Table of Contents
What is social media management?
Social media management is the ongoing process of creating and scheduling content designed to grow and nurture an audience across social media platforms. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Social media content strategy
- Online reputation management
- Community management and programming
- Paid social media strategy and execution
- Team member management and development
The benefits of social media management go far beyond raising brand awareness and staying current on the latest internet trends. The channel is key to building more personal connections with target audiences at scale. The rapport developed on social can build brand trust, affinity and best of all, loyalty.
The evolution of social media management
The definition of social media management is anything but fixed. Platforms and trends are constantly changing, meaning the responsibilities that go into managing a brand account are always changing as well.
For example, in less than a few years we’ve seen the creator economy completely transform how we post on social. The rise of social messaging has brought conversations from public to private, creating more personal connections between people and the brands they love. Social commerce has revolutionized how business leaders perceive the channel, taking it from awareness-focused to a full-funnel experience.
These developments prove one thing: social is driving how consumers interact with businesses, making social media roles business critical.
The role of a social media manager
Social media managers are responsible for developing the strategies that maintain and grow a social presence, on top of administrative and team development tasks. Any given day might involve content creation, campaign strategies, career planning, analytics reporting—the list goes on.
Being successful in such a fluid role requires a unique set of skills, including but not limited to:
- Critical thinking
Combined, these talents help social media professionals manage the evolving needs of this business-critical channel.
Team member management
Data from The Sprout Social Index™ 2022 shows that more than three-fourths (88%) of marketers anticipate expanding their team over the next two years.
This type of growth can be an amazing opportunity, but it does come with a learning curve. Developing your team’s talent also means committing to your ongoing development.
Here are four skills to work on as you build out your social media team:
- Reporting and analytics: As you move into a people management position, you’ll find yourself having to speak on behalf of your team’s efforts more often. Understanding how to gather and synthesize data is key to explaining the impact of your social media management strategy.
- Time management: This one is especially critical in hybrid or remote work. Stand-ups, one-on-ones, project kickoffs and all the other meetings that need to happen to execute a strategy can quickly eat away at your calendar. Protect your time by scheduling designated focus hours and conducting regular meeting audits.
- Feedback: Being able to give and receive constructive feedback is more than a skill. It’s a superpower. The majority of HR leaders (89%) agree that ongoing peer feedback is the secret to better business outcomes.
- Empathy: Most social media professionals have to stay online through brand crises, world tragedies and times of uncertainty. Don’t wait until someone is battling burnout to start taking preventative measures. Advocate for your team by keeping mental health at the forefront of your conversations during the good times and the bad.
Have you ever thought about buying from a company only to find out they have poor online reviews? Did you follow through on that purchase? If you didn’t, you’re not alone.
According to a study from BrightLocal, just 3% of shoppers say they would consider using a business with an average rating of two or fewer stars.
Social media reputation management is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of social media management. While it may not fall under a social professional’s core responsibilities, it’s vital to the success of all businesses.
If you’re new to online reputation management, here are three rules that can guide your strategy:
1. Ask for reviews with tact
You don’t have to wait for reviews to roll in on their own. Sometimes, you just need to ask.
Reach out to fans and power users to see if they’d be interested in sharing their experiences with your product or services. Be sure to make the process as easy as possible. Providing a specific prompt or template can increase customer follow-through.
2. Respond to both the good and the bad
That same BrightLocal survey found that more than half of consumers are unlikely to use businesses that don’t respond to reviews.
Responding to negative reviews can be difficult but it’s also a powerful way to let consumers know that you hear and respect their feedback.
3. Be proactive about risk management
Feedback won’t always come through direct channels. People often will talk about your business on their personal profiles without tagging or mentioning your brand account.
A social listening strategy can help you stay on top of the many conversations surrounding your business and industry. Use a social listening tool (like Sprout’s!) to support an opportunity-driven brand reputation management strategy that helps you create lasting connections with your audience.
Social media management and scheduling tools
Managing an active social media presence with native publishing tools was challenging five years ago. Today, it's virtually impossible to do alone.
Between sharing content, responding to consumers and managing paid initiatives, social media calendars are more jam-packed than ever. Businesses must invest in social media management and scheduling tools to keep up with the demands of a modern social media strategy.
These tools can do more than save time. The benefits of a social media management tool include the following:
- Increased brand awareness with optimized post times for improved performance.
- Better engagement by consolidating inbound messages into a single location for faster response times.
- Improved analytics that provide a more holistic view into the overall performance of your social strategy.
Adopting a social media management tool can enrich your entire marketing tech stack, making it easier to connect the dots on social's impact across your organization.
Managing a social media calendar
Your social media content strategy outlines the overarching themes that inform your publishing schedule and how it relates to business goals. Your social media content calendar provides a more granular look at what you're posting and when across platforms.
In an ideal state, your content calendar can support organization and brainstorming. A bird's eye view of your upcoming social media posts can help determine if you're hitting the content mix outlined in your strategy.
For example, say recruiting top talent is a high priority for your business. A look at your social media content calendar can tell you whether or not you have enough employer brand posts scheduled over the next week or month.
This visibility will make it easier to identify which content themes need more attention. Pro tip: if you're using Sprout, you can use the Calendar Notes feature to keep track of potential content ideas.
Additional resources for Social Media Management
Top 18 social media management tools for businesses in 2024
Social media management costs for businesses in 2023
What is social media management? Everything you need to know
Social media management services: 9 agencies your brand should check out
17 social media management tips for productivity and organization
10 tips on how to effectively manage your Instagram followers
Plan, launch, report: How to master social media campaign management
The right time to invest in new enterprise social media software
How to build a brand with celebrity social media management