How to be a Great Social Media Manager

Lance Concannon Lance Concannon, Marketing Director, Europe

(Note, this blog post is a summary of our eBook, The Social Media Manager’s Playbook.)

It’s your first day on the job as a Social Media Manager, or maybe you’ve just been given responsibility for running your company’s social channels in addition to your main job. Where do you start?

The role of Social Media Manager is still relatively new as a marketing discipline, and its definition is not as well established as other roles, so it can be a little tricky to figure out exactly what you’re supposed to be doing if you’re new to the job. A good first step is to consider what are the attributes of a company that does social media well:

  • Their brands are clear and consistent across all platforms; visually, through the tone of their posts, and through their interactions with other content and users.
  • They provide great customer service by responding fast, addressing concerns, and respecting their users overall.
  • They engage with their users by remaining active on their profiles, engaging with their following and overall network, and providing interactive, useful content that keeps their audience entertained and interested.

Next you’re going to need to map out which platforms you want to establish a brand presence on, and understand how branded profiles work on those channels. For example, on Twitter a brand profile works in pretty much the same way as a personal profile, while on Facebook brand Fan Pages are very different to personal profiles. To begin with, most brands will want to focus on the main social channels; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. There are lots of others that could be useful, but don’t run before you can walk.

All of the social platforms offer different features for professional users, including publishing, engagement, moderation, analytics, audience building, and paid promotions. Learning how to make use of those features is a key part of being a Social Media Manager.

One of the most important parts of the job is creating content. You’re going to need a lot of stuff to post on these channels, and it’s your responsibility to curate and create high quality content that engages your audience and represents your brand positively. One of the most useful tools in your arsenal will be a content planning calendar, which enables you to keep track of your content development and publishing schedule.

You’ll need to learn how to plan social media campaigns. That means working out who your audience is, where they can be found, what content and messaging to target them with, and how you’re going to reach them through social. Understanding how to measure campaign performance and how to react if those metrics don’t meet your expectations is also vital.

To do that effectively you’ll need listening, research and analytics tools, and to understand your options for what third party platforms offer those capabilities.

Reporting is another essential part of the Social Media Manager’s job, and it’s important to understand how to report social media activity and results in a way that makes sense to people who don’t have any knowledge of how social works.

To read more about how you be a great Social Media Manager, download the full Social Media Manager’s Playbook.