Guest Post by Scott Cross
Know Your Target Audience
If you want to make social media marketing as easy as possible, the very first step is to understand who your target audience genuinely is. In other words, you need to know the average age, gender, geographic location, hobbies and interests of your ideal customers. Your ideal customers are the people who are most likely to interact and make a purchase or transaction with your business.
Whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social platforms, you should have access to some basic audience analytics and insights. Before you can sit back and have your social media on autopilot, you’ll need to dig into your analytics and learn as much as you can about your target audience. You might have some older audience members, some younger, some male, and some are females, which can make honing in on your ideal customers tricky. But the idea is to get a better idea of who is most likely to interact with your brand. By understanding who your audience is, you’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions about your social media marketing. And, by making better social media marketing decisions, being active on your social platforms will be easier and your efforts will resonate better with your audience.
Create A Social Calendar
Another major hurdle when it comes to social media marketing is knowing what type of content to post. That’s why we highly recommend that you create a social media calendar outlining all content that you want to post for several weeks to a month in advance. When you do this, you can plan your content out around any upcoming holidays or industry events that might be relevant to your business.
Finally, don’t forget to include your branding such as your logo on your social media to make your company more memorable to your followers. Create a business logo here.
Use A Social Media Scheduler
The final step in putting your social media on autopilot is to start using a social media scheduler. With tools like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule your social media posts days, weeks and months in advance. You can also set it up so that your posts will go live not only on one platform but all platforms where your business is active. Once you do this, rather than logging on to social media every morning, you’ll only need to take time to work on your social media once every now and then.
Automatic Social Media Marketing For Business
One of the most common complaints we hear from business owners is that they find it challenging to balance maintaining their presence while overseeing their day-to-day operations. However, in today’s digital landscape, social media is one of the best ways to connect and engage your target audience. Therefore, it’s crucial to study your audience, create a social media calendar and then get started sharing content regularly so that your business can stay engaged online. And at the same time, you can focus on the things that matter most!
Why you might want a Social Media Manager (SMM)
Many small businesses have grappled with social media, have gained some traction and have done a good job of building and managing their communities. But what happens as your business, and your following, grow simultaneously? Inevitably, there comes a point when you need to consider how to keep on top of your social media tasks and your business.
If you feel that you are at that tipping point, then it’s likely time for you to consider hiring an SMM to handle these responsibilities full time. Keep in mind, that this is a position more commonly associated with large businesses whose social media accounts are virtually overflowing with content and feedback and who have a large enough budget to devote resources solely to social media.
There are a number of job titles, which refer to a very similar set of responsibilities as a Social Media Manager might handle, as well as spinoffs and more specialised roles. Here are a few examples:
- Social Media Strategist
- Social Intelligence Professional
- Brand Ambassador
- Media Manager
- Community Manager
- Content Strategist
Most of the time in a smaller company one or more employees, as a secondary responsibility, fill these roles. However, in larger companies with the requisite budget to hire a specialist for each position within their social media department, multiple employees might fill each of those jobs as their primary role.
What does a Social Media Manager do?
The list of responsibilities assigned to a SMM can seem bottomless, but that is just the nature of social media. It is a constant, living representation of your brand and someone needs to be able to make sure that it is an accurate reflection of your company and its goals. To make it a little simpler, the basic responsibilities of a SMM are listed below in four categories.
A quality SMM needs to not just be able to manage and direct the flow of your social media presence, but also actively plan how to make it as effective as possible. The SMM should be setting goals for various aspects such as followers, comments, and reach. They must be able to strategise the course of content development and distribution based on the target audience. Content of course must also be in the particular brand voice, valuable to the audience (engaging) and, wherever possible, shareable.
Building a content strategy also means they will be responsible for ensuring that your company’s key messages are a focal point. Part of getting those messages effectively to the community that you are interested in reaching will include identifying and contacting valuable influencers. Some people wield great influence in the social media sphere and if they pertain to your company’s audience, then they cannot be overlooked as a resource.
2. Content Creation and Curation
SMMs have to be able to do a variety of types of content creation to be effective in their jobs. From writing blog posts and responding to tweets to sourcing images for use, a SMM needs to be a jack of all social media trades. It is also important that they are able to create or alter images to be certain that they are viable for use with the brand they will represent.
In order to effectively create content and get it noticed, SMMs must also be informed of what is trending or may start trending. A key skill is finding out what keywords, tags and hashtags are going to help to get your message to the widest audience while also appealing directly to your existing social community.
3. Community Management
Even if not directly responsible for it, one of the SMMs most critical roles is ensuring that comments, messages, emails and tweets are responded to promptly and in the brand voice. One of the easiest ways to lose ground in your social media community is to be ineffectual in your responses. Timeliness and consistency are crucial to maintaining a positive image online. This also includes being very engaging and showing appreciation for positive feedback, while at the same time responding thoughtfully to negative feedback. That doesn’t mean that your SMM should be admitting fault or getting hammered by insulting Facebook comments, but negative feedback should be acknowledged and used to help enhance a company’s social media strategy.
4. Analysis, Reporting and Consulting
Because the SMM is at the helm of the social media ship in all senses, it is imperative that they are reporting regularly back to the company about recent developments. This does not need to be daily necessarily, but monthly at least, and in many cases weekly updates would be better. Social media moves too quickly for anything less frequent.
Reporting should be done according to how progress is made on the goals that were set. Developments in the course of a week or two can be indicative of working strategies or those, which need improvement. The SMM needs to be able to analyze the trends of the company’s social media trends and use the data gathered to better implement current strategy or, in some cases, create a new strategy for the brand.
Ultimately a Social Media Manager is responsible for building and strengthening the bridge between a company or brand and its target audience. It is a role with critical responsibilities and lots of them. To reiterate, most small companies will not be in a position to need a full time SMM, but for larger companies it will be difficult to survive without one.
Photo credit: mkhmarketing