In the burgeoning digital realm, the importance of proficient social media management is ever growing. It is no longer simply about the general upkeep of a Facebook or Twitter page to adhere to the convergent nature of modern media.
Savvy social media management is about more holistic prospects of growing and engaging your audience; it has become a complex and fast-moving role within any business that should be treated with the same high regard as any other aspect of digital strategy.
As an effective social media presence is now becoming as important for brands as a logo or a website. It makes sense to have it managed by a professional.
A dedicated social media manager is necessary for a number of reasons. There is no denying the huge potential that social media platforms have as a key marketing tool, and ensuring every drop of that potential is harnessed can be a full-time job.
Social media management is a multi-faceted role that can be split into three sections: content, branding and advertising. Each of these are quite distinct, and a capable social media manager, or management team depending on the size and requirements of the business, will be equally proficient in each.
Social Media Content and Tone of Voice
Managing the content on dedicated social media accounts is perhaps the most obvious role within social media management. However, it is perhaps not as straightforward as it initially seems.
Generally, social media agencies or managers will have close ties with the digital strategy and content marketing realm, as the three are inherently intertwined.
A solid understanding of content marketing and SEO is imperative within social media management, and while search engine rankings are not directly affected by social media activity, the indirect impact is enormous.
Content is king within digital strategy, but if great content is not being managed expertly at a social level, then it may have little impact or even a negative impact via brand dilution.
A social media manager is much like a promoter of content, who uses their understanding of reach, engagement, posting techniques and the way that different social networks function as a whole to inflate your content and boost referral traffic to your website.
The algorithms that dictate how and why content is shared on social media platforms are complex and constantly updated, so it is imperative to have a social media manager who understands how they work and how these changes impact the reach of your content.
Without a manager keeping on top of these updates you may see the power social media has in content distribution quickly slip away.
Furthermore, a good social media manager will understand your brand and audience, and have a solid grasp on communication via social platforms and how to write for social media.
A huge part of the social media management role is communication; that is, communication via posting, commenting on and sharing content, and fielding questions from customers. Communicating in a unified voice is extremely important, and having someone who can do this consistently and proficiently is absolutely vital.
Branding, Aesthetics and Consistency
One of the most common traits of a poorly managed social media account is aesthetic inconsistency. Having social media accounts that are visually strong and consistent across the board is an integral part of your brand identity.
Much like communication through a unified voice is extremely important, a unified aesthetic is one of the most fundamental elements of social media marketing.
Most social media platforms are visually driven – the foremost being Facebook and Instagram, which are incidentally the two biggest. A study on Buzzsumo about how to get the most out of Facebook posts reveals that posts with images and text perform the best in terms of interaction.
A social media manager who has experience with graphic production, and keen eye for visuals and branding will go a long way in boosting the potency of your accounts in their ability to drive traffic to your website and reinforce your brand identity.
Furthermore, most social platforms are customisable, meaning that they have the ability to visually reflect your brand in more ways than one, usually in the form of your profile image (or avatar) and some kind of header image or page background. These will need to visually striking and properly managed to properly reflect your brand image.
Advertising on Social Media
On Facebook, the world’s largest social network, it used to be the case that if you had built up a genuine audience the content you shared would reach them organically – it was the perfect way for brands to communicate directly and on a personal level with customers for free.
However, as more and more businesses became a part of the social network, each posting more and more content, the competition for a place in people’s news feeds increased exponentially. So, in 2014, the organic reach and engagement possible by simply posting dropped dramatically.
According to a report at the time from Simply Measured, the total engagement for the top 10 most-followed brands on Facebook had declined 40 percent year-over-year—even as brands had increased the amount of content they were posting by 20.1 percent.
Basically, this was Facebook saying if you want to reach your audience, now you have to pay.
Some were outraged, and many saw this is an inevitable progression – Facebook owns your audience really, not you, and there is only so much content that people can physically see in their news feeds, so in many ways it makes sense.
Whatever your opinion on Facebook’s approach, the reality is that if you want to squeeze the most out of your Facebook activity, you will have to pay. The targeted marketing features can be extremely powerful, and a great social media manager will know how to use them most effectively.
You are able to target people with certain interests or who like similar pages, or target based on age and geo-location. The possibilities for intelligent effective targeted marketing are huge, and the best social media managers target their content with pinpoint accuracy and efficiency.
Although with social networks such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram it is still possible to have a reasonable organic reach through tactful #hashtagging and engaging in their networks, these platforms also have paid targeted marketing features which are becoming more and more necessary for social media managers to learn the intricacies of.
It is only a matter of time, perhaps, before each fall the same way as Facebook.
In summary, for a social media presence to be effective:
- It must be on a relevant platform (know your audience and where they are).
- The content you share, whether it be original or not, must be valuable and relevant. You don’t always have to create huge in depth pieces of original content. If your audience likes funny cat videos, and you share a funny viral cat video that your audience engages with, that’s valuable content. Know your audience, and learn what they want.
- The tone of voice and visual aesthetic must be appropriate and consistent (the tone and visuals of your social accounts, and the digital content you publish, are now as much part of your brands identity as the name and logo)
- The content must be promoted and advertised correctly, making the best use of organic techniques (sharing, tagging, hashtagging) and paid targeted marketing tools.
So, as an effective social media presence is now becoming as important for brands as a logo or a website, it is imperative to have it managed by a professional.
If you are looking for some help with setting up or managing your social media or your entire digital footprint, get in touch, we’d be glad to chat.