Understanding the Basics of Social Media Management

Sha Gadson Sha Gadson

Many businesses need to remain very active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, but find it challenging to establish an effective protocol to manage all of their social campaigns and their associated tasks. As is the case, social media management has become an essential skill today, especially when your customers are spending so much time consuming content on social media sites.

Developing a Social Media Management Protocol
Managing your social media campaigns involves many factors. The first step of this is to develop and employ a strategy for posting, for engagement, and other important social media tasks. Without this plan in place you will likely find your approach to less effective as it is difficult to achieve consistent results when you do not have an established plan. Some of the most important elements of a social media management strategy include:

  • Identifying your social media goals. You may have one or more goals for each campaign such as increasing brand visibility or getting more leads.
  • Choosing the right sites. You want to publish content on the sites where your audience is most active.
  • Creating and scheduling content.
  • Engagement. You need to monitor your pages so you can respond to questions and comments. You may also want to engage with other relevant pages.
  • Analytics. Track your results so you can see what is and isn’t working, then adjust your strategy accordingly.

It is also important to realize that managing your social media strategy is not something that you figure out once and are done. It will be an ongoing process as you need to adjust it to keep up with the changing demands of your customers as well as industry trends. It is a cyclical process where your analytics will direct your future strategy as you notice which sites and what type of content gets the most engagement and brings in the most leads and sales.

What Tools do You Need?
There are a variety of tools you can use to manage your social media. Several tools are designed to help automate various tasks while others provide you with valuable data and insight. Here are some various types of tools to consider:

  • Research tools. You can use sites such as Google Keywords Tool, Google Trends, Statista, Amazon, and many others for research on demographics, statistics, and market trends to help you come up with ideas for content.
  • Analytics tools supplied by social media sites. You can start with native tools that are free to use such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Insights and LinkedIn Analytics.
  • Social media posting and scheduling apps. There are many apps and services to automate social media tasks. Some of these let you post simultaneously to multiple sites.
  • Content creation and curation tools. You can utilize both free and paid sites to find images, create videos, and create other content such as slideshows, infographics, and memes.
  • Competitive analysis tools. You can find basic metrics for your competitors by studying their pages or using free tools such as Facebook Insights. There are also paid tools and services that provide a more thorough analysis.

Develop the Optimal Content Strategy
Choosing the right content and finding the optimal schedule for publishing is central to your social media campaigns.

  • Learn as much as possible about your audience through market research, polling, and tracking engagement.
  • Post consistently. Publishing content regularly helps you form relationships with your followers. It also helps you build your reputation as an authority in your industry. At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it and overwhelm people with too many posts.
  • Find out what content formats produce the best results. Today’s audience generally responds best to images and videos but it is always good to vary your approach. As with everything, test your results to find out what your followers prefer.
  • Identify the best posting schedule. Depending on the demographics of your customers, you may find that posting on certain days or at certain hours improves engagement.

Stay Connected With Your Followers
Engagement is a large part of managing your social media presence. You naturally want followers to engage with your posts but you need to do your part as well.

  • Monitor your pages and promptly answer questions and comments.
  • Encourage conversations by asking questions, posting polls and inviting followers to contribute their own content.
  • Offer customer service on social media. This is a good way to provide fast help to customers and show prospects that you care.
  • Participate in discussions on other pages. Engaging more widely on social media by searching hashtags, keywords, and groups can help you attract new followers and leads.

Track the Right Metrics
Analytics is key to maximizing your social media presence. In order to improve your results, you need to identify the actions that generate the most engagement. With so many tracking and analytics tools available, however, it can be difficult to know what to measure. Of course, this can vary according to your objectives.

  • Understand the value and limitations of vanity metrics. If you are trying to get more leads and sales, vanity metrics such as followers and likes can be misleading. You need to focus on more substantial numbers such as engagement and conversions. On the other hand, if you are posting for the purpose of brand recognition, likes and followers may be what you want.
  • Generate and study reports. Whatever social media tools or services you use, it is helpful to have clear reports that show you, at a glance, the metrics you’re measuring. Be sure to make use of settings so that your reports show you the most relevant data.
  • Use benchmarks for every campaign. Benchmarks let you compare your output and results with your competitors. For a meaningful comparison, you should measure yourself against businesses that are comparable in size as well as in the same or a closely related industry.

All Inclusive Tools & Platform

As explained above, social media management is a multifaceted beast with many moving parts. This makes an all-inclusive tool like the Sysomos platform extremely valuable as you can execute all your social media tasks from a single dashboard. This allows users to manage their earned, owned, and paid social media efforts all in one place. In addition, it streamlines publishing content and engagement as well as providing actionable social listening insights along with global analytics. This makes your social media management much more efficient and effective.

 Make Social Media Work for You
While just about all businesses are using social media today, not all have an effective strategy that helps them deliver the most engaging content to their followers. Nor do they have a social media management system to help them take the guesswork out of their marketing efforts. When using an automation tool in conjunction with a social media management plan you will boost your results as you’re able to provide consistent engagement based off of research and insights to better connect with your audience.