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Social Media Management 101 – Everything You Need To Know

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to modern businesses.

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With a strong social media presence, brands can achieve a wide range of key objectives, from driving awareness to changing consumer perceptions and amplifying product launches.

But how you can ensure that you’re unlocking the full potential of social media to engage audiences, increase consideration, and boost sales?

The answer is social media management.

Social media management is all about creating high-performing social media strategies that deliver consistent results. However, the day-to-day responsibilities of social media managers vary wildly, from content creation to campaign measurement.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about social media management, including the key responsibilities you’ll need to cover – and how you can leverage social channels to grow your brand.

What is social media management, exactly?

Social media management is a broad term that encompasses a lot of different roles and responsibilities.

However, below are some of the fundamental aspects of social media management:

  • Building a social media content strategy
  • Growing (and managing) online communities
  • Launching paid social media campaigns
  • Protecting a brand’s reputation on social networks
  • Delivering customer service through social channels

The world of social media marketing is complex, and social media managers require expertise in a range of different areas to be successful. However, if you can maintain effective social media management and maximise the potential of key platforms, the rewards can be enormous for your brand.

 

What are the key qualities of a social media manager?

While social media managers often need to be jack-of-all-trades, there are some core qualities that are important for all managers to possess.

Organisation

If you want to manage multiple social platforms, marketing campaigns, team members, and workstreams, then you need to be organised. It’s as simple as that.

Organisation is absolutely crucial for social media managers, as it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed when you’re handling several projects at the same time. A manager might be overseeing content creation in the morning and presenting in-depth performance reports in the afternoon, so the ability to coordinate moving parts and hit urgent deadlines is key.

Creativity

Creativity is very important for brands looking to capture the attention of their target audience, so social media managers will need to consistently bring fresh ideas to the table.

Social media managers will be charged with testing different content types, experimenting with new creative messages, and capitalising on emerging platform trends. Not only do they need to be creative, but they also require the ability to execute innovative ideas – and measure their impact.

Collaboration

Social media management is a collaborative process, and social media managers will regularly need to coordinate various team members to achieve optimal results.

For example, a social media manager will often need to work closely alongside graphic designers, marketing experts, influencers, and clients to deliver against their objectives. This means that clear communication is essential, and social media managers will require a solid understanding of different processes to get the best out of their colleagues.

How to master social media management for your brand

While you may have particular specialisms in digital marketing, as a social media manager, you’ll need to cover a wide range of tasks to effectively build social strategies and optimise performance.

We’ve outlined some of the core responsibilities you’ll need to handle as a social media manager, so you can start to accelerate brand growth and improve marketing performance.

1. Auditing existing social media channels

One of the most important aspects of social media management is conducting thorough social media audits.

Although your business may already be active on social media, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking full advantage of your chosen platforms.

For example, you may have inconsistent visual branding across social channels, or content that feels disjointed and poorly planned. By conducting an in-depth social media audit, you’ll be able to align your marketing strategy across social networks and resolve pressing issues to improve performance.

This type of social media audit doesn’t just need to occur once, either.

As a social media manager, it’s a good idea to perform regular check-ups to understand how follower growth, content engagement, and brand reach is developing across your platforms. Using these insights, you can develop new tactics for underperforming channels – or even remove them from your strategy entirely.

2. Setting (and tracking) marketing goals

As a social media manager, you’ll also be responsible for establishing (and monitoring) key goals for your brand. Not only will this help to align your business and rally teams behind a single objective, but it will also make reporting and measurement infinitely easier.

For instance, you may decide that follower growth is a core objective for your brand on social media.

From here, you can develop a social media strategy designed to achieve this goal, often leveraging multiple platforms simultaneously. Over time, you’ll need to track the performance of these various channels, tactics, and formats to understand how they’re contributing towards this main objective – and optimise accordingly.

However, in order to set and track marketing goals, you’ll also need a solid understanding of analytics tools on different platforms. Your business will need crystal-clear reporting data to inform marketing plans and guide strategic decisions, and as a social media manager, you’ll need to supply it.

3. Optimising social media strategies – and testing new ideas

Social media management isn’t all about just setting marketing objectives, either. As a social media manager, you’ll also be expected to optimise campaigns (and test new ideas) in order to achieve these marketing goals.

This could involve launching fresh brand messages, trying out different video types (e.g. UGC reviews vs product tutorials) or testing activity on new platforms. Identifying high-performing tactics (and removing inefficient ones) is a hugely important part of social media management, so you’ll need to actively seek out new opportunities for your brand.

However, social media management is also about combining creativity with data-led decision-making.

While you may be keen to experiment with a new content style or social format, you’ll need to support your choices with clear data and engagement analytics. If you can successfully blend innovative ideas with objective-focused optimisations, you’ll be able to make a huge impact on your business and unlock the full potential of social media marketing.

4. Identifying key audience segments

If you want to succeed on social media, you’ll need a clear understanding of your target audience. However, this is often easier said than done – there are millions of social media users across a number of platforms, and homing in on profitable audiences can be tricky.

This is where your expertise in social media marketing plays a vital role.

As a social media manager, you can help your business to identify, reach, and engage high-value audiences by:

Analysing existing customer data

Regularly gathering data about your existing customers will help you to craft high-performing, data-driven social media strategies. For instance, you might look at popular demographics to inform creative messaging or assess if certain products are resonating with particular customer groups.

Evaluating current followers

By deep-diving into your brand’s social media followers, you can also collect valuable insights to optimise marketing activity. Businesses frequently have a preconceived idea about their core audience, but real follower data can throw up some surprising results.

Don’t be afraid to rock the boat and follow what the data is telling you!

Building and testing new audiences

Audience research isn’t just key for organic content, either. You can also utilise audience data to inform paid ads targeting, focusing on specific demographics, interests, or behaviours. You can even import first-party customer data into social platforms to build custom audiences, which are often incredibly efficient and profitable.

Once you’ve identified high-value audiences for your brand, it becomes much easier to engage them with compelling social content and convert them with targeted ads.

This is one of the most crucial aspects of social media management, as the right data insights can help businesses to paint a much clearer picture of their core audiences.

5. Creating highly effective social content

High-quality content is the foundation of organic social media marketing.

Without engaging social content, marketers will struggle to capture the attention of their target audience and build a recognisable brand presence. But when brands are equipped with a compelling content strategy, they can quickly nurture a loyal following and increase engagement – which is crucial for generating revenue in the long run.

If you want to master social media management, then you’ll need to understand how to plan, produce, and optimise top-tier content.

As a social media manager, you’ll be responsible for delivering fresh creative ideas, analysing competitor activity, harvesting User Generated Content, and conducting audience research to understand which content resonates with your followers.

To maintain consistency, you should aim to build a detailed content calendar, planning out individual posts and content themes to keep your brand active on social media. It’s also a good idea to schedule posts based on real engagement data, as this will allow you to maximise performance and capitalise on audience behaviours.

The power of creative content should never be underestimated on social media. Social media management platform Hootsuite, for example, attracted 11.8k followers in just 10 months by focusing on quality organic TikTok content.

By developing content that revolved around platform trends and audience behaviours, Hootsuite achieved a huge increase in user engagement, proving the importance of smart content strategies within social media management.

6. Maintaining community engagement (and protecting brand reputation)

Social media provides your brand with the opportunity to directly engage target audiences and build a loyal following.

However, your customer relationships need to be handled carefully. While brands can benefit massively from positive customer exchanges, negative interactions can be damaging to a business’s reputation.

Once again, this is where diligent social media management is crucial.

While managing your social media profiles, you’ll essentially be playing the role of brand guardian. You’ll be responsible for delivering customer service, engaging with consumers, and maintaining a sterling reputation for your business online.

The more responsive a business is on social media, the more likely they are to retain loyal customers and build a positive brand image. However, research shows that while 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day of reaching out over social media, the average response rate is less than 25% across all industries.

By placing a strong emphasis on community engagement and effective social media management, you can get ahead of the competition and strengthen customer trust.

7. Launching paid advertising campaigns

Beyond organic content production and community engagement, social media managers are also responsible for another vital task – launching paid advertising campaigns.

While organic activity is key for engaging existing customers, you’ll also need to utilise paid marketing campaigns to reach hot prospects and generate cost-efficient conversions.

As part of your role as a social media manager, you’ll be tasked with:

  • Setting up paid social campaigns on different platforms
  • Identifying profitable audiences for targeting
  • Monitoring ad delivery (and implementing optimisations)
  • Launching A/B tests to improve performance
  • Creating paid assets across multiple social channels

Well-managed paid social campaigns can lead to consistent engagement across the sales funnel, increased conversions, and a superior ROI for your business. As a result, you’ll need to understand how to leverage paid ads across a broad range of networks.

With a combination of effective organic marketing and data-driven paid advertising, you can achieve amazing results for your brand on social media.

Which tools are important for social media management?

To maintain effective social media management, you’ll need a strong grasp of basic platform tools.

That means understanding how to post regular content, measure engagement analytics, set up paid ad campaigns, and implement optimisations.

However, if you’re lacking knowledge in certain areas, then you may also look for external tools that can help you to improve efficiency. For instance, many reporting tools can visualise cross-platform analytics, making it significantly easier for social media managers to keep track of activity on different channels.

Ultimately, the right tools for social media management all depend on where support is needed, whether that’s content creation, audience research, or paid ads reporting.

Social media management is an extremely important part of the wider marketing ecosystem – however, it’s also a complex task that requires many different skills.

To manage social media channels properly, you’ll need to fulfil a wide range of daily responsibilities, including producing creative assets, setting up paid advertising campaigns, and interpreting analytics.

Once you’ve nailed the fundamentals of social media management, you can expect to see huge improvements in performance for your brand, from attracting new followers to securing cost-efficient product sales.

Guest Author: Jordan Bucknell is the founder and CEO of [Upbeat], a London-based digital marketing and social media agency. We help companies to drive sales, generate leads and grow their brand using forward-thinking creative and the latest media buying techniques.  

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