What Is Social Media Management? [And How It Has Evolved]

Todd Kunsman

Head of Marketing

19 minute read

Social Media Engagement

Social media management is now an essential job and something that every brand needs to excel at. While it is possible to still do well as a brand without social media, you put your company at a huge disadvantage when it is not taken as seriously as it should.

The data doesn’t lie, social media is here to stay and is growing in relevance to all business operations with no plateau in sight. 

According to research from Oberlo, there are over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. And 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users.

Think about everything it impacts for your business: generating leads, branding, customer service, recruiting, and employer branding. And not to mention that it can help individuals build a personal brand and grow their own networks. 

But what is true social media management? Why does this matter so much? How has it evolved over the years and what does your organization need to do to stand out on these social networks? I’ll explore these items and more below. 

 

What is Social Media Management?

Social media management is the process your organization takes to manage your social media presences on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter by creating, promoting, and analyzing content you post. In addition, social media management includes engaging and interacting with social media users and customers.

And social media management is not just as simple as posting updates daily or weekly to branded accounts. It’s about creativity, strategies, engaging audiences, and making social content the gateway between people and your company. 

 

Why social media management matters

Besides the obvious answer that a massive slice of humankind is on social media, what’s easily overlooked is how strategic social media management offers many benefits to your company. Here are a few, which many you might already employ:

Cost-effectiveness – While you can pay for social ads, being active and connecting with audiences is free to do. 

Brand building – Your target audiences, employees, and current customers are all online and engaging with social media. With effective management, social media platforms can build your brand and increase awareness for your company’s products or services. 

Relationship building – It’s one of the easiest ways to connect with current consumers and build relationships with potential customers. They have direct access to your content and brand, and your company has direct access to engage and start conversations with them. 

And if you need more reasons to empower social media management at your company, we can always turn to the amazing data out there. Here are a few stats that push the needle for social media management:

  • 80% of people get advice about a purchase through social media. (Webfx)
  • 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
  • Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through the channel. (PWC)
  • 76% of American consumers purchased a product after seeing a brand’s social post. (Curalate
  • 53% of consumers say they’re likely to buy from brands that are transparent on social. (SproutSocial)

What is Involved in Social Media Management?

If you ask people outside of marketing what social media management is or what’s involved, you’d probably get generic answers like “posting on social media all day.” 

While posting on social media platforms is part of the job and any social media management strategy, there is much more to it than that. So what does social media management involve specifically?

 

Choosing the right social media platforms

There are plenty of social media platforms to choose from and each serve a potentially different purpose and audience. For most organizations, being on the big networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest will probably make the most sense. But it could extend beyond that to other outlets like Snapchat, TikTok, and international social networks too. 

 

Creating a social media strategy

How will you use branded social media accounts to attract and engage audiences. What type of content will you post and share? What type of posting schedule will you have? Are we going to get employees involved in social media via employee advocacy? What social guidelines should our company have in place? 

These questions and more are things you need to consider and may need to adjust over time.

And your organization will probably need different strategies for each social network. As the type of audience, how they engage, and the content that resonates with them will vary and be personalized to your company. 

 

Developing the content and creating

Another aspect to social media management is creating and developing the content you want for social media sharing. Certainly you will share links, but you also need to create engaging copy to go with it. 

And if you are being creative, you may need to work with other teams to create content. Like videos, new visuals, and specific social campaigns.

This is also where social media managers will be learning about the audience and provide the content mediums that best drive results. 

 

Running social media advertising campaigns

Another part of social media management is running social media advertising campaigns.

Most organizations will spend money on ads via social channels to re-engage audiences or attract target demographics to their content, product, or services. 

While it is more advertising, you are using the social campaigns and other insights to drive audiences to your brand.

 

Responding to customers and fans

A huge part of successful social media management is not just posting content, but engaging with audiences. Responding to questions, concerns, and other comments helps branded accounts seem more human and trustworthy. 

And as your brand grows, customers will look towards social media to have a quick means of accessing your company. Responding and engaging with customers consistently benefits your brand. 

Remember, social accounts should be used to build relationships beyond customers too. It’s a place to engage with prospects, engage with influencers, and connect with other organizations for potential partnership opportunities. 

 

Social listening and reporting results

Social media is more than just engaging and creating, it’s also about listening. What are people saying about your brand? Are there insights that can help your social strategy, as well as other areas of your company?

And you can also monitor what competitors are sharing and how audiences are talking about their brand. This provides amazing insights to help guide the social strategy even further. 

Additionally, social media management includes analyzing data and reporting results from social efforts. How is this tying into marketing, sales, employer branding, and recruiting? What is the ROI from the social strategy?

Vanity metrics might still be interesting to monitor too, but you want to look at the data that matters most to your organization. 

 

How Social Media Management Has Evolved

As you know, social media management involves many things and the job is not necessarily as easy as outsides might make it out to be. 

Yet, just when brands think they have their strategy down and the process in a good rhythm – the market and demands of audiences shift. Over time, it has evolved and new important areas come up that your brand must consider. 

And these won’t be the last changes that social media will see as the years progress, but it’s important your brand stays aware and is taking advantage of new opportunities before others do.

 

The power of social video

With social media, comes the importance of visuals – especially video. While sharing links to videos has been around, the evolution of native video and live streaming has changed the game. 

Sometimes the best way to grab attention and get engagement is through the use of video. It’s a way to easily show and educate audiences, yet also showcase the personalities of those behind the company. 

That means your social media management needs to include a strategy for native video uploads to social channels and interacting live as well. This can come from personal brands of employees or from the brand’s official social media accounts. 

 

Employee advocacy

While the ideas of employees sharing on social media is not necessarily a novel concept, it has only just started to catch on.

Social media platforms have existed for over a decade, but only now are brands understanding the value that employee personal brands can have for benefiting all areas of the business. 

This means social media management now includes how to improve employee involvement, get them engaging and creating, and being the face of the organization to their networks. 

Social strategies are now including employees, helping guide them on creating content, and sharing information that draws their networks to them and the organization. 

For example, Teradata helps 900+ employees create and share content to their networks through EveryoneSocial. Learn more about their use case with employee advocacy

 

Building community 

When you think about social media, you need to be thinking about it as a community. In the past, social channels were just a way to push out your branded product or services and that was it. 

While social networks can be a great marketing and sales tool, that has shifted into building a community first. 

You want followers who become fans of your insights, knowledge, honesty, engagement, and value. Certainly you can sprinkle in sales and marketing specific content, but your goal is no longer to push obvious sales material. 

When you build a community you will find people flocking to your branded pages, employees, and ads. And you’ll discover more people want to be included in this community and be a part of what it is your company does. And social media management can facilitate just that. 

 

Humanizing social media content

If you haven’t noticed yet, take a look at some of the best brands in the world on social media. 

Many of the ones you follow or search for, you may notice are engaging and creating content that is clearly authored by a human and intended for a human audience.

Meaning, the social copy is written like someone would speak, marketing and sales jargon is removed, branded comments are not robotic sounding, etc. 

A huge part of social media management is not looking like everything is a bunch of scheduled posts with a lame line of copy. Yes, you can and probably should use a scheduling tool – but that does not mean the copy can’t be interesting and empathetic. 

Social media management almost makes your marketing team become psychologists. You study the audience, what they engage with and like, and apply that to the brand voice. 

 

Best Social Media Management Tools

Inevitably, to help your organization succeed with social media and a strategy, there will be some social media management tools you’ll want to consider using. There is no shortage of options for you, but here are a few of the best ones depending on your needs. 

 

Buffer

The social media management platform Buffer has been a leader in this space for scheduling and organizing social media posts. Over the years the company has grown fast and expanded their product offerings for analytics, engagement, and even team collaboration. 

 

CoSchedule

Being organized is a key area to successful social media management. This is where CoSchedule can be a great tool for your team and company. The platform allows you to organize and schedule out your marketing projects on an easy to use calendar. Like full social media management and posting, collaboration, blog content, etc.

 

EveryoneSocial 

As social media strategies have expanded, EveryoneSocial has become an essential platform to organize content and easily enable employees to be informed of the latest content, share to their networks, and create content as well. Other features include social listening, pulling in content from various sources and keywords, engaging with branded social content posts, and more. 

 

HubSpot 

Although HubSpot started out as a marketing automation platform, it’s quickly grown to an all out marketing tool that includes social media options. Now all your marketing is in one location, helping understand your ROI and analytics. With social media, you can schedule posts to multiple networks, get analytics, monitor conversations, and reply to mentions from the platform. 

 

Nuvi 

Another social media management tool to consider is Nuvi. This platform provides real-time data visualization and insights from social media that help guide your strategy. For instance, you can gather information about your audience, what people are saying about your brand, monitor social campaigns, and get instant alerts on social conversations. 

 

Final Thoughts

Where B2C and B2B brands are currently situated on social media today would strongly suggest that the first step of any social media strategy now is to enable employee experience.

Positioning employee experiences and their stories is the best way to establish trust with your audiences and put a human face to your brand.

This goes without saying, activating executives for any social media management strategy is also highly impactful and increasingly popular amongst top brands that are successfully capturing social media for every aspect of their company’s growth.

If you are interested in learning more about how EveryoneSocial fits into your social media management strategy, we’d love to talk more.


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