What Should Your Social Media Manager Be Doing for You?

What Should Your Social Media Manager Be Doing for You?

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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.

1. Strategy

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

Social Media Suggestions

Sometimes it only takes a few updates per day to keep your name/brand/company in the minds of your followers/fans.  You only need put aside a little time each day, or even every other day to keep the interaction going with your potential clients/customers.  I promise you it will be worth it!

Here are some suggestions about what sort of updates you could post on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn:

  • Quotes related to your field of work – you can easily Google these and keep a list of them handy to copy and paste into an update
  • Questions – people love to answer questions
  • Interesting articles aimed at your customers – e.g. authors could aim their articles at readers in their genre
  • Tips – a useful way of giving out some free advice as little tit bits, making people want more advice from you
  • Photo’s and/or videos – these will get people interacting with you – they don’t need to be overly related to your field but it will help if they are
  • Links – Links to blogs, video’s, articles, and interesting websites – make sure you have checked out the links yourself first to make sure they are suitable before you post them on your profiles for others

Things you need to remember about social media:

Interaction

  • The aim of using social media is to interact with people, get them talking
  • Thank people for sharing – when someone has shared something of yours, thank them; it goes a long way in developing trust and gaining new clients/customers. 
  • If you ignore messages and comments it could potentially put people off bothering again, aim to respond within 48 hours.

Share Everywhere

  • If you have a blog, share it on all the social networks where you have an account
  • Post it in groups and forums you are part of
  • Stumble it using StumbleUpon, a lot of traffic comes from this site!

Guest Blog

  • Look for blogs and websites where you can be a guest poster, either articles or just short blog posts
  • Offer to write guest posts for free and you’ll get interest from people immediately

Create Video’s

  • Depending on your line of work, could you create short instructional videos?
  • Upload them to YouTube and try to update your channel regularly
  • Share these on your other networks when you post a new one

I put these suggestions together for my own clients because many of them didn’t know how to get started on social media. These are just the basics, there is plenty more strategies you could try.

Why not check out some of my other social media posts!

‘How to’ use YouTube

Have you ever looked on YouTube for a video of how to do something?  I have a few times, it’s so much easier watching a video than reading a whole article of instructions.

I just typed in ‘how to’ into YouTube and it came up with approximately 10,300,000 videos.  So you need a keyword, otherwise you could be scrolling through a lot of video’s.  I had a quick look myself and you can pretty much find a video for everything.

I’ve picked a few video’s for you today, they are useful and hopefully you’ll learn something from them.  They’re not necessarily related to being a virtual assistant, social media or eBooks – the purpose of this post is to give you some ideas about how you can search for things, promote your business or your products/services by using video’s and YouTube.

This first video I came across was through Completely Novel (the self publishing company I discussed in How to Self Publish your Book on a Budget) – Shoo has over 200 video’s on his channel and if you ever fancied taking up drawing, you need to watch these!

How to draw a Humvee – Hummer

This next video is something I used only yesterday.  I am redesigning the look of my website over the next few weeks, I need to add some new menu’s, I have some new pages I’d like to include but I wasn’t sure how to deal with the menu’s of my WordPress theme.  That’s where my fellow blog challenge friend Martin Jarvis of DMJ Computer Services came in, he created this video for me and uploaded it to YouTube.  It took 4 minutes to watch and I now know how to move forward with my menu improvements.  Thanks Martin!

How to add sub menu / drop down structure

This last video is useful if you want to be able to embed videos into your website or blog.  I watched this myself a few weeks ago, and it’s the reason this week I have been embedding video’s into my posts, such as Get Organised with this Free Resource, for practise!   Thanks to Michelle Schaeffer for this one…

How to Embed a Video in Your WordPress

I’d recommend using YouTube like Google, if you want to know how to do something, or learn a new skill, watching a video can be a much better solution than reading text and trying to follow it.  It’s also great for promoting your business, product or service.

I hope this blog post has been useful, if you have any great YouTube video’s you’d like to share, please leave a comment so I can check them out.