Have you ever wondered what being a social media manager entails? As a career path that has slowly developed over the last several years, social media management is an industry that is ideal for any one who is social media obsessed. As a social media manager, be prepared to live and breath the social atmosphere. This calls for being truly interested, curious and engaged on various social media platforms in order to provide the highest quality social media management services for your clients.
Social media management services are focused on the concept of creating, building, executing and measuring social content. With social media management services, your job is to essentially run and manage all aspects of social presence for the products, brands and businesses you represent.
In order to be effective as a social media manager, you must understand how to deliver effective social media management services for each individual client. This requires a specific approach, creating a unique strategy and implementing your tactics in a way that yields positive and overarching results.
If you’re a social media manager or considering pursuing a career path in this niched industry, you will need to understand what it takes to work with various clients and properly convey brand identity through social media advertising and marketing. To help you dive into the depths of the social sphere, let’s take a look at how you can take your social media management services to the next level.
Work With Clients Whose Brand You Understand
The job of engaging in social media management services calls for managing and developing content and curating interactions on various social media platforms. As a social media manager, you may be using channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or YouTube to build your client’s business.
Although social media management is often considered the process of posting and updating a brand’s social accounts, the services rendered extend past content creation. As a social media manager, you will need to also engage in interacting with the set audience to expand your client’s reach.
Before you can begin the process of managing social accounts, you will need to find the proper clients. Depending on whether you work for an agency or as an independent, being a freelance social media manager will determine your client roster. If you have the ability to work for yourself in this industry, you will want to choose clients whose brand, vision and direction you understand.
When taking on the responsibility of crafting and implementing social media management services, you should seek out companies who are rooted in industries that you have deep and extensive knowledge of. Since you have an interest and understanding of the market, your relations with the brand and the manner in which you promote their content will feel more natural and authentic.
For example, if you are well equipped within the food industry, you wouldn’t want to jump into working with clients in the technology sector. Although you may learn to understand their brand’s aesthetic and direction, there will be an insurmountable learning curve when you first begin. In order to avoid confusion or even disinterest in the content you produce for the clients you work with, select products and brands that are found within your scope of experience and interest.
Create Editorial Content Calendars
Once you have found a few or even several clients that you will social media manage, it is time to get organized. Considering that you may have several companies with various social accounts, you could assume that your workload will become heavy at some points. As a minimum most companies have 4 social media platforms on which they are currently active and using daily to promote and generate buzz around their product or services. Multiple those 4 accounts by the number of clients you have and well, you get the picture — you’re going to be busy.
Instead of stressing about the workload of social media management you will have to employ for each client, focus on ways that you can keep your content in check and properly organized. A tried and true method proven to alleviate the pressure that comes from running any kind of content focused platform is to create editorial and content calendars.
If you have never heard of a content calendar, you’re not alone. Unless you took a social media course in college or currently work for a social media agency, you most likely have never needed to use one.
Although the idea of a content calendar seems pretty new, it is actually very similar to a typical “to-do” list that is altered and engineered to be successful for social media management.
An editorial content calendar is essentially a place where you will layout the body of your future content. This means you will have the month compartmentalized into calendar format in which you can designate specific days to share your content. For social media, you will be posting every day at a minimum. For some platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, you may craft several posts per day and Instagram, you may add a post and consistently add to your stories. The frequency at which you post will need to be accessed based on your client’s expectations and needs.
Whichever way you go about sharing your content, the calendar is a tool to add the pieces you will share during the current month. For example, let’s say you’re running a social media account for a restaurant.
On your content calendar, you can begin by accessing any events or special mentions that will be happening within the next month and place them onto the appropriate date. You can then reference any seasonal menu additions that are worth sharing. And finally, you could craft a topic to cover each day of the calendar month such as posts that relate to the restaurant’s interior, a feature on the staff or chef, a new menu item or a recipe that your audience can try at home.
Content calendars are specifically helpful to those who may be running a blog as a part of their social media management services. Since a blog is focused on producing articles, crafting up a list of potential topics to add to your calendar will lighten your writing process. Remember, the editorial content calendar is a great way to plan and schedule content, but it is never set in stone. Use this as a base to generate new ideas and make changes to what you will produce as you see fit.
Use Post Scheduling Software
In conjunction with working with a content calendar, you should also infuse the use of scheduling software into your social media management.
As a busy social media manager, using a tool to schedule your posts can help you keep track and plan ahead without having to always be available to post in real time. Scheduling software is also a handy tool for those who may be managing accounts in various time zones. As you will need to pay attention to when your client’s audience is awake and active on their platforms, you can effectively build your posting schedule to fit any time constraints, even if you are located in a different area of the world.
Over the past few years, there has been a substantial growth in the number of post-scheduling social media management tools.
Scheduling software programs that are optimal for social media management services include:
- Sprout Social
- Social Pilot
Each of these platforms operates in a relatively similar way, with the main focus being on organizing and managing the content of various social media accounts. They are better known in the field as social media management tools. Depending on which one you feel the most comfortable using will determine whether the cost of usership is free or by a monthly subscription. According to our list above, each of these tools comes with a free option with the exception of Sprout Social.
From the list, I personally recommend Buffer, as I have used it while managing social media accounts for advertising clients. From their site, “Buffer makes it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts, analyze performance and manage all of their accounts in one place.”
The interface of Buffer is user friendly and allows you to seamlessly connect your social accounts on the Home dashboard. Once you have crafted your post, you can then choose a time and date that you want it to be shared on each platform. Buffer gives you the ability to schedule your content all in one place without having to individually navigate different networks.
Additionally, the analytics tools from Buffer is crucial to reference for your social media management services. This is where you can visualize reach, engagement and impressions that your work has created. Once you have created and published several posts, you can write up and print out reports that can be sent to your clients to visualize your effectiveness and completed benchmarks.
Companies such as Intercom, Help Scout, Microsoft, Trello, Shopify and Github all use Buffer to manage their social media. You can read more about the social media management tool here.
Create Organic Interactions and Engagement With Your Client’s Audience
Now that we’ve covered the process of creating and publishing content, we need to address the most important component of being a successful social media manager — interacting and engaging with your client’s audience.
Although producing and publishing creative and visually stimulating content will bring people to your client’s social profiles, you have to make them want to stay and become loyal followers. The process of retaining and maintaining a dedicated base of fans for a brand or company is to show these potential customers that you are invested in their thoughts and feelings.
In simple terms, by engaging and interacting with your client’s audience you are bringing life to the social media platform. You are humanizing the process of interacting through online spaces.
There are two ways in which you can create organic interactions and engagement with your client’s audience:
- Seek out accounts, profiles and individuals that align with the aesthetic, mission and direction of your client.
- Engage in conversations and direct responses with your followers about all things pertaining to the product, service or company.
By seeking out accounts that are similar to yours, you are creating a network of social interactions with like minded individuals. The intention isn’t necessarily to use this process to gain a massive amount of quick followers, but instead it is to build and retain a type of persona and reporitore with one another. These accounts can be small, mid-sized or even large, influential profiles. In any scenario, you will want to build your interactions based on authenticity and true organic interest.
Forming a connection over the social channels requires you to truly examine another social account and make a genuine effort at complimenting and describing what you find compelling about their content. Never lead with spam like behavior such as liking every single photograph they have ever posted or even commenting something generic and lack luster. The only way to build a meaningful, engaged network is to put forth your best social media etiquette.
Another way to create organic interactions and boost engagement is to have conversations and reply to the followers on your client’s social media platforms.
For top social media management services, a strong social media manager will reply to every comment or question they receive whether it be positive or negative. This type of reaction shows fans and consumers that the brand is focused on having a high quality of customer service and can quickly respond to any question or concern they may have. In addition, always aim to reply to comments that may not be a question or concern. For example, if you post an image where followers are commenting positively and complimenting the brand, engage back by thanking them and showing gratitude for their support.
Keep Track of the Statistics
If you’re working in social media management, you know that it’s all about engagement. In truth, the number of followers a profile has means little to nothing if the rate of engagement is staggeringly low. Why is this you may ask? Because engagement equals interested followers which equals potential consumers which equals the sole purpose of why we engage in marketing— for an increase in tangible sales and return on investment.
During the process of your social media management services for your clients, you should be keeping detailed records of how the various social platforms have grown under your command. These statistics, which can be translated to reach, engagement, viewers, impressions and concrete sales figures, each play an important role in measuring your own personal success as a social media manager.
Before starting to build a new social strategy for your clients, you should always begin with accessing their current accounts in terms of followers, reach, engagement and impressions. Make a spreadsheet of these figures to reference as your starting point.
As we mentioned above, if you choose to use a social media management tool such as Buffer, you can easily access the software’s built in analytical measuring feature to create reports for your clients.
If you decide to bypass this software and stick to your own method of analyzation, you will need to create an in-depth outline of your records. Continue to build using a spreadsheet that is organized in either weekly or monthly sections. With this spreadsheet create the following columns for each social media platform that you manage:
- Number of Posts Submitted
- Current Number of Followers
- Percentage of Engagement
- Number of Impressions
- Highest Performing Content
- Average Comments Per Post
Once you have accumulated these numbers, you can then do some basic math to calculate percentages of growth. For example, if your client starts off with 4,000 followers on Instagram and you have grown their following to 8,000 over a month long period, you will have increased their audience base by 100%.
Being able to show your client concrete numbers that have grown and changed in result of your work will instill trust and confidence in your social media management abilities. Also, being able to show the growth you achieve for you existing clients is a sure fire way that you will be able to recruit and land new social management accounts.
Find What Works Well and Repeat
The final step to taking your social media management services to the next level is to keep doing what works best for your clients.
This is an idea that can be translated to any aspect of life, that when something is working and moving in an upwards direction, you must be doing something right.
Considering that social media managing is a service that renders specific quantities of numbers for success, you should always be evaluating your metrics and understanding which areas of your services call for adjustment. Measuring your tactics can be as simple as taking an in-depth look at the visitors and impressions accumulated to your client’s Instagram profile.
For example, let’s say you are working with a specific brand who has a business profile on Instagram. WIth the business component, you can see how many visitors came to your profile that week, how many times an image was saved, the number of impressions it received and even how many clicks were given to your client’s personal website.
If you are constantly reviewing these values, you may notice that posts published on Saturday mornings perform better than those posted on a Friday night. If this conclusion is consistently prevalent during your social media managing, you can then decide that you will stick to posting content on Saturday mornings for high visibility.
This same concept can be applied to any other social media network. Whether it’s a matter of tweets, YouTube videos or even quick Snapchats, being able to effectively measure your growth and reach will help you decide what techniques to keep or get rid of in regard to promoting your content.
The tips and tricks for social media managing each client will be different. This is due to varying markets and industries, the type of content that performs best on each individual social media network and the type of followers that are showing interest in the product or brand. You will need to remember that your social media efforts are never a catch-all, blanketed strategy that can be applied to each client in the same manner.
A good social media manager creates a targeted and specific strategy for each client and implements in such fashion. In order to know what works well, you will need to often make adjustments to your strategy. Once you find what works well, stick to it and repeat; the goal of social media management is to grow a sustainable social audience for your clients.
Building Your Career in Social Media Management Services
Now that you have the basics down, you can be confident in your skills as a social media manager. The best way to grow in this field is to continue to test your ideas and create new concepts that you can apply to the work for your clients.
The path to a successful career in social media management is to continue to retain and work with clients whose product or brand you are invested in and passionate about. Over time, you will learn what methods work and which can be placed on the back burner, and throughout the process, you will develop a set of unique skills that set you apart from the other professionals in your field.
To build your career as a social media manager, find your niche, establish a voice, create compelling content, deliver staggering, impressive results and always put your client needs above the rest. Before you know it, you will have an impressive portfolio of satisfied customers to show for your hard work and dedication to the future of social media.