For the last seven years whenever I’ve taken time off or worked off site, I’ve continued to administrate 18 social media accounts daily. Every morning, I’d tweet, post, and schedule multiple accounts on six networks. On Twitter alone, I’d post 50 tweets per day on four accounts. I also publish a new blog post daily (six new posts per week). I had no excuse. Working while on vacation was my fault because I’d never trained a social media backup.

A couple of years ago I was asked why I didn’t train a backup person. I said it was too complicated. Then I was asked, “Couldn’t you make it simpler for your backup person?” Yes, I could. How to Post Social Media in Minutes per Day. 

So I created a simplified checklist that would be easy to train, picked a co-worker to help me, went through the basics with him, and then he quit. That was two years ago. I haven’t tried to replace him. The only reason I don’t have a backup is me.

I decided it was time to get off my rear and train a backup social media administrator. The question was who do I choose and how do I train them?

Who Should Your Choose?

My search for a backup began by looking for someone who will be with the organization for more than a minute. I know the average tenure of white collar American employees is under five years, and I’d be happy with that. I also understood this was a priority for me because of my previous experience, but regardless, it’s a valid point. I didn’t want to waste my time.

  • To begin with, it should be someone who understands and enjoys social media.
  • The person must have the time to complete social media tasks daily. It doesn’t have to be hours per day. It can be minutes per day. It doesn’t need to be completed the same time every day, Scheduling is an option, but what’s important is to post every day.
  • The best candidate will have a vested interest in the company and understand the culture.
  • The back up should have a basic understanding of marketing.
  • The SM backup should have knowledge of the importance of social media to the organization.

How Should You Train Your Backup?   

Like any training, it should begin with understanding the trainees learning style. Ask the trainee how they learn, how they study, and what type of training or teaching hasn’t worked for them. I’d recommend this 10-minute test to give you an idea about learning style, Sensory Modality Preference Inventory. 

Next, apply what you’ve learned about the trainee’s modality to your training. It may be best to cover training using auditory, visual, and tactile training methods, focusing on the trainee’s strong point.

  1. Explain the system. I use a checklist showing every network, number of posts, and time to publish. My checklist covers everything I do. I had the trainee highlight their social media backup plan.
  2. Explain the importance of social media. I explained the impact that social media and content creation had on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and then I used SEMrush to show our standing on industry keywords.
  3. Show and tell. The next step is to complete the social media daily routine while explaining to the trainee what you’re doing and why.
  4. Sit and watch. After show and tell let the trainee take the wheel. Recognize when he or she follows correct procedure and help them when the make a wrong turn.
  5. Don’t wait until you’re gone to turn social media over. Pick a day and let the trainee take charge. Follow up and offer constructive criticism.

Not Training a Backup Isn’t Good Business

This isn’t only about having a fill in when you’re away. It’s about having a backup plan. There are no guarantees on the future. Because at any time you may be unable to complete your duties. You could come down with the flu, have an accident, or leave for another position. Regardless, training a backup is the responsible thing to do. It’s not about you; it’s about good business.