Social media was a term that was non-existent 10 years ago. But today, it is an inevitable platform which most businesses need to leverage on. More people are looking to connect with brands online, and so it is increasingly important for businesses to establish a strong online presence, and specifically, a strong social presence.
Social media management is like marketing, except it never rests. The job of a social media manager requires one to be on the ball 24/7 - to manage, monitor and update content that not only speaks to your intended audience, but also steer your business in the right direction. Becoming your own social media manager will not be an easy feat. But by being equipped with the right skills and traits, you will soon be on your way to becoming your own expert social media guru, creating compelling and intriguing content that will connect you to your desired audience and drive your business goals effectively.
There’s no hard and fast way to succeed, and may take several rounds of trial and error before you can grasp the ways of social media marketing for your own business. Here’s our guide on you can can become your own social media manager.
To be a good social media manager, you must first understand the fundamentals of social media. A social media manager needs to know how each type of content and format (e.g., text, videos, images) work on different social networks. Different platforms differ in their main audience pool, and different types of content resonate differently across users and platforms. For instance, Twitter and Instagram's audience pool tend to skew younger as opposed to Facebook or LinkedIn. The interest groups of users on the different platforms also differ, as motivated by the different uses of the platforms. Knowing your way around the pros and cons of each platform will help you plan and strategise your social media content and efforts more effectively and efficiently.
Start small by liking or following a few reputable accounts whom you feel has a similar business model or target audience as yours, and take inspiration from the kind of content they publish. Observe their ways of interaction with their audience, and how they create or curate their content. Find out what kinds of trends tend to resonate with these audiences. Some platforms like Twitter provides a list of trending topics and #hashtags that may be culturally relevant to your audience depending on your geographical location.
Build on relevant trends that speak to your business and tweak your marketing campaigns to reflect these trends. It could be a tongue-in-cheek pun riding on a hilarious trending hashtag, or aligning your business goals to support a relevant cause. Keep in mind however, to have a well thought out campaign strategy and prevent from simply jumping on the bandwagon.
Ensure your business speaks authenticity and truly stand by its values. Take Gillette’s controversial anti-toxic masculinity ad for instance. Despite being vocal in supporting an admirable cause to end toxic masculinity, the ad was faced with an incredulous amount of backlash and calls for a boycott of the brand.
Many critics believed that a better approach could have been taken in terms of the overall messaging and strategy of the campaign, which took the audience by surprise with the brand’s sudden shift in messaging and brand purpose after 30 years. The ad targeted their viewers with a message that urged them to challenge the traits traditionally thought to reinforce manliness. Sales plunged and long-term customers boycotted the brand - but Gillette pressed on. It was only after a month since the campaign’s launch did the conversation start to shift, and did people start to see the value of the ad and applaud the brand for its bravery in their unwavering stance to challenge stereotypes for a greater cause.
Social media is a two-way street. While you are creating and posting content, you are also the face of the brand. You should also be observing and responding to conversations revolving around your brand and business. These conversations can be in the form of Facebook post comments, Twitter tweets, or Linkedin messages, and may be positive or negative.
Over the years, more and more customers are turning to social media to engage with brands for enquiries or complaints. Expectations for customer service over social media have also risen over the years. Studies have found that most customers expect a reply to their enquiries over social media within a day. 2 out of 5 customers revealed to feel more negatively towards a brand when their expectations aren’t met satisfactorily, while those who experience a positive social experience with a brand is almost 3 times more likely to recommend the brand to a friend. Knowing how to respond to these conversations timely and appropriately also requires one to be equipped with basic PR and customers service skills. When responding to tricky conversations, the rule of thumb is to respond with immediacy and a sense of urgency. Show your customers that you truly care and are in the midst of working on a resolution.
Be where your consumers are! Social media can bridge the gap between you and your consumers by providing them with a platform to engage with you. Find out where the majority of conversations about your brand are being held, and make sure you’re there too. If you find that your brand is not being talked about enough, gradually insert yourself into relevant conversations revolving about the industry.
Having a creative mindset will allow you to produce epic and captivating content that will grab and prolong your customer’s attention span. Explore different ways of content creation and never stop experimenting. Research has found that social media posts with visual content are more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media. Thus it is increasingly important for social media managers to have an eye for design to visualise and create visually appealing content.
You don’t have to possess a degree in visual or graphic design to be creating stunning images for your social media posts. There is a ton of design tools available on the internet, which will allow anyone to create beautiful designs. For an array of free templates, you may wish to try Canva, or Hubspot for creating engaging info graphics.
When it comes to content creation, be it simple Instagram captions or crafting a tweet under a 180-word limit, words matter. Having good writing skills can drive clicks and engagement rates for your content, expand your reach organically and leave a lasting impact with your audience.
Establish a distinct writing style that screams your brand identity. Take brands like Old Spice for instance, or fast-food chain Wendy’s. Both brands have cultivated a strong and burgeoning online social following due to their unconventional (and witty) approach to customer engagement on social media.
Social media should be a no-brainer and shouldn't take long for anyone to pick up. What's important is understanding each platform and maximizing it to its greatest potential. The list above is a non exhaustive and rough guide to how you can become your own social media guru. Let us know if we missed out on any important points that makes a great social media manager!
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