Around The Clock: Scheduling Your Social Media Engagement

Running your business’s social media has become a round-the-clock job, and in an era where a small glitch can send your online presence into a rapid downward spiral, it’s no longer a job that cab be pre-scheduled. No, someone – really, several people – needs to be monitoring your accounts 24/7. But how many staff members does it take to do it right?

The numbers vary by the size of your business, of course, but assume you’ll need a minimum of four full-time staffers to cover your social media pages. And that number shouldn’t just be the number of people who know the account login and understand how to post; they need to be actual professionals who can keep response times low, while also providing useful and appropriate information. A comprehensive approach might look like the following:

Shift Change

Make sure your social media presence always has a team member assigned by setting up recurring shifts. Although there are only three shifts a day, you’ll need four staffers to cover absences and give everyone a semblance of a weekend – but be sure to make the calendar easy to edit in case of illnesses or emergencies. Employees can maintain a well-run schedule with minimal interference. They work as a team to ensure coverage.

The Math Master

While their core job is running your company’s social media pages, each team member should also have an additional, related responsibility – a platform they specialize in or a skill they can offer. At least one member of your social media team, for example, should understand the analytics factor. This staffer is responsible for monitoring social KPIs such as reach, number of followers, and brand mentions, that other team members can use to devise and update the enterprise social media strategy.

The Emergency Responder

Another key member of your 24/7 social media team is the overnight responder. This person is in a crisis management position, because although the midnight hour isn’t exactly the prime social media use time, if something goes awry at 2 AM, there may not be other staff around to help. Your daytime team members can consult the appropriate colleagues if there’s a glitch or a data breach, but your overnight responder needs to know how to hold back the flood until morning without causing more damage.

The Optimizer

Finally, while certain parts of your social media presence can only be executed in real-time, such as live tweeting a meeting, most social media posts today are prescheduled. This includes scheduling a few weekend posts, updates for holidays, and most of your day-to-day content that customer engagement relies on. There are plenty of different programs you can do this, such as HootSuite for Twitter, as well as built-in scheduling features for Facebook.

By maintaining a steady schedule of social media representatives, while offering team members specialized roles, you’ll get the most out of your online presence. Customers want to know that someone is listening when they write to you, no matter what channel they use; you need to set up the infrastructure to listen.