Sahail Ashraf posted on 6 September 2016
If you’re a social media manager, you will probably recognise that you are currently working one of the hardest, most challenging jobs in marketing. The sheer depth to the tasks is immense, with so many different things to manage every day, and a ton of strategy based thinking alongside it.
Getting it right is now more difficult than ever. So we’ve put together a list of principles that should help you along the way. Each of them is powerful, and should be part of what you do pretty much every day. Combine the principles into a way of working, and you should find that your job, while still challenging, becomes one of the best jobs ever.
This is a big aspect of your education, and one of the most important principles. Know your audience and know which platforms they are on. Then, and this is the most important part, know what content works best on each of the platforms you are using.
Twitter and Facebook are still very different (even though some would say they are merging closer together). Instagram is a whole different ball game. And if you use LinkedIn, it’s a unique platform that definitely plays by its own rules. Be aware of each platform and how best to use it, and then develop content accordingly. Only the best social media managers do this.
It may take a while to develop, but your brand has a clear voice. The voice is one that your audience identifies with. If it is predominantly young and hip, so be it. If it is corporate and professional, then this is the way you go.
As a social media manager, you always need to be ‘on voice’. Present your brand as your audience expects it to sound, always. The moment you try and be different, and ‘on trend’’ rather than ‘on voice’ is the moment that your audience starts to smell something fishy. Just perfect your voice and maintain that across your platforms.
With such a massive playing field on social media, it’s easy to drop the ball. So many brands suffer as they start to spread themselves too thin and then lower the quality of what they produce when it comes to content.
A good rule of thumb is to always focus on quality content above all else. This is a key principle because it guides all of your work as a social media manager. Before you focus on anything, essentially, you need to make quality control a guiding principle.
Of course, it all ties into the voice that your brand has. But the moment a brand gets sloppy and inconsistent with quality, it becomes very difficult to recover. As social media manager, it’s your job to ensure quality content, always.
This principle is still, amazingly, not a driver for many social media managers. Data should underpin all of the work that you do. Data about how your social media campaigns are performing and the historical context of each campaign is more than just important, it’s essential.
You should also make it your business to know how to use data to inform future work. Social media managers need quick, efficient data to help make the right decisions. Social media management needs to have momentum. It has to be consistently moving, staying on top of trends and working, for example, with the latest algorithm update. You can’t see how you’re doing and what you need to do unless you have data. It’s a key principle.
Social media is in a very different place to where it was even just a few years ago. Now, there are so many different tools and platforms to help you automate your work as a social media manager that we are almost at a disadvantage. With so much ‘help’ available it can seem overwhelming or even counterproductive to sign up to a million platforms and then watch as you get busy doing nothing.
Okay, that was a little dramatic. But we do seriously think that if you focus on a few key apps and platforms, you should find that most of the routine stuff in social media management can be handled by scripts. Take data and analytics for example. Easy and efficient if you know how.
Seriously, as a social media manager, one of the great guiding principles should revolve around the ability you now have to automate much of what you do.
Being on top of your game means being on top of your game. Get a piece of software to do it for you, and concentrate on the great content and that all-important quality control.
It’s obvious that you are going to have your hands full as a social media manager, but it is also important to ensure that you get out there and manage. Gone are the days when the average social media manager could work from an office and rarely leave it. These days you have to be a bit of a social person in the real world too.
The most successful social media managers are showing expertise, and if this doesn’t mean speaking in front of thousands at a keynote, it should at least mean that you are hosting webinars and creating high quality blog posts of your own.
Why do this? Well, it means that all of your efforts will be noticed first of all. And that means that you will add more value to whatever campaign you are working on. It also means that you will be continuously learning your craft, honing it so that your own skills are developed, and feed into a continuous cycle of high quality work.
Basically, it means getting out there, getting known, and knowing more. It’s the only way to grow.
These six principles will allow you to be a more successful social media manager, and develop your skills in the right way. In the end, it needs to be about creating consistent content that has real quality at its core. These six principles should help you cut through the noise and get this part right.