Social media management is more than just posting words and pictures on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn and then just letting things run themselves. The creation phase is integral for success – without the proper framework, even the most on-target wording and eye-popping pictures will not achieve the company’s goals. The importance of social media management cannot be underscored enough – from start to finish, an effective strategy is built through research, scheduling, posting, analyzing and engaging with content.
Strategy of Social Media Management
Social media is a rapidly evolving science, and these days the most popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok. Each one has different demographics, and users can use one, some or all of these – and even bounce back and forth. Astute social media management allows companies to group these together into single platforms.
Social media management tools allow businesses to post on all of their platforms at the same time, which allows for on-brand, consistent messages to effectively reach their audiences. This allows managers to schedule postings in advance and to go live as needed and paves the way for improved customer service by allowing managers to respond quickly to any inquiries or comments. During downtime, chatbots can pick up the slack.
According to WebFX, experienced social media managers focus on the following strategies:
· Auditing existing social media management strategies
· Researching target audiences
· Choosing social media platforms
· Setting goals
· Designing a social media strategy
· Creating social media profiles and ads
· Building a content calendar with platform-specific content
· Engaging with and responding to followers
· Monitoring performance and growing their social reach
Developing a Sound Social Media Strategy
All successful strategies are made with meaningful goals in mind. An effective social media strategy must focus on more than just making a profit. Sprout Social explains that managers should think about increasing brand awareness, sales and lead generation, increasing community engagement, growing the brand’s audience and increasing web traffic. They also mention the SMART goal-setting framework. Goals should be:
· Specific – clear, simple, defined
· Measurable – use metrics to measure goals
· Achievable – possible with the company’s resources
· Realistic – uses the company’s current resources
· Time-sensitive – work within specified time frames
Next is the research and planning phase, which focuses on their target audiences, the industry itself and developing a brand voice. From here, social media managers work on creating professional images and content that captures that voice and make a great first (and long-lasting) impression on audiences. This includes profile pictures, logos, slogans and content.
Social Media Ads and Calendars
Each platform approaches social media ads differently; these differences should always be considered. Managers need to understand their audiences, type of media, content, calls-to-action (CTA) and cost-per-click. Their content should resonate with audiences, achieve goals, be cost-effective and include the appropriate links and captions. Company owners (and investors) will want to know about their return on investment (ROI) – this is critical.
A social media calendar includes the current month as well as the future and can be adjusted as needed for ad placement and other tasks. This is a vital reference point for the social media team. Everything should be reviewed and approved on the calendar before moving forward.
Engagement and Monitoring
Interacting with followers is key to a social media management strategy. This can drive brand awareness and loyalty. Staying engaged through audience interaction shows how much companies care and are a great selling point. Reaching out to industry influences and organizations can also strengthen loyalty and gain even more followers.
Finally, monitoring performance is the only way to stay on top of how successful a strategy is and to determine that all-important ROI. Social media managers track ad performance and creative content, and take the appropriate actions when performance rises or drops. HootSuite explains that metrics are used to determine the most important key performance indicators (KPI).
They list four of their top KPIs as follows:
1. Awareness, to reveal current and potential audiences
2. Engagement, to show how the audiences are interacting with social media content
3. Conversion, to determine how effective the social engagement is
4. Consumer, to show what audiences think and feel about the company’s brand.
A seasoned social media manager can handle many of these responsibilities for smaller companies, but larger businesses have teams or entire departments devoted to social media strategy and implementation. There are also companies that provide these services, but smaller ones can achieve optimum results through effective social media strategy tools. Some tech-savviness and creativity are definitely required!