Many people wonder how our social media team operates here at Sprout. And the truth is, like most social media marketers, we have limited time and bandwidth.

To turn our challenges into opportunities, we’ve created processes and found tools to help our team make the most of our resources. They allow us to keep a consistent publishing schedule across 10 platforms, engage with our community as much as possible and carve out time for creative thinking.

LinkedIn post from Sprout Social that reads "Listen, social media managers aren't just drafting and scheduling — they're creating internet culture."

To make a lasting impact on social, we need to work smarter, not harder.

Let’s dive into how we built our social team and the software we depend on to build our social presence.

Our social media team model

Like many organizations, our social media team is small. Our team of three includes a Senior Manager of Social Media and two Social Media Strategists. My teammate Olivia Jepson and I—both Social Media Strategists—run day-to-day account management. And Rachael Samuels, our Senior Manager, leads the big picture strategy.

Platform-specific strategy

So, how do we divide our tasks? Our social media team model uses a platform-specific approach. Olivia and I manage different platforms based on our unique skill sets and strengths. For example, I manage our engagement networks—Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. These platforms are popular forums for community conversations and customer care needs. Here, we create shareable content and inspire people by hosting events, igniting conversations and presenting forward-thinking ideas.

Our other accounts—TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Spotify and YouTube—are our awareness networks. There, Olivia sparks interest in Sprout by sharing highly creative content that presents new perspectives on social marketing. She inspires new ways of thinking and excitement, focusing on the impact of social media and sharing how we work.

Our platform-specific strategy aligns Olivia’s enthusiasm for creative content and my passion for fostering community with each social channel’s culture. If you’re adopting a similar approach, consider how your audience interacts on each network and how you can reach them.

How we manage our 10 social media accounts

Despite working on separate networks, our team constantly stays in sync and works together to achieve our goals. Sprout’s platform plays a big role in our ability to accomplish our tasks by keeping us organized rather than overwhelmed. Here are the four essential tools we rely on to grow our brand’s social presence.

1. One inbox for all channels

Sprout’s Smart Inbox is our home for all message management. It unifies our social channels into a single stream. Here we can monitor incoming messages, foster conversations and respond to our audience quickly. It’s especially helpful for high volume engagement networks that lead to a lot of mentions, messages and customer support needs.

Our social media team use the Smart Inbox to manage all incoming messages and mentions. In this image, we can see the retweets from our followers.

We organize the Smart Inbox based on the kinds of messages we receive. For example, we created a customer support section of the Smart Inbox for product-related requests. We also tag messages, toggle to different filters and hide messages once they’re completed to improve our Inbox experience. Having a well-organized Inbox makes it easy to engage with our audience and collaborate with our customer support team.

We also use the Smart Inbox to monitor keywords and hashtags related to our brand and industry. This helps us stay up to date with our audience and find unique engagement opportunities.

2. A calendar that demonstrates the big (and small) picture

For us, publishing from a social calendar in a spreadsheet doesn’t cut it. We use Sprout’s Publishing Calendar to streamline our planning and scheduling—especially for key pillars of our content strategy, like campaigns.

Here, you can see our September publishing calendar in Sprout Social.

In the Calendar view, we can visualize our posts from each network in one place. We also add tags and notes to the posts to share key information such as ways we can work together to repurpose the content. These features make it easy to connect and collaborate on cross-channel messaging, especially for our remote, platform-specific team.

We also use the calendar feature to find times for optimal engagement with Sprout’s ViralPost® technology. As we’re scheduling, this feature helps us find the best times to post—specific to each profile and day of the week. We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact it makes on our engagement rates, without requiring extra work from our team.

3. Daily publishing software

When we need to schedule content that’s not time-sensitive or part of a larger campaign, the Sprout Queue is our go-to tool. Like the publishing calendar, the Queue will publish scheduled posts at optimal times using ViralPost®. The difference is the Queue publishes automatically. For example, we post six times per day on Twitter. All I need to do is add all the Twitter posts to the Queue and they’ll publish at the best times throughout the day—I don’t even need to think about it.

We use the Sprout Queue to schedule and source daily social media content

When we need to fill in gaps in our content calendar, the “Find Content” tab is a powerful resource to source social media content. It helps us quickly find relevant articles to curate on our feeds. Once we find articles, we can create a post and schedule it in the Sprout Queue without leaving the Publishing suite.

4. Accessible report metrics

As social marketers, we are also social educators. We use data to prove the value of our social strategy and the impact it has on our organization. We also need social data to help us evaluate our content strategy so we can figure out what works, what doesn’t and why.

Enter Sprout’s Post Performance Report. This report allows us to see a unified view of how our posts fare across all social networks.

The Post Performance Report gathers and compares the performance of our posts across social channels

The Post Performance Report contains platform-specific metrics, along with metrics that help us capture our overall social performance. It allows us to identify which of our content performs the best, down to the individual post. In fact, one of our favorite ways to use the report is to reschedule and repost content that performed really well.

The Post Performance Report is our top choice to show stakeholders the impact of our social content strategy.

Up-level your social media collaboration software

As fellow social marketers, we know the pressure you face to represent your brand online. Without tools to support you, it’s tough to have enough time to develop a strategy, create content or demonstrate social’s impact on your business.

If you’re ready to manage social differently, try Sprout Social free for 30 days today.