Written by Rose Souders
Editor’s note: This blog was updated on February 13, 2021.
Before you can get to the point of managing your social media efficiently, you need to invest a few hours of social media setup time to get your ducks in a row. Here’s your social media checklist to complete.
First, define your content types
I know it seems weird to have to write a list of the types of content you’re going to publish, but believe me, doing this ensures that each piece of content you publish serves a purpose and is in line with your social media marketing goals. The best way to do this is to pour yourself a cup of joe and pull out a piece of paper. Make a list of the types of content you’re going to post and why.
For example, Potluck Consulting’s might look something like this:
- Links to Potluck Consulting resource blog posts – because we use these to show thought leadership, they help our readers and drive traffic to our website.
- Links to outside resource articles – because we like to share the love, increase the opportunity for engagement with others in the industry, and this content is also useful to our readers.
- Images that show what we’re up to – because we like to engage our community and share the types of projects we work on, bringing them along for the ride.
- Images or links that promote an event or signup – because we’re involved in a lot of lectures and community events that we believe our online following would enjoy and benefit from.
See, each post we publish really does serve the marketing goals that we have for engagement and web traffic. By writing out your own content types and why you use them, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what type of content you need to write and with what Call-to-Actions (CTAs). You can even go one step further and create an editorial calendar to map out your content ahead of time in batches to save you time.
Set up your Facebook ad account & Pixel
Once you have your content types defined, you should make sure that your Facebook ad account is set up properly and that you have your tracking pixel installed. It’s best to set up your ad account separately from your personal account and you can do so by creating a Business Manager account. The Business Manager account will give you more control on who has access to what assets (pages, ad accounts, pixels, etc) and all in one place. It also helps your marketing team, if you have one, keep things organized.
A Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that is created in your business manager account, then uploaded to your website. It allows you to see deeper analytics for conversions and build audiences in your ad account from people who did something specific. When you set it up, you determine the different “Events” you want to track.
For example, here are some options for Facebook Pixel Events:
- Add to Cart – someone adds a product to their cart
- Purchase – someone purchases something from your website
- Complete Registration – someone completes a subscription signup or for a service
- Lead – someone completes a signup like “signup for a free trial”, “signup to request a demo”
Verify your domain with Facebook
While you’re setting up your Facebook pixel, you’re also going to want to set up Domain Verification in your Facebook Business Manager. While it sounds complicated, the process is actually pretty easy.
You can find the ability to add and verify your domain in your “Business Settings” in your Business Manager. Once there, in the left menu, click on “Brand Safety”, then “Domains”. Here you’ll be able to click the blue “Add” button, copy/paste your domain, then Facebook will give you a few different options for how to verify the domain. The easiest way is usually to add the HTML code that Facebook provides to the global header of your site. You can choose which option is best for you though.
It’s important to note that since you’ll have to add code to your site, you may want to hire a web developer to help if you’re not familiar. If you’re comfortable with HTML, you should be totally fine.
Set up your Google Analytics account
Google Analytics is one of my favorite tools. It gives you tons of information about who is coming to your site, sources they came from, what pages they moved through, the amount of revenue you’re pulling in from each source, along with many other insights. Before you start any marketing efforts, you MUST have Google Analytics installed on your website. You cannot get retroactive data, so this is super important to set up if you want to track accurate data from your campaign efforts.
When you’re setting up your Google Analytics account. Don’t forget to set up a filter to block out your team’s traffic to your own site. Here are two different ways to filter out your own traffic in Google Analytics.
Even if you’re not ready to run any campaigns or spend focused time tackling your social media, you still want to get Google Analytics connected as soon as possible. Data will collect during your downtime. If you hire a marketing person later, they’ll do a much better job if they have this past data to review.
Set up your social media tools & apps
To be efficient with social media, you’ll need to use a variety of tools. Before you set aside time each week to manage your social media, take a couple of hours to create the accounts for your social media scheduler, graphics creator, or whatever else you’re planning on using. Get the apps too. I like having the apps for my social media tools so that I receive push notifications to my mobile when something significant happens. This is a personal preference. These can also be very distracting, so make sure you create the setup that’s best for you.
Here is a shortlist of social media apps that you might find useful:
- Bitly – a tool that allows you to create shortened tracking links. We use these with image posts on Facebook and also for Instagram profile URLs so that we can track the clicks.
- 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.
- Buffer – a good social media scheduler for beginners, someone with low content quantities, or someone on a budget. For the price point, Buffer has some nice features, like their content queue and ability to drag to reorder content in the queue.
- Agorapulse – a social media scheduler that is by far our favorite all in one tool! We’ve used many of these types of tools over the years and think that Agorapulse is far superior to the rest (even above Sprout Social, which is a fan favorite). It is a much more robust platform that has a lot of features to make your job more efficient. If you’re just scheduling a few posts a week, then this tool is probably overkill for you. The price point is higher than Buffer, but worth the cost if you can use the features effectively.
- Iconosquare – a scheduler specifically for Instagram. If you care about grid planning and layout on your Instagram, then you’ll likely want to use a tool specifically built for Instagram.
- 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!
Of course, you’ll also want to get the apps for the platforms you’re using – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Have questions about the tools? We’ve used all of these. Feel free to reach out to ask!
Now you’ve completed your social media setup
With these things in place, you’re totally capable of managing your social media efficiently! Learn how to do it in one hour a day in our How to Efficiently Manage Your Social Media in 1 Hour a Day blog. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
If you’re looking for more resources, try this shortlist of relevant blogs for assistance + subscribe to the Potluck Consulting newsletter to get our weekly emails. Click the blue “Newsletter” tab at the bottom of your screen.