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Social media management is a position all on its own, and is truly a full-time job. While you may not spend 100% of your time posting, any time you are out you start to look at the world in a “is this marketable content” type of way. On vacation, I find myself taking pictures of things for clients’ Instagram accounts. Any time I see a topic relevant to a client or to ourselves trending on the news, I share it to their Facebook pages, or retweet someone who linked it on Twitter. Suddenly, everything has relevance to at least one client and I can figure out a way to give them a unique edge with this original and/or relevant content.

As you’re likely aware, larger companies have access to a full staff marketing department and typically have one person who is fully invested in the company’s social media profiles and online presence. Their job is to curate content and media for posts. But, when you’re a small business, how do you do it? Social media often falls to the wayside for businesses, and they’re left with inconsistent posts and lose engagement due to it. Even we can admit at DevoKit, that I’d rather focus on clients’ social media accounts, and therefore ours gets neglected in the process. It can be difficult to manage so many accounts, but we’ve got some tips to help you out.

First, you need to decide which social media accounts are actually relevant your business. You may not need a Tumblr and a Pinterest, but you might need a LinkedIn, Google Business, and a Facebook page. A Facebook business page has become a lot like a website, where it feels like you kind of just need to have one. People like to search companies on Facebook to discover their customer base and have proof of their legitimacy. It’s a great way to connect with and handle clients in the public sphere and garner ratings.

Let’s say you’ve decided that you want a Google Business and a Facebook page for sharing your business-related and original content, a Twitter for connecting with similar business owners and sharing newsworthy content related to your field, and an Instagram, to share your life as a business owner in all its glam (and not-so-glam) moments.

The best way to handle social media, many people believe, is to cross-post. The benefit of cross-posting is that it, in a way, kills two birds with one stone. You can write a post on Instagram, and the social media platforms or the social media management system you use will share it to your Facebook and your Twitter - and you think, "great!" Not so great. Instagram is an entirely separate type of media and content. Your Facebook posts become littered with hashtags and your Twitter is left to condense the post to the right amount of characters and won’t display the image correctly half the time. Further, any tagging you have done is not replicated when cross-posting, so you miss out on the chance to connect with brands or individuals you'd like to attach to your post. You are not driving traffic or interest when your social posts are improperly formatted for the type of social feed they are displayed on. Say no to lazy cross-posting!

You don’t need hashtags for Facebook, Facebook search can pick up any word you write in the post. Twitter posts are also searched through the words in the post, but it’s always beneficial to take advantage of trending hashtags, should they be relevant, especially when first growing your account. Instagram needs hashtags to spread your content, whereas I’d sincerely hope you don’t apply hashtags to LinkedIn. It’s the wrong setting for it, no matter how hard LinkedIn tries to copy the trendier social media sites (would they just accept that they are professional!).

What may help you manage the burden of posting across multiple platforms is a scheduling app. My favourite is Later, which I talk more in-depth about on our best free marketing tools post. Later is not a bot and will not post for you, or like, comment, follow accounts. You are in control, but it notifies you when you’ve scheduled your post. You can share this post to Twitter, but still have the option to edit everything so that its suitable for that social media. Hubspot is also another great option for managing your content and schedule. Setting up a marketing or content calendar allows you to plan and schedule your ideas, as well as keep you on track with regular posting.

A place that can stand to have the same content and media shared across is Facebook and LinkedIn. Both business pages are a good place for news, original content, images, or videos. Plus, you can tag individuals in them, and colleagues, as well as customers, tend to follow both profiles. Use the same media calendar for these websites.

If you love what you post to Instagram and want to share it on Twitter, do so, but not through cross-posting. Instead, make a new tweet and upload the image, so that it appears and isn’t just a link to your Instagram.

Finally, you need a media calendar. Especially if you are a busy business owner and a one-man-show. At the beginning of the month, set up what you would like to share and when, keeping in mind that relevant news related to your business may pop up unexpectedly. Make your calendar of images, videos, and content in advance. If you don’t have the proper media yet (say, you’re attending a trade show and won’t have a picture available until the day of), make a note that you need it.

The different types of social media require different content, manipulation of media and different ways of sharing resources. A calendar is a big help, as well as apps that help you organize and remind you when to post. Know which topics are appropriate to share on which social media profiles. Understanding how your social profiles affect your business, why they matter, and therefore what to post will help you when building your marketing calendar. It seems like an intimidating task, but if you carve out a few hours at the beginning of the month to plan it out, you’ll never be stuck with lacking profiles again.

Posted by Samantha Lloyd

Samantha is the co-founder and CEO of DevoKit. When she isn't busy running around like an overly-organized and well-prepared chicken with its head cut off, she can be spotted reading the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time or pretending to have opinions about wine and cheese pairings (all cheese goes with all wine, let's be honest). Her goal is to encourage other women to explore their interests in technology and engineering fields.

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