Social media management is the process of managing your online presence on social media platforms. Social media managers will use their experience, plus tools and services to create and publish content, interact with users, and analyze performance.
No matter how you approach social media management, whether with the help of a digital marketing agency or a toolset, it’s essential to understand more than social media management’s definition.
That’s why this guide covers everything you need to get started with understanding a social media manager’s tasks, learning how to manage your social media profiles, and mastering social media marketing basics. Keep reading to begin.
P.S. Save time and start boosting your social media today with our social media services. Just contact us online or give us a ring at 07086204683 to receive a custom social media management package!
Social media management basics
What is social media management?
Social media management is the process of creating, publishing, and analyzing content you post on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as engaging with users on those platforms. You can streamline social media management tasks with free and paid tools, as well as professional social media management services.
What is a social media manager?
A social media manager, whether working as a consultant, in-house employee, or team member at a social media agency, is a skilled professional at social media marketing, advertising, and management. They help achieve your goals for social media, like growing your following or social media revenue.
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 social media 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 purchases 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.
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 offers your company a tremendous opportunity to grow your brand and your business. It’s a challenge, though, 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 reasons companies abandon social media. When you hire a social media management company, 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 a social media manager.
- 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 social media management package from a reputable 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.
7 of the best social media management tools
If you’re excited about getting started with a social media manager’s tasks, 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:
A paid tool, Buffer can help you manage social accounts, establish a posting schedule, schedule social media posts, and more. It’s a great tool for social media content management. Plus, it’s available as a mobile app to make social media management hassle-free.
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.
A paid tool, CoSchedule focuses on more on social media content management vs. social media ad management. Schedule your social media posts, as well as build content calendars, publish blog posts, and more.
Another paid tool, AgoraPulse allows you to schedule and re-share posts. It also includes customer relationship management (CRM) tracking features, and more.
Also paid, Mention specializes in social monitoring, which allows you to track mentions of your brand across social media platforms. With Mention, you can reply to these mentions from one convenient dashboard.
6. Sprout Social
The paid tool, Sprout Social, allows you to schedule your posts like many of the tools on this list, but you can also conduct social monitoring, manage your DMs, and analyze post performance.
A free tool, TweetDeck is Twitter-specific. It provides a dashboard to manage your mentions and notifications, as well as schedule tweets.
For more help finding the perfect toolkit, check out:
- 6 Best Social Media Tools for Scheduling
- 4 Best Social Media Tools for Management
- 7 Best Social Media Tools for Monitoring
- 4 Best Social Media Tools for Automation
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.
The most common platforms for social media management
With nearly two 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% 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% 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 monthly 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% of U.S. adults use Twitter, but the social media platform provides competitive access to users between the ages of 18 to 29 — more than 40% of Twitter users are from this age group. They’re also more likely to be 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 around one billion monthly users, 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. Over 70% of Americans between 18 to 29 use Instagram — for users between 30 to 49, the number is nearly 50%.
- 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 nearly 60% check in multiple times a day, which increases the chances 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 774 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 — more than half use the network. Even better, 90% 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% come from LinkedIn. That’s why more than 60% 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 two billion users, YouTube offers access to more than 80% 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 49% of people 65 and older watch YouTube, while almost 83% 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 has more than 450 million monthly active 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% of women — and only 16% of men — using Pinterest. For the age groups from 18 to 64, between thirty and 40% of U.S. adults use the platform, while usage for those 65 and older is 18%.
- 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% 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.
With three billion downloads, TikTok holds incredible potential for businesses. Many companies use TikTok to reach wider audiences, partner with influencers, and create engaging videos.
Learn more about TikTok for social media marketing:
- Demographics: While many might think of TikTok as only reaching Generation Z, 36% of TikTok users are 35-54 years old.
- Uses: TikTok is an excellent platform for reaching niche audiences and driving engagement by participating in trends and partnering with influencers. Use the platform to create authentic, engaging videos that help your audience connect with you.
- Perks: Beyond its growing popularity, TikTok also holds incredible potential to reach customers who want to hear about your brand. In fact, 65% of users like seeing TikTok creators post about brands, products, and services.
If it aligns with your target audience and social media strategy, TikTok can be a great tool to add to your arsenal.
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.
Generally, social media management focuses on the following:
- Auditing your existing social media strategy
- Researching your target audience
- Choosing your social media platforms
- Creating your social media strategy
- Designing your social media profiles
- Developing your social media ads
- Building your social media content calendar
- Creating platform-specific social media content
- Responding to your social media followers
- Growing your social reach
- Monitoring your social media performance
Keep reading to learn more about these social media management practices for businesses!
How to get started with social media management for businesses
You know the definition of social media management and what social media management for businesses typically focuses on — now, learn how to bring those practices to life in your social media campaigns with this breakdown of the 11 most critical processes:
1. Auditing your existing social media strategy
Are you already marketing and advertising your business on social media? Then, you’ll want to set aside some time to audit your existing strategy. With a social media audit, you look at what’s working and what isn’t within your social media campaigns.
Typical steps within a social media audit include:
- Reviewing your social media goals
- Ensuring your branding across social media networks matches
- Compiling your social media metrics, like followers, engagement rate, and more
- Analyzing your social media metrics to find trends, like content preferences
- Reviewing your competitor’s social media presence
- And more
Your audit will provide immediate insight into your social media strategy. Plus, it’ll offer a foundation for improving your campaigns so you can achieve the results your business wants to see from social media, from more followers to better client satisfaction.
If you partner with a social media manager, they’ll take care of this step for you.
2. 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.
3. Choosing your social media platforms
Next, you’ll decide which social media platforms to use. Time is one of the most valuable resources when it comes to social media management for businesses, so it’s essential to focus your efforts on the networks that matter most to your audience.
While you should have a profile on the top social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you shouldn’t divide your time between them evenly. Instead, prioritize social media platforms by how much your audience uses them.
You can find which networks matter most to your target market by reviewing demographic data. If you conducted a social media audit, you could also reference your engagement rates to see which networks performed best. Check competitor activity, too.
If you use social media management services, don’t worry. Your account manager will provide platform recommendations based on their research of your industry, audience, and goals.
4. Creating your social media strategy
Before your account manager (or your internal team) 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.
5. Designing your social media profiles
When you create or update your social media profiles, making sure they fit with your brand is essential.
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.
6. Developing your social media ads
Depending on your business’ goals and service plan, your social media manager may 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 advertisements. 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.
7. Building your social media 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. While this requires some effort on your part, it guarantees that the only content that goes live is the content you want.
8. 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.
9. Responding to your social media followers
A day-to-day responsibility included with many social media management services is interacting with your followers and 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% of people use social media for customer service.
10. Growing your social reach
Ads are not the only way that your social media specialist will increase your followers and 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 account, which you can then share to yours.
It’s a chance for you, as well as another organization, to gain coverage.
11. Monitoring your social media 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 powers, also offers numerous 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.