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To help keep your business organized, here are 10 rules for successful social media management.

Social media continues to play an increasingly important role in marketing because businesses have the opportunity to create a unique relationship with their target market. It’s important to utilize these platforms because they help increase brand awareness. However with so many different accounts, it can be a little overwhelming.

Before, businesses only needed one social media account to stay relevant. These days, 2-3 different social profiles or more are the new standard. One page for Facebook, Twitter, then maybe Instagram or Pinterest – there’s also Snapchat and of course LinkedIn… the list goes on.

Due to the rise in relevance, many companies have chosen to hire a social media marketing agency to assist in strategy and approach for maximum impact.

Regularly posting and engaging on these sites requires a lot of attention and for those just starting out, it can be a bit more overwhelming than anticipated. To help keep your business organized with all things social media, these 10 rules will act as a guide to keep you posting and engaging in an organized manner:

Rule 1: Plan Ahead

Take some time at the beginning of the week to outline your posts. Decide what kind or type of posts you want to make each day and write it down. Make a list or a social media calendar to keep track of your ideas. Post about relatable news, industry trends, or fun facts to keep your profile diverse.

If you know there are holidays coming up (like Mother’s day), that are relevant to your audience, have the whole office do a shout out to their moms to show the fun and friendly side of your business. It’s important to plan these posts ahead of time because some ideas may take more effort than others, but remember to stay flexible as well!

You may have planned a post on statistics, but if everyone is talking about Pokémon Go… don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon!

Rule 2: Incorporate Themes

Incorporate themes into your social media schedule. When you center your weeks around strong topics, it helps make your content a complete story, and establishes you as an authority on these areas.

Let’s say an industry related gala is coming up, integrate small facts about the event into your social posts. If your company has a philanthropy near and dear to its heart, dedicate a month of posts to spread awareness about your cause.

These themes will give your followers a better understanding about what to expect from you on social media. They will also help you gain new followers who are interested in your content.

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Rule 3: Identify your Focus Platforms

Sometimes your business can’t afford to spend hours on each post for every platform. If that’s the case, you’ll need to choose one or two profiles you really want to focus on. Think about what you want to accomplish with your social media use and which platform will best support that goal.

Maybe you’re looking for next season’s interns? LinkedIn is a great way to find the most qualified candidates. Is there a particular look and feel your business is going for? Pinterest and Instagram are great for creating mood boards, which allow you to gain followers who share similar interests.

Make your selection based on what objectives you want to reach.

Rule 4: Choose your Secondary Platforms

Your other social media accounts are still important despite which ones you chose as your focus. Remember to show these pages some love as well on a weekly, if not daily basis. You can always recycle content from other pages or post about industry news.

The point is to stay engaged and relevant, because every little bit helps increase your brand awareness.

Rule 5: Know the Rush Hour

Once you have your outline and you’ve chosen your focuses, the next questions are when and how many times a day? Each platform has a different frequency when it comes to posting and each platform has different rush hours.

Some social media sites only require one post a day, whereas others like Twitter have an average of 10 posts a day. These channels get busy at specific times in the day and you want to be active at those times to increase your visibility.

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•  Kissmetrics shows that 12pm noon is a good hour to post daily
•  Hubspot notes Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm – 3pm are good for engagement Twitter
•  The Huffington Post notes that 12pm, 5pm, and 6pm generate the most retweets
•  12pm and 6pm have the highest click through rating Pinterest
•  Hubspot shows that evening hours are favored among Pinterest users Instagram
•  Hubspot gives you a thumbs up anytime from Monday – Thursday EXCEPT between 3 – 4pm
•  The Huffington Post shows that Instagram yields the most likes at 2am and 5pm

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Rule 6: Recruit Some Help

Now that you know the ins and outs for each platform, you might find social media to be a bit more intensive than you thought. If you need help, work with a social media marketing agency like Aumcore to assist in organizing and managing your accounts. For small and medium sized businesses, check out these social media best practices for more guidance.

If you do find yourself capable and ready for the challenge, all the power to you! To help alleviate some of the responsibility we all have our cheat codes and a popular one is to set an alarm on your phone or computer as a reminder to post when you’re occupied with other tasks.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are popular among businesses to help with social media management. You can track how posts are doing and what kind of engagement they’re receiving. One of the best parts is – you can time posts so they go up automatically.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t! Because there are so many tools to help with your social media journey.

Rule 7: Take Lots of Photos

A large part of social media is imagery. Stock photos tend to get used and reused over and over again. Try to stray away from these images and take your own.

Just like you sit down at the beginning of the week to plan what you’re going to post, plan what images you want to compliment your content. Social media photos don’t demand too many pixels and most smartphones nowadays fulfill that requirement.

Apple even launched its ‘shot on iPhone 6’ campaign showcasing amazing high quality photos taken by the iPhone 6 series.

Take lots of photos and start an archive for future use. Snap some shots of your team hard at work or of an office lunch. Consumers will notice you’re producing unique photos and will appreciate your originality.

Rule 8: Follow Influencers

These days, those who made it big on social media are a lot more influential than even some traditional celebrities. According to Adweek, 73% of teenagers and young adults report feeling closer to YouTubers as opposed to 45% who say they feel close to TV and movie stars.

To learn more about how they have become so successful, follow them. These accounts can help with your business and your social media marketing because you can gain a better understanding of what your target audience engages with, how they react, or what’s popular. These digital influencers are a learning opportunity for your brand and business.

Rule 9: Set Aside Time to Engage

Engagement, as a best practice, is true for all platforms. Show your audience that you’re active on your pages by commenting, liking, sharing, and reacting to other status and posts.

By doing so, you will be increasing your visibility and connecting with your followers. Engagement on social media is fun and doesn’t take much time.

Take a break from other responsibilities and say hello to some of your new followers by liking one of their relevant posts or by tagging them and simply saying thank you.

Rule 10: Brainstorm

After you’ve taken a bunch of classes and tried new food, have conversations with your staff about what they thought. What did they think was interesting? What do they think consumers will find interesting? Have one place where all the ideas go.

This can be online, or if you prefer something a little more old school- try an inspiration board. Add photos and quotes that you like and are relevant to your industry. Tell your employees to write down ideas they might have.

If you saw an ad campaign that really resonated with you, write down why you liked it so much. If there was a Super Bowl commercial you enjoyed and you remembered it, what made it memorable? You never know what these ideas could lead to, and it’s always better to have them written down.

Ask any social media marketing agency and they will say brainstorming is a huge part of their day. And that’s the best part about social media – like the creative process, it’s ongoing.

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Here’s the Re-Cap

A bit of a skimmer? We understand. Here’s the recap of 10 rules for successful social media management for business accounts:

1. Always try to plan ahead
2. Incorporate themes into your social media posts
3. Choose your focus channels
4. Don’t neglect your secondary channels
5. Be aware of social media rush hours
6. Recruit some help from social media tools or a marketing agency
7. Take lots of photos
8. Follow influencers on each platform
9. Set aside time to engage with your followers
10. Brainstorm to keep your creative juices flowing

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