What Is Social Media Management? [Guide]
Today, social media is more than an outlet for users to share snapshots of their day-to-day lives. It’s a channel for businesses that want to improve their brand awareness and build lasting relationships with shoppers.
The problem, however, is that social media management is a full-time job.
That’s why companies partner with social media management agencies — but what is social media management, anyway?
What is social media management?
In social media management, an agency or individual manages and monitors the social media presence of your business and brand, as well as its products. Via social media management, companies hope to improve brand awareness and brand loyalty, plus encourage user engagement and conversions.
Why practice social media management?
Social media management offers several benefits, including:
- Cost: No matter your marketing budget, social media is a cost-effective initiative. It’s free to join social media networks, post content, respond to user comments, and more. Even advertising offers a profitable channel for reaching your audience and building an online following.
- Reach: Social media networks, from Facebook to LinkedIn, can connect you with users across the world. You can also use social media platforms, like Pinterest, to reach niche audiences. Traditional marketing and advertising can’t match the reach — or price — or social. That’s why social media management is a must for businesses.
- Users: Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy allows you to align your marketing initiatives with user behavior. For example, 74% of people now use social media when making purchase decisions. Not to mention, 80% of people get advice about a purchase through social media.
- Performance: Marketers and business owners alike agree on the performance of social media marketing and advertising. Via social, companies can build their brand and even generate leads and sales. Almost 45% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers, for instance, have earned a client through Facebook.
With social media’s multiple advantages, it’s worth considering for your marketing strategy.
What platforms does social media management cover?
A common follow-up question to, “What is social media management?” is about the platforms included. It’s a smart question, as you want to focus your time and resources on the social media networks that offer the most value to your business.
Here are some of the most common platforms for social media management:
With more than one billion daily users, Facebook is a massive social media network. That’s why agencies that offer social media management services will not only specialize in Facebook but also recommend it due to its audience variety.
Learn more about Facebook for social media marketing:
- Demographics: Facebook offers access to several different demographics, from seniors and youth to men and women. Plus, more than 50 percent of adults in the U.S. use Facebook multiple times a day, which lets you connect with varying segments of your target audience.
- Uses: From a social media management perspective, Facebook is useful for building relationships with existing and future customers. It can also help build brand loyalty, which can encourage future purchases.
- Perks: A massive perk about Facebook is that it features a wide variety of ads and content formats, from photos to videos to text. Even better, for more than 40 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers, it’s led to new clients.
No matter your industry or goals, expect to use Facebook in your social media strategy.
With 330 million users, Twitter doesn’t offer the same reach as Facebook. It does, however, provide your business access to a group of users that engage with brands daily. Depending on your target audience, that’s an advantage.
Learn more about Twitter for social media marketing:
- Demographics: Less than 25 percent of U.S. adults have a Twitter account, but the social media platform provides competitive access to users between the ages of 18 to 29 — 40 percent of Twitter users are from this age group. They’re also active on the platform multiple times a day.
- Uses: Unlike Facebook, Twitter focuses more on news It also emphasizes two-way conversations between users, whether they’re a brand or consumer. If you’re looking to engage with your target audience, Twitter is a good option.
- Perks: One advantage of Twitter is its users — they’re active and happy to engage with other users. Twitter also features a specific audience, which is helpful if people between the ages of 18 to 29 are in your target market.
Twitter isn’t for every company, but it does offer value to those in certain sectors.
With more than one billion active users each month, Instagram is becoming a new standard for social media management services. Its focus on images, as well as videos, encourages companies to come up with creative ways to capture and engage their audiences.
Learn more about Instagram for social media marketing:
- Demographics: Instagram is a prime platform for connecting with users between the ages of 18 to 29, as well as 30 to 49. Almost 65 percent of Americans between 18 to 29 use Instagram — for users between 30 to 49, the number is around 40 percent.
- Uses: Like Facebook, Instagram is useful for establishing a relationship with consumers, as well as engaging them. Depending on your industry, you can also use Instagram to generate new leads. That’s why retail, entertainment, and beauty businesses often use the platform.
- Perks: A benefit of Instagram is that users love to use the platform. That’s why 60 percent check-in multiple times a day, which increases the chance that users will not only see your posts but also interact with them.
For certain markets, Instagram is a must-have platform in your social media strategy.
As the biggest professional social network in the world, LinkedIn offers access to more than 550 million users. That’s why it’s an ideal platform for businesses looking to recruit candidates, as well as establish themselves as an industry leader.
Learn more about LinkedIn for social media marketing:
- Demographics: LinkedIn is a popular platform among college graduates, which is why 50 percent of graduates maintain a LinkedIn profile. Even better, 90 percent of LinkedIn users are also on Facebook, which is helpful if your strategy focuses on both platforms.
- Uses: Like Twitter, LinkedIn is useful for sharing news-related materials, such as company announcements or industry-specific news. It can also assist in developing relationships with other companies, plus building your reputation via content marketing.
- Perks: LinkedIn offers a few benefits for businesses, especially B2B operations. For B2B leads from social media, 80 percent come from LinkedIn. That’s why more than 60 percent of marketers find it’s the most effective platform for their business.
Depending on your goals, market, and operations, LinkedIn could offer several advantages.
With more than one billion users, YouTube offers access to more than 70 percent of adults in the U.S. In response, businesses are doing more with their YouTube accounts, from creating how-to videos to showcasing behind-the-scenes material.
Learn more about YouTube for social media marketing:
- Demographics: Like Facebook, YouTube features a wide range of users, from 18 to 65 and older. Even 40 percent of people 65 and older watch YouTube, while almost 68 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds visit the platform.
- Uses: With YouTube, your company can provide users with informational content. A few examples include how-to videos on your products, as well as explainer videos related to your industry or services. These can increase user brand awareness, as well as lead to conversions.
- Perks: A notable benefit of YouTube is that it converts more than any other social media platform — even Facebook. That can lead to big gains for your company, especially if you’re offering a high-priced product.
While more time-intensive than other social media outlets, YouTube is worth the investment.
Pinterest features more than 200 million users, providing companies with a strong visual focus, such as cabinet manufacturers, clothing stores, and flower shops, the chance to connect with people in their target audience.
Learn more about Pinterest for social media marketing:
- Demographics: This social media platform features a strong female audience, with more than 40 percent of women — and only 16 percent of men — using Pinterest. Users between the ages of 18 to 49 also dominate the platform.
- Uses: Pinterest is excellent for showcasing your product in a non-promotional way. For example, you can highlight the uses and features of your goods. You can even connect with influencers to promote your products further.
- Perks: One perk of Pinterest is that users rely on it to plan for future purchases, with one study discovering that more than 85 percent of millennials use it for that purpose. As a result, you’re connecting with consumers already planning to buy.
Depending on your audience, Pinterest is an asset to your social media management services.
While agencies will vary in the platforms they specialize in, WebFX focuses on several social media platforms. Our social media management services are available for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Best social media management tools
If you’re excited about getting started with social media, you can make the experience (and your productivity) even better with social media management tools. These paid and unpaid tools can help you schedule content, respond to comments, and more.
A few of the best social media management tools include:
- Buffer: A paid tool, Buffer can help you manage social accounts, establish a posting schedule, schedule social media posts, and more. Plus, it’s available as a mobile app to make social media management hassle-free.
- Hootsuite: Another paid social media management tool, Hootsuite helps you manage all your social media platforms, reply to user questions and comments across channels, and monitor your social media strategy’s performance via analytics.
- CoSchedule: A paid tool, CoSchedule focuses on more than managing your social media. Schedule your social media posts, as well as build content calendars, publish blog posts, and more.
Browse our complete list of recommended social media management tools to find the perfect one!
What does social media management include?
Due to the broad definition of social media management, it’s natural to wonder what social media management includes. You want to know where you should focus your efforts, as well as how much time social media will require.
Usually, you can expect to focus on these nine processes:
1. RESEARCHING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Investigating your audience is a core part of social media management. If your agency — or your company — doesn’t know who your audience is, it makes developing a social media strategy challenging.
Know who your audience is, and you’ll know where to find them online.
That’s critical, as you want to maximize your investment in social media management. By targeting your audience on their preferred platform, you can earn a bigger return on investment (ROI).
As an example, imagine social media marketing for dentists. While one dentist provides pediatric care another offers implant services. They each operate in the health and medical sector, but they have completely different audiences.
When their social media management services include audience research, these practices ensure they invest their marketing budget and ad spend creating content and advertisements that target the right users, versus anyone that needs dental care.
Invest in social media management services, and you can expect your account manager to ask about your target audience at the start. In some cases, an agency may take the initiative to ask about your target audience when you call to discuss their services.
2. CREATING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Before your account manager can launch your social media campaign, they need to develop your strategy. In most cases, they’ll focus on building a strategy for each platform due to the different roles and uses of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
In addition to considering your audience, they’ll also look at the following factors:
- Your goals: What does your business want to accomplish with social media? Do you want to build more brand awareness among consumers or establish brand loyalty among existing clients? Or, is there another goal you want to accomplish?
- Your industry: What do audiences in your industry want to know? Are there content gaps that your company can fill, such as with blog posts or guides that you can then share on social media? Or, are there industry leaders you can connect with on different platforms?
- Your brand: What is your brand voice? Do you have a set of standards or processes when engaging with clients in a public forum? Or, how does your branding influence the colors and media that you use?
Some of these questions, such as your branding standards and goals, will require your direct input. At WebFX, we’re always curious to learn about your company — it’s that curiosity that lets us create powerful and personalized social media strategies.
3. DESIGNING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
With only 26 percent of businesses using social media in their business strategy, it’s understandable if you need to create or update your account on different platforms, like Instagram or Twitter. It’s critical, however, that your social media accounts coincide with your brand.
That’s why social media management services can also include social media design. This service focuses on creating professional images that capture your brand and make a great first impression on users.
In most cases, social media design will focus on your account’s static images, such as the following:
- Your Twitter header and background
- Your Facebook header, icon, and profile picture
- Your Instagram profile picture
Once they’ve designed your social media accounts — and you’ve approved of the designs — your social media specialist can start working towards your marketing goals, such as increasing post engagement or driving conversions.
4. DEVELOPING YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS
Depending on your business’ goals and service plan, your social media manager will develop an advertising strategy for your company. If you want to earn more genuine followers, as well as encourage user engagement, social media ads are essential.
Platforms, from Snapchat to Facebook, vary in their approach to ads. They feature different ad types, as well as different goals. Facebook, for example, offers the option to create ads for increasing brand awareness, generating leads, earning store visits, and more.
Some other ad features that your social media manager will look at include:
- Calls-to-action (CTA)
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- And more
These are all critical factors that influence the success of your advertisement. You may create an ad with a compelling CTA, but if you target it to the wrong audience, you won’t see the results you expected.
Before launching an ad campaign, you should have the chance to review and sign-off on your ads.
Some of our client Successes
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+37% case study ▸ IncreasedLeadsGenerated by
+60% “We measure our success by how much we WOW our clients.”
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5. BUILDING YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR
Another deliverable included in most social media management services is a content calendar for each of your social media accounts. This calendar serves as a reference point for you and your professional social media management team.
In your content calendar, which will include the current month, you can view scheduled posts for your social media accounts. These posts may include company announcements and holiday tidings, as well as shared content, such as a blog post from your website or an image from a client.
Before publishing these posts, your social media manager will likely request that you review and approve all the content beforehand. While this requires some effort on your part, it guarantees that the only content that goes live is the content you want.
6. CREATING PLATFORM-SPECIFIC CONTENT
A social media specialist does more than build a content calendar for your company — they also create the content in it. In some cases, they may oversee every aspect of content creation, from developing the topic to writing the copy to selecting the media.
To create the best possible content, however, many social media specialists will work with graphic designers and copywriters. The result is a piece of content that resonates with users and accomplishes your company’s goals.
If your calendar includes content from a third-party — maybe you’re sharing an influencer’s blog post that mentions your product — your social media manager will ensure they have the appropriate link and caption to share on your social media accounts.
7. RESPONDING TO YOUR FOLLOWERS
A day-to-day responsibility included with many social media management services is interacting with your followers, as well as commenters. For many businesses, this service is invaluable as it has a direct impact on brand awareness and brand loyalty.
As a part of this service, your social media manager will adhere to your brand and company standards when engaging with your followers. They’ll also respond to users that leave negative comments, such as about a bad experience.
For social media users, your company’s interaction with them demonstrates that you care. In many industries, that will set your business apart from your competitors. It can even become a selling point for consumers, especially since more than 65 percent of people use social media for customer service.
8. GROWING YOUR SOCIAL REACH
Ads are not the only way that your social media specialist will increase your followers, as well as your social media presence. As a part of your social media management services, your provider may reach out to influencers and trusted organizations in your industry.
That can lead to coverage of your company by those individuals, which can connect you with their followers. The result is more exposure for your brand, as well as the chance to earn more followers and clients.
If you sell kitchen cabinets, for example, an influencer could highlight your product as a purchase for their renovated kitchen. They’ll create a post highlighting the experience on their social media, which you can then share to yours.
It’s a chance for you, as well as another organization, to gain coverage.
9. MONITORING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA’S PERFORMANCE
A critical part of social media management is monitoring the performance of your efforts. That’s why your team of social media specialists will track the performance of your ads, as well as creative content, and share those results with you.
With MarketingCloudFX from WebFX, we make sure you can see the performance, as well as the returns of your investment. This proprietary application, which IBM’s artificial intelligence software Watson powers, also offers several other useful tools for your digital marketing efforts outside of social media.
When you invest in social media management services — or any digital marketing service — it’s essential that you partner with an agency that not only monitors the performance of your social media accounts but also reacts when that performance drops.
You want a partner that develops an action plan for improving low performance too — not someone that excuses it. Adopt this mindset, and you’ll find the best agency for your business. That kind of partnership leads to better results and a better ROI.
How much does social media management cost?
On average, companies spend $4000 to $7000 per month on social media management. This investment includes building and maintaining a social media marketing and advertising strategy, as well as a monthly ad spend and tool subscriptions.
Depending on your business, you may have higher or lower social media management costs. You can use this price range, however, to establish a realistic budget for your social media marketing and advertising strategy.
Why invest in social media management services?
Social media offer your company a tremendous opportunity to grow your brand and your business. It’s a challenge for many organizations, especially small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), to set aside the time and resources for social media management.
That’s why many invest in social media management services, which offer the following advantages:
- Save yourself time: Time is one the most common causes for companies to abandon social media. When you hire a social media agency, you get a partner that handles all your social media efforts. You save time without sacrificing a revenue-driving channel.
- Get a social media expert: Professional social media management services also partner you with an expert. You don’t have to worry about the time or cost of hiring a social media specialist in-house. Instead, you can immediately access the expertise of one.
- Maintain a quality strategy: A social media agency also ensures your social media strategy remains active and top-notch. They continuously (and proactively) monitor and improve your approach to drive the results you want, from brand awareness to follows to sales.
- Achieve aggressive goals: Like most companies, your business probably wants measurable results from social media. You may even have some ambitious goals, like achieving a certain follower count. A specialized social media agency can help you reach these goals.
If you’re struggling with social media management, you’re not alone.
A lot of businesses try to launch and maintain social campaigns, including your competitors. Get ahead of your competition and use social to its full advantage by exploring and investing in social media management services.
Looking for a social media management agency?
Do you need a social media management agency for your business? Trust WebFX, a leading social media management service provider with more than 20 years of experience and an award-winning team of savvy social media specialists.
Start connecting with your target market by giving us a call at 888-601-5359 — or contact us online!
Need help with your social media? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebFX can give you the power to reach more people.