When I meet with business owners for the first time, the first question they ask is, “So what does a social media manager do?” Then they often quickly answer for me, “Social Media Managers post to Facebook, right?” And the quick answer is, “Yes, and…” And, yes, we talk about the best times to post, and leading people back to websites, and converting leads into customers. And that’s still… the short answer.
More and more businesses are realizing the power of social media and what it means to their bottom line. It’s definitely come a long way from just a teenage thing and connecting and keeping in touch with friends and family. Now social media plays an important role in how we discover things and interact with people… and how we interact with businesses. It’s a tool that plays a big part into your bottom line.
And social media marketers must master a broad and ever-changing skill set to maximize results. So which skills are important for effective social media marketing for your business? Well, it’s a lot more than being able to get likes and retweets to your posts, for sure. So let’s begin, shall we?
It’s important to understand the playing field of social media. You need to know what’s working and what’s not, not only for your business, but for your competition as well. Strong auditing skills require the ability to:
- Evaluate past and present performance on all social media channels;
- Determine what to continue doing and what to discontinue;
- Understand what your competition is successfully doing;
- Discover opportunities and fill the voids.
Auditing your social media regularly, and that of your competitor’s, is one of the best ways to optimize your social media marketing efforts.
Successful social media marketing requires that you have a good sense of what you’re trying to achieve. And you also need to determine how to measure progress along the way. To do that, you need to be able to:
- Understand what the overall business goals are;
- Develop audience profiles and sales funnels;
- Know which social channels are most appropriate to reach goals;
- Establish KPIs (key performance indicators) to measure success.
Without a strategic foundation upon which to build, you won’t have a clear sense of direction or a definitive ROI.
Creating content to post on social media is a vital part of your branding strategy. And if what you’re posting on social media doesn’t resonate well with your audience or lead them to take action, then you’ll never reach your marketing goals. Skills required to create strong, compelling content include:
- Copywriting that makes words stand out and causes your audience to take action;
- Editing to refine and perfect the content that appears on your social channels;
- Graphics creation that’s eye-catching and on point with your message;
- Consistency so that your audience doesn’t lose interest and go somewhere else.
When it comes to social media success, exceptional content that rings true with your audience is an absolute must.
- Develop protocol for how to respond to and engage with customers on social media;
- Provide first-class service as quickly and efficiently as possible;
- Develop protocol for how to handle customer complaints on social media;
- Use technology to monitor and track what’s being said about your business.
Providing outstanding customer service through your social channels is fundamental to your reputation and the success of your business.
We all know that technology as a whole is an ever-changing animal. More and more, social media teams must have a solid knowledge of a variety of tools and technical platforms to make the most of social media and your digital presence. Here are just a few skill sets required:
- Content queue management and control.
- Graphic design software setup and use.
- E-commerce platform integration and use.
- Social media platform-specific features like Facebook’s tracking pixel.
Remember that these are just a few of the necessary technical skills needed in today’s digital marketing environment. The list keeps changing and growing.
Social media is no longer the free ride it once was. Today, only 6% of your followers on Facebook actually see what you’re posting there. That’s 6 out of every 100 of your followers – your organic reach. To go beyond that and hit a wider audience, paid advertising on social media is necessary. And to make the most of your advertising dollars, it is imperative that you:
- Understand paid ad formats and content requirements of the various social networks;
- Understand which pieces of creative content will elicit audience engagement;
- Know how to optimize each dollar spent to reach your targeted audience;
- Know how to interpret data to see what’s working and what’s not.
Paid advertising is much more than simply pressing that “Boost Post “ button on Facebook and keeping your fingers crossed, hoping for success. It’s about careful planning, creativeness, and monitoring for results.
To demonstrate the value of social media, you need to measure its ROI as it relates to your broader business goals. So this means you need to:
- Understand brand sentiment through engagement;
- Determine brand awareness through impressions and reach;
- Determine intent to purchase and evaluate consumer behavior after the purchase;
- Ascertain which specific pieces of content were effective in attaining your goals.
Calculating ROI based on business goals is not always black and white, and it is a process that evolves. And measuring your social ROI provides valuable insight into the success of your campaigns, both past and present. This helps you understand where you need to adjust, what to eliminate, and what may work with future campaigns.
Risk Management and Compliance.
You work hard to build your business, and you want to keep it on the growth track for success. But nothing can be more damaging to your reputation and bottom line than when something goes awry because of a single Tweet or Instagram post. This is why it’s important to:
- Develop social media policies, procedures and review processes, making it clear who’s responsible for approving content and/or replies, and the chain of command in case of a crisis;
- Provide adequate training for team members and third-party providers;
- Consider trademark and copyright laws, as well as consumer protection laws and regulations;
- Revisit your social media policy periodically to keep pace with changing trends and emerging social platforms.
Risk management and compliance measures are crucial pieces to your social media marketing. Not only do they keep everyone within your business on the same page, but they also serve to give you a plan of action for when things get a little dicey. They serve to help you avoid a potential online catastrophe.
So you see, social media management and marketing is a lot more than Facebook posting. It’s also about auditing and strategy, content creation and customer service, technology, paid advertising and measuring ROI, and risk management and compliance. We’ve come a long way on the social playing field, and social media will continue to play a key role when it comes to your business and your bottom line well into the future.
If there’s something you’d like to add to this article, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!
Wishing you much success always…