Anyone can create a couple Facebook posts, right? So what exactly is the role of a social media manager? What does social media management entail? As a social media manager myself, I am often met with confusion when I tell people what I do, and the title can be a bit vague.
As it turns out, there is a lot more that goes into successfully managing a business’s social media presence than most people realize. A qualified social media manager is essential for a business serious about using social media to grow. A social media manager is in charge of representing the business in the online sphere, creating plans and strategies to meet the goals of the business, and executing those plans on a day-to-day basis. A social media manager stays on top of social media trends, is always learning and growing, and constantly works to help develop the business they represent as a consistent and trusted source for consumers. If you’re wondering what exactly a social media manager does and how a social media manager can benefit your business, read on…
A Social Media Manager Represents Your Business Online
Simply and broadly put, a social media manager’s main job is to oversee the representation of the business in the online world. The social media manager knows the ins and outs of the business, along with the business’s voice, goals, and values, and ensures that the business is being represented accurately in the online sphere. The social media manager does this through creating the business’s social media plan, executing that plan daily, and always learning from the business’s data as well as from others in the industry in order to improve.
Social Media Manager: Creating A Strategy
Social media can be a huge asset to business growth, and is pretty much a must for successful businesses in this day and age, but it must be done well. Before stepping out into the online world to represent a business, a social media manager puts in place an organized and strategic social media plan, and then continues to hone, adjust, and follow this plan as they manage their social media channels. This plan will include clear objectives and goals for the business, a targeted audience that will help reach those goals, and strategies for developing and growing the business through social media.
A Social Media Manager Establishes Clear Objectives
When creating the social media plan for their business, the social media manager first works with the business to establish clear objectives and goals, and then strategizes on how to reach those goals through social media. Those goals may include a larger following on Facebook or Instagram, more traffic to an online site or store, more interaction with customers through email or direct messages, and more. The business’s goals are likely to change as time goes on, so this social media plan will be revisited and adjusted regularly.
A Social Media Manager Determines a Target Audience
A part of a successful social media plan – and a way to help the business reach the goals we mentioned above – is a carefully targeted audience. The social media manager works with the business to determine what the target audience is for the business, and then strategizes how to best reel in this audience with social media content. The business will most likely already know its target demographic, and what kind of audience it is already working with and trying to reach. The social media manager’s job is to figure out how best to target the desired audience with social media content that will draw them in, keep them coming back, and ultimately help the business reach its goals through this target audience.
A Social Media Manager Aids in Business Development
The social media manager also strategizes how to grow and further develop the business through social media. Social media is an important tool in this day and age for business growth and brand recognition, and it builds trust with consumers (the target audience we talked about above). Through social media, a business’s social media manager fosters an online community of customers, which drives traffic and sales. A smart business will see the importance of a great social media manager for development and taking the business to the next level.
Social Media Manager: Executing the Strategy
Once the social media manager has their strategic plan in place, their next task is to start implementing that plan. The social media manager is in charge of overseeing execution of (or executing themselves if they do not have a social media management team) the business’s social media plan. This happens in the day-to-day management of social media channels, as well as on a bigger, bird’s eye view scale.
A Social Media Manager Oversees the Execution of Plans
The social media manager oversees the big picture execution of the social media management plan. This means taking the strategic plan and putting it on paper (or, more accurately, on screen). From creating folders and documents to house the social media content, to staying up to date on what is going on in the business and adjusting the social media plan accordingly, to making sure no part of the plan is falling through the cracks, the social media manager keeps one eye on the big picture – the business’s social media management plan as a whole – at all times.
At SocialNicole, we like to plan our social media content no less than a month at a time, and in some cases even more, in order to maintain a cohesive social media presence and a clear view of what we are trying to accomplish at any given time. We use editorial calendars to map out the types of content we want to share each month, organized folders to keep all the content for the month in one place, and scheduling tools to schedule the month’s content all at once. We also have a careful quality control system in place, so all content being shared and scheduled is seen by a second pair of eyes before it is published, to ensure minimal mistakes.
A Social Media Manager Performs Day-to-Day Management
Within this big picture lives the nitty gritty of the day-today social media management – and the social media manager takes care of or oversees this as well. This means interacting with consumers or followers online, monitoring comments and online reviews, making sure the business is active on its own social media channels each day, and addressing any issues or crises that may arise.
A good social media manager knows the best ways to manage social channels daily, from staying active and present online, to keeping a consistent voice and level of activity, to ensuring all content shared (yes, even the replies to customer’s comments or direct messages) has a high level of quality, and more. When a social media manager is consistent with the day-to-day management of their business’s social media channels, they build a relationship with their online community, which is essential for business growth.
Social Media Manager: Honing Expertise
As the social media manager plans and executes the business’s social media management, they must always be learning and growing, so they can in turn grow the business through social media. Social media is anything but stagnant, and it is crucial that the social media manager not let their own management and the business’s social media channels and strategy grow stagnant either. Social media managers should learn from their own data as well as experiment to keep improving. They can experiment with different types of content, or perhaps run a sweepstakes or contest, noting the feedback and observing the results through analytics. A social media manager also stays up to date on the news of the industry, as social media is ever-changing. As these changes roll in, and the social media manager learns and grows, they use data and research to aid and adjust their strategies.
A Social Media Manager Assesses Data and Reworks Plans
One way for the social media manager to learn is by assessing the data from their own social media, seeing what worked and what didn’t, and reworking the plan accordingly. A social media manager can easily find hard data on how their content and strategies are doing by using Facebook analytics, metrics and insights, and analytics from Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram as well. They can also feel out how the business’s online community responds to content (since the social media manager is active and present on their business’s social channels, they should be able to see the difference between content that gets people talking, and content that flops).
The social media manager will test and assess, and then, with this data in mind, rework the business’s social media plan to improve the process. As we said above, social media plans should be regularly revisited and revised as the company learns and course-corrects. Even small changes to the social media plan can make a big difference in business success, and the social media manager should be watching the plan and the data like a hawk to constantly be moving forward and improving.
A Social Media Manager Stays Up To Date on Industry News
Another crucial role of the social media manager is to stay on top of industry news and trends. The social media manager needs to be aware of what is coming in order to plan accordingly, as social media platforms are always rolling out changes. For instance, in 2017 Facebook launched its “Stories” feature, and in 2018 there was a Facebook algorithm change. Most social media platforms will announce big changes that are coming in advance, so if the social media manager is doing their job, they should have plenty of time to prepare for the change and put plans in place to transition so that their business is ready to take it in stride.
The social media manager should find expert social media sources that they trust and then follow them to stay on top of industry news. They should keep an ear to the ground and know what others in the industry are talking about, what the hot topics are, and what is becoming obsolete, so they can keep their social media at the top of the game and in turn be a trusted source for their customers and community.
There is a lot more to managing social media than just shooting out a tweet every couple of hours. A social media manager has a lot on their shoulders with the responsibility of representing the business online. This includes strategic planning and executing that plan on a broad scale as well as day-to-day. It also includes testing and learning what works for their business’s social media, and always learning from their own experience and from what is going on in the industry around them.
A social media manager helps to take the business they are working for to the next level, and managing social media well, especially for a larger company, can be a full-time job – one that you may not have the capacity to do yourself. Hiring a specific social media manager or social media management agency can be just the answer to catapulting your business to success.
If you decide that hiring an agency is the right move for your business, we would love to help! We are a full-scale social media management agency that provides all the services discussed above and much more. Contact us to start the conversation and learn what we can do for you.