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Published January 25th 2021

The Essential Guide to Social Media Management

We explain what social media management is, how to do it, and why it’s important.

We all think we know how important social media is, and yet social media management is a job that never seems to have enough time and resource allocated to it. But managing social media is easy with the right tools in hand.

What is social media management?

Social media management is executing a social media strategy across platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and LinkedIn, by creating, scheduling, analyzing and curating content for these channels. This might be as part of a social media marketing strategy, to improve your online reputation, or to engage with your community.

Social media management is an essential part of marketing today, even if your brand or business isn’t based online. In 2021, social media presence and strategy is just as important as physical presence for most brands. This means that tending to the content on your social media channels is the equivalent of creating an enticing window display for a retail store, or networking at key events for B2B businesses.

There’s a lot more to it than just making time to post on social media. Although there is a stereotype that social media is an easy task that falls to an intern or junior member of a team, social media management is a complex job that involves human understanding, flawless writing, analytical thinking, and incredible organization.

What does social media management look like day to day?

Social media management is certainly not a one-size-fits-all job. A social media manager’s typical duties include:

  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Content creation: writing copy, sourcing imagery, filming videos
  • Finding the best times to post
  • Scheduling posts
  • Responding to comments and feedback
  • Handling analytics and insights
  • Monitoring the success and popularity of the accounts and adjusting the strategy

The specifics will vary depending on what the company wants from their social media presence, and how much resource they have to dedicate to it. For example, an architecture company could have:

  • A LinkedIn profile for its executives to talk about projects and innovations, or to promote company culture for recruiting
  • A Twitter account covering updates from its sites, and sharing industry news
  • An Instagram account to showcase imagery from its projects, and inspiration
  • A Facebook page to raise awareness and engage the communities its projects creates

What are the positives of social media management?

There are a range of reasons for social media management, from timesaving to getting messaging right. Below we’ve gone through four of the big ones.

Brand awareness

Proper social media management usually means you’ll have a steady stream of content going out on your channels. This means that your followers will find it difficult to forget you exist and will help keep your brand in their mind, even if they don’t interact with your posts every time.

There’s another set of benefits here for non-followers. When we first look up a company we often Google them. Along with their homepage, their social pages are likely to rank highly too, and plenty of people will check these to get an idea of what the company is about.

Social media channels give you a chance to either reinforce the perception you give off with your homepage, or let you focus in on more specific areas (such as showing off what a great place your company is to work through Instagram posts).

A regularly updated social channel is also just a good way to reassure the user that you’re still up and running, and contactable. And, speaking of.

Customer service

Social media allows people to contact companies with far more ease than before, particularly through Facebook and Twitter. Whether it’s tagging the company’s handle with a complaint, or chasing up a delivery through a direct message, if you want to have these channels open, you need to be on top of things.

Decent social media management processes are essential for this if you get a lot of messages. This means logging interactions, assigning them to staff, and following up on them. This can’t be done well in an off the cuff way, and attempting to do so risks upsetting people even further.

Consumer insights

Along with knowing what customer service queries you get, social media management also means seeing what content gets the most engagement, what people say about it, and what leads to the most conversions.

This is all excellent data for understanding your audience and customers. You can then feed this back into your social media strategy to get better results and finetune your approach. Just make sure you’re taking notes as you go, or use a social analytics tool to get even better insights.

Time to plan

It’s entirely possible to run your social media accounts on the fly, but for companies with lots of launches, initiatives, or campaigns, this is not the best way to go.

By planning in advance it means you can work with relevant co-workers to ensure social promotion hits the right marks, that you’re in the know about the launch itself, and you can spend time on creating content in advance.

If you want to include imagery or video, there’s no way to do this and ensure high quality unless you’re working in advance.

How to get started with social media management

Here are a few tips from our, and our customers’, experience in the industry:

Pick your social media channels carefully and be realistic

Less is more – there’s no need to be on every channel. For instance, a design studio can let its work speak for itself on Instagram, instead of spending extra time and resources to create a community on Facebook. Focus on the channels that you think you will really see results for, and invest time, tools and resources in them.

Use social media management tools

While there is a lot of responsibility in social media management, using tools to schedule posts allows social media managers to work proactively rather than reactively. Tools that offer reports on how your brand is doing are particularly useful, to provide accountability and prove return-on-investment (ROI). These are the top social media management tools we recommend taking a look at.

Get au fait with data and social listening

Really, social media management is about understanding what your audience wants to see. This is what takes it from another duty to an active part of marketing and brand perception. Dedicating time to deep-dive into the success of your best posts, and what your audience is talking about is vital to creating an effective strategy. Don’t know where to get started? Brandwatch Consumer Research can help you understand the big picture.

Don’t burn yourself out creating content

Creating content for social media is a job in itself, and needs serious consideration. Often social media managers have little resource, so user generated content (UGC) – Instagram pictures from customers, or a buzzing hashtag on Twitter – can be a win-win. UGC not only generates engagement, but helps your brand appear authentic.

Engage with comments – and speak like a human

There’s an increasing requirement for brands to engage with their followers on social media, rather than just broadcasting messages. Finding the right way to talk to your followers is more work than it sounds (those analytics might come in handy) but it’s one of the most fun and rewarding parts of the job once you’ve nailed it.

So there you have it, social media management is just as much about the management side as the social media side. If you want to use Brandwatch to improve your social media management, find out more about our platform here.

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