Discussions

Social Media Time Management

Posted by Kate Harbaugh @kateharbaugh, Mon, Jun 10 8:34am

Hello All,

As we all know, social media management for an organization can turn into a 24/7 job.

Additionally, we only have one person managing our social media platforms and some people in the organization — our events team in particular — reach out on weekends via text message, in an unplanned manner, asking for event photos to be posted. I've posted some questions below — but my biggest concern is how to you all manage after-work hours and set expectations for social media management?

To give some context:

Our department is in a state of immense change. We're moving away from traditional advertising and trying to inhabit the digital space differently. In the past, all our social media pages focused on our events — we're trying to move away from that and share a mix of information. But now the events team is feeling like they're not getting the exposure they need.

We've been trying to socialize the use of hashtags — and encourage more use of Instagram instead of Facebook for events. Additionally, we installed Hootsuite in March, so we're trying to change the conversation around how we manage social media. We're moving toward being more strategic and planned. We do acknowledge that there will be times when last-minute posts are necessary, but we really do want to respect people's time away from work.

Questions:

How do you manage after-work hours and expectations for social media management? Do you restrict social media management to business hours only? Do you have any policies you can share with me to help me guide the conversation here and set appropriate boundaries for all involved? What are your best practices? Or perhaps social media is a 24/7 commitment and we should staff this appropriately?

I'm looking forward to your feedback! I learned a lot the last time I posted a question.

In advance, thank you all!

–Kate

I’m curious. How many gatekeepers do you have? That is, how many people can actually, physically, post or tweet?

REPLY
@matthewrehrl

I’m curious. How many gatekeepers do you have? That is, how many people can actually, physically, post or tweet?

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Hello Matthew, thank you for responding!

We have three people who have access to our channels and can physically post, but the work is falling to one person in particular.

On a day-to-day basis, the monitoring of these channels is simple and not too much for one person to manage.

But what we're trying to figure out is whether last-minute requests on the weekend — for writing/drafting of text and then the posting of images that have been sent along — falls under the best practices umbrella.

I guess, in short, we're looking to set expectations with people within our organization — mostly our events team. We're also looking for creative solutions so our events team feels that they are getting the communications support they need while out on the road.

We've also tried to change the conversation a bit here internally. We've rolled out hashtags for use on Instagram so we can repost on Monday. We've talked about allowing our events team to "take over" our Instagram channels on those days where they want to have a presence. But our events people feel that the only social media that counts is the stuff that appears on FB.

For me, I think of FB as our most corporate and buttoned up of all our social media channels and I feel that Instagram is more appropriate for this kind of in-the-moment photo sharing.

Additionally, for more context, we have created "events" on FB with all the applicable details so users can find them later or on the day of the event. We boost these events two weeks prior to the date of the event, but again our events team is worried that this is not enough and wants day-of posts and recap posts.

Any insights help!

REPLY

One thing the social media managers at Hootsuite do is they allow most of their staff to submit draft tweets to their primary account, and then marketing decides how or if to edit them and when to schedule them. (They have 7 million followers, so they don’t necessarily want to give to many people the ability to put up a final post, but then again they send out 24 tweets a day, seven days a week and they need content to do that.).

Basically, they have a deep trust in their staff to create useful content, but they also protect the final posting step at the enterprise level.

Anyway, consider having 50 people in your organization approved to create and send you draft tweets (and other content) and then all you have to do is review and schedule. The expectation is most content will get posted with limited editing (perhaps adding a call of action, etc). This is also great if you have sub accounts such as hootsuitelife.

The real challenge: how much do you really, really trust your employees?

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Great feedback, @mathewehrl. I'm the lead on all of our social accounts and always encourage (& ask) other staff who are submitting photos to be shared in social for at least a start to the post copy.

For us, after-hours and weekends management is more about monitoring audience comments, questions and DMs. We have a team of 4 who have access to accounts and we rotate being "on-call" for coverage beyond standard business hours. This support from my teammates has been immensely helpful for me in finding a bit of work-life balance.

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@matthewrehrl

One thing the social media managers at Hootsuite do is they allow most of their staff to submit draft tweets to their primary account, and then marketing decides how or if to edit them and when to schedule them. (They have 7 million followers, so they don’t necessarily want to give to many people the ability to put up a final post, but then again they send out 24 tweets a day, seven days a week and they need content to do that.).

Basically, they have a deep trust in their staff to create useful content, but they also protect the final posting step at the enterprise level.

Anyway, consider having 50 people in your organization approved to create and send you draft tweets (and other content) and then all you have to do is review and schedule. The expectation is most content will get posted with limited editing (perhaps adding a call of action, etc). This is also great if you have sub accounts such as hootsuitelife.

The real challenge: how much do you really, really trust your employees?

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Thank you so much for your feedback! This is very helpful.

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@deerobinsonbmh

Great feedback, @mathewehrl. I'm the lead on all of our social accounts and always encourage (& ask) other staff who are submitting photos to be shared in social for at least a start to the post copy.

For us, after-hours and weekends management is more about monitoring audience comments, questions and DMs. We have a team of 4 who have access to accounts and we rotate being "on-call" for coverage beyond standard business hours. This support from my teammates has been immensely helpful for me in finding a bit of work-life balance.

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Hello Dee, thank you for your response. This is exactly what I'm looking for. As the person solely responsible for managing, writing, drafting, posting etc., getting requests on the weekends to draft copy and post feels like an unnecessary request. So, I appreciate learning how your team manages this.

After hearing all of your feedback, I'm thinking I will propose the following best practices:

–On call rotation between three team members for SM monitoring on the weekend for DMs, comments and last-minute event cancellations etc.
–I will give the events team full access to our Instagram account and encourage them to post photos \when they have a community event. This account is the perfect place to showcase our business culture, philanthropy etc.
–I will encourage them to use hashtags and have people "like" and "follow" us on Instagram. We have a lot of growth opportunity on this channel in particular.
–I will encourage the events team to shift their perception of unplanned weekend posts. They feel strongly that last-minute weekend posts should be part of the strategy. I'm trying to help them see that planning and strategy will get us much farther. —–Mostly, I think their approach stems from an old business model, which they felt really comfortable with. They are struggling to move into a more planned approach.

So thank you for best practices and some insights into how you all manage this work. I didn't want to propose an on-call rotation or even stem the flow of last-minute posts on the weekend if other professionals are really comfortable in that space and it is considered a best practice. I personally believe we can get a lot more done with planning and strategy rather than last-minute work!

Thank you!

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