Setting Up Social Media for Smooth Sailing

Most businesses now understand the need and value of having a social media presence, but oftentimes this task gets pushed to the wayside for other more pressing matters. Luckily there’s an easier way! Whether you’re a marine business owner or manager who handles the social media accounts, or have delegated the task to an employee, there are several ways to improve the efficiency of the process. It’s taken me quite a bit of trial and error to figure out a streamlined way to manage and deliver content, but I’ve created a process that works for us now.

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Schedule it as a Weekly Task

Unless you’re a full-time dedicated Social Media Manager, most of us can’t afford to spend hours out of the work week flipping through photos, hemming and hawing about what to post, remembering to post it at a certain time, and going into 5 different apps to post each individual item. This is a huge waste of time! 

My first tip is to schedule this as a once-a-week task, for no more than an hour. If you follow the additional steps below, you’ll see this is easier than you might imagine. 


Develop a Content Database 

You need a place to store the actual content being posted. When photos and videos are taken for the business, these should be saved to a database for you and/or employees to access and pull for future social content. 

I use specific folders for photos I plan to use for social media posts. They go into a “Ready for Posting” folder, and once I’ve posted them, I move them to a “Posted” folder so I can keep track of which photos I’ve already used. We use OneDrive, but any cloud-based service will allow access and editing of content in the database by employees.


Create a Content Calendar 

The step prevents the overwhelming feeling of staring at a blank screen and wondering what you should say. Develop a purpose, a plan, or a campaign for the posts. If you’re a fishing charter company, maybe you develop a “Fishing Friday” campaign. If there’s a holiday during the year that you plan to run a special, plan it out in advance. If you’re launching a new product, plan it out and build the hype leading up to it! It’s so much easier to gain momentum with your social media approach if you can look at it from a bird’s eye view.

I have an Excel spreadsheet for the year set up with monthly calendar tabs. I write in on a particular date which content I plan to post, and to which social media account. The digital calendar format is also great for multiple employees to access, plan for, and change as needed.


Use a Content Scheduling App

This tool is the holy grail of efficient social media management for a business. I’ve tried a few different apps and found Buffer to be the best choice for us at the moment but there are plenty of other options, such as Hootsuite, Tailwind, Zoho, etc. No matter which platform you use, the major benefit is with time management and planning. You take part of that designated weekly hour (I usually do this on Monday morning) to enter the content from the database according to the content calendar, choosing the time, date, and platform that they will post on. They will automatically post without needing to do anything else. This is a massive time-saver. 

One key feature of Buffer is if you have employees or a third party managing your content it allows you the option to add posting authorizations. Someone can create posts that are scheduled for a certain time and are 100% ready to go in a queue, and the authorized manager can choose to approve, edit, or remove the posts before they are ever allowed to go out. 


Analyze & Adjust the Plan 

Once you’ve planned, scheduled, and posted your content, the hard part is over! The next best step is to check back in it at some point to see how the posted content has done. What sort of engagement was created? Any comments or questions? Preferably you interact with the audience here if the posts are generating interest.

Another benefit to using a content scheduling app is that it provides detailed analytics to see what posts are doing well (or not), and what might be trending. It will take time and some experimenting to see what’s working – is there a better day or time to post, a busier platform, a certain type of photo or messaging that captures the attention of your ideal audience? Use this information to continue improving your efforts and results.

Social media management is certainly time consuming but incorporating some of the tricks above could have a positive impact on your approach. It’s more about playing the long game here, making a plan, and being consistent! 

What process do you currently use to manage social media for your business? Do you have one? Who is responsible for the task? What’s working and what isn’t? Tell us below!