SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
“Social media management is a practice that supports your digital marketing and social media strategies. It’s an important part of running an effective social media strategy because it explains how your brand will participate (think content publishing, rules of engagement with customers etc.)”
What Is Social Media Management?
Social Media Management is simply the managing of social media marketing efforts for your business. Social media is becoming more important to local businesses every day for gathering leads, attracting new customers, building repeat business and building your company’s brand. That management can be done internally by an owner or an employee, or it could hired out to a professional social media manager or agency. Tip – A good social media program should be uniquely tailored to your business.
Does Your Business Need Social Media Management?
It’s a given that local businesses that want to grow NEED social media marketing, but every niche and client base is different. Each company has different needs and goals at different times. For example, a roofing contractor may need a LOT of marketing in the winter months to keep their crews busy, but in the springtime they don’t need any at all because they have more business than they can handle at that time of year. Other examples would be the type of market or niche that a company is in. A concrete contractor has entirely different social media marketing needs than a spa or gym. Any business can benefit from social media marketing efforts, but you should evaluate your own businesses position.
What Is a Social Media Manager or Agency?
These are trained professionals who have a high level of experience and knowledge in social media. Social Media Marketing is not outlandishly complicated (it’s not rocket science), but it is complex and ever-changing. A good social media manager will have experience, knowledge, and be up to date on the latest happenings in the social world. Good social media managers eat, sleep, and breathe those complexities and use them to the advantage of their client to achieve maximum results. Local businesses can usually achieve their goals with individual managers but sometimes an agency is a better choice. An agancy is simply a company that employs a team of managers, usually specialists in different areas of social media marketing to manage a company’s needs.
Social Media Goals
Each company has different social media needs but, in general, they use social media platforms to build their brand and attract new and repeat business. Business owners and managers should give thought to how best use social media to achieve their specific goals. There are lots of different social media platforms and marketing strategies, aiming at different goals and results. In a small business every dollar spent is critical, so it is more important than ever for owners to really spend some time evaluating their goals and how to achieve them. A good social media manager will assist in this process before they even discuss building or implementing a marketing program with you. Tip – We highly recommend using a professional manager to maximize your marketing spend and results.
What Social Media Platforms Should Be Managed?
Any social media platform where your customers or prospective customers spend time are important and your content should definitely be managed, at least to some degree. Most companies can make use of all the major social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Some highly specialized companies may even use some industry-specific platforms like message boards or forums. No matter what, the structure and type of content posted for your business, as well as tracking program results and making adjustments, are critical to your marketing. That’s why this portion of your business really needs to be managed.
Social Media Management Tools
There are many professional online tools available to help manage your businesses social media footprint. Some of the most well-known are Hubspot, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. Like all tools, each has different specialties and targets different areas of marketing. With enough time, energy, and investment, anyone can learn how to use these tools. There are too many to really dive deep into here, but there are PLENTY of online articles, trainings, and videos that explain the different tools and how to use them. Social Media Management pros already know how to use them to maximum effect.
So Let’s DO This!
If you’ve read this far in this post then you’ve probably decided that your company should have a managed social media marketing plan to achieve your sales and growth goals. So now what? Keeping in mind that every business has very different goals, here is a basic outline of the steps you should proceed through to build and maintain a good, solid, social media marketing campaign:
STEP 1 – Learn Social Media Management yourself or hire a manager
As we said earlier, anyone, with enough time and effort, can educate themselves and learn how to develop a social media marketing strategy for their company. Do you have the time and resources to work on this yourself? If you think you do that’s great but be aware that once you start the process it is very important to follow it all the way through for it to be effective. Certainly, you want the best ROI (Return On Investment) from your invested time and money, so be clear, and make managing and growing your social media properties a priority in your work days. You’ll be glad you did.
However, if you’ve decided that you need a professional marketer to handle this for you, then go about interviewing a few and find a good one. How do you know what a “good one” is? The first indication will be if a person or agency takes the time to ask you a lot of questions about your business and REALLY understand how it operates and what your goals are. The second would be if they shoot straight with you about your expectations and what it will take for them to be achieved. We cannot stress enough that search engine marketing, while important and effective, is a long-term strategy. It takes time and patience to build your brand online and create enough content for Google to see your company as an authority in your niche. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you “pie in the sky” just to get your money and run! Third, you want to feel good about, and have a rapport with, the person or agency you will be entrusting your business reputation to. Take a bit of time to build a relationship and trust with them. It will pay off in the long run. When you feel confident then pick someone and get going!
STEP 2 – Perform a Baseline Audit and Some Market Research In Your Busness Niche
The first thing to be done in marketing a business is to take a hard look about its current situation. Is it currently running any marketing campaigns? Has it run any in the past? What were the results? What worked and what did not? What are the owners’ goals and were they achieved? Try to identify the traits that made a campaign work or fail. Was it choosing the wrong platform? Or maybe the content was poorly or well written and executed. Taking the time to evaluate past performance now will save you a lot of effort in the future!
Next, take a look at the market that the business operates in and its competition. What geographical areas are covered? Is it a broad niche or a micro one? For example if the business is a restaurant, is it specialized? Vegan? A steakhouse? Ethnic? If it’s a real estate brokerage does it specialize in residential properties, commercial, or both? Make darn sure you have identified the market, what the competition is doing, what customers are searching for online (this is an art unto itself), and what is selling in this niche. Be specific and focused.
STEP 3 – Pick Your Social Platforms and Build a Strategy
The next challenge is to identify what social media platforms will best serve your companies growth. This can be easy or difficult. For some businesses this is a no-brainer. A local coffee shop will need the best ranking it can possibly get in Google Maps (people will search there), and consistent attention to its Facebook business page. A remodeling contractor will need a beautiful, detailed, and keyword rich website highlighting their work for people to see. A personal trainer could use a robust YouTube page with lots of videos highlighting their expertise, giving free training tips, and establishing a personal connection with prospective clients. As you can see every business is different. If the company has been in business for any length of time the owner should have a pretty good feel for his or her market. Then do some research to see what social media platforms the most prospective new clients or customers would be likely to be active on. Focus the marketing there.
A basic strategy will be needed to get started. It will probably evolve with time and trial and error, but to begin with establish a general framework of where to start. Budget (time and money both) will play a part in this.
STEP 4 – Building Social Media Profiles and Ads
Once you have decided what social media platforms you will focus your efforts on, profiles of the business on these platforms need to be either built or maximized if they have already been started. Each social media account should be properly set up with all business information completely entered accurately. To build the profiles, create posts, post a lot of keyword enhanced photos, and do this consistently. Maximizing social media profiles is NOT a one shot deal. It is important to regularly add to those profiles to keep feeding Google more content. This will continually increase your businesses visibility in search rankings.
If your social media marketing strategy includes running ads on some platforms, it is important that those ads are written and structured in ways that produce the most response and the best results. Proper and effective copywriting is an acquired skill based on research and prior results. Some of it is even just trial and error! Try something, quantify the results, then try something else, quantify those results, and on. Then as you evaluate those results you can keep fine tuning them for maximum effect.
STEP 5 – Creating and Activating a Social Media Management Calendar
Once you have a strategy established and some content produced, you will want to create a plan for WHEN you want to post ads and content. Each business is a bit different here as far as what dates and times your content should be posted, but for any business the posts should be regular and consistent. In SEO, content is king, and the more relevant content you can get linked to your business, the better. There are great tools available that help automate the posting of content. It’s too complex to explain in this short overview, but the basic idea is that you create content, put together a plan of how and when to post it, and use online tools to automate the process. Again, there are hundreds of online articles and videos about how and when to post content. Is it worth you figuring all this out for yourself, or hiring a marketing pro to do it for you? That decision is yours but you can probably guess what WE would recommend.
STEP 6 – Evaluate Your Plans Performance and Make Adjustments
Whew! Now that your social media management plan has been written, planned and executed you just sit back and watch the customers and leads roll in right? Well, not exactly. It is important that any marketing plan be monitored and its results evaluated. It’s a constant refinement process. Smart marketers use tools and techniques to quickly and efficiently evaluate results of their efforts and adjust for better and better results, thereby maximizing the company’s return on investment. For sure that’s what we do here at Elevate Solutions Group!
Most Importantly, Get Started TODAY!
You competitors are almost certainly doing SOME type of social media marketing. DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND! The good news is that a lot of your competition doesn’t have a good social media manager or strategy! Proper and consistent attention in this area of your business will result in dominaion of your market online, more new customers and GROWTH.
At Elevate Solutions Group, we consider the companies we work with to be partners, not clients. Many marketing agencies are great at flashy presentations filled with fancy words and technical terms to convince you how effective they are. We’re a bit different. We use a combination of the latest technology and online marketing techniques, mixed with old school common sense, to get the results you need. We look you in the eye, shake your hand and work WITH you to build your business.
The sooner we get started, the sooner we turn your investment into increased revenue and profits. Reach out to us by email or phone to get a free social media audit and evaluation for your business. There’s no obligation and once we have that report we can make some recommendations on how you should proceed.
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Elevate Solutions Group helps small businesses grow by attracting, engaging and retaining customers using a combination of the latest digital marketing technologies and old-school common sense marketing.