What Is Social Media Management: The Essentials

Social Media Marketing
What Is Social Media Management: The Essentials
Article by Szabolcs Szecsei
Last Updated: May 20, 2024

A strong social presence can be a great asset to any brand. Well-timed creative content on social media has been instrumental in transforming numerous brands into household names.

What is social media management? Essentially, it involves integrating your brand into your customers’ everyday interactions. However, social success isn’t random — it’s a well-timed and delicately balanced machine that relies on intelligent strategies to run smoothly.

To uncover the inner workings of this fine-tuned machine, we asked our marketing gurus about the importance of cleverly managed social media for businesses.

What Is Social Media Management?

Social media management entails establishing an active presence across multiple social platforms and sharing content tailored to each channel. Social management includes social media marketing, actively managing your reputation, and interacting with your audience and followers.

Effective social media management ensures the deliberate and genuine utilization of your social accounts, as audiences can readily discern authenticity from insincerity.

As such, social management can include the following strategies and processes:

  • Social media content strategy creation and implementation
  • Community management
  • Online reputation management
  • Paid social media strategy creation and execution

Today, creating a social media marketing strategy and management plan goes beyond merely keeping up with trends and boosting brand awareness. Social media has become the driving force behind creating personal connections at scale with your target audience, fostering not just trust but also loyalty.

All top social media agencies agree that with the continuous evolution of social platforms, the responsibilities associated with account management also undergo shifts. Social messaging changed conversations from public to private, and social commerce revolutionized the way businesses perceive this channel, transforming it from a mere awareness-building tool into a comprehensive, full-funnel experience.

When compared to social media marketing, social media management focuses less on achieving short-term, result-oriented marketing objectives. Instead, it prioritizes longer-term goals, such as establishing consistent brand standards across all platforms, while also aiming to increase sales and foster customer loyalty.

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Managing Social Media for Businesses: Navigating Social Accounts and Profiles

Managing social accounts requires both scientific precision and artistic finesse. For one, the insights and data can help you better fine-tune where you can spend your resources, but it’s also a mystified concept, as one platform that delivers today, might resemble a social wasteland tomorrow. A good example of this would be Facebook’s declining organic reach, which hit an all-time low in 2023, at 1.52% organic views.

To remain on top of every trend and channel, digital marketing agencies that partner with DesignRush told us that it's best to diversify your network strategies. Expanding your presence across multiple platforms mitigates the impact of algorithm changes on any single channel, reducing disruptions to your business operations.

Key Social Media Management Strategies

What makes social media management successful? There are several key steps that you need to take to establish a meaningful relationship with your audiences on your target platform.

It's essential to remember that various platforms will require slightly different approaches to addressing the same tasks.

Finding and Managing Your Target Audience

You can’t establish meaningful relationships if you’re reaching the wrong people. Identify your target audience and zero in on groups that sit within your brand’s market. To better identify these people, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your current audience?
  • What kind of brand-, or industry-related information are they looking for?
  • Why are they looking for it and where do they go for it?
  • What topics interest them the most?
  • What can you learn from the other brands they trust?

Finding the answers to these questions will also lay down the foundation for your approach, including the channels you should use, the trends you should follow, and how you should position your brand in the social landscape.

Creating and Distributing Content Across All Channels

Content is king and it maintains its supremacy on social media platforms as well. Content creation has become pivotal in managing social. While the initial idea behind these platforms was to connect with friends and family, today, 38.5% of internet users stay on these platforms to kill time.

These spare moments are great opportunities to create meaningful connections with your audience, but this is not enough. The competition is fierce, and it’s not just your direct competition, but everything else that can act as distractors, including publications, other content creators, and media outlets.

To capture attention, it’s crucial to understand what attracts your target audience. Are they looking for engaging content, blog posts, or videos? Are they looking for trending topics commentary? Find out what content type best aligns with your brand to maintain its relevance and proceed accordingly.

The king of in-feed social content is short-from videos, which became immensely popular thanks to TikTok. Short-form videos are an excellent way to capture attention without requiring too much effort from the user. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should solely focus on video. A solid social marketing strategy utilizes all content types and formats. For example, you can gain momentum by leveraging a live video stream or podcast to create several short video clips, test posts, GIFs, and more.

Reputation Management

Addressing your target audience and customers on social media isn’t just about content creation. It’s about encouraging them to review your brand/product/services, and then address their concerns and feedback.

Reputation management may be more important than most business owners think. A BrightLocal study suggests that 71% of consumers won’t do business with brands that have an average rating below three stars.

What’s the best way to tackle reputation management on social? Here are three main strategic steps that can help you get started.

  • Devise a tactic for asking for reviews: Product or service reviews probably won’t be rolling on their own and reaching out to power users and fans to share their experiences with your goods is a good way to get started. Providing review prompt templates for reviews will make it significantly easier for customers to follow through.
  • Respond to all reviews: It can be tempting to delete or ignore negative reviews but acknowledging them and replying is an excellent way of letting customers know that you value their feedback.
  • Be proactive: Social listening can help you with opportunity-driven reputation management by capturing conversations where people indirectly share their experiences with your brand, even without tagging your page or explicitly mentioning it.

Social Calendar Management

Your content strategy lays down the foundation for the basic themes and topics you will cover, but your social content calendar gives a more granular look at what you will be posting on your social channels.

Ideally, your content calendars will help you with brainstorming and organization, as a bird’s eye view of your scheduled posts can help you see whether you are hitting the outlined content mix in your strategy, and whether that mix offers you enough opportunities to nurture the relationship with your followers.

For instance, if you want to recruit talent for your business, a closer look at your content calendar will tell you whether you have the right number of employer brand posts for the upcoming week or month. In simple terms this approach enables you to determine if any of your current content strategy themes require more attention.

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Community Management on Social Media

Online communities aren’t particularly new, but they have become more important than ever before. For instance, Canva’s Facebook group has more than 250,000 members seeking design advice from each other daily. Sure, the conversations won’t always focus on the company’s products, but they still provide Canva’s team with valuable insight regarding the needs and pain points of their audiences.

Building an active social community can help you stay connected with your target audience. Giving them a place where they can connect is a great idea, but remember, building a social community takes time, and taking a steady approach is paramount. Consider inviting your power users and loyal customers to see what the community will look like. Once you have a great dynamic going, expand freely.

Incorporate Paid Ads in Social Management

Paid social ads accounted for roughly 28.8% of all online ads in 2023, which means that businesses are allocating considerable budgets for social ads every year. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that you should restrict your efforts solely to driving organic impressions and actions.

Your organic strategies can support long-term goals and interactions with followers while your ad strategy can help you expand your reach with precise targeting. As such, our marketing experts advise managing both strategies in tandem to always keep your brand visible both to existing and prospective followers/customers.

On that note, you should also focus on the people you reach via paid ads. With a little effort, they can also be converted from interested leads into loyal customers.

Social Media Management Tools for Improved Presence Management

Managing and maintaining an active social presence with the tools provided by social channels was a challenge half a decade ago. Today, it’s almost impossible. Between reputation management, content creation, and content scheduling, things can get overwhelming, and content may get drafted but never published, leads may reach out and never get converted, and other opportunities may be left unexplored.

That said, social media scheduling and management tools can help you keep up with the fast-paced landscape of these channels and may also host several other benefits, such as:

  • Optimized post times for better engagement rates and better overall post performance and brand awareness
  • Better engagement and faster response times by using a single location for all incoming social messages
  • More granular metrics and analytics features to improve the overall performance of your social media strategy

Best Social Tools

We talked about them above, now it’s time to highlight a couple of the best tools currently on the market.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an all-in-one management tool that addresses all social strategy aspects. Seamlessly integrating with Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and X, social managers can keep tabs on every channel via one dashboard.

The tool also allows you to manage reviews on non-social networks too, such as GMB and Trustpliot. It enables you to create shoppable posts with Shopify catalogs and Facebook shops. Naturally, Sprout comes with social scheduling, publishing, monitoring, reporting, analytics features, hashtag tracking, and even custom URL tracking to gain more insights about post performance from the aspects of conversions and referral traffic.

Price:

  • Standard: $249/month, plus $199/month/additional user
  • Professional: $399/month, plus $299/month/additional user
  • Advanced: $499/month, plus $349/month/additional user

Pros:

  • All-in-one solution
  • Makes comprehensive social media management centered
  • Free 30-day trial

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No free plan available
  • Additional fees per user

Sendible

Sendible is a great option for large brands and agencies as it comes with automated reporting for the latter and comprehensive client dashboards. It also has collaboration tools with user management features, making it super useful for multiple users.

To make things even more convenient, the management interface offers several integrations, streamlining and centralizing management tasks. You can also access a mobile-app version of the tool that enables you to monitor your accounts even if you’re on the go.

Price:

  • Creator: $29/month
  • Traction: $89/month
  • White Label: $240/month
  • White Label+: $750/month

Pros:

  • Centralized scheduling/publishing features
  • Intuitive interface
  • Useful collaboration features

Cons:

  • Having multiple users at the same time may lead to crashing
  • Limitations with Instagram features
  • Limited plan features

Zoho Social

Zoho Social allows you to start social discussions, create team roles, share reports, and encourage feedback. It also comes with comprehensive performance reporting, and a wide range of social strategy blueprints to help you brainstorm approaches.

In addition to comprehensive scheduling, the platform comes with optimized timing features to publish posts when engagement potential is at its peak. You can customize your content for each network too.

Lastly, you have all your incoming messages in one place, so you don’t have to switch across your platforms to respond to customers. The tool also comes with a social listening dashboard where you can track social mentions, branded keywords, and social mentions.

Price:

  • Basic plan: Free
  • For Businesses: Standard/€10/month, Professional/€30/month, Premium/€40/month (All billed yearly)
  • For Agencies: Agency/€230/month, Agency Plus/€330/month (All billed yearly)

Pros:

  • A robust product that allows you to use your social platforms as lead generators
  • Free basic plan
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Limited team member access without agency plans
  • No FB and IG story-posting options
  • Consultation only comes with premium plans

Making the Most out of Social Media Management

Social media empowers businesses to gain deeper insights into their brand's position within the cultural and societal landscape. With a robust social media strategy, companies can achieve more than mere digital presence management. Opting for a comprehensive social approach allows them to attain relevance, social proof, and trust.

Social Media Management FAQs

Is social media management worth it?

Along with SEO, social media management is a worthwhile investment, as social channels have become prominent places where brands can interact with their target audiences on a more personal level. With the right strategies, brands can do more than raise awareness; they can generate leads, convert customers, and boost sales.

Should you outsource social media?

Social media management could be done in-house or could be performed by a dedicated agency team. Typically, marketing experts would recommend outsourcing your social media marketing to experienced experts, especially if you want to maximize the potential of your social channels and build more online traction through your social interactions.

Is organic engagement dead on most social channels?

Paid advertising has become an integral part of social media marketing, but it isn’t a “must” if you want to drive organic engagement. Paid ads can help you reach more people and expand your digital horizons, but organic engagement efforts are still important to nurture your relationships with existing customers, especially those most loyal to your brand.

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