Written by Rose Souders
Editor’s note: This blog has been updated on January 29, 2021.
Without a full understanding of what social media really takes to be effective or a workflow plan for how to make it happen efficiently, you’re setting yourself up for endless hours of content creation and clicking through distracting feeds. As business owners, we don’t have time to waste so it’s important to use the right tools, stay focused, and plan ahead. If you’re looking to manage your social media content, here’s what we recommend to get things moving in just one hour a day. First, a few things to set up.
Develop your social media strategy
As you might have noticed, social media can be a total time suck and without a strategy, you could end up putting in hours of time without seeing a return. Sound familiar?
Before you can get to the one hour a day milestone, you need to define what your social media goals are and also what it’s going to take to reach those goals. We’ve outlined how to tackle this in our How to Create a Results-Driven Social Media Strategy blog post. Take a look, then come back to this one.
Tackle our social media setup to-do list
Yes, there’s more! After your strategy, there are quite a few things you’ll need to set up in order to make sure that you can efficiently implement your social media strategy.
- Defining your content types and why you’re using them
- Setting up your Facebook Ad Account & Pixel
- Setting up your Google Analytics account
- Set up your social media tools and apps
- Get a nice camera phone
Each of these requires some close attention and we’ve outlined in detail how to tackle each task here in our Social Media Setup To-Do List! Go through it, check off your items, then come back here when you’re all set.
Determine what your essential social media tools are
As I mentioned, the only way you’ll be able to effectively manage your social media efforts in one hour a day is if you utilize a variety of tools to help speed up the process and keep things organized.
Here is my list of essential social media tools and websites:
- Pexels – a website that has free modern stock photography.
- Canva – a tool that allows you to create easy social media graphics. There is a free version, but the paid version is only $12.95 and totally worth it since it allows you to auto-resize graphics for the different social media outlets. You save time here by not having to manually create graphics for each one.
- Bitly – a free tool that allows you to create shortened tracking links. This tool is great for tracking clicks on a specific link.
- Your preferred social media scheduler – your company size, features needed, and budget are going to determine which tool is right for you. Here are a few of our recommendations if you’re in the market: Buffer (good for a beginner), Agorapulse (our favorite all in one tool! much more robust), and Iconosquare (specifically for Instagram). Have questions about the tools? We’ve used all of these. Feel free to reach out to ask!
- Pocket – a free browser extension, app, and tool that allows you to save articles and any URL for later use. This saves you time when creating content because you already have a pool of relevant articles stored away!
You might also want to consider:
- Facebook News Feed Eradicator – a browser extension that when activated, eliminates your Facebook feed from sight. I always keep this tool activated on my computers so that when I have to log in to check notifications or write content, I don’t get distracted by what my friends are posting. On a plus note, it gives you a fun quote in place of your feed.
- Chrome Eyedropper Extension – Google Chrome browser extension that allows you to pick out the color hex codes for anything on the web. This is super helpful when you’re trying to match colors on social media graphics in Canva. It will save you a lot of guesswork. Get it!
Now onto the regular ongoing work!
Create an editorial calendar for every month – 2hrs
An editorial calendar is a super effective tool for keeping your content strategic, ensuring that you’re efficient in the content creation process, and also for staying sane and organized. Creating a monthly editorial calendar takes about two hours. It should include content themes, planned call to actions (CTAs) that help meet your social media goals, and even a list of social media graphic needs that you need to create. We’ve outlined how to create one here in our The Social Media Editorial Calendar: Create Content Without Going Crazy blog post.
Create your social media content- 4hrs/week
Social media content consists of many things, mainly creating posts or tweets, designing images, and also creating paid ads. As you can imagine, this will take up the bulk of your allotted social media hours. It’s important to take the time to craft thoughtful messaging that resonates with your community and to also make sure each piece is in line with your social media strategy. Also, your social media content should be written in advance so that you don’t need to interrupt your workday to remember to manually publish a post. This can lead to distractions and takes more time to implement than if you were to write and schedule your weekly content all at once. Not to mention, there are always those busy days where you can’t seem to find the time.
Fortunately, if you already have your editorial calendar completed for the month, you don’t have to start from scratch. Each week when you sit down to write your content, you can review your editorial calendar, then use it to finesse the thought into a final post and schedule it. Your graphics will be created in Canva, posts scheduled in your scheduling tool, and ads scheduled in your Facebook for Business Ad Manager.
But that’s not it…
Social media is a two-way conversation – 10min/day
Yes, you have to reply to those comments and messages on your page. If you want to truly build your community and opportunity for revenue on social media, then you can’t just leave your pages on auto-pilot. You need to take the time each day to check your page’s messages and comments and respond in a helpful manner. Many people use social media as a tool to get customer service. If you’re actively producing quality content, your community will engage, ask questions about your products or services, and share their experiences. Responding to this makes them know that they are heard and cared for. This is a crucial part of building an effective social media program, it should only take about 10 minutes a day for a following less than 1,000 people. Make time and work community engagement into your regular schedule.
Check your progress and compare to goals – 2hrs/month
By now, you’ve probably gathered that I believe analytics and numbers are some of the most important things to pay attention to when managing your social media efforts. At least once a month, you need to take a look at how your content is performing, track them somewhere that works for you, and compare the results to your overall social media goals. I prefer to use spreadsheets, but you can figure out whatever system works for you.
When you sit down to look at your analytics, you’re going to want to look in a few different places:
- Your social media platforms’ analytics sections – check to see which content is performing best (most schedulers have this information available in some kind of dashboard feature), what your major metrics look like in relation to the last month, and if you’ve met your goals for the month. Make sure to jot down what worked and adjust your strategy for the next month accordingly.
- Your paid ad analytics – running ineffective ads are a quick way to waste a ton of money. Checking your numbers for each individual ad is essential to keep things in check and cost-effective.
- Your Google Analytics – since it’s likely that most of your sales or leads will happen on your website, you need to pay attention to your site analytics to see which platforms are working best for you and where traffic is coming from.
So how much time does this stuff really take?
In my opinion, there really is a minimum time investment if you want to see results from your social media platforms. If you’re doing all of the above – creating a monthly editorial calendar, writing and designing regular content, engaging with your community, and checking your analytics – then you’re likely to spend a minimum of 25 hours each month managing your social media efforts.
It is a lot of time and if you really want to see results with social media, you need to be consistent. The best way to make this happen is to work these items into your current workflow and keep yourself focused while tackling the work.
You really can manage your social media in 1 hour a day
To prove it to you, we’ve created this workflow for you to follow each week. Give it a try and let us know how it’s working for you!
If 25 hours a month makes your stomach churn, then managing your own social media efforts might not be a good fit for you or your business structure. Considering an employee or even a marketing firm to manage these efforts can be an option if social media is an important marketing tool for your business. Curious about how we work with companies like yours?
See our Honest Cost Guide to learn what the process looks like. In our guide, we break down the usually hidden secrets of working with a marketing agency, including why contract lengths are the way they are, what accounts for cost increases, and actual base rates for services. We’re all about transparency and high integrity. So take a look.
We wish you luck in successfully managing your social media in one hour a day! You can do it!
If you run into any snags, feel free to write us in the comments or send us a private message via our contact form.
View the “Efficiently Managing Your Social Media in Less Than 1 Hour a Day” presentation in full:
This presentation was originally created as a three-part series for The Hivery, presented by yours truly (Rose Souders).