Being a modern-day social media manager is like being a juggler in a circus. The role is demanding, requiring you to navigate through a myriad of challenges. From tight campaign deadlines to adapting to ever-changing social platforms and content trends, building an engaged community, and connecting efforts that contribute to revenue generation, it’s a lot to handle, all while achieving set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
And if you’re a one-person team, this can all feel even more overwhelming and somewhat of an impossible job. But fear not, one-person-army comrades! Let’s explore how you can achieve “mission impossible” status and stay ahead in the fast-paced world of social media by leveraging the power of AI, machine learning (ML), automation, and other technologies to maximize your productivity, performance, and community impact while maintaining your sanity as the ringleader in the social media circus!
Unleash the Power of Automation: Let AI & ML Do the Heavy Lifting
One of the biggest challenges as an army of one SMM is managing the countless tasks involved in social media marketing and beyond. According to a recent report via Unbounce, 64% of marketers lack sufficient resources to do their jobs, including budget, personnel, and time.
- 51% don’t have enough budget
- 39% don’t have enough personnel or team support
- 34% don’t have enough time
From scheduling posts across various channels to analyzing data and generating reports to brainstorming content themes and creating content to collaborations with influencers or booking time with team leaders and a plethora of what can feel like thousands of other tasks, it can be time-consuming and mentally draining.
This is where automation tools come to the rescue serving as a literal expansion of your team!
Within that same report, many of the marketing leaders who expressed their challenges also expressed where they believe AI can help them fill in the gap in order to succeed.
- 97% believe investing in AI will decrease operation costs
- 95% believe AI integration will boost productivity and precision
- 92% believe AI tools will reduce time on tasks
AI and ML technologies have the potential to transform the way social media managers work. They can automate repetitive tasks, provide valuable insights, streamline complex workflows, and enhance overall efficiency. By harnessing this power, social media managers can focus on strategic initiatives, content marketing execution, and engaging with their audience.
Here are some key areas where these technologies can significantly boost productivity and performance:
1. Content Creation & Curation:
AI-powered tools are becoming a game-changer when it comes to content creation and curation. They can help you generate engaging content ideas, automate content scheduling, and even assist in writing compelling copy. Tools like Canva and Adobe Spark are now leveraging AI to streamline the design process, allowing you to create visually stunning graphics and videos effortlessly in a fraction of the time. Adobe’s new Firefly release even takes it a step further! Additionally, ML algorithms can help you analyze vast amounts of data to identify trending topics, hashtags, and keywords, ensuring that your content and marketing campaigns are optimized for maximum reach and engagement. This can also help speed up the content discovery and mapping process for timely copy, graphics, and themes throughout the year.
2. Social Listening & Sentiment Analysis:
Monitoring conversations and understanding audience sentiment are crucial for effective social media management. Following audience journies and interactions on social, across digital platforms, and even offline checkpoints to improve marketing delivery can be daunting, especially involving pulling data from various teams.
AI-powered social listening tools like Brandwatch, Quill by Narrative Science, Sprout Social, Brand24, and Agorapulse can analyze online discussions, identify emerging trends, and track brand mentions. These tools use ML algorithms to detect sentiment, helping you gauge public opinion about your brand and tailor your messaging accordingly. By leveraging these insights, you can proactively engage with your audience, resolve issues, and capitalize on opportunities.
3. Chatbots & Customer Support:
How many times have you had to respond to the same question involving your brand? Using a chatbot can help identify repeatable questions, themes, or comments and set up human-centric answers to send out upon arrival.
AI-driven chatbots are revolutionizing customer support on social media platforms. 80% of businesses are expected to integrate chatbots in some fashion by 2025, according to a study by PwC. These intelligent bots can handle routine inquiries, provide instant responses, and offer personalized recommendations. Automating a section of customer support can significantly reduce response times, enhance customer satisfaction, and free up your time for more strategic tasks or heavier support conversations.
Tools such as Chatfuel and ManyChat can allow you to build sophisticated chatbots without any coding knowledge, empowering you to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
4. Performance Tracking & Analytics:
Monitoring the performance of your social media campaigns, audience growth and engagement, and overall marketing initiatives is crucial for optimizing your strategy and driving results. AI-powered analytics tools can provide comprehensive performance metrics, including engagement rates, follower growth, and demographic insights. Combining those tools with other tools to leverage ML algorithms to identify patterns and trends can help you make better data-driven decisions and refine your content strategy. You can continuously improve your campaigns and achieve better outcomes by understanding what works and what doesn’t.
Unlock the Power of SMPs: It’s Time to Work Smarter By Integrating Smart Marketing Protocols
As audiences are getting smarter, technology is forever evolving, and the rules of the marketing game constantly shift, it’s time to integrate Smart Marketing Protocols (SMPs) into the mix to enhance our productivity and ensure our sustainability of job relevance and performance. SMPs are a set of best practices, methodologies, and technologies designed to optimize resources, maximize impact, and drive business growth in the digital marketing landscape.
A very simple way to determine how, where, and when you need to integrate an SMP into your workflow is to apply the C.U.P. framework, which stands for Capacity, Utility, and Performance. This framework is an easy way to help you evaluate your role’s components and daily tasks in conjunction with your goals and desired outcomes to identify the best areas to incorporate new automation, AI/ML, and SMPs integrations.
The first thing to do is assess your capacity and figure out where you need a boost and where those pesky bottlenecks are holding you back. Next, take a good look at the utility of your existing tools and processes. Do they help you achieve your goals? And when you’re eyeing those shiny new AI-powered tools, ask yourself: how will they level up your marketing performance? To go a little bit deeper, answer the following question prompts below:
What is your capacity at any given moment? What areas do you need more capacity for, and what areas serve as bottlenecks for you? To maximize your overall productivity and performance, you have to minimize areas that dramatically drain your capacity battery.
What are the specific utilities of the tools, frameworks, processes, and operations you follow, and are they helping you achieve your goals? For new AI-powered tools, processes, and procedures you’re considering adopting, have you determined the utilities they offer and how they will align with your objectives? You want to avoid incorporating new technology for the sake of doing it unless it fills a needed utility.
How is your performance? Are your campaigns, content, and strategy initiatives performing on par with your goals? What tools can you integrate to improve performance in various areas of your day-to-day? Define your key performance indicators and metrics and run those in parallel with timeframes and milestones. The areas with the most discrepancies are the ones you need to look into improving on first.
Now applying C.U.P. as your guide, you’ll be able to evaluate what, where, when, why, and how to incorporate Smart Marketing Protocols into various areas. The critical thing to remember here is that integrating these changes takes time an army of one doesn’t typically have. So revving up at your own pace while keeping in mind the financial and time investment required to integrate SMPs now will save you much more time while accelerating your ability to perform in the long run.
Unite Productivity Frameworks & Time Management Methodologies To Achieve Next-Level Performance Habits
The truth is a tool, software, platform, etc, is only as good as the user and how you use it – using it in the right situation at the right time to achieve a very specific result. But unless you did a log of everything you did, how long you did it, and notated outputs and outcomes, how would you know what tools, software, and platforms to apply, let alone when you need to use a tool or a refined process in the first place?
One big way is applying frameworks, strategies, and methodologies that can help you better address areas of improvement, and areas of enhancement will ultimately allow you to orchestrate a plan where you can incorporate AI-powered tools and technologies better.
To maximize your productivity and performance as a social media manager, consider incorporating the following frameworks and tools into your workflows as well as your overall well-being. As much as we lean on technology, there is still a human behind the scenes who needs balance and support to sustain their output.
The Pomodoro Technique:
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves working in short, focused bursts followed by short breaks. Focus for 25 minutes on a specific task, such as content creation, reviewing emails, or planning your next 30-day schedule. Then stop and take a 5-minute break. Then repeat the process. This very subtle technique can actually help you maintain focus at a marginally higher percentage which over time will add up to increasing your overall productivity.
Eat The Frog First Methodology:
Just how sometimes the only way to navigate a hard season is by getting up earlier instead of sleeping in, the same feelings (and probably resistance in doing so) would apply to this methodology of prioritizing your most difficult tasks first. The “Eat the Frog First” methodology is all about helping you overcome procrastination of complex tasks by exerting the energy at the beginning of your work day, confronting things you normally would be hesitant to do and put off. The trade-off is once you get over the mental hurdle of doing it, and if and when you complete it or make a big enough dent in the task to take a break, you’ll actually feel a boost in confidence and a sense of accomplishment. This will also psychologically make medium and lower-tiered tasks on your to-do list feel like a breeze. It’s the same as tackling heavier weight first and working your way down. Another great framework that can work in parallel with this one is the 80/20 Rule.
The Ten-Minute Framework:
If you aren’t a fan of the “Eat The Frog” methodology and live off of getting quick wins to give you that boost throughout the day, then maybe consider the Ten-Minute framework, which is all about tackling small quick tasks. The idea is if something assumably takes ten minutes or less to complete, do it immediately to avoid adding your black hole to a to-do list.
Forget Frameworks, Just Go With The Flow:
Sometimes the best framework is to align your daily tasks and projects with your natural energy pattern to optimize your productivity. What’s your chronotype? Are you a morning person or a night owl? When are you most creative? When do you find yourself able to knock out mundane work? Identify your high-energy periods throughout the day and reserve them for your most demanding work. Use your lower-energy periods for less mentally demanding tasks and activities. Knowing those times. you’ll be able to time block more efficiently and have dedicated blocks for certain types of work that align with your natural flow.
Protect Your Mental Health as a Social Media Manager
As exhilarating of a ride as being a social media manager can be, it’s no secret that the job can take a massive toll on your mental health. The demanding nature of the role and the constant pressure to stay on top of trends can leave you feeling burned out.
Increasing Rate of Burnout: Over 70% of social media managers have reported experiencing burnout more than once, and this runs parallel with the same percentage around simply keeping up with algorithm changes and ongoing increases in roles and responsibilities being their top challenge.
*Work-Related Stress: 86% of social media managers have experienced work-related stress, with 25% stating it to be extreme with the pressure to meet deadlines, manage multiple platforms, switch from creative to analytical, and deliver engaging content that converts elevated their stress levels.
Feeling Overwhelmed: A survey by The Manifest revealed that more than 50% of social media managers feel constantly overwhelmed by the volume of tasks and responsibilities they have to handle. The constant need to create and manage content, monitor metrics, engage with audiences, and keep up with industry trends has increased this statistic as well as tie into the previous stats.
Negative Comments & Aggressive Interactions: 85% of marketers reported navigating negative and hurtful comments or direct messages in trying to engage or provide customer support on behalf of their brand channels. This level of exposure to negativity can have a slow but snowball impact on performance, productivity, and overall feeling about the job.
These statistics paint a clear picture of the challenges faced by social media managers and the impact it has on their mental health. It is crucial for social media managers and organizations to prioritize mental well-being, establish supportive environments, and provide resources to help navigate these challenges effectively.
What does this have to do with maximizing productivity for growth? We must understand that social media managers are not robots. Though they use a lot of technology, generally are plugged in 24/7, and wear many hats, they are still human. And incorporating various technologies, software, frameworks, methodologies, platforms, and AI-powered tools that can help SMMs do their job at a high productive level while still having a high-quality life outside of the digital world should be the priority.
We can’t build a plan to maximize growth if we don’t address all the challenges standing in the way of sustainable growth, with one big one, in particular, being how the job is managed and done to empower and retain those in the field.
Maximizing Productivity Social Media Manager’s Guide Summary Checklist:
Develop a solid strategic foundation:
Define target niche audiences, goals, and relevant metrics.
Create a comprehensive content calendar aligned with marketing objectives.
Leverage automation tools:
Schedule posts in advance using social media management platforms.
Automate repetitive tasks like content curation and reporting with AI-powered tools.
Stay agile and adaptable:
Stay informed about industry news and follow thought leaders to have a pulse check.
Experiment with new features and formats on social media platforms when relevant.
Utilize data-driven decision-making:
Track and measure performance at set intervals using analytics tools.
Analyze engagement rates, reach, click-through rates, conversions, and other KPIs to optimize strategies effectively.
Foster meaningful relationships:
Engage with followers by responding to comments and messages and even using AI and chatbots to tackle a lot of the heavy lifting.
Collaborate with influencers and industry experts to expand reach and tap into new communities while also creating the ability to lean on each other to achieve goals.
Optimize content for engagement and relevance:
Use social listening to better understand audience preferences for more relevant content.
Adapt content for different platforms and formats to maximize engagement, focusing on the types of platforms and content that make sense to you and your brand, not necessarily the newest platform on the block.
Focus on customer relationship management:
Monitor social media platforms for mentions and tags.
Respond promptly to customer inquiries, address concerns, and provide exceptional customer service.
Embrace continuous learning and adaptation:
Attend industry conferences, webinars, and workshops to stay updated.
Engage in online communities and discussions with industry peers to stay in the loop and simply feel connected in a safe space that understands how you feel and the daily challenges you face.
Apply productivity frameworks:
Streamline your workflow, prioritize tasks, and eliminate time-wasting activities by working smarter and embracing technology to improve your time management.
Optimize your processes, eliminate inefficiencies, and update outdated practices and resources to reduce expenses and time wasted that cost money with more time spent on revenue-generating activities.
Maintain focus, reduce distractions, and prevent burnout by building a system and leaning in on Smart Marketing Protocols to help you to allocate your energy to the most important and meaningful tasks.
Transition more from ideation to execution by embracing productivity frameworks that provide a systematic approach in making the transition into actionable tasks with achievable goals more consistently.
Gain clarity, reduce overwhelm, and create a sense of control over your work by finding all of the ways you can have AI/ML/SMPs do the work for you instead.
By following this checklist, social media managers can effectively maximize their productivity. Establishing a strategic foundation, leveraging automation tools, staying agile, and data-driven decision-making is crucial for success.
Fostering meaningful relationships, optimizing content, leveraging collaborative partnerships, and focusing on customer relationship management contribute to better overall performance.
Embracing continuous learning and adaptation ensures staying ahead in the dynamic social media landscape.
And most importantly, building the infrastructure, environment, and systems to alleviate the mental toll can ensure happier, healthier social media managers, especially those who are an army of one.
Troy Sandidge @FindTroy
Troy Sandidge is a 3x Agency Builder, Author, Keynote Speaker, Top 100 Marketing Podcaster, Startup Advisor, Executive Growth Advisor, and Angel Investor who has launched over 35 brands and generated over $175 million in revenue for clients worldwide. The award-winning growth strategist focuses on creating custom strategies, systems, and solutions to increase sustainable profitability and scalable revenue for clients.
Troy is the Founder of Strategy Hackers and COO at No Middle who’s been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Yahoo News, ABC, CBS, NBC, HubSpot, and more.