5 Habits of Highly Successful Social Media Managers
There’s more to being a successful social media manager than keeping your networks updated and responding to questions and feedback. You need to look beyond the day-to-day grind and take the time to pull yourself out of the weeds.
Managing social media for any organization is a definitely a juggling act. Not only do you need to stay on top of the latest trends and maintain engaged conversations in your social networks, you need to have clear goals you want to accomplish. You also need to connect those goals with the goals of the entire organization.
If you’re a social media manager, or you’re looking to hire someone for this position, you’ll find these five habits common to all successful practitioners in this field useful to study.
1. Learn the Latest Tools, But Don’t Act on Them Right Away
When you’re leading the social media charge you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the new and shiny tools. However, knowing when to adopt these tools — and leap into the latest platform — is key.
As a social media manager, you’ve no doubt heard your boss say, “Why aren’t we on insert-latest-social-network-here?” Maybe you acted and got right on that social network, but it’s not always worth your time to jump on every bandwagon as soon as it comes along.
If you want to manage your time accordingly, you have to consider each new item you’re adding to your task list. Ask yourself a few questions first:
- Is this new social network a good fit for your brand?
- Is your target audience on this network? Or, is there an audience here you’re trying to grow?
- Is the time you’ll spend on this network worth the return on investment?
2. Prioritize and Monitor Your Efforts
Though it’s important to keep your eye on the latest trends, alternatively, you need to assess your current efforts and decide when it’s time to cut a social network loose.
The most successful social media managers analyze their numbers and know when to double-up their efforts — or when to cut the cord. Here are a couple of questions to consider:
- Have you noticed that your efforts with a particular network are no longer netting the same returns?
- Has the audience in that network changed and is no longer a good target for your content?
3. Have Goals and Plans
Making plans and setting benchmarks is key to growing your social media efforts. Take into account your company’s fiscal plans, and relate your social media goals and plans as closely as you can. Of course, some of your goals for your social networks will be exclusive to social media. Tracking your progress and maintaining a healthy level of growth is very important to showing that your plans and goals are realistic and attainable.
Remember that you don’t want to set your goals at the beginning of the fiscal year and forget about them. Meet with your team regularly and track your efforts throughout the year, and even month-over-month. If you haven’t done a lot of tracking, it’s good to start looking at those numbers on paper now. Plotting your course year-over-year will help you see the natural trends in your business. It also provides a good foundation when setting your goals for the year ahead.
4. Engage with Your Entire Organization
A lot of companies today struggle with finding the right organizational locations for their social media teams. Depending on the type of business you work for, it could logically sit in a few places. That’s why the most successful social media managers consider themselves a part of several teams, and are consistently reaching out across the organization.
Social media can touch just about every department in an organization from HR to customer service to marketing and communications. As the leader for social in your organization, you need to put yourself in a lot of different head spaces and make sure that you’re meeting the needs of the entire business.
5. Brand Evangelism Goes Beyond 9-5
The most successful and effective social media managers truly believe in what they’re selling and promoting. If you can’t get behind the business 100 per cent, and if you’re not the type of person who’ll talk about the product or business in just about any setting, then you may not be fully committed.
If you’re attaching your name to a product, it’s not only because the company is paying you a salary. It should be because when you talk about that brand or product, you are the genuine article who believes in it. So much of social networking relies upon your communication skills and genuine believability. If you’re truly immersed in the job, you’ll find yourself naturally talking about the product beyond your work hours.
As a social media manager, how do you keep things on track? Please share your comments and tips below.