As a left-brained thinker in a right-brained industry, I understand that ideas are meaningless without execution. The “cool” creative stuff can only come to fruition with a proper plan. Fortunately, that’s why I decided to specialize in social media management. Thoughtful, well-planned execution is what we do at #Strella Social Media!
Project Management’s Role in a Social Media Management Business
At #Strella, we always have a myriad of projects going on. Project management skills are essential for coordinating the many clients, team members, and aspects involved. There are many moving pieces in social media management:
- Social media content creation (for organic posts and ads)
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Blog writing, editing, and posting
- Community management and interactions monitoring
- Audience building
It requires a solid system and fine-tuned processes to keep track of and manage everything we need to accomplish.
Four Tips for Managing Projects Effectively
In my 11 years of running our business, I’ve learned that effective project management depends on four fundamental factors:
- Time management
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when faced with many projects that involve multiple people. I’ve found that establishing timelines for all deliverables is the key to staying on track. I usually have a “place” (See Tip 3 for more on this!) for every project, and I revisit that place regularly—typically, multiple times a day. This enables me to know exactly where to go for information and updates about anything that comes my way.
2. Time Management
Technology blips, unexpected urgent requests, and other issues that create delays can throw a wrench into even the best-laid plans. To anticipate and navigate those distractions, I allow myself flexibility by incorporating “buffer time” into my schedule. In the book, “Essentialism,” the author dedicates an entire chapter to this topic. We chronically underestimate how long something will really take, which leaves us in reaction mode and results in sub-par results. To combat this problem, he recommends two basic but very powerful tactics.
- Use extreme preparation.
- Add 50 percent to your time estimate on projects.
By following these two simple tactics, we can eliminate the need to rush through projects or feel helpless when the inevitable occurs.
As I mentioned earlier, each project I work on has a home—a.k.a. the tools I use for managing projects. I typically use Google Docs and Sheets to organize timelines and deliverables. Then I share those documents with my team members so that they can track their timelines and leave notes on the status of each project. Trello is also a great tool for organizing and collaborating. I love that you can schedule due dates within Trello cards, assign responsibilities, and add documents, pictures, and other assets for projects.
Most projects involve multiple people—team members, vendors, and clients. Moreover, those individuals often have different preferred methods of communication—e.g., text, email, or Slack. I try to use the communications outlets that each person prefers, however, I still house the project elements and interactions in one place for my reference purposes—even if that means I have to email notes to myself! By doing so, nothing gets lost or forgotten.
I also ask our team for regular project updates. I especially want to know if anyone is experiencing hurdles or delays that could affect the overall timeline and subsequently impact other people involved in the deliverables.
Coordinating the Big Picture With the Fine Details
Sometimes I wonder how I ended up as the founder and CEO of a company. Unlike many executive-level leaders who are visionary, big picture people who task others with handling the execution of initiatives, I tend to be more of a detail-oriented person. I believe that ideas are only as good as their implementation, which is where I naturally excel. That’s fortunate—because, in the business of social media management, execution is everything.
Your turn: In what ways do you keep your business’s projects organized and on task to execute them effectively and on time? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!