Social Media used to be a thing we did for fun and now, some brands have entire departments for Instagram Stories alone. It can completely consume your time, energy and sanity. As a social media manager, it’s really easy to get stuck in a cyclical trap where you feel like you’re getting nothing done yet you’re “working” all the time. Organization is important for many job descriptions, but for social media in particular… you’re completely f*cked without systems.

Here are ten life hacks for the Social Media Manager, by SMH’s very own Social Media Manager:

1. Track everything. Divide and conquer by brand or task. If you manage more than one, make sure you keep them isolated. Maybe Monday morning you only work on brand A and move to brand B in the afternoon. Or respond to ALL comments before moving on to engaging with other brands.

2. Turn off notifications on your mobile device. Many high functioning professionals allot specific times to read emails exclusively. Notifications will pull your mind from your current task and continuously distract from what you’re working on.

3. Use an agency planner and coordinator such as Agorapulse, Hootsuite, or Later.

4. Within your choice program- actually learn how to use all its functions. Don’t use facebook notifications for one brand and Instagram on mobile for another. That’s the easiest way to miss things.  Seriously, take the time to learn how to do everything within your program. It will make you better at your job and it will keep you sane.

5. Step away from your computer between brands. Do some stretches, whatever. Without a physical break between adopting the voice and mentality of your next brand, it’s easy to slip into monotone - where basically all of your stuff looks and sounds the same across brands. Not good.

6. Create all your calendars in the same week (or two). If you can, try to build at least most of your content calendar a quarter at a time.  When you’re in the creating mindset, it often helps to stay there for as long as possible. You don’t need to “refresh” yourself as frequently.

7. Set aside an hour each morning (or evening) to go through all DM’s and respond. Do it systematically. Do the same for all communication. Do not jump back and forth between brands. You will go crazy (I speak from experience)

8. Use tools like Awario for competitor research. Make sure you’re keeping up with the Jones’.

9. Learn the basics of graphic design, video editing and photography. There are apps for all of those things. For in platform content, like Instagram stories or Facebook posts - its a lot easier to pump out the content yourself than get your team’s graphic designer (or hire one) to make you a photo that says “Happy Thursday.” Apps like Wordswag, Videoshop, VSCO, A Color Story, Lightroom, Snapseed and Canva - will really help.

10. Build or download a social media calendar that can help you stay on trend and ensure you don’t miss major dates. Download ours for free here.