Planning, Posting, Reporting
Start with the 3 broad monthly phases for social media management: planning, posting, reporting. For each Page you manage, plan how many man hours are going to go into each of those 3 buckets: planning, posting, reporting. This will vary by client: some will require far more planning than others, while some will demand more real-time engagement or extended reporting. This may also vary by month. Pages with seasonal trends deserve more planning leading into the prime season and will expect more detailed reporting afterward. Allow for flexibility, but generally speaking, no phase should get any less than 20% of the time and no more than 40%.
Then within each of those phases, you have the following dimensions:
The vast majority of regular needs will fall into one or two of these dimensions. It’s rare that an issue arises that impacts all five for any given Page. Five is a nice number for scaling planning and detail. Let’s dive into the five dimensions a little more and we’ll provide some tips for planning and executing across all 3 phases.
Once you have the distribution of hours planned, you can assign team members. If you’re the entire team, then this step is easy! But, if there are multiple Pages to manage and finite team members and some members are better suited for roles like reporting, the previous planning will help you better schedule their time.
Calendars baby! Monthly calendars, broken out by week and ideally day for every Page. Tentatively plan out each month’s posts in advance. Schedule in overall planning and reporting periods for each Page, and for the team, every month as well. Then, break the months down into weekly calendars and even daily calendars. You’re going to want to have a variety of both morning and afternoon activity, so scheduling is going to help avoid ruts (not the same as routine) and ensure that each Page has content updates at varying intervals at effective times for posting .
Given the amount of material on this topic, this is where we decided to say the least. There are no shortage of social media management tools out there, from established presences like Hootsuite and Sprout Social to dozens of new startups and boutique solutions, like AgoraPulse and MavSocial. Choosing one depends on a variety of factors that would best be covered in its own blog post, but we recommend considering using specialized tools and technologies for each of the 3 phases.
For Planning periods use a tool suited to collaboration and management, anything from a traditional Project Management System to Trello or even Google docs/sheets. For posting and engagement, use a dedicated social media management tool.
And even though nearly every social media management tool comes with built-in reporting functions, you should strongly consider a reporting tool that can integrate social activity and metrics with other digital channels and KPIs. Something like Megalytic, perhaps.
Technology is going to be key to the effective management of multiple Facebook Accounts so take the time to figure out which tools, or more likely, a combination of tools works best for your company.
This is where a dedicated social media management tool is really going to help save time and effort. It will take some initial time to synch the Pages’ login credentials, but once set up, there’s so much less logging in and out of all the different accounts. If you absolutely cannot use a management tool to facilitate this, we recommend a well maintained and secure Master Permissions list that team members can reference and use throughout their week. Compiling all this information in one single place is still going to be more effective than searching through emails or sticky notes every time a team member needs to switch Pages.
This might be the most critical dimension to plan for. Beyond the basic scheduling and proofing of posts, what are the team’s processes for responding to user comments, complaints, and inquiries? How are issues escalated up the team chain and when does the Page owner or stakeholder become notified or involved? If posts require image or video assets, where are they coming from? Consider the periods of time right BEFORE a post and AFTER a post and what you typically need and what you otherwise forget until the last minute.
The real key to managing dozens or hundreds of Facebook Pages is going to be investing in planning and process. Things move quickly in the social world, and it’s tempting to dive in and go for it. But the organization and a solid structural foundation will prove critical to your success.