Using social media to build awareness and engage with your customers is a must-do marketing strategy in the 21st century. If you’re just getting started, however, it can seem very overwhelming. Here are some tips, best practices, and tools to help social media management not be a full-time job on top of your other responsibilities.

What to Post

The first step is deciding what sort of content your company will post on its social accounts. This varies considerably by industry. A baby clothing business, for example, would want to post lots of photos and videos of cute babies. On the other hand, a tool shop may want to post step-by-step how to videos for DIY projects. For effective social media management, you need to work with the marketing decision makers in your company to build a rough calendar as far out as possible and plan on posting whichever type of content you think is best on it.

When and Where to Post 

That brings us to a critical social media management question “How often should I post?” The first step towards answering this question is deciding which platform is most effective for your business to reach customers. This again varies by industry, but here are some general guidelines: If Facebook is your primary platform, post 1 to 2 times a day. Twitter requires a little more frequent posting, usually 3 to 10 times a day. Instagram posts should be done 1 to 3 times a day, and if you use Instagram Stories, plan on 2 to 5 times a day. You can get away with less on LinkedIn, usually around 1 to 2 posts a week. Pinterest users need more, between 3 and 20 times a day.

How to Schedule Your Posts and Share Your Calendar

There are several reputable social media management calendar apps and tools to help you automate your posts. They are very useful because they not only integrate your accounts, but many allow you to share content with other managers and members of your team. If you’re lucky enough to have a social media staff, these will help with assignments and delegation. If you’re solely responsible, this can keep your bosses in the loop.

Think of your social media strategy the same way you would any marketing or advertising schedule across traditional media. There are times of day and days of the year that are more effective than others, but the nature of social makes it easy to plan, track, and adjust as you go!