Social media ain’t like it used to be. A decade ago, Xanga was pretty much all there was. Then MySpace came along. Then Facebook had to go and change the Internet. Now, there are dozens of social media sites out there, all with different interesting opportunities for individuals and businesses. Following these five steps can help you organize your social media efforts and make the process a lot more efficient.

1. Use the Same Name and Information

The first step in organizing your social media efforts is to use a single name and the same contact information for each of your pages. This helps for a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to keep track of your own pages easily. You will never need to check different email addresses for notifications and updates, and you can be sure of your login information for every site. In addition, it makes it easier for your followers to find you on different sites. Having different names only presents complications and leads to disorganization.

2. Find the Right Resources

There are a lot of apps and online services that can do wonders for helping organize your social media efforts. Take some time to look into the benefits that each one can provide. TweetDeck and HootSuite are two of most popular (and oldest) organizing apps, and these allow you to post messages to multiple sites from one place. You can also look into services like SocialOomph, Nutshell Mail, and Virtue to explore other options for organizing and expanding your social media operations.

3. Learn What Works When

It’s important to be active on each of your social media pages, but as time passes, you should pay attention to what content works best at what time.

Use different situations as opportunities for posting different types of material. If you are in the office all day, you can work on long-term projects, such as ongoing social media promotions or contests. If you are on the go, it might be a good time to snap some pictures and upload them to Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Of course, you will need to learn the right techniques for utilizing these sites ahead of time so that you don’t give yourself a headache trying to figure it out once you want to post.

4. Post on a Schedule

It can help to establish a formal schedule for your social media postings, as this will help you remain active on these sites. Of course, this step is more important for businesses and those that require lots of personal marketing online. If you are using social media mostly for fun, there’s obviously no need to follow this step.

Business operators, on the other hand, would do well to organize all of their postings so that the important feeds remain active. It’s easy to tweet frequently because you can do it straight from your phone. For other accounts, though, you might to give your scheduling a little bit more thought.

5. Don’t Overdo It

Social media shouldn’t feel all that hard. It will require attention and dedication, but if you find yourself struggling to get enough social media content online rather than focusing on more important aspects of life and business, you are probably overdoing it.

Keep in mind that social media ultimately brings in fairly little direct profit and is mostly about connecting with people in a personal way. Your efforts should reflect this. If you are working by yourself, you likely won’t be able to run the same kinds of massive social media campaigns as big companies and celebrities do. Don’t try for that. Doing your own thing, on your schedule, will always allow your social media presence to feel (and be) a lot more authentic.

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