Social media posting on a time crunch
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When I started out as veterinary assistant, I was tasked with managing the social media accounts for my practice in addition to my responsibilities as an assistant. However, I wasn't given additional time to work on social, so I had to get creative.
I worked on the practice’s social media during my lunch breaks, on my off time, and in between appointments. It wasn't sustainable for long, but I was passionate about it and dedicated enough to it that I found a few hours a week. Eventually I asked for more time to work on social media during my scheduled workday.
You may find yourself in a similar situation where you are managing and creating social media posts for your clinic whenever a spare moment presents itself—on top of the other responsibilities you were originally hired to complete.
Social media management in 1-3 hours per week
Here are a few tips I implemented to help me work within the time frame I had to work on social media accounts, which was about one to three hours a week.
1. Plan ahead and be proactive.
Starting out, I was living in a constant state of worry and stress as I was trying to get a post out whenever I was at work. This often led to me posting whatever I could just to say, "I posted today!" or posting very last minute because I got busy with a patient. I felt like I was trapped on a hamster wheel and it would not stop spinning!
I decided to carve out one to two hours at the end of each month to plan out my social media posts for at least two weeks, and ideally four weeks, in advance. Each month I would sit down with a calendar and write out post ideas. This allowed me to see from a bird's eye view what was coming up, what I needed to make it possible, and how I needed to proceed with my tasks, time, and resources.
By doing this, I felt more prepared and organized. Plus, it allowed me to increase my creativity and the quality of my work. I was able to be more strategic in what and how I was posting. As a result, I found that I was converting more business, creating more engagement, and posting less generic content or "filler content," which helped our online presence.
Some of my favorite tools to help me plan are a paper calendar, Google Calendar, and a project management tool of choice.
2. Work in task batches.
If you are anything like me, you’re easily distracted to begin with, even without the normal hustle and bustle of the practice. To help me stay on track, I started to work in time blocks where I worked on only one task at a time; then I would batch-produce my work.
For example, after creating my plan for the month, I gathered all the photos and videos I needed in one day, then created any needed graphics another day, and wrote out captions another day.
I would generate enough media and captions in one batch to fulfill all the posts I had planned for the month.
Each of these task batches took about 30 minutes to an hour. In just a few days, I had what I needed to schedule posts for an entire month.
Here is a sample task-batching schedule you could try. I typically complete the following around the third week of the month:
- Day One (30-45 minutes): Plan social media post ideas for the entire month on the calendar.
- Day Two (1-2 hours): Gather your media for your visuals: Compile existing photos and videos or create the graphics needed. You might need to spend more time on this depending on the volume and length of your videos.
- Day Three (30-45 minutes): Write captions for your posts.
- Day Four (30-45 minutes): Proofread and schedule your posts. See the next point for more details.
3. Schedule posts.
This might seem counterintuitive if you want to be able to post anything "in the moment" that may come up in the practice. But you can still post real-time updates and have scheduled posts.
Your scheduled posts act as a safeguard in case things get busy at the practice and you don't get to posting updates in real time.
Scheduling posts allows you to stay consistent with your posting, which helps the overall reach of your account and helps retain followers, which results in more engagement and page activity.
Did you find that helpful and want to learn more? Email me your questions at [email protected], and I'll answer them next time!
Cheyanne Flerx is a former veterinary assistant turned veterinary social media marketing coach. She teaches veterinary professionals how to become confident social media marketing managers and how to use social media more effectively and efficiently for their hospitals. To learn more about her, more about social media, or social media management, visit her website at HeyCheyanne.com.
Photo credit: © mohd izzuan E+ via Getty Images Plus
Disclaimer: The views expressed, and topics discussed, in any NEWStat column or article are intended to inform, educate, or entertain, and do not represent an official position by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or its Board of Directors.