Four Ways to Get (and Keep) Control of Your Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, YouTube… the depth and breadth of social platforms out there is mind-boggling. If you’re participating in one or two, it’s not hard to manage content and notifications for your social site of choice. But if you’re participating in numerous sites, managing your time and efforts while still covering all your bases can get a little tricky.

Being in charge of multiple social platforms is a little like being a one-man band. A one-man band can produce an entertaining performance, provided all of the instruments come together with the right notes and rhythm. If you don’t hit the right notes at the right time, though, it’s a disorganized mess. And no one will stick around for a disorganized mess. But you’ve got to hand it to this guy for trying.

Fortunately, managing social media doesn’t require musical knowledge or a sense of rhythm. It does require, however, that you invest a little effort up front, and by all means, simplify your methods.

How to Get (and Keep) Control of Your Social Media:

  1. Have a Goal
    This needs to be your starting point. What is your goal for participating in social media? Keep in mind, however, that your main goal may consist of several, related, smaller goals. Take the time for define your purpose with regard to the differing platforms you’ve chosen. Your goal in relation to image-based media needs to work in tandem with the goal you’ve set for text-based media.
  2. Implement a Routine
    Keeping your social media updated across the board can be daunting, particularly if you are trying to maintain a current message throughout your posts. This is where a routine comes in handy. One way to establish a routine is to determine when you’ll do your updates, and in what order across all the media in which you participate. Stick to this routine and you’ll save yourself a great deal of trouble and confusion about what’s been updated, and when.
  3. social media apps - one deviceUse Apps to Monitor Multiple Channels
    There are hundreds of apps out there that help take some of the pressure off a social media guru such as yourself. Apps such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, SproutSocial, and Buffer allow you to schedule content, execute campaigns, manage multiple profiles, track engagement, and parse out analytics in a central location. Within these apps are options for free usage as well as upgrades for paid usage that provide a more robust experience. These apps are tools that can provide a much-needed view of, and control over, the big picture.
  4. Limit Notifications to ONE Device
    This might seem obvious, but keeping a grip on your social media works best if you only use one device to receive notifications. Whether it’s your laptop or your smartphone or your tablet, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of everything in one place. If you have a smartphone, it’s likely with you the majority of the day, and maybe even the night. Whatever device you choose, however, be sure that it’s one you’ll find easy to navigate. Depending on the platform, you can also opt out of certain notifications, which will further reduce the time required to stay on top of things. Decide which notifications are important to receive, and scuttle the rest.

Managing a social media presence works best when you set your priorities and take full advantage of the technology available to help you keep things running smoothly. An effective social media presence relies on effort and consistency, and putting in a little time up front can help you to realize your goals regardless of the platforms you use.

Do you have a favorite app or method to manage your social media? Share it in the comments.