If you haven’t gotten your company into social media yet, no doubt part of the reasons is time. Infographics like this may intimidate you, and reasonably so. But, you do have time.

I didn’t think I had time to make home made bread, but I recently received an incredible gift, a cookbook: “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” You create a master recipe, and just pull  off chunks and bake. Now, really, I’m making artisan bread in five minutes a day.

I’m so inspired by my bread success that I’ve decided to tell you how to can create “artisan” social media accounts in five minutes a day, even if you haven’t signed up for Facebook yet.

Decide on your social media strategy

You need to decide which social media platforms are for your business and what the purpose of your social media account is. Who are you communicating with and what do you want them to get from it? Decide what tone will be best to convey your messages.

Write these things down so you can reference it, share it with other account administrators, keep an eye on it so you know you are on the right track with your social media presence. Revise it as you find what works and what doesn’t.

Start with the master recipe: Set up your accounts

As with the bread, this is the most time consuming part, but once completed, you’ll be ready to break the work off into very manageable chunks.

Create your page. Put some time into this process so you have the avatars, photos and background that best suit your company or brand and convey the tone you want.

Include your contact information, links to your website, and a clear description of who you are.

Cut off a one-pound portion of dough: Create a social media calendar

Plan what you will post each day for the next week or month. Create a template that lists out every platform you are on and make note of any holidays or special days you want to be sure to recognize with posts. Put your strategy right on top of your template with key words to make it easy to keep them in mind while creating posts.

Make a habit of taking time each week or month to plan out your content. This way, you won’t have to scramble each day to come up with something to say. You can get in the groove, and knock it all out at once.

Of course, you can and should add in up-to-the-minute posts for things that come up daily, but you will have the bulk of your content scheduled, and won’t need to worry about having dead air on a social media channel.

Let it rise

Once you’ve planned out your posts, the bulk of the work is done. For the rest of the month, you can monitor the results and follow up on any conversations that have started. Of course, tools exist to help you manage your accounts.

My favorite tool is Hootsuite which allows you to schedule future tweets, as many as you want. Once I’ve created my social media calendar, I can plug everything into Hootsuite and they will be posted as scheduled. You can program in multiple social media platforms and manage them all from this one dashboard.

Bake it: Manage your time

Sit back and listen. Most social media platforms will alert you via email if you have activity on your account. Since the bulk of your posts are scheduled, going into the account daily to respond to any conversation that has started should take no more than five minutes. Pick a time to do it each day and plan on it.

Make a habit of checking into your accounts daily, and you’ll always be on top of what is happening on social media without spending more than five minutes. Now, enjoy the boost in your online visibility.

Social media might seem intimidating, but with a plan and a few good tricks, you can manage it. If I can make bread, you can do this.

Do you know any other social media tricks that make managing accounts seem effortless?

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