As a Social Media Manager at Link-Assistant.Com I participate in social media communities, talk to people that work in the same field, including SEOs, Internet Marketers, PPC specialists and so on.
All in all specific jobs often are surrounded by numerous misconceptions, and I believe this is almost inevitable. And there is a big misconception about the job of a social media manager. It comes from people who manage social media networks and from those who do other jobs in companies.
SM manager is not a social media spammer
A social media manager is not just a person who shares company, sales and blog updates on the web, talks to people on Facebook, G+ and Twitter and knows that engagement is better than page likes. Unfortunately, a lot of people do that and dare to call themselves social media experts, I am not to blame them but rather to think why they do it.
What is social media management in a company?
Firstly, I think it is very important to figure out that a social media manager is actually an Internet Marketer, but specialized in social media. Thus, social media management is a complex of various marketing activities that include planning, implementation, analyzing, collecting data, contributing to a team, measuring effectiveness.
1. Core job
I wouldn’t like to devalue the importance of managing company’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. This is really a core job: you engage users, tell them about your company, its services and products, generate sales and so on. This part of job was covered in a pretty good way by our blog contributor Olga in this article: Monthly SMM Ninja Plan: Neo Lessons. Long story short, this is what you need to do on a daily basis.
Many companies have their Support departments, and that’s good. But people often turn to social media for getting information and product support, and you should be here to help. Regularly check your inbox, DMs and mentions to provide necessary information. And do it fast.
The golden rule of social marketing is: use it, if it works for you, or drop it, if it fails to.
For example, you decided to conduct a giveaway on your Facebook page. You created or bought an app for that (I hope you remember that you need to use apps for such contests due to Facebook guidelines).
After conducting a contest you need to correlate the efforts to the effect you’ve got from your event: traffic, shares, engagement, brand awareness.
So, no matter what you do, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Is this better than before?
- Does it change our engagement, ROI, social signals, SEO, revenue?
- Is it worth doing? Aren’t efforts and money spent higher than the revenue?
- Should I repeat it?
4. New lands
It is highly possible that you use G+, Facebook and Twitter to share your company’s updates. But you have to look for some new ways of getting traffic. These ideas can help you:
- Test content curating websites (StumbleUpon, Scoop.it , Reddit etc) to share your blog updates.
- Check your GA weekly to find new ways of social traffic – remember that not only you share your updates around the web. Test sources where your content was published and got good traffic.
- Monthly investigate your competitors’ social activities and keep in mind companies that conduct a successful social media campaign. They may not be your competitors, but you have to keep an eye on them for ideas.
- Don’t forget about SlideShare, Pinterest and similar websites where you can share valuable information in different visual forms.
Normally calculating ROI and reporting social media stats can vary from company to company. The only thing I insist on is doing it at least once a month. You will see how helpful it is to track Facebook page likes and think over it remembering the social campaigns, activities, contests etc you performed this month.
Being in a social media community gives you an enormous opportunity to get the latest news straight away. So be a megaphone for your Internet Marketing team:
- Collect and suggest good ideas found
- Inform about important news, updates, and changes
- Remember that you are the best spy to track your competitor’s progress
- Share valuable articles and blog posts you’ve found
- Give advice on creating content that will be shared on the web
- Give advice to colleagues that decide to represent themselves in social media
- Work with affiliates, partners, loyal customers on social media websites: talk to them, provide consultations, and more
7. Creating content
It depends on your company’s niche. But if it fits, you are highly recommended to create content about social media. This is time-consuming and hard, but it really adds to your company’s content and marketing strategy, SEO, social media strategy and it helps you to work properly with your thoughts and ideas and investigate your audience.
If you are able to create content for other niches, it is a great plus.
Okay, social media is not rocket science. Basically, you shouldn’t go for a PhD to run a proper Facebook account (although you have to be educated enough not to say weird things and make spelling mistakes). But you need to:
- Know what SEO is at least on an intermediate level.
- Know Internet Marketing itself on a high level.
- Know basics of psychology, usability (yes, it’s all about psychology too), some things from web design and web tendencies will be a huge plus.
- Be a good user of PC and mobile, standard office apps like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, browsers, mail apps and so on. This is all about digital, baby.
- And finally know your industry.
So, looks like we need a lot of education here, huh? True. Surely, you can have like five thousand followers and post only links on your Twitter. Compare it with a powerful account with 2k followers that form a wonderful professional community and you are a conductor at this community being able to talk on specific topics head-to-head.
So… A lot of reading. Books, articles and stuff should be your daily routine. This is VERY important for social media, as it is changing very fast, even faster you could imagine.
9. Being mobile and wide awake
Avoiding social distractions? Killing email notifications? Forget it, it’s not about a social media manager. You should respond immediately, for this can be a crucial point in some cases.
Here is a case. I will not provide screenshots here, as they are not in English.
A person rather famous in local web design things bought a baby carriage in a large local store. After a week a child was born, they unpacked the carriage and found out it was broken. They called to the store to find out how to fix it, but a support manager said that she could do nothing as they should have checked it right after the purchase.
The customer got extremely angry. He wrote a post about this situation and asked his numerous Facebook friends to share it.
They did. After two or three hours the customer service from the local store contacted the customer. They apologized and suggested the change of the carriage and also gave him a discount card. The problem was in the young and inexperienced support manager who gave the wrong information to the customer before.
The customer was pleased with the reaction and wrote a post about it describing the whole story. It was shared even more than the first one and met positive reaction on local Facebook community.
Should the managers respond in a week, the local store could gain a serious reputation problem.
So every time you get a client’s message on Facebook or Twitter, or see a significant and important news update, be quick. You can save your company’s reputation or your post can go viral because you were the first to publish it.
10. Brand management
It is highly recommended to track your brand mentions and your competitors in social media. In case of a problem or a negative feedback you can stop the conflict by fixing the case. In case of a positive feedback you should thank for it. Also your job is to know what people are saying about you in social media.
This is usually done with social media tools, for example, I use BuzzBundle to track brand mentions and respond to them if needed.
So, social media management and posting to social networks are completely different things. The collection of activities stated above can be a serious contribution to company’s revenues impacting the whole Internet Marketing strategy as well.
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