One of the most annoying quirks of Instagram is finally being addressed, bringing an end to a nightmare suffered by social media managers who have to look after multiple accounts.
The photo sharing network has finally announced that it will be introducing account switching, which has long been available on native Facebook and Twitter accounts. Users will now be able to manage up to five separate accounts from a single device.
The process is fairly simple Click on profile settings and select Add an account. Once added and authenticated, you can then switch between profiles by tapping the profile name at the top.
Of course, this will introduce a new way to mess things up. If you are working for an agency that handles accounts for a number of different clients, this now introduces the possibility of accidentally posting on the wrong account. Instagram will post profile pictures at points throughout the app to try to reduce the occurrence of this.
The feature will be available on both iOS and Android from version 7.15 of the Instagram app.
The news got me thinking about how hectic the lives are of those who have to manage social media for their companies and how anything that can save time, like Instagram’s account switching, can mean the difference between having a personal life and not. So here are my five favourite time-saving tips for those running social media accounts.
- Automate your reporting. Twitter and Facebook now have some great analytics available to users but the Excel sheets they produce are huge and often contain far more than you actually need. A solution is to use a tool that can manage these analytics for you and present them in a more easily digestible way. I personally like Fanpage Karma, Hootsuite and Sprout Social. It will cost you but you will get your life back.
- Tell the same story in different ways. You see lots of companies which auto-post updates from one social channel to another. This is a huge mistake. The channels are so different and followers quickly recognise what you are doing and then turn off. Rather than creating completely new content for each channel, think about how you can tell the same story in three different ways and post them at different times. For example, you could research the story of one of your company tour guides and post it on a company blog. On Twitter, you link to this post with an interesting quote from the piece. Later, you might post a video that the guide shot of their favourite place on the tour. Finally, you could repost a guest’s image from that tour on Instagram.
- Schedule your posts. Rather than posting everything in real-time (including at night and at weekends), why not schedule your posts for the future? With Twitter, you can schedule tweets using their Tweetdeck application or through the Twitter Ads dashboard, if you use that. Facebook has recently added the ability for those running Pages to schedule posts directly from the status update box. Just click on the dropdown arrow next to the Publish button and select Schedule. For Instagram, you will need to use an application like Hootsuite or Latergramme to delay posting till a later date.
- Share the workload. I am firm believer that social media should not sit in a silo in a business and that it should permeate the whole structure. This means getting advocates throughout a company to be part of the content creation team. The US shoe retailer Zappos showed how allowing employees to tweet on the company’s behalf made it hugely transparent and customer-friendly.
- Think ahead. Running a brand social media account is all about content marketing and, it goes without saying, you need content to do that. Some things happen again and again within travel businesses. If you are a hotel, you know that each year you will want to promote Valentine’s Day, Christmas and so on. If you anticipate this, getting staff to take lots of images on their smartphones one year, you’ll have a library of material that will make your life so much easier in a year’s time.