There’s something awe-inspiring about watching #CleanCore videos on social media. The ones where they reorganize the space underneath a bathroom sink, reimagine the use of closet storage or deep clean a grimy surface. Maybe it’s the ASMR quality of the videos that draws us in, or the enviable storage containers and cleaning devices. But I think they offer something even more intriguing: efficiency.

When I watch those videos, I aspire to live in a home that is so clean and well-organized, I move seamlessly through my day feeling free from distraction and inconvenience.

You and the rest of your social team can achieve that same covetable feeling when you operate with social media efficiency. Managing a brand’s social media presence is time-consuming, so removing the clutter that overcomplicates your processes improves your team’s output and makes room for more meaningful work. With the right optimizations and tools, you can maximize your brand’s social ROI and make best use of your time and resources.

A list with a heading that reads: How to use social media more efficiently. The reasons listed include: Optimize your social media workflow, automate social media reporting, share social resources and tools company-wide, integrate social tools with the rest of your tech stack and simplify influencer management.

1. Optimize your social media workflow

Planning. Creating. Publishing. Monitoring. Engaging. Listening. A lot goes into a social media workflow, requiring teams to balance multiple tasks, navigate unique channels and even perform different roles simultaneously.

Optimizing your social media workflow means clearly defining processes and ownership, and alleviating manual tasks when possible. To get back to the cleaning analogy, it’s like using a chore chart that lists all responsibilities and who will complete them, and using tools like dishwashers and robot vacuums to save time.

You can optimize your social media workflow at every stage—from content creation and publishing to monitoring incoming messages and ongoing social conversations. For example, with a solution like Sprout Social, publishing and scheduling tools alleviate the manual work of executing a social content calendar. Here are a few of Sprout’s tools that will accelerate your workflow:

  • AI Assist: Generate engaging captions in seconds using AI, and get time back for campaign strategy development.
  • Optimal Send Times: Determine best times to post for engagement and impressions based on a list of suggested times generated via ViralPost® AI technology.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Publishing Calendar with a new post window open. In the window, you can see a dropdown with Optimal Send Times listed.

  • Message Approval Workflows: Create a multistep and multiuser review process, where your team can submit, review and approve content from one place, and clearly visualize where content stands in the approval process. You can also incorporate external approvers to enable collaboration with reviewers outside of Sprout.

These tools translate to real-world time and resource savings that add up. A recently commissioned Total Economic Impact™ study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Sprout Social found that Sprout’s tools helped a composite organization representative of interviewed customers drive $973,000 in social media team productivity and efficiency savings over three years.

2. Automate social media reporting

Manually gathering social metrics and insights is technically possible. You can log into the networks natively and pull data into spreadsheets, consolidating basic raw data like follower count, likes and engagements by hand. But it slows your team down and limits your ability to provide valuable findings to stakeholders.

By automating and speeding up data collection and distribution, you can demonstrate your impact, influence decision making and share data the C-suite is looking for (i.e., competitive intel). It’s like cleaning with a power washer instead of scrubbing with a toothbrush.

By using a social media management platform like Sprout, you can quickly gather and explore detailed data, and generate automated, presentation-ready reports. Here are a few highlights of the Analytics tools that help put insights into action:

  • Profile Performance Reports: Access a high-level overview of performance across all connected profiles to quickly evaluate social growth, and how that growth correlates with key initiatives.
  • Post Performance Reports: Analyze cross-channel performance at the post level to understand what messaging and formats resonate with your followers and why.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Post Performance Report. In the report, you can see thumbnail images and the caption from each post across channels. The impressions, potential reach, engagements and engagement rate per impression are also listed for each post.

  • Tag Reports: Access an overview of your inbound and outbound tagged messages to easily analyze campaign effectiveness, volume and performance patterns.
  • Paid Performance Reports: View your key performance metrics like cost per impressions, engagements, clicks and conversions, and explore how your paid performance changes over time.
  • Competitor Reports: Compare your engagements, follower count and audience growth to your competitors to determine whose content resonates more with your target audience.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Facebook Competitors Report. In the report, you can see a summary of key metrics from your profiles compared to competitors, including total fans average, public engagements average and public engagements per post average. You can also see audience growth displayed over time on a line chart.

Reports like these make it easy to demonstrate how your social strategy translates to company goals. The Total Economic Impact™ study found that Sprout eliminated manual data aggregation to prepare monthly reports by 75%, resulting in $39,000 in savings over three years.

3. Share social media resources and tools company-wide

As your brand’s social presence grows and evolves, so too does social’s impact across your business. No longer just a tool for building awareness, social is now pivotal across the customer journey and audience segments. If you only relegate social resources and tools to the marketing team, you silo key insights, miss out on the benefits of cross-collaboration and minimize the impact of social.

Even the most optimized social workflow will be underutilized if other departments aren’t tapping into it. It’s like having an immaculately organized closet and never wearing anything inside it.

According to The 2022 Sprout Social Index™, 53% of customer service teams, 32% of HR teams and 20% of R&D teams weigh in on social strategy—evidence that these departments already work with their social teams to help achieve company goals. Here are a few key ways each department can use social:

  • Sales: Use performance data to learn how customers respond to different marketing messages and content, investigate how your brand stacks up to competitors and analyze social listening insights to understand audience pain points. Sprout’s AI-driven listening solution makes it easier by sifting through billions of data points in seconds and outputting actionable learnings around your brand, competitors, industry and consumers. Listening empowers your sales team to zero in on the key insights they need to refine their strategy and close more deals.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Conversation Overview social listening tool. In the dashboard, you can see volume, engagements, likes, comments, shares and potential impressions of specific keywords and hashtags.

  • Customer care: Answer questions, foster engagement and provide responsive customer service functions for your community on social. Apply valuable learnings gleaned from customer care insights like sentiment, common issues, frequently asked questions and team efficiency to improve their performance. For Sprout users, that includes monitoring the Smart Inbox, a single home for all incoming social messages, and looking at the Inbox Activity Report, a report that tracks internal performance metrics like average time to action.

A screenshot of Sprout's Task Performance Report that demonstrates task metrics overall (total assigned compared to total completed) and metrics broken down by team member performance.

  • HR and recruitment: Use social to foster a strong employer brand, dig into competitive analysis, widen your candidacy pool and build ongoing connections with prospective candidates. With the help of unified social media management software like Sprout, talent teams are empowered to create, manage and report on the success of recruitment content—even if they aren’t social pros. For example, with Tag Reports, the HR team can distill down the results of their campaigns to see how their efforts moved the needle.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's Tag Report. In the report, social metrics for content with certain tags are displayed. You can see the total volume, post impressions, post engagements, post clicks and video views of posts using those tags.

  • Product development: Translate existing conversations happening about your products and industry online into new launches, product refinements and stronger go-to-market strategies. For example, with Sprout’s listening solution, product teams can gauge audience response to specific keywords, products, competitors and more by using the Topic Summary Report.

A screenshot of Sprout's Performance Summary tool which demonstrates key metrics (like volume, engagements and impressions) related to a Listening Topic.

As a more diverse set of stakeholders gets involved, core social teams will need to adapt. Figuring out who owns what, and which proficiencies are needed across teams, has to be addressed as social strategies become more sophisticated.

The Grammarly support team demonstrated how impactful it can be when teams outside of marketing take ownership over certain aspects of social. After starting to use Sprout’s Smart Inbox to perform customer care functions, Grammarly reduced their average time to first response by over 80%. Even with teammates across time zones, their internal collaboration was much smoother.

“We love the team Conversations feature [in the Smart Inbox]. If someone working out of Kyiv isn’t able to solve an issue by the time they log off, they can leave a note. Then, the Vancouver team can pick it up and continue the conversation with all the necessary context.” – Emma Hanevelt, Grammarly, Social Media Insights Analyst

4. Integrate social media tools with the rest of your tech stack

Streamlined tech stacks lead to an improved, uninterrupted customer experience by empowering marketing and customer care teams to respond swiftly and delegate tasks clearly, without clicking through multiple tools. This also prevents headaches and collisions internally, and preps your team with all the intel they need to provide best-in-class support to your customers. With the right integrations, it’s like having a vacuum, a mop and a dry duster all in one.

For example, Sprout’s integration with Salesforce consolidates touchpoints between social media and your CRM to give you an in-depth understanding of your audience, and makes it easier to respond promptly to incoming messages. The intelligent case routing feature improves agent productivity through automated case creation and routing. Which ensures that inbound messages reach the right agent—right inside of Salesforce. The integration enables you to respond to customers faster and come up with better solutions to meet their needs.

A screenshot of social data from Sprout integrated in the Salesforce platform, which demonstrates how incoming social messages can be linked to existing contacts and cases.

To see it in action: When Casey’s switched from Social Studio to Sprout Social, they optimized their use of the Salesforce integration. The convenience store chain increased their response time by 90%, improved communication between their guest relations and social teams by tenfold, and improved their overall guest satisfaction scores by 3%.

“The integration has been a game-changer. It’s opened a floodgate of communication right within the tool between our social and Guest Relations Teams.” – Jasmine Riedemann, Casey’s, Social Media Manager

A streamlined tech stack also enables stronger reporting, making it possible to combine social data with other data sources and communicate in one centralized place. Using a social media management platform that is equipped with business intelligence (BI) and workflow management tool integrations helps break down silos. Sprout’s integrations with Tableau and Slack are two examples of essential tools that scale insights across teams and consolidate communication.

A screenshot of a Tableau dashboard populated with Sprout Social data and other marketing data.

5. Simplify influencer management

Refining your process internally is just the beginning. For next-level social media efficiency, you should also optimize how your team interacts with external partners like influencers. According to a Q3 2023 Sprout pulse survey, 64% of social marketers work directly with an influencer’s agent or representative when managing influencer marketing campaigns—which can result in thousands of one-off email threads and chaotic workflows. Manual influencer management makes it challenging to quantify ROI, and extremely cumbersome to balance discovery, approvals and reporting.

By unifying influencer marketing and social media management, you can simplify influencer relations and connect your influencer marketing efforts to the rest of your social strategy. It’s like having a washing machine installed instead of washing your clothes by hand or having to go to a laundromat.

With a solution like Tagger by Sprout Social, you can maximize workflow efficiency and seamlessly manage influencer relationships—from discovery to onboarding and project assignment to execution. Tagger empowers your team to collaborate with influencers and manage social campaigns through one centralized workspace.

Start improving your social media efficiency today

Cleaning up your social media workflow requires looking critically at the way your team spends their time. Are there opportunities to automate you can take advantage of? Does your reporting demonstrate the complete value of social? Are vital insights going untapped across your org? Is working with incompatible tools creating unnecessary work? Asking the hard questions today will set you up for a more efficient tomorrow.

Turn your social media efficiency aspirations into reality by trying Sprout Social for free with a 30-day trial.