Social media has created an unprecedented opportunity for brands. Today, your business can engage directly with customers and the benefits of doing so include:
- Uncovering valuable insights about your buyers and how they view your products, services and brand
- Handling complaints expediently
- Developing a stronger value proposition by putting your brand out there and showing prospects and customers you care
Together, these benefits also help socially active brands build better solutions.
Social media management touches on a number of important elements, all of which form part of a well-structured digital marketing strategy.
This blog post covers the core components of social media management. We’ll connect the dots between social media strategy and social media management. You’ll also learn what the most important factor of running a well-oiled social media management operation is, and how to choose the right platforms for your brand. Finally, we’ll dig into the importance of planning and schedule content effectively to ensure that your brand reaps all the rewards possible from social media.
But first, we need to answer an important question.
What is Social Media Management:
What is Social Media Management?
Simply put, it's the process of managing a complete social media strategy. But social media management is a little more strategic. It involves more than just replying to tweets and comments.
As mentioned earlier, social media management is linked to other important aspects of your digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing strategies are built on strong factual information. After all, to create a successful business, you’ve got to know specifics about your market and how your solution will help solve a particular problem.
Your digital marketing strategy, therefore, addresses how your brand will position itself online to generate more business.
Social media strategy is concerned with the use of social media platforms to build awareness, generate leads and sales. Social media management is a practice that supports your digital marketing and social media strategies. It’s an important part of running an effective social media strategy because it explains how your brand will participate (think content publishing, rules of engagement with customers etc.) on social media platforms to generate results.
But how do you ensure that your social media management approach is the right one for your brand?
It all Starts With Your Customer
Behind every successful digital marketing strategy is a marketing team with a very clear and detailed understanding of who their buyers are.
They know all there is to know about how their customers think. Fact is, unless you know your buyers, you won’t know how to appeal to them.
Understanding buyers isn’t what it used to be. You need to move beyond demographics and start focusing on what your buyers value. You need to know how they feel about the challenges they face and how they expect your solution to deliver when they commit to it.
A great place to start is by creating personas for all types of buyers you have. A well-defined persona will help you establish the most important challenges, needs and desires your buyers have. With this information, you’ll be able to produce social media content that appeals to your buyers along their buyer journey.
If you haven’t created a persona just yet, try DigitalMarketer’s customer avatar template. It includes all you need to get started, along with a helpful explanation of how to build yours.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Brand
Not all social media platforms are created equally. They appeal to various ages and interests. For example, TikTok is a fast-growing video-based social platform. 41% of users are between the ages of 16 and 24. They produce comedic sketches, record themselves singing songs and more.
If you’re a social media marketing manager for an accounting SaaS solution, it’s easy to see that TikTok isn’t where you should spend time trying to grow your brand.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is a professional social media network. More people turn to it for insights on business, including thought leadership content. Developing a series of strong, in-depth articles about common challenges that your buyers experience could lead to more awareness and potentially more leads for your business.
Choosing the right platform is a matter of understanding what kind of users each platform attracts.
The easiest way to determine whether your buyers are on a certain social media platform is to use information gathered from your personas and access each platform. Create an account and begin searching for users, hashtags, questions and content related to your industry.
As you search, collect your findings. Your goal is to build a case for whether you should invest time on the social media platform. If you find that there aren’t many users and there’s little content, move onto the next platform.
Create Your Social Media Strategy
Your social media strategy is the blueprint for all your brand will do on social media. It will dictate:
What Types of Content You’ll Produce
The content you’ll produce for social media will be informed by who your audience is and what they are interested in.
In 2015, Jeremy Miller wrote a book titled “Sticky Branding.” According to Miller, only 3% of your market are active buyers.
The remaining pool consists of:
- 7% who may need your product but haven’t started searching options
- 30% who don’t have an urgent desire to purchase it right now
- 30% who don’t have a need and aren’t interested in your marketing
- 30% who aren’t the perfect customer because they don’t align with your brand
Understanding the above will help you focus on creating content that addresses the states of each buyer. This means creating content to help them transition from the 30% how aren’t interested through to the 3% who are ready to buy.
How Often You’ll Publish Content and how Much You’ll Create
In a perfect world, you’d be able to create however much content you choose. Budgets, however, dictate how much you can really produce and ultimately share. You’ll, therefore, need to strike a balance between what your budget allows and what’s most important to share with your customers on social media.
Your content schedule will become the roadmap for what content is to be published and when. Having one also makes it easier to produce results.
It should include all the content that you’ll share on social. This covers each account, type of content, date and time.
Most social media management applications come with scheduling functionality. This streamlines the process of planning content around themes or campaigns and scheduling it.
For example, Loomly offers a content calendar. In shows all social media content to be published, when it will be published and which social platform account will be used.
What your Customer Engagement Approach Will be
Engaging with your audience is a critical component of social media management.
It’s an opportunity to have direct interactions and learn more about challenges, needs and desires they have, and how your brand, products and services can help address them.
But connecting with your audience isn’t just about polls and surveys. It’s about answering questions, offering helpful information, and sometimes escalating queries to the right department to resolve.
A Word on Scaling Across Social Platforms
Content creation can be tough. You need to be creative and produce enough of it consistently. For example, if your brand is on TikTok and Instagram, but struggles to produce videos where images are easier, trying to grow on TikTok may not be an effective approach or use of resources.
Instead, focusing on Instagram would allow you to produce content efficiently and serve your audience more effectively. Playing to your strengths will also help you share a stronger brand experience as opposed to spreading your budget and efforts thin and potentially making your brand look unappealing.
Once you start to see success on one platform, consider your growing to the next. Having refined your content creation and management process, it will be easier to manage an extra account.
Consistency is key
Having determined what types of content you’ll publish and how often, you need to take action and do so consistently. Social media is a highly competitive space and your customers are being engaged by brands that are both in your industry and others, all trying to sell your customers something.
To stand out, you’ll need to consistently publish content to stay top-of-mind. Doing so also supports buyers at each stage of their journey to becoming active and ready to spend money with your brand.
Social media management is an important component of both a digital and social media strategy. It is a blueprint for how you manage your content and interactions with customers through social media.
While posting content and replying to comments and queries are key elements, structuring your content calendar and consistently publishing content are also crucial. As not all buyers are ready to purchase from your brand immediately, you’ll need to nurture them with content that keeps your brand top-of-mind for when they become active buyers.