surely filter your message down, up and across so that you change the culture of your organisation and turn it into a social business. You can be a social business that understands the value of building relationships and social selling through attraction marketing.
Although you will need your team on side, you will need to assign clear responsibility with strict time scales. You will also need to ensure the people you have supporting you with content creation and social media delivery are trained. If you ask your team to fit the task in 'when they have time, and don't equip people with the knowledge they need to deliver then there is no accountability and it will never get done!
- Plan your delivery
Do not under estimate the value of planning. Know your business goals and how this applies to content creation and social media. Know your audience needs and apply this to the content you create. Create a content calendar that defines what content needs to be created, by whom and by when.
- Get into a routine
Figure out how you and the individuals in your team work best. My personal experience and feedback from clients suggests that a fixed routine is best. Some people say they need to be in a creative mood, but what if that mood never comes? We have a habit of pushing back the work we fear or don't want to do. So try a specific time every day, or a specific day every week. For me, that time has to be early. It's currently 06.27 and I started at 05.35 after I let the dog out and made myself a cup of tea.
- Use social media management tools
Scheduling your social media posts will help you get organised and manage your time. Explore tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and the many others. You just need to remember that we are talking about social media. So as well as scheduling your posts, your ought to check in regularly to respond to people and join other conversations. You can also use social media management tools to listen and inspire your next piece of content. My preference is Buffer for scheduling and Hootsuite for listening but the details of that are for another post.
- Get external help
If you've put all the above into place and you are still struggling to turn the vision into reality then it's probably time to look at getting external help. You'll need to explore the pros and cons of an apprentice, a new member of staff or a marketing and communications consultant. That too is the content for a future blog!