Social media management is one of the most important aspects of a successful online marketing strategy.
It can be difficult to know where to start, we can help you get started — with your social media strategy, tactics, selection of social channels, and tools.
And no, it’s not just about cute cate videos like this one (but these are cute).
As always, let’s start at the beginning.
What is Social Media Management (SMM)?
Social media management is the process of creating and scheduling content, monitoring activity, and engaging with your audience across the appropriate social media networks.
Why is Social Media Management Important?
Social media plays a vital role in building relationships with customers and prospects.
And this is true whether you are selling business-to-business or business-to-consumer.
Potential customers in your target market want to buy from businesses they relate to — and your social media team can make or break that perception.
Social media marketers can also help you increase brand awareness with both prospects and existing customers — keeping you top of mind and leading to more sales.
How Do You Choose the Right Social Media Networks?
Do you invest time on TikTok when selling health insurance to the Fortune 500?
Do you place all your social media efforts on LinkedIn when you open a new dance club for the 18-21-year-old crowd?
Social media marketing on the wrong platform is a waste of time and money — let’s review the popular social media software with an eye toward selecting the right one or two channels for our social media marketing strategy.
The most popular social media platforms are:
When should you choose Facebook?
Facebook remains popular for creating and building relationships with customers on a more personal level.
Do you run a local business?
Or simply any business with physical locations you want people to visit?
Facebook can be effective for sharing the latest news, upcoming promotions, and driving foot traffic.
How do you use Facebook effectively?
- Create engaging content that tells a story or promotes an event (like an upcoming sale).
- Use images and videos to make your posts more visually appealing. Post pictures of the local area, and customers (with their permission), giving people scenes they can relate to as they scroll through their feed.
- Consider Facebook Live and use it in a similar manner as to the images and videos, showing people others “like themselves”.
When should you choose Twitter?
Twitter is ideal for sharing quick updates, newsworthy content, and connecting with the press, influencers, and some businesses and consumers.
How do you use Twitter effectively?
Here are a few tips:
- Brevity above all else.
- Use appropriate hashtags so people who are not currently following you learn about what you are doing.
- As with all forms of social media, images, video, and live events can drive engagement.
When should you choose Instagram?
If you’re in a visually-driven industry, Instagram is a must.
Show a team member volunteering in the community and build a connection with buyers.
Promote upcoming events (e.g., a sale, attendance at a conference).
How do you use Instagram effectively?
- As with other platforms, images and videos matter (but even more on Instagram).
- Leverage Instagram Stories to get your brand top-of-screen visibility in the app.
- And always use hashtags for extra visibility.
When should you choose LinkedIn?
Do you sell to other businesses (B2B)?
In most industries, in most of the world, you will find the decision-makers in your target market on LinkedIn.
How do you use LinkedIn effectively?
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t connect and pitch. Just don’t.
- Use company and showcase pages to build brand awareness.
- Videos, images, and live events remain important.
- Get access to the newsletter feature to supplement your email marketing activities.
- Share general information about your industry, and demonstrate your company’s, and your own, deep knowledge.
When should you choose Pinterest?
Pinterest, like Instagram, is a visual platform, and your social media strategy will work here if you sell visually interesting products.
Wedding planners, florists, restauranteurs, real estate agents, and others that have visually appealing products to show with benefit from being on Pinterest.
How do you use Pinterest effectively?
- As with other platforms, images and videos matter (but even more on Pinterest).
When should you choose Snapchat?
Snapchat is great for special customers you are trying to keep “in the know”.
Use it for promoting events, spotlighting new merchandise, and anything else with visual appeal.
How do you use Snapchat effectively?
- Great images and videos matter.
- Have fun with filters and lenses – Snapchat is great for a target audience that likes fun and interactive social media management practices.
- Similar to Instagram, use Snapchat Stories to stay in front of your prospects
When should you choose YouTube?
YouTube remains one of the most searched platforms on the planet.
If you are creating educational, evergreen, how-to content, you need to create some of it on YouTube.
Do you want to spotlight your merchandise and explain, while showing, the differences and why one is better than another for certain situations?
How do you use YouTube effectively?
Creating a great video is a must, but so too is the need to plan for discoverability.
- Use keywords in your titles, descriptions, and tags to help people find your videos.
- Ensure your thumbnail image is eye-catching and stands out from the crowd.
When should you choose TikTok?
TikTok is another great platform for creating brief, and entertaining, video content to promote events and behind the scene insights.
How do you use TikTok effectively?
All the advice we provided for Snapchat, Instagram, and other platforms applies.
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
There are countless options for reaching your audience in more personal ways. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and similar platforms are similar to text messaging and provide great solutions for interacting with customers.
See our article on WhatsApp and WhatsApp Web.
How Do You Develop Your Social Media Strategy?
We now understand what social media management is, the landscape of social media platforms, and you are probably ready to begin firing up your social media posts.
We really do need a clear social media strategy.
How do you develop that?
- Get clear on your why – what is the goal of your social media management efforts?
- How will you measure progress towards these goals? What social media analytics will be used?
- Are you a team of one, or will you hire others to manage social media listening, posting, and other activities?
- Who will create the social media content to support the calendar you will need to create?
- As mentioned, you will need a social media content calendar. Your social media planning will need to flesh out what you post, to what platforms, how often, for what purpose, and so forth.
- And that means you will need to do sufficient audience research to identify when the best time to post is, in what format, and on what topics.
- If you have been running these efforts for a while, you will want to perform a social media audit to understand what’s working and what’s not. And do this regularly at a macro-level and across each social media platform.
- Consider how you will track activities in a manner that supports other team members. Do you need to update the customer relationship management (CRM) platform?
There is a lot to consider.
Social Media Marketing Tools
There are so many social media management tools, scheduling tools, listening platforms, and other tools to support you.
Which ones are right for you?
The short answer to social media tools is, that it depends on what you have determined to this point for the goals of your efforts.
However, for most, you will need to manage multiple social media accounts, stay on top of a set of social media metrics you defined during your planning, maintain awareness of relevant social media trends, and perform some degree of social listening for brand mentions and relevant industry news and events.
That’s why we favor more complete, all-in-one solutions such as:
Sprout Social’s all-in-one social management solution empowers our customers to do more with their social media strategy. Better connect with audiences, streamline publishing workflows, collaborate in real-time, and turn social data into meaningful insights—at scale.
PromoRepublic is the all-in-one local marketing platform that gives multi-location businesses and marketing agencies the insights and tools to manage social media, maintain brand integrity, and improve online findability and reputation – everything you need to win local customers.
What Does a Social Media Manager Actually Do?
It’s not all about shooting TikTok videos and talking to social media influencers.
A social media manager is responsible for content creation (or at least gathering content), scheduling, and publishing content, as well as monitoring social platforms for key analytics, and brand mentions, and sometimes helping to generate leads for the sales team.
Social media marketers will be familiar with the common social media platforms and know how to use them to achieve business goals.
The most common responsibilities include:
- Market research on what your prospects are doing on social media
- Creating, curating, and leveraging content.
- Developing the content calendar
- Scheduling content across each platform
- Monitoring social media performance
- Interacting with your target audience to drive engagement
What Qualifications Do You Need to be a social media manager?
You probably have a sense at this point of the skills to effectively perform social media management.
However, to ensure completeness, the most common skills for this role include:
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Organizational skills
- Time management skills
- Creative thinking
HR Policy Suggestions for Social Media Management
Social media is powerful.
And with great power…
You should partner with your HR team on a policy for social media usage by employees.
Remember to consult the legal team as well, to ensure you are implementing a legally sound approach.
- Which platforms employees are allowed to use for work purposes.
- What types of content are appropriate to share on social media.
- What happens when sharing inappropriate content.
- The usage policy at work.
19 tips for effective social media management
We have covered a lot already, so let’s put a bow on it with these 19 tips.
- Schedule posts in advance using tools like Sprout Social or PromoRepublic.
- Use relevant hashtags to reach your target audience.
- Images and videos are critical on most social media platforms.
- Do everything with clear business goals in mind, and use data analysis to understand the impact of your efforts.
- Encourage employees to build relationships with customers on social media — but in accordance with your policy.
- Define which platforms and activities are appropriate for work purposes.
- Monitor mentions, messages, and comments daily.
- Respond to comments and questions quickly.
- Don’t just promote yourself, share relevant information your prospective customers will appreciate.
- Avoid sales pitches – lean into a helping mindset.
- Be authentic and transparent.
- Stay positive and don’t get baited into debates.
- Use paid ads if your budget allows
- Test everything from time of day to post, content types, etc.
- Play with new capabilities but don’t chase cool new features unless they fit your goals.
- Stay on top of the industry and leverage new platforms IF they align with your buyers.
- Quarterly, review your strategy, usage policy, and other key documents.
Final thoughts on SMM
Social media management is important for most companies today.
If you are a social media manager, did we miss anything you feel is important?