It’s a busy world nowadays and we all have at least one social media profile (or four, or five…). It can be hard to keep track of it, and I used to beat myself up for not managing my social media activity better. But there a few easy ways to help keep you organised on social media.
As a freelance filmmaker and blogger I knew social media could have a huge influence on my career, so I created a plan to help me stay on top of it all.
Like you, I have an array of profiles that have to stay alive and kicking. That means multiple posts per week. Here’s everything I have:
A personal Facebook account
A Facebook page
An Instagram (business) account
A Twitter profile
A Daisie profile
A Pinterest (business) account
A LinkedIn profile
It’s quite a lot to manage and I was overwhelmed when I started trying to get on top of it all, so here’s what I started with.
I decided I no longer needed Snapchat so I deleted it, and I don’t miss it. My colleagues weren’t engaging on there so I was mostly looking at pictures of delicious-looking coffee or blurry nightclub lights. Once I’d deleted the app I felt a weight lifted and knew I could focus on what I really wanted to focus on (spoiler: it was Instagram).
Instagram is what I go to every day. You can get to know people in your field, people you look up to and make new friends just on Instagram. It’s a great resource for me, but it was time-consuming and I wasn’t guaranteed any result. I started downloading freebies from bloggers to find out what they did to manage their super-successful accounts, and one of them said she uses an app called Planoly. It’s totally free, although they have a premium version, and it lets you plan all of your Instagram content in advance. Planoly has been such a life-saver for me – it’s helped me think deeply about what I’m posting and helped me to curate a visually-harmonious feed. It’s also been super helpful in helping to keep me organised on social media. For example, grid themes used to terrify me, but I’m really enjoying playing with them now.
Scheduling your content is a game-changer. To begin with I felt like I wasn’t being honest and like it would stop me being authentic, but there are still ways to achieve that. Just because you’re planning posts in advance doesn’t mean you’re lying to people. This was a big hurdle for me to get over, but once I did, it made a massive difference.
What I like to do now is sit down on a Monday morning, take a look at my week and then plan my content around it. I plan for every account, and they way I work at the moment is using a different highlighter for each account. I’ll write something along the lines of ‘share blog post’ or ‘share new clip of so-and-so film’ and highlight it with the relevant colour. I’m a really visual person, so this style works best for me, but there are lots of ways you could do this so play around.
Planning all of my content in advance is vital for me – it means I don’t miss any important details that I wanted to share, as well as helping me stay active on all of my accounts. It can be so easy to take a weekend off, not post anything, and then fall into the trap of feeling like you don’t have anything to post. Scheduling means you have regular, interesting and relevant content.
This step feels like such a relief. It’s one thing to schedule, it’s another thing to post all of your scheduled content. It felt so time-consuming and I started to lose my passion for social media. I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. An it felt like I was posting because I had to post, not because I actually wanted to engage with people.
So I started using Planoly to automatically post content, which is a dream. As anyone with a business account will know, you get some great insights into when your audience is most active. My tends to be later in the week between 6pm-9pm. The issue with this is that I’m often at meetings or events around this time, so I can’t always post. Automatic uploads solved this problem for me and because I’d planned it in advance, I didn’t have to worry about any of it (are any of you chronic worriers? I totally am).
My blog posts now share automatically to my Facebook page, my Twitter and my LinkedIn. This means I’ve got at least one post per week going up on these accounts, which is enough for Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter is so easy to use, it’s my go-to ‘on the go’ app, along with Instagram Stories. Which means I don’t need to worry about how much I’m tweeting. It’s great to have my posts tweeted automatically thought, because I have a lot of work-friends and colleagues on Twitter, and the posts are relevant to them.
Instagram Stories, Pinterest and Daisie are the only three I don’t automate. I schedule posts for both of them in my diary, but I like to do these by myself. With everything else automated, it means I only spend a few minutes each week posting to these accounts which is amazing. Before I automated everything, I used to spend upwards of four hours a week posting (and worrying about what I was posting) online.
No, I’m not talking about signing in or confirming your password. I’m talking about keeping what you post authentic. You may not be posting in real-time anymore, but you can still be authentic online.
I like to do this with my captions. We all know they’re a brilliant place to let people know who you are, what you do and what you care about, but I think they’re often underused. For Instagram, Planoly lets you plan the caption in advance as well. So I now get plenty of time to stop and think about what I really want to say. Before I did this I used to panic – ‘I have to post this in the next five minutes because my followers are most active now!’ – now I don’t panic whatsoever. Really consider what you say in your captions, and make them true and honest. Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve had way more comments and messages from people reaching out to me because they want advice or want to talk to me about what they’re working on. That has been the biggest reward throughout this process and I love checking up and seeing new messages.
Checking up is also a big part. I like to use the time I’ve saved by scheduling to engage with other people more. Just because I have posts uploaded automatically doesn’t mean I can ignore the app. I like to sit with a cup of tea and reply to comments and messages, as well as commenting on everyone else’s amazing content. Doing this every day means I can easily stay on top of it all.
Twitter and Instagram Stories are also ways of being authentic, because you can share raw snippets of your life on-the-go. Showing people where you like to visit, what you like to do, where you like to go for coffee is a wonderful way of being open and honest.
For me now, keeping organised on social media activity has been fantastic. I enjoy it so much more than I used to, I get a lot more free time and I’ve made so many new connections online as a result!
P.S. Stay tuned for this month’s Female Filmmaker, Honey Kinny Ross going live this Friday. We chat all things filmmaking, feminism and more social media!