| May 29, 2023 | | 11 min read

Social media project management tips, with guidelines for finding the best tools


Social media project management tools bring one or more social-minded utilities under a single banner — often a customizable dashboard that displays multiple info streams. Whether you’re running social marketing campaigns by yourself or relying on a large team to satisfy an every-expanding client roster, you can use these tools to streamline your processes and explore more efficient and effective ways to meet collective goals.

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In this article, we’ll go over some tips and best practices you can use to effectively manage your social media projects, as well as some guidelines for how to find the right social media management tool for your agency.

Why is social media project management important?

Companies typically prefer using white-label social media management because they get to delegate a huge block of tasks, essentially handing off a project that could have a significant impact on their brand’s future. For your agency to live up to expectations, you must understand how strategic project management helps shape productivity, collaboration, and the outcome of every social media campaign.

Sets clear goals and objectives

A specific, measurable goal gives you something to aim for. Knowing your objective also informs your process, helping you build a framework designed to propel your strategy from inception to completion. Larger goals should be broken up into smaller pieces, with built-in milestones providing space to check up on progress and adjust strategy as needed.

Defines roles and responsibilities

Project managers overseeing social media decide who is responsible for what and when. This leaves no doubt which team member owns a particular task. And, generally, ownership is assigned based on skill set and experience.

For example, one person may excel at using social media in reputation management and therefore be tasked with monitoring and responding to customer reviews. Another person may be adept at scheduling and hold oversight of the client’s social media calendar as their primary duty.

Helps monitor and assess project progress

Social media tools and strategies form the crux of the planning process, but it takes a project manager to ensure there is adequate (and accurate) oversight. Managers approve key steps, analyze metrics to assess progress, and determine what, if any, changes need to be made to best achieve the overarching goals.

Common challenges and solutions in social media project management

No truly comprehensive social media management guide is complete with addressing challenges that may prevent campaigns from achieving optimal results. Being aware of common pitfalls and coordinating solutions can help you leapfrog over hurdles with impressive finesse.

Managing multiple social media accounts and platforms

Demographics and content styles differ from platform to platform. Facebook’s largest age group covers users between the ages of 25 and 34 (Statista), while Instagram skews younger, with over 30 percent of the users aged 18 to 24 (Statista). Creating profiles on all major platforms increases reach exponentially and allows for more experimentation in terms of what is posted and when.

But the more profiles you create, the more effort it takes to maintain those pages and interact with followers. Scheduling posts and assigning team members to each platform (or one specific task across all platforms) can help streamline operations and avoid gaps in coverage.

Staying organized and meeting deadlines

The largely spontaneous nature of private social media posts can easily bleed into the professional realm, but lack of organization can make it difficult to build momentum and gauge efficacy. The more nebulous your social media plan, the more likely it is you’ll get off schedule, which can cause you to miss the window for time-sensitive content and events like product launches and holidays.

It’s crucial to build a concrete blueprint that lays out everything from planned assets to publishing details to when your team will check comments or run reports. Tactics like color-coding items according to urgency and having people listed as backup to take on tasks in case of illness or other absence can come in handy, too.

Ensuring consistent brand voice and messaging

The average social media user has seven unique social accounts they access on a monthly basis, with each account representing a different social platform (Data Reportal). To maximize impact and build trust, brands must have a cohesive and consistent presence across all of those channels, so surfing consumers can easily recognize and gravitate toward familiar profiles.

Create and strictly follow brand guides and social media policies that convey standards for colors, fonts, image sizes, and voice.

Handling unexpected issues or crises

Whether it’s an intern slipping up and inciting a furor or negative customer feedback that suddenly goes viral, you’ll come across a time that calls for cool heads and an expert plan.

Learn and embrace the function of social media in reputation management. Use relevant tools, like social listening and responding to brand mentions, to shape the narrative and nip discontent in the bud.

The benefits of social media project management software

Social media management tools can help project managers modernize and simplify their to-do lists by using technology and automation to remove barriers and improve communication and access.

1. Helps save time and resources

Social media project management tools don’t have to clock in or out at a certain time. Your team can create posts during the workday that will be published on nights and weekends — whenever the algorithm is primed to get your content to your targeted demographic. Design suites empower agencies to realize graphic concepts without outsourcing, while other tools scan trending topics to find inspiration for social posts.

Use one tool or many — either way, you stand to save time and discover the ability to do more with the same bandwidth as before.

2. Enhances individual and team productivity

Tools enhance productivity, too, by allowing you to maximize your time. Some tools offer automation options, guaranteeing technology will be working long after you’re done for the night.

Tools also inform the decision-making process. Rather than debating the merits of a campaign, you can simply look at software-generated reports to see, in black and white, whether a tactic is working or if it’s time to make a change. Removing doubt saves time and working from facts instead of assumptions helps ensure every move is positioned for the best possible outcome.

3. Helps manage social media campaigns

Project management tools help bring all your actionable items under one umbrella — or, in most cases, on one unifying dashboard. Rather than flipping back and forth between calendar apps, scheduling tools, data capture widgets, and so on, you can get a comprehensive look at the status of your social ads and posts with a single click.

This approach is more efficient — and considerably kinder to your clicking finger — but it can also help you make more well-informed decisions. When you’re constantly surfing around, it’s easy to miss a data point or misinterpret information because you’re lacking context. The ability to understand the big picture via a single tool (even if you have to go elsewhere for specific details) can make a big difference to your daily output and the results of your campaign.

4. Aligns the team toward a common goal

Project management isn’t just about managing the project itself, it’s also about managing your team. By reorganizing your campaign and assets using social media management tools, you can keep everyone on the same page to help ensure there aren’t overlapping agendas or anyone left out of the loop.

Whether your goal is the client’s campaign objective or something smaller like a milestone, you can use your chosen tool to perform and delegate multiple tasks. Use your social media tools to assign and track tasks, communicate about achievements and hiccups, mark items as priority, and share news items or other relevant links. All this without resorting to cumbersome email chains or pinging everybody’s inbox separately with updates or questions.

Provides reminders for tasks that need attention

Enable push notifications from your favorite social media management tools, and you may never miss a brand mention or key task again. Depending on how you opt in, social media management tools can potentially send a pop-up to your smartphone based on predetermined triggers, such as:

  • When it’s time to check in with the team
  • When you need to check off a specific task
  • A virtual meeting is about to start
  • Another team member has completed an assignment
  • Your campaign has hit a performance benchmark
  • Someone has mentioned your client’s brand on social media

Allows better monitoring and control over your strategy

When your blueprint, creative briefs, analytics, and communication are all running under the watchful eye of a social media management tool or two, you have an unparalleled ability to watch over your campaign. Sometimes a single tool is enough to meet your needs. Some clients’ goals demand a couple tools that sync up.

Either way, think of it like collating all the instructions and reports for a hefty project and clipping them into a binder. Much better than searching your office or filing cabinet for bits and pieces of info on-demand, right?

Improved client relations management and communication

United under one tool that facilitates collaboration and communication, your team can share information and updates quickly and offer feedback just as fast. This keeps everyone on the same page so you can present a consolidated front when you have your touch-base meetings with clients. Rather than answering a question with some version of, “Let me ask John where we’re at on that,” you’ve already got John’s notes on the platform — and everyone else’s, too.

You can also use the platform to track client communication, further increasing transparency. Look for tools that allow you to send newly created content or presentation-ready reports straight to the client for even more functionality.

What to look for in social media project management tools

No two social media projects are exactly alike, so it makes sense that the software features you’ll need to masterfully tackle each campaign might differ as well. Still, there are some capabilities that are almost universally useful for selling social media packages and ensuring you have the resources to follow through on your promises.

1. Effective scheduling over social media platforms

Nothing absorbs time quite like trying to schedule social media posts over multiple platforms, one at a time. All that formatting, copying and pasting, and clicking adds up to countless lost hours. Social media project management tools that allow you to schedule a single post across multiple channels while still customizing post times and details to fit those channels can help improve your workflow and overall ROI.

2. Social analytics and reporting

Unless your social media project management software integrates social analytics and associated reports, you won’t be able to gauge the health of your campaigns without switching between different platforms to check up on post performance.

3. Analytics options

The presence of analytics tools is important, but having the ability to pick and choose which analytics you’re tracking may be even more important. A campaign focused on getting social followers to view something on the client’s website might prioritize traffic conversions, while a campaign designed to increase brand awareness may be more concerned with social shares and engagement rates.

Having the option to delete less useful data streams helps you focus on the vital ones — like dialing down the background noise.

4. Content approval features

It takes more than one “okay” before you can send new content off into the world. Find a project management tool that accommodates a multistep approval process, and you can collect assets and ask for approvals from everyone from designers to the client’s CMO using your central dashboard.

5. Social content creation

The most coveted social media project management tools incorporate content creation into their workflow, too. It just makes sense to have resources like WYSIWYG editors, stock photos, and proofreading utilities at your fingertips. When you can draft, edit, showcase, get approval for, schedule, and publish social content from one platform, you’re well on your way to the next level of productivity.

Frequently asked questions

How often should I reassess my social media strategy and adjust as needed?

Check up on your social media strategy at least every six months. Certain circumstances, like a notable change in a platform’s algorithm or metrics trending in the wrong direction, are definitely cause for revisiting your strategy and weighing the pros and cons of alternate options.

What should I do if unexpected issues or crises arise during a social media project?

Your social media management packages should include reputation and crisis management policies that outline how you’ll tackle “worst-case scenarios.” Establish a clear chain of command and reporting process ahead of time. At the moment, answer criticism promptly, and use empathy and your existing social media policy to guide responses.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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