Good social media management isn't just about posting the right content at the right time - it's also about engaging with your audience, monitoring your activity and metrics, and constantly being on the lookout for new opportunities. In other words, it takes a lot of time and effort to do well.
If you're thinking of taking on social media management yourself, or you're already managing social media for your business, you might feel like you could be doing more. If so, you’re not alone.
Samantha Savoia has been in business as a marketer since 2013 and has truly loved every moment. Every client, every learning curve, and every friend she has made along the way has broadened her expertise about what it truly takes to manage a social media account effectively and efficiently.
How Social Media Has Evolved:
Long gone are the days of being able to post on social media and reach hundreds of the right people organically.
“It’s not just that you’re going to post and everyone will see it, and the reality is that you’re a content creator and a videographer because there’s so much to do on social.” @SS_Social_ (click to tweet)
Social media has evolved from merely being a writer to being a lot more.
Today’s account manager is a designer, video editor, content marketer, community builder, and data analyzer.
A strong account manager wears many hats because they spend time alternating between multiple clients.
This means they are doing all of these tasks not just for one, but many entities:
- Writing content
- Making graphics
- Monitoring hashtags
- Answering comments/engaging on posts
- Engaging with the community/relationship building
- Strategizing new ideas for content and campaigns
- Analyzing post performance
- Creating reports to showcase successes and takeaways
Expectations have evolved in social media from what one is expected to be able to do, to the reach one is expected to be able to get organically.
“So many people are jumping on social media today with an expectation that they’re going to get sales immediately but you have to make a connection on social media first, and that takes work.” @SS_Social_ (click to tweet)
Brands can’t just make one post to an audience of strangers and expect to generate sales; so much of social media management today is relationship building.
Why Setting Expectations Is Critical:
When working in social media, it’s critical to set expectations with new and prospective clients.
For starters, take the time to get to know prospects from the onset.
You want to do some kind of discovery call to understand their goals and who they are, as well as uncover whether they see the big picture of social media being about relationship building above all.
For instance, many people have lofty expectations about being able to drive sales fast. If someone comes to you to drive immediate sales, the chances are, they’re not going to make for a great client because they don’t see the big picture.
“Social is not the place where sales are really done. It’s a nurturing environment and can lead to sales, but that’s not what it’s about. Social is about conversations.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
It's important to break down to any prospective client that it takes time to build relationships.
Another area where expectations are critical? >> Turnaround time and deliverables.
Your clients should know when to expect to get content from you to approve, when their bill is due and how much they pay. You also want the transparency to know when you can expect your clients to pay their bills, when they will get you photos and/or creative assets from them, and whether they trust you to adjust things on the fly if necessary.
Being clear about all deliverables and how both parties work best is how to set yourself up for a successful relationship.
You also want to set expectations around where your time is going. Your client should understand that for each post, you need to decide on a platform, a date, and a time to post, write a caption, find an image, schedule the post, engage with the post, and then check analytics.
Not to mention, understanding exactly where your time goes and how long these various tasks take is critical to providing an accurate quote for your services.
Finally, it’s important to set expectations regarding how the industry shifts and what that means for your rate.
For instance, over the last two years alone, so many new features and functionalities have been introduced from Google Analytics 4 to Twitter Spaces. This means that the time spent on these platforms has increased on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
As platforms evolve and get new features and functionality, and you grow the community, your rate needs to change to reflect the extra time you’re spending managing the account.
Setting expectations across every area is how to create a working relationship that thrives from the start.
Putting The Time In:
Another reason social media is so time-consuming is that it’s not a cookie-cutter approach.
In an ideal world, each platform is treated differently because each industry has different best practices for using these various platforms.
Sometimes, a client has a post that blows up and as a result, you spend a ton more time on engagement. Sometimes, you have an idea to feature your team with a series of posts. Sometimes, you show up in an online forum where your client’s community hangs out and contribute to the conversation.
These are things that go the extra mile and are always worthwhile, but they are time-consuming, and thus another reason why it can be easy to overlook just how much goes into the role of account manager.
“Expanding the partnership you have with your team members, and getting them on board to let them contribute their particular superpower, can make a huge difference in the content created for your brand.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
The more you showcase human faces and make your content timely and topical, the better it does, and that requires constant communication.
A good social strategist knows this and puts the time not just into community engagement and relationship building with the community, but with the client.
By getting to know them, you become a stronger content creator for them. Not to mention, you establish a feeling of trust so that when you need to adjust elements in the agreement, and/or want to throw a new creative idea into the mix, there is comfort in doing that.
Tips For Managing Social Media Effectively:
So, what are some of the best ways to manage the time spent on social media given how much goes into it?
We could spend days giving you tips to be more efficient, so we’ll keep it simple with these two big tips:
- Use a tool: We love using Agorapulse. Whatever the tool, we recommend using something to help you track all your social media channels in one place. This can save you precious time each day by allowing you to see everything at a glance and quickly respond to any questions or comments. Not to mention, tools like this allow you to preschedule your content ahead of time, freeing up your time to engage and do community management in real time. (Oh and did we mention that through Agorapulse, you can give your clients access so they can see the content scheduled ahead of time?)
- Plan ahead: Take some time each month, and week, to plan out your content calendar. This will ensure you're posting quality content relevant to your audience and helps you achieve your overall marketing goals.
These two simple tips will help you be more efficient and effective as a social media manager regardless of the platforms and industries you’re working in.
Putting It All Together:
Social media is a great way to connect with potential and current customers; however, it’s not simple or quick. It’s time-consuming work because there is so much that goes into it.
From graphic design to reporting, creating content, engaging with the community, doing paid ads, to creating new campaigns, there is an endless list of activities in the social media world.
By taking the time to understand a prospect’s goals and set expectations thoroughly and appropriately, you set yourself up for success in social media management.
Social media is a true partnership and building a close relationship with your clients will be the game changer in helping make your job easier when you’re managing their social media accounts.
Want to talk to someone who understands the reality of working in account management? We recommend reaching out to Samantha!
What do you think? Do you have tips you’d add to our list? What do you think is required to manage social media effectively and efficiently?
We’d love to hear from you!