Hi! Anna here.
Social media platforms operate around the clock, so if you’re new in the world of social media marketing, you might be wondering how a social media manager schedules their day to keep a pulse on followers, stay up to date on industry news, and cover all the bases for types of content you should be posting—while still getting some sleep.
As a social media manager myself, I have certain routines in my daily schedule that ensure I have time to strike this balance across all social networks for the 4 brands that I’m responsible for. Use this day-at-a-glance to guide you in building out your own schedule for effective social media management:
Pre-work routine and social media schedule check-in
- Hit a coffee shop for my morning coffee and bagel.
- While getting coffee, I use the Social Report mobile app to do a quick social media check-in for the day ahead and make sure everything is on track. I always scroll through the “Drafts” section and make sure clients or stakeholders have hit “Approve” on all the posts that I intend to go live that day.
- While looking through the posts I expect to go live this morning, I make sure all the correct profiles are selected and make any adjustments so I’m not rushed to do it when I get to the office.
- Read through emails for anything urgent.
- Get ready to head into the office.
Engage authentically and take the pulse
- Go through social media mentions and like all positive mentions and shares.
- If someone shared a link to our content and came up with an original text caption (different than any I’ve already posted), I retweet or share it.
- Scroll through the news feed to determine the trending conversations in my industry right now. A great way to make this easier is to keep the list of people you follow very “clean” so that your news feed is only influencers or relevant businesses, or (at least on Twitter) create “Lists” of industry influencers to more easily hone in on what people are talking about today. I share anything newsworthy, often with a comment where I pull some relevant info out of whatever they shared or add supplementary info of something I know about the topic that they didn’t include.
- Peruse Google Alerts for any mentions of our brand or inclusion in publications/backlinks, share these on social media and schedule a couple future posts to share them again in a few days.
- Handle customer service issues using the process my team has decided on. At my company, I respond on social to acknowledge the comment and get the user’s email address, then I pass off the information to our Customer Success team in a dedicated Slack channel.
- Make more coffee.
Research industry news for social media curation
- Go to the websites of my favorite industry publications and read recent articles (if you don’t already have a few favorites, you can find them by paying attention to what influencers or competitors are sharing). For social media marketing, I always check out Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner to start with.
- Pull out interesting thoughts or a short summary of the value a reader can expect to get from reading the article.
- Find and tag contributors, author, and/or the publication for increased engagement and industry networking.
- Repeat this process until I have enough posts to schedule according to my social media posting schedule out for at least a couple days into the future.
Original content posting
- Read content and pull out interesting thoughts or a short summary of the value statement. I usually write 3-5 different text nuggets for each new piece of content so I can use it to make different posts across a number of days to increase shelf life of content/link.
- Create UTMs so I can track page traffic from social media in Google Analytics and measure the success of the posts.
- Research and use popular and relevant hashtags. I typically get hashtag ideas from industry influencers, competitors, or by trying out topic ideas in the platform search bar and seeing if they’re popular for similar content.
- Find and tag any contributors for increased engagement and influencer networking.
- As with content curation, I repeat this process until I have enough posts to schedule out for at least a couple days into the future, but since many of these posts align with content calendars and business campaigns that I know about well in advance, often it will be weeks ahead of time.
Analytics and reporting
- Make some lunch (which is unfortunately likely to consist of a very underwhelming salad) and settle in to run reports.
- First I double check that all the Social Report metrics that I’ve automated to be delivered directly to clients are going out as expected.
- I prepare to brief any clients or stakeholders on a high level picture of these KPIs.
- I use Google Analytics to judge web traffic to content and any subsequent conversions on trials or email lists.
Meetings with teams and clients, check in on the social media strategy
- Take a short break from the office to go grab another coffee and get some fresh air—can’t fall victim to the 2pm slump during meetings! I’ll still use the mobile app to stay present while I’m out of the office and make sure I don’t miss any potential issues with posts.
- Conduct any necessary check-ins with my team or clients, usually on things like branding direction, upcoming seasonal and promotional campaigns, checking on status of original content creation with copywriters, etc.
Make decisions on changes that need to be implemented based on good or bad performance, recommend types of original content creation to copywriters that are performing well on social.
Wrap up the day with remaining time-sensitive tasks
- Repeat all engagement and customer service practices from the morning, because the same type of mentions and customer problems have probably come up throughout the day and shouldn’t be left overnight.
- Spend some time staying up to date on important changes in the major platforms I use, such as algorithm updates or major acquisitions. Bonus: curate posts with these news articles and share with your followers after you read them.
- Monitor the competition. Are they sharing from a great news site I haven’t discovered yet? Are they reporting on some breaking news that my followers need to know? Are they using a posting strategy that emphasizes something you do better?
- Follow up on any clients or stakeholders to make sure everything is done or approved before the next day’s posts start to go live.
There you have it: the daily schedule of a social media manager. In short, I carve out time to:
- Check that everything I previously scheduled is on track for the day
- Engage with followers and influencers
- Curate external content
- Schedule original internal content
- Measure performance
- Meet with clients and stakeholders about strategy
- Repeat engagement tasks
- Stay up to date on industry news
Obviously these exact time frames won’t work for everyone, because it’s natural to jump around on responsibilities or have meetings at varying times. But when schedules do vary, or unexpected things come up, you’ll be glad you set aside this recommended time to schedule out future posts.
In addition to being prepared ahead of time, using these general time allotments and making sure you reserve time to cover each of these tasks will help social media managers schedule their day to achieve a balanced social media presence—crippling caffeine dependency not strictly necessary.
See something you liked in how I used the Social Report Mobile App? Download it for iOS in the app store.