Over the past ten years, the need for social media managers has boomed as social media has become a more integral part of marketing efforts. A good social media manager can help your business in several different ways.
Content is a key component in any marketing strategy, especially social media, where content needs to be optimized for each social network. For example,
captions written for an Instagram post might be written in a more relaxed, relatable voice, while LinkedIn requires a more professional, business-oriented tone.
A social media manager has a strong understanding of brand voice and tone, adaptability, positioning and creativity. A well-adapted caption or blog post that speaks directly to your audience can lead to higher engagement and help to position your brand as an authority in the eyes of consumers.
2. Multimedia Production
Right now, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and 92% value video as a valuable marketing tool. With the growth of visual platforms like Youtube, Tiktok, and Instagram, visual content creation skills are increasingly necessary.
Whether that means creating video content for Tiktok and Reels, images or graphics for Facebook, or curating photos for Instagram, social media managers will be able to leverage that trend to help you grow your following.
Even Twitter, a traditionally text-based platform, is veering towards visuals. Studies show that a tweet with both an image and a link is 55% more likely to lead to clicks than a tweet with just a link.
3. Metrics Analysis
Looking at a dashboard full of analytics can be overwhelming. A social media manager will dig into the data, analyze it, and draw actionable insights to improve performance.
Your social media manager should use metrics as feedback when they test new strategies, new content, and new campaigns. That might look like post frequency tests, a/b testing, or content refinement. It will help to inform their decision-making around building effective standards for how your brand's social media efforts are handled.
4. News Curation and Newsjacking
Your social media manager will be able to find new marking opportunities for your company by keeping track of your industry, news, and social media trends. They will also be aware of what is changing on social networks and within the industry - when shifts happen or new trends spring up, they need to be able to react accordingly.
One such upcoming change is an update to Instagram. The platform will soon be switching from its traditional square photo grid to rectangular, fullscreen photos. Your social media manager will be aware of changes like these and will adapt your content strategy accordingly.
Another way they stay on top of things can be the capitalization on a news trend, hashtag or story. The term for this is 'newsjacking'. This is a strategy that can help your brand get discovered by piggybacking or adding to a larger conversation happening online.
A couple of great examples of newsjacking:
Netflix's response to IHOP changing its name to IHOB. The Netflix Twitter account tweeted "brb changing my name to Netflib."
In 2019 the internet was abuzz with a plan to raid Area 51. Oreo went to Twitter and joked, "What flavours do you think they're hiding in #Area51?", resulting in the tweet being replied to by thousands of Twitter users and even other brands.
After Peloton ran a commercial in which a man gifts his wife a Peloton for Christmas (and the brand subsequently suffered the internet's displeasure for not being body positive and reinforcing dated gender norms), Ryan Reynolds hired the same actress from the Peloton commercial to shoot for his brand, Aviation Gin, in a direct rebuttal. Reynolds even tweeted out the ad with the caption "Excercise bike not included" and later explained that he hired Ruiz (the actress) only hours after the original ad aired.
Newsjacking can be a great way for brands to affordably and quickly gain likeability, brand awareness and engagement on social networks - as long as it is handled appropriately. Something funny and harmless like the Area 51 tweet is funny and memorable, whereas the Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner is out of touch, in poor taste, and memorable for all the wrong reasons.
5. Customer Care
When your social media manager is running your account, they are the voice of your company. They will be answering comments and questions about products, services, pricing and content - both positive and negative. Your community manager must be able to communicate with people who are at different stages of the purchasing funnel and in different moods or dispositions.
In short, they have strong communication skills, are adaptable in their approach, and have an ability to troubleshoot along with a good working knowledge of your company's products and services.
These qualities are ever more important as more and more customer service moves online. Though there can be drawbacks, there are benefits as well. Responding to customers online can save a great deal of time and money, and can be an excellent way to showcase your company's exemplary customer service.
6. Community Management and Facilitation
Traditional advertising is often explained as advertisers talking at the public. Social media turns that on its head. On social media, we have conversations with individuals. Instead of simply broadcasting our messages into the great wide world and hoping for a response, we have the opportunity to talk to people rather than at them.
The same goes for the communities built around brands and products. True communities don't just engage with the company, they also engage with each other. A good social media manager can facilitate those conversations by seeding in questions to keep the discussion going, and kicking out people who detract from the community (spammers, trolls and the like).
A vibrate, engaged community turns customers into brand advocates. If they like your community, they'll recommend it to others. Word of mouth exposure is still the most trusted way for people to get recommendations, and it's an amazing way to increase your reach.
7. Project Management and Campaign Coordination
Social media plays a large role in promoting initiatives from different departments across a company. A social media manager should be able to effectively balance these priorities with other relevant and engaging content - remember, it's important to win over your following as well as your internal stakeholders.
For smaller businesses, your social media manager will walk the balance between content marketing and direct advertising. Traditional wisdom tells us that looks like 80% content that provides value to your audience and 20% direct selling methods. That balance may shift slightly to either side at times, but for the most part, it holds true.
8. Sales Funnel Management
Many people think of social media as a tool that helps only the top of the sales funnel, which is untrue. It can expand the reach of your content, attract visitors to your website, generate leads, and can nurture those leads into becoming customers.
Your social media manager will be able to pick, share, and create content that works toward each of these goals. From sharing content that generates leads to interacting one on one with potential customers who are on the cusp of considering and buying, they will shepherd followers down the funnel.
According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% of digital consumers use social media as a tool when researching products and services. With the right person managing your socials, you can leverage that awareness in your favour.
Overall, social media management is a diverse role to fill. Your social media manager will wear many different hats over the course of their time with your business, each one providing value and working in unique ways to improve your return on investment.