While social media management exists as a career, responsibility for the social media content of a business is something that's often left to existing employees.
Of course, this takes time and resource, but, surely there's not enough work required to employ a dedicated social media manager. It's just a few status updates and hashtags here and there, isn't that right?
Well, contrary to popular belief, social media management is so much more than just a 140-character update once a day and a business page check-in here and there. Not only that, as the amount of content pumped through social media channels increases by the second, organic visibility is also decreasing making it harder for you to get in front of the right audience.
If you want your business to thrive in the online world, there's a lot more to social media management than posting photos and updates, and there's a lot more you should be doing. Here are eleven things you need to start doing immediately if you want to increase your presence and grow your social media profiles.
1) Devise a strategy.
If you've started a new profile, posted a few times a day for a couple of weeks and then abandoned your account once the novelty wears off, you're not alone! Either social-istas become disheartened that they haven't gained any new followers once their friends and family have all joined, or they just fall out of the habit.
While this is a common trend, it's not strategic and, therefore, it's never going to be effective.
Before you start posting ad hoc, sit down and devise a strategy to define how often you'll post, when you'll post, and on which platforms (remember, you don't need to be on all of them, just those relevant to your niche).
A strategy will make sure you're consistent which will help your followers grow steadily but consistently.
2) Create a content calendar.
It's important that you plan your content in advance for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it helps you plan campaigns around special dates in the calendar. Secondly, it helps you make sure that you post frequently and consistently. When you post sporadically and without structure, it confuses your audience who are then likely to unfollow you.
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3) Schedule posts.
Social media is more time consuming than it first appears which is why it's so easy to let it fall by the wayside. Use social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Later (formerly Latergram) to schedule your posts in advance. You can dedicate some time each month to make sure you've covered everything you need to for the month ahead, but you still have the flexibility to add real-time posts when they're appropriate.
4) Brand your content.
Social media is another opportunity for you to build your brand and your posts need to reflect this. Make sure your logo is clear in all your posts along with your business' tagline so your followers instantly associate you with the content they're seeing.
5) Engage with your audience.
Social media interaction isn't dis-similar to real-life interaction and there's nothing worse than seeing unanswered comments on a business page. If a potential client walked into your store or office and said they liked your product, would you just stare blankly at them and ignore them? No, I didn't think so!
Social media is no different, particularly in today's digital era where people know that you've read their post. If you choose not to reply, this speaks volumes about how much your value their engagement, and the results don't go in your favour!
6) Consider paid advertising.
With so much online content available, it's becoming much more difficult to get your posts in front of your followers organically. Consider paid advertising for your posts to guarantee that your content is shown to your target market. You can try this as a one-off, but, as with all marketing campaigns, the more committed and strategic you are, the more successful you'll be.
7) Get involved in conversations.
To turn your target market into your followers, it's essential you go where they are and meet them there. Twitter is a great platform to get involved in other people's conversations as you can re-tweet relevant content. Join Facebook groups, repost Instagram photos and get your brand in front of those who aren't yet aware of you.
8) Create competitions.
Depending on the nature of your business, a competition can be an effective way to engage with your audience and give them something of value. Some platforms have restrictions regarding competitions so it's important that you check the regulations before you post to make sure that you don't get your campaign banned once people have already started to enter.
9) Assess your content.
Traditionally, social media posts are uploaded and forgotten about. In a professional capacity though, this is a mistake. Use free insight tools to assess the popularity of your past content and make sure you create more of the content your audience responds to, and less of what they don't.
10) Categorise your followers.
Social media gives you the opportunity to put Facebook followers into groups and Twitter followers into lists. This helps you keep track of what's hot in each area and, dare I say it, what's not!
11) Follow social media gurus.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat…the list of social media platforms available is already lengthy and it's still growing. Social media changes with every app update and new release so it's important that you stay up to date with changes and developments. Algorithm changes, new features, and best practice change all the time so add some industry experts to your own subscription list to make sure you don't miss out.
Posting content is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for social media management. If you find it hard to keep up with all the elements required to run a successful social media campaign, employ a social media manager who will make sure that your content is seen by the right audience and works with your business instead of against it.
Still not sure if you're doing social media management right? Join the discussion below in the comments!