Create a Social Media Workflow to Keep Yourself Sane
Do you see those businesses out there who post on social media consistently with thoughtful, relevant content? Do you wish you could be one of them?
You don’t necessarily need a big budget or a big team - you need to get organized! A workflow is going to accomplish that, and it’s going to help you stay accountable to yourself at the same time. As a bonus, having your workflows developed will make it easy peasy to outsource when you’re ready to hand off your social media!
Full disclosure: what I talk about here is covered in more detail in my mini-course Systematize Your Social Media, so you bet your booty I’m going to mention it a few times and encourage you to get your copy right here - $47 gets you lifetime access to the content and updates :)
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What is a Workflow, Anyway?
A workflow is essentially a repeatable set of specific action steps that get you from starting a task to completing a task. It’s how you #GetShitDone :)
The key words here are repeatable and specific. If you have a workflow that doesn’t meet those criteria, then it’s not going to save you any time or help you get anything done. Let me give you a few examples.
Income taxes - this only happens once a year, so most of us don’t remember in advance every single step that we need to take. Generally, what happens is that you end up looking at your forms from last year to see what boxes you filled in, trying to remember how you came up with that information, then start hunting down forms and receipts, etc. Just imagine how much time and energy and frustration you would save if you took the time one year to document everything you did and where you got the info!
Feeding the dog - since you do this everyday your workflow probably consists of a single “remember to feed the dog”. But what if you hired someone to housesit and they’d never owned a dog and didn’t know where anything in your house was? With the instructions “remember to feed the dog” they’d definitely struggle - how much to feed, how often, where is the food, etc. If you had detailed instructions already prepared this is something you could easily outsource!
Onboarding a new client - you have a checklist including items like collect contact info, book discovery call, send contract, collect payment, etc. But sometimes it’s a friend or colleague that becomes a client and they don’t want the preliminaries but when you start you find you’re missing info you would have normally collected upfront. Sometimes you have a client that asks for a special payment plan or method so you need to change how you bill them. Sometimes you have a client that wants to communicate in a way that’s not usual for you (i.e. you use a shared Slack channel but they only text or phone). Continual ‘exceptions’ can make your workflow useless. You’ll have to make a decision between streamlining your client requirements or creating multiple workflows for different scenarios.
Tip: it’s always better to have extra or optional items in your workflow that can be skipped as opposed to having multiple workflows - just be sure that it’s obvious when an item can be skipped!
How do you know your workflow is good?
You can hand the task off to someone who has never done it for you and they can complete it with a minimum of hassle
You can complete the task yourself after not having done it for a long time
Of course, this assumes that the person doing the task has at least some competency with it - I trust that you wouldn’t hire a chef to fix your car.
Step 1: Braindump
You need to make a list of all of the things you need to do - write or type them out no matter how small, and be as detailed as possible. Make sure to consider things like:
Creating or finding content to post
What you’re going to post about
Posting to all of your social media networks
Engaging with followers
Creating or adjusting your social media strategy
Step 2: Batching
You can save time by batching similar activities - this also means that you’ll have to do them less frequently. Look at your list and see what things are similar enough that they could be completed at the same time.
For example, say you have decided to post a tip every Tuesday. You’ll write the tip out but also include the tip on a graphic for your more visually-minded followers.
You *could* sit down every Tuesday morning and write a tip and make the graphic and post it. But the most efficient thing to do would be to sit down ahead of time and write up several tips. Then later make all of the graphics for those tips. And then later schedule all of those tips/graphics to be posted on the upcoming Tuesdays. Instead of having 1 task 4 times a month, you’d have 3 tasks once a month.
Step 3: Frequency
This is where you start further defining your workflow by splitting things up by when or how often they need to be done.
The frequencies of your to do’s will start becoming apparent once you’ve decided what to batch, but there will be additional items that you need to break out.
Ask yourself things like:
How often do you need to create/schedule your content?
How often do you need to monitor your stats?
How often do you need to audit your profiles to ensure your contact/business info is up to date?
How often do you need to engage with your followers?
Tip: “logging in and responding to messages and comments” should be something that happens almost daily - at least during work days.
Step 4: Accountability
You’ve spent all of this time putting together your workflow, so it would be a shame not to use it!
Put all of the items, grouped by frequency or date, in a checklist to make your workflow template.
Write it out on paper and make copies to keep by your computer - manually check off as items are completed
Put it on a whiteboard so you can easily check off and erase your checks each week/month/etc.
Keep them in a spreadsheet or word document
Set them up in a productivity tool like Trello*, or Asana so you can set due dates, reminders, repeats, etc.
Step 5: Maintenance
Things in your business will change, and it’s important that you keep your workflows up to date. As mentioned in step 4, you want to have a template for your workflow and that is what you want to keep up to date - this ensures you always have a single copy that is up to date.
I’d recommend updating workflows as you notice the changes. If you try to leave it to later chances are high you’ll forget what changes need to be made.
Systematize Your Social Media
Want even more? How about help figuring out how much time you have to spend on social media, what you can fill your posting schedule up with, and what tools to use? My mini-course covers those areas and will only take you about three hours to complete - spend an afternoon #GettingShitDone :)
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