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    What social media tasks to automate and what to personalize

    When you think of a social media manager’s job, you probably picture them planning and posting content all day. But there’s much more to the job description.

    That clever LinkedIn or eye-catching Instagram post? Social media managers brainstormed those ideas, wrote captions, designed visuals, researched hashtags and scheduled posts for the best engagement.

    With so much to do, it’s easy for social teams to feel overwhelmed. Automation saves time—Sprout’s Social Media Productivity report highlights that almost 60% of marketers using tools have time to get work done and focus on the activities that really need their attention.

    In this article, we’ll explore which social media tasks you can put on autopilot and which ones require a human touch and personalization to build genuine relationships with your audience.

    Social media manager tasks: A daily overview

    A social media manager’s daily tasks are jam-packed with efforts to increase their brand’s online influence and follower interaction. But what does their day-to-day life actually look like? Here are some tasks that fall under social media job titles:

    • Respond to comments and messages across platforms
    • Monitor brand mentions and relevant keywords
    • Curate and create engaging content
    • Schedule posts for the next day, week or month
    • Analyze metrics to gauge performance
    • Brainstorm content ideas
    • Research trending content
    • Manage paid social media advertising campaigns
    • Participate in relevant industry discussions
    • Handle crisis communication, if necessary

    The big picture: Beyond the day-to-day tasks of a social media manager

    Sprout’s Social Media Productivity report highlights how many hours social media managers spend across different categories of tasks.

    What social media tasks to automate and what to personalize

    These weekly social media tasks all contribute to the social media manager’s macro-level responsibilities. Social media professionals think about the big picture and have to:

    Develop and implement a comprehensive social media strategy

    A comprehensive social media strategy maximizes ROI and supports business goals. These key components include:

    • Conducting a thorough audit of your current social media presence and analyzing competitor strategies.
    • Defining clear objectives and KPIs aligned with your overall business goals.
    • Creating a content calendar that outlines the mix of formats, themes and publishing schedule.
    • Establishing guidelines for brand voice, visual identity and messaging across all channels.

    Report on social media performance

    Social media reporting evaluates the ROI of your efforts. You can then identify content and channels clicking with your audience which helps you secure buy-in and budget from executives.

    Focus on these key tasks to create impactful social media reports:

    • Benchmarking performance against competitors and industry standards to identify opportunities for improvement and differentiation.
    • Segmenting data by channel, content type, campaign and audience demographics to uncover granular insights.
    • Visualizing data through charts, graphs and dashboards to communicate insights to stakeholders.
    • Providing actionable recommendations based on insights.

    Collaborate with other teams and departments

    Social media managers establish clear lines of communication, foster a culture of knowledge sharing and work with others to develop and execute integrated campaigns that drive results.

    Key social media tasks for successful collaboration include:

    • Building relationships with key stakeholders in marketing, sales, product and customer service.
    • Organizing regular cross-functional meetings to share insights, discuss priorities and identify opportunities for collaboration.
    • Coordinating content creation and distribution efforts to maximize reach and impact.

    Secure stakeholder buy-in and support

    Securing stakeholder buy-in gets you the resources, budget and organizational support you need. Key decision-makers have the power to boost or block your efforts. Without their backing, social media can become siloed, underfunded or pushed aside for other marketing activities.

    Focus on these top-down initiatives:

    • Craft a compelling business case that showcases the potential impact of social media on key metrics like brand awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty.
    • Tailor communication and messaging to resonate with each stakeholder’s unique priorities, goals and pain points.
    • Continuously educate stakeholders on industry trends, best practices and emerging opportunities.

    These macro-level social media manager tasks shape your brand’s social presence which is often the first touchpoint for customers.

    The social media task dilemma

    Social media managers are facing a challenging paradox: they’re expected to do more with less time.

    Sprout’s Social Media Productivity report paints a stark picture of this dilemma. Nearly half of social media marketers feel they sometimes or rarely have enough time to get their work done.

    The burden of manual social media management tasks compounds the issue. The same report highlights that for 63% of social media marketers, these tasks prevent them from doing high-impact work. Influencer management and employee advocacy, for example, are among the most tedious. These areas often require hours that could’ve been better spent engaging with the community and planning social media strategies.

    It doesn’t stop there. Social media tasks like content creation and approval processes consume the most time each week, leaving less time for strategic planning and data analysis. Most are grasping for more time to respond to customers as well—a non-negotiable part of delivering a great customer experience.

    Apart from these, there are other miscellaneous tasks eating into the time managers want to spend on strategic tasks like tracking network trends or meeting with the leadership team.

    Chart from the Social Media Productivity report highlighting tasks social marketers wish they had more time for

    The solution? Social media automation tools like Sprout Social take the heavy lifting out of social media management. These tools automate mundane tasks, streamline workflows and provide comprehensive analytics to ensure you have the time (and brainpower) to focus your efforts where they give you the most return.

    A social media checklist to help you accomplish your tasks

    Switching between multiple social media platforms, updating project management tools and chasing approvals over email takes up valuable time.

    AI automation helps. The Social Media Productivity report shows that social marketers with these tools are almost twice as likely to report having enough time to get their work done compared to those without.

    But how do you categorize tasks for automation and those that need a direct, hands-on approach? Here’s a simple social media checklist to help you prioritize:

    Tasks you can automate

    Repetitive, time-consuming social media tasks that don’t require a personal touch are prime candidates for automation. Here, we’ll highlight the tasks automation can help with:

    • Publishing
      • Scheduling social media posts based on Optimal Send Times that tell you the best times to post for your audience.
      • Creating workflows to guide internal and external team members through approving messages to maintain brand standards.
      • Finding brand-relevant content to share with your audience using content suggestions.
    • Engagement
      • Using sentiment detection so customer care teams can identify high-priority messages.
      • Getting inbox alerts and message spike alerts for timely customer support.
      • Improving replies with Enhance by AI Assist to change the tone of voice or build a more elaborate response.
      • Using the Bot Builder to resolve customer questions faster and ensure coverage outside of business hours through Facebook and X.
    • Reporting
      • Using Report Builder to create custom reports specific to your business needs to easily track your most valued social media data.
      • Filtering based on tags, content and message type to spotlight the metrics that matter most for different pieces of content.
      • Tracking competitor performance for benchmarking and identifying opportunities.
    • Influencer marketing
      • Using smart filters to sort through vetted creators and influencers whose profiles have been analyzed as a potential fit for your brand.
      • Viewing detailed real-time analytics and generating custom reports, optimizing influencer strategy and measuring conversions directly from influencer campaigns.
    • Social media listening
      • Monitoring competitors’ share of voice and consumer attitudes to identify industry gaps and opportunities.
      • Conducting sentiment analysis to explore customer opinions and optimize positioning and messaging.
      • Tracking brand-related conversations to gain visibility into customer experiences and attitudes.
      • Custom alert notifications to stay prepared for potential crises and reduce time spent on manual monitoring.
    • Employee advocacy
      • Adding shareable content like links, videos, images, RSS feed content or duplicating previously shared posts.
      • Automating targeted communications into newsletters for specific audiences within the organization.
      • Enabling employees to share posts from the desktop or mobile app with just a couple of clicks.

    Tasks that need more intention

    Some social media tasks rely on emotional intelligence (EQ) and creative intelligence (IQ)—two things AI can’t fully replicate. Our productivity research shows that 29% of social media marketers attribute task and efficiency struggles to inadequate tools. This figure rises to 40% among marketers without a dedicated social media management platform.

    To excel in these EQ and IQ-driven tasks, social media managers must approach them with greater intentionality. These tasks include:

    • Social media audience engagement
      • Responding to unique comments, questions and messages in a timely and personalized manner to build strong relationships with your audience.
      • Liking, commenting on and sharing user-generated content to encourage engagement and foster a sense of community.
      • Running polls and surveys to gather feedback, insights and opinions from your audience, helping inform your strategy and content creation.
    • Community management
      • Developing and enforcing clear, comprehensive community guidelines to ensure a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for all members.
      • Identifying and engaging with brand advocates and loyal customers, nurturing these relationships to turn them into powerful ambassadors for your brand.
      • Resolving conflicts and handling customer complaints with empathy.
    • Strategy development
      • Defining clear, measurable and achievable goals and objectives that align with your overall business strategy and target audience preferences.
      • Conducting a thorough social media audit to assess your current performance, identify areas for improvement and benchmark against competitors.
      • Researching your target audience to create detailed buyer personas that inform your content strategy, tone of voice and platform selection.
      • Establishing a consistent posting schedule and content calendar.
    • Performance measurement
      • Identifying the most relevant and meaningful KPIs for your social media goals, like engagement rates, conversions or sentiment analysis.
      • Translating raw data into actionable insights by analyzing trends, patterns and anomalies.
      • Presenting reports to stakeholders in a clear, concise manner, highlighting key takeaways and recommendations for future actions.
    • Trend monitoring
      • Staying up-to-date with the latest industry news, trends and best practices to ensure your social media strategy remains relevant and competitive.
      • Analyzing competitor activities to identify opportunities for differentiation, collaboration or improvement in your own approach.
      • Exploring and evaluating emerging social media platforms and features to determine their potential value for your brand and audience.
    • Influencer marketing
      • Identifying potential influencers whose values, content and audience align with your brand’s goals.
      • Developing and nurturing long-term relationships with influencers built on mutual respect, trust and open communication.
      • Collaborating with influencers to create authentic, engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

    Sprout helps you automate social media tasks with ease

    Sprout Social is the ultimate sidekick for busy social media managers looking to automate social media tasks. With Sprout, schedule cross-network posts, track brand mentions and measure performance across all your social profiles in one centralized hub.

    But that just scratches the surface of how tools and processes can help you. Sign up for a free trial today and see how Sprout cuts your massive to-do lists in half.

    The post What social media tasks to automate and what to personalize appeared first on Sprout Social.

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