If you’re doing social media for higher ed, chances are you’re also doing lots of other things. We’re famously over-burdened with communications duties. Fear not, though. I’m here to help give some guidance on how you can do the social media part of your job faster and better.
Use a social dashboard.
I’m not here to sell you a product, but using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer (even the free versions!) can really help you streamline your process. Instead of making sure you’re sitting by your computer to hit the tweet button when it’s time, or worse, tweeting randomly when you have a few minutes between phone calls and meetings, a tool like this will help you plan out your day or week of content and will send out your content when you schedule it to go out. You’re not off the hook on monitoring any responses, but at least you don’t have to remember to press Publish each time!
If you’re working with a team, some kind of social dashboard also helps you keep track of what everyone else is doing. You can share
Get an editorial calendar.
Again, I’m not here to sell you software, and it doesn’t matter what tool you use as long as you’re using it properly and getting the other members of your team to use it properly. An editorial calendar can be as simple as sticky notes on a whiteboard or as complicated as a big project management system.
The goal is to let everyone on your team see what content everyone else is producing and when it will be published. As a social media coordinator, having other people show you what their content is and where it will be published will save you so much time! After all, it’s your job to share all of that tasty content.
At University Communications, we use Trello, but you can use whatever works well for your team.
Get quicker about image sizing.
If you’re working on social media, you’re probably spending a fair amount of time resizing images for use on your different platforms for posts, banners, profile images and all kinds of other things. Check out the always up-to-date social media image sizes cheat sheet from Sprout, and keep in mind that if you have a horizontal image already, you’ll be mostly ok.
I’m also a heavy user of Canva.com, which is a whole ton easier to figure out than, say, Photoshop.
Use tools to make your life easier!
Here are some of my favorites:
VSCO – Photo editing app
Plotaverse – Animate your photos
Flixel – Animated photos
Snapseed – Photo editing app (iPhone or Android)
Werble – Animated photos
MaskArt – Using a video, make a still photo with a little motion on it (called a
Open Broadcaster Software – Free video recording and live streaming software
Filmic Pro – Video recording app with more functionality than the native iPhone app
LumaFusion – video editing app (like FinalCut, but on your phone)
CutStory – cut
Google Analytics – free website analytics
CrowdTangle – track social media activity on a website/article
Tweriod – figure out when your Twitter followers are online
If you’re at Duke, we also have a big, huge, crowd-sourced list that we add to all the time. (You have to join the Duke Communicators Facebook group to see the doc.)
Hope that helps create some more space for your other job functions or even just a few minutes to be more creative with your content during the day! Feel free to comment below with your own tips and tricks for social media efficiency.