Social media marketing involves a lot of disparate elements. So if you are the only person on your social media team, you have to be a real jack of all trades: planning an overall marketing strategy, crafting an appropriate aesthetic, creating images to post on your social media channels, and interpreting analytics so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly. That’s a lot of balls to juggle. And it’s easy to feel like the skills required – data interpretation, design, copywriting, project management – are impossible for one person to handle.

But you can handle this. It is absolutely possible to run an effective social media outreach campaign as just one person. It does require some planning, and an efficient, thought-out approach. Read below to find some recommended practices that will help you to run a successful social media campaign, even if you’re on your own.

How to Run Social Media Outreach with a Team of One?

Prioritize

We said you could do it well, but you can’t do everything. You’re going to want to pick and choose, determining where you can best invest your time and energy so that you get the highest return. Don’t wear yourself out trying to establish a presence on every single network. It’s better to pick just one or two channels and focus on those, deepening and sharpening your strategy so that you are able to make a single, effective campaign. After all, if someone takes an interest in your business, they will likely seek out your single strongest social media channel and form an opinion based on that – they aren’t going to look at every single platform!

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Say you’re making a meal for your family. Do you get out the ingredients, prepare them, cook a meal for just one person, put everything away – and then start all over for the second person?
Of course not. You make food in bulk: you prepare a bit batch of food all at once, because that’s far, far more efficient and less tiring.

Preparing content for social media is the same way. Don’t waste time sitting around, logging into one platform, making a post, and then logging into the next platform – only to repeat the whole process the next day. Instead, using free social media management tools you can up your game and create a content calendar for the month, scheduling posts far in advance. That way you can make sure your posts fit into a larger strategy. You can also ensure there is variety built-in, and that you plan ahead for promos or holidays. And of course, you have time to prepare the posts thoughtfully, rather than trying to whip something up on the fly.
This also speaks to efficiency – you can plan posts for the times and days when you get the most engagement, according to your analytics.

Stretch Your Content

“What else can I post?” is the desperate question of any overworked social media manager. But it will help to stop thinking about how much material you have, and instead to start thinking about how you can frame that material in order to get the most out of it.

Say your business has launched a new product. Great! That isn’t just one piece of material: it’s several. You can take a look at the design team who created the product, and why they made the choices they made. You can make a direct appeal to your audience, announcing the product’s launch. You can frame it as a problem that your audience might have, and then announce you finally have the solution. And you can post other people’s responses: maybe coverage the launch has received elsewhere, or a short interview with a happy customer.

You can also simply post the same content several times. Vary the copy slightly, test out a new image, and post at a different time of day – but, especially on a platform like Twitter, posters often scroll by quickly, so it may take two or three posts of the same content before a reader actually processes the post.

Listen to the Numbers

When you’re working on your own, it’s more important than ever to work smarter, not harder. All the dedicated hours, cleverly worded posts, and carefully curated images will only go so far if your overall strategy is skewed. In order to ensure you’re being efficient, analytics will be your best friend.

Of course, it’s one thing to say that the data is important, but what does that mean in practice Well, begin by determining which metrics matter to you. Is website traffic the most important? Or are you most interested in generating leads to fill out your email mailing list? These are your key performance indicators or KPIs. Next, you’ll want to identify the best tool to track that particular KPI. Next, these tools will allow you to create a profile of your customer. What’s their age, location, interests? What kind of problems could your good or service provide a solution to? Given this profile, you can adjust your content so that your audience gets a more personalized experience, which is more effective than general content. You should also be using the tool to identify keywords relevant to your business and track the conversation surrounding them.

On top of these tips, don’t be afraid to reach out to other people or seek resources for support. Finding a community of other social media managers – whether via Twitter, Facebook, or an email listserv – makes a world of difference, because you’ll have other people to turn to for answers to questions, input about practices, or even just to vent.

Those tactics should help you to feel not like a lone marketer, but like the head of a team – even if you’re the only team member.

Be Human

Finally, in the face of pressure to act like a whole professional team when you are a mere mortal, it is a natural response sometimes to be stiff or overly formal. But audiences respond to social media presences that clearly have a person behind it. Don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor, share your own story, or give a bit of behind the scenes info. All this generates and sustains interest among the platform’s readers, and makes you seem like a real person, not just a business trying to get their money.

See also: How do you grow your audience on social media?