Social media managers live minute-by-minute–always ready to put out fires, do their detective work and above all–make customers happy.
They’re modern-day superheroes.
And most get by without the flash and flare or overly-contoured costumes. Instead, they hide in plain sight on marketing teams around the world.
Some go by different names–such as community managers, but the job ultimately resolves around the same premise.
These roles demand multi-tasking and customer care actions at the drop of a pin.
And consumers aren’t afraid to make their voices heard on social media–whether it’s good or bad.
There’s a lot to learn here–even if some of this does feel like a refresher–that will solidify and strengthen your social media marketing strategy.
Whether you’re a growing brand or enterprise organization, everyone benefits from adopting the successful habits of social media managers.
See if these five habits ring true to you:
Habit 1: Takes the Time to Learn the Value of Social Tools
First off–this isn’t a speed race. Looking for overnight marketing success? Well, you should probably look to winning the lotto.
Building a community, crafting a unique style and gaining brand loyalty takes time.
That’s why you have to learn about which tool can honestly bump your social value.
Did you know 89% of social messages to brands go ignored?
How do you fix that working solely on native platforms?
Let’s be real–you can’t. That’s why so many businesses rely on social media tools to handle their biggest pain points.
Whether it’s monitoring engagement, tracking engagement benchmarks or needing to schedule content in advanced–there’s a tool for that.
We know–there’s a million different options out there.
But don’t sleep on the premium social media management tools that resolve every brand need.
Sure–some freebies and cheap monthly plans get you by, but to truly track, analyze and monitor your brand–you need full coverage.
Research shows 38% of businesses said having poor social tools was the No. 1 challenge to measuring ROI.
Every social media manager has a preferred set of tools just like a mechanic trusts a certain brand of wrenches.
Take the time to investigate what could work best with your organization because your results might surprise you.
And more brands are turning to third-party analytics to dive deep and uncover insights into their social strategy.
In fact, a recent report from Netbase discovered 56% of businesses rely on social analytics tools for more successful and profitable social campaigns.
What does that mean for social media marketers? Well, this stat says it’s time to get analyzing.
Habit 2: Sets Realistic Goals & Knows How to Measure Them
You’ve addressed your weaknesses and researched tools to fix them–now what? It’s time to get strategizing.
Your brand has a vision, statement or goal it’s working toward.
As for social media managers, a great habit is to align social media and business goals.
Without any goal structure, how else will you know your investment is affecting your bottom line?
So what goals do successful social media managers use?
The question is what matters most to you? From the previous report, 56% of businesses said their No. 1 challenge was tying social media to positive business outcomes.
Make sure your goals answer the pressing questions. Is it building a bigger audience? Improving ROI?
Driving more in-store sales? Or is it creating more brand awareness about your product?
Don’t overwhelm yourself and check off all the above.
Smart social media managers choose one or two goals that are achievable and can show real results.
Once you have your goals nailed down, you have to identify the goal metrics ASAP.
Avoid setting weak goal metrics like 5,000 new followers.
Vanity metrics have their time and place, but when starting fresh, you have to build real goals.
Try to use goal metrics such as link clicks if you’re wanting to improve in-store sales.
Additionally, you could measure post reach and page and post impressions to see how your content is performing if awareness is a key goal.
Your social media goals should easily merge with your overall metrics. Better yet–great managers know their goals and implement a strategy immediately.
The best of the best don’t make this a six-month project–instead, they look to get results right from the start.
Yes, it takes time, but don’t sleep on benchmarking those metrics.
Habit 3: You Don't Just Wear Many Hats–You Own Them All
Social media managers are great with mastering brand personalities.
Whether it’s through GIFs, replies, posting engaging content or finding industry data, these folks know how to communicate.
Right there, that’s a lot of “hats to wear” for a single marketer.
But the really good ones, the “social media experts,” don’t just wear hats, they own the whole store.
One of the best habits of social media managers is knowing the company sandbox and having a role throughout the entire organization.
Social now revolves around the whole organization–from communications and customer service to IT and sales.
These experts know the department thoroughly and probably have strong opinions in the process.
Smart social media managers see the company from a bird’s-eye view.
They benefit from the guard-tower approach toward the business and create a collaborative, participatory environment for those around them. Let’s just further inspect a few areas where social media managers shine:
- Advertising: Does your paid social team collaborate with social teams? Nearly 74% of users follow a brand on social because they’re interested in the product or service–does your paid team know this? Great managers work both organic and paid content into their social strategy.
- Customer Success: What keeps your customer retention numbers high? Obviously a good product, but also the ease to communicate with brands at nearly any time. If social teams have the output, being available is key to happy customers.
- Support/IT: Oh no, is your website down? Where do you think the first place consumers go? Social teams have to work closely with support and IT to ensure customers get immediate information on down times, bugs and other issues.
- Content Marketing: You trust your content marketers to write the best copy possible–does every Tweet or Facebook update run through their department? Social media teams have to collaborate with content creation to ensure the brand voice is on point.
- Sales: Where do you send potential customers coming through social networks? The best social media teams put on their sales hat and drive leads to the sales department on regular basis. If there’s no connection, you’re missing the point of social media for business.
Habit 4: The Open Sign is Always On–But You Know What to Prioritize
Approximately 1 in every 3 minutes spent online occurs on a social network or messaging app.
This means you’re in the trenches 24/7 with communication hours always open, right?
The last thing a successful social media manager does is get burnt out.
No one is saying it can’t happen, but good work ethic and knowing when to “sign off” are important factors to success.
Why is burnout such a big deal? Let’s start with the idea of an angry customer Tweeting after a long day, declaring for your business to fix their issue now.
Just like any customer service representative out there will tell you–patience is the key to virtue.
And that’s not the only problem you will run into.
Having the “always on” approach is good for brand evangelism, but for social media managers, it’s a pace you will never catch up with. It’s easy to get sloppy, rush publishing and post some pretty average content when you’re always going.
The best social media management requires folks to be laser-focused and ultimately be present.
However, having off-time is critical for effective marketing.
Know when to ask for help or when to get other team members to pitch in on the work.
We’ll say it a million times–collaboration is a pillar to streamlined and better team workflows.
When you focus on collaborative efforts within your organization, you keep content fresh, customers happy, and most importantly, yourself sane.
Habit 5: You're Always a Step Ahead of the Game
“Did you hear about…” or “Did you see on Twitter…” likely never come out of the mouth of an expert social media manager.
Why? Because these folks are always one or sometimes two steps ahead of the curve.
It doesn’t matter if it’s trends, memes, industry news or Kardashian updates–they’re covered.
This is what makes good social media managers to begin with–they’re always up to date and knowledgeable about the online space.
And if they’re at the forefront of well–everything internet–then these people know how to look at historical data and assess performance.
For expert social managers, it’s easier for them to analyze progress and figure out where to improve.
Big decisions have to regularly be made about the value of specific social channels, where demographics are moving on social and what causes performance to spike or decline.
Social media changes so quickly that one network can appear outdated before you even build your audience there.
It takes great decision-making efforts to weigh the benefits of certain strategies on social media.
And a good manager will do this.
It’s true–social media management has the chance to be sexy, seductive and professionally satisfying.
But it’s just as equally daunting, daring and downright brutal.
It takes a lot of effort, but it truly pays to be ahead in the social media game.
It not only makes your work better, but it helps the other departments you touch as well.
To stay on top of your game, focus on these five habits and you will undoubtedly reach new levels of success.
Don’t let a few quirks ruin your social media management strategy.
This content is also originally published on SproutSocial
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