What does a Social Media Manager do all day?
‘A job like mine’ – Social Media Manager – by Jay Curtis
Well, managing social media accounts and platforms for businesses is the short answer, but it’s not just about posting status updates and shouting bursts of company content into the ether. The clue is in the job title – the key to good ‘social’ media is building business and customer relationships. It’s about conversing with, rather than talking at. The online world may be virtual, but the networking is as real as it comes. Social media is the online equivalent of a huge party full of influential people, and businesses that are serious about good marketing need to make sure they are on that guest list.
However, as we all know, effective networking and business development is time-consuming, and can be something of a long game. You can’t just charge up to a group of people at a one-off party and start giving them the hard sell, however brilliant your product is.
Firstly – are you sure they are the right people to be talking to, and secondly, have you established a rapport? Do they like and trust you enough yet to be interested in what you’re offering? Relationship and reputation building is a gradual process, and this is where a social media manager can provide a guiding light.
An experienced social media manager will approach this process strategically and methodically, cutting through the chaotic nature of social media noise:
Strategy – Before jumping in and Tweeting excitedly about your new exhibition, a social media manager will spend time drawing up a strategic social media plan for your business. What exactly are you trying to achieve? Do you want to build brand awareness, or drive traffic to your website, or maybe gain insights into your customer base? Your social media manager will establish detailed, measurable objectives.
Target Market – Who is your audience and what are their online habits? A good social media manager will spend time with you to hone in on target customers and will develop user personas to facilitate understanding of how they think and function online.
Which Platforms? – Depending on the nature of your business and the demographic of your key audience, some social platforms will be more useful to you than others. Is your business B2B, or B2C? Are your customers young or old? Is your business creative and visual? A social media manager will help you focus your efforts and resources on the optimum platforms, and will then develop a strategy for most effectively using those platforms. They will come up with a ‘hook’ that will get the attention of your target audience and make you stand out from the crowd. If you haven’t already done it, a social media manager will set up your platforms or optimise existing ones for on-brand coherent messaging. You can also read more on this subject in Find You Button
Finding Influencers – The key to the social media door. A good social media manager will research individuals and brands, groups and organisations, bloggers and journalists to find people that your audience already interacts with and have conversations with them. They will segment them into relevant groups and lists, engage with them and work out how they can add value to them – ultimately building and nurturing reciprocally rewarding relationships. You scratch their backs and they’ll scratch yours!
Develop a Content Strategy – content is king on social media – it’s the way you get your message across to your audience and by sharing others’ content, the way you build relationships with influencers. An experienced social media manager will understand the balance required between sharing your own content and sharing good content from other people. You can’t just shout about your own business – people want added value and interest on their social media streams. Your social media manager will be able to use aggregation and search tools to curate interesting content and will be able to create good content in the form of images, blogs, videos, gifs, competitions etc. They will also be able to undertake paid advertising and post boosting for you. This can be surprisingly good value!
Test, Measure, Reflect, Refine – The secret to getting social media right is to constantly monitor your activity. Your social media manager will analyse the data to determine what is working best and refine the strategy accordingly. What is the best time to post? Which images work best? What content does your target audience really engage with?
Reporting – Finally – your social media manager will regularly provide you with reports on your social media activity so you can measure how your business is performing over time.
So – as you can see, the role of the social media manager is much more than just posting entertaining Tweets 5 times a day. Done properly, social media can reap huge business benefits in terms of building brand awareness and fruitful business and customer relationships. You might feel that it’s a bit of a leap in the dark – but an experienced social media manager can definitely light your way…
We hope Jay’s article has helped to demystify this important and often misunderstood job role. Now – we’d love to hear from you to find out:
- Was this information all as expected or did you get some valuable new insights – if so, what were they?
- What social media challenges are you currently facing?
- Have you considered outsourcing your social media activity?