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What is Social Media Management?

WVU Online | Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Social Media is a crucial element for building brand awareness and communities around a brand or business. A business needs someone knowledgeable in social media management and adaptable to the changing trends occurring daily.

Let’s explore social media management, why brands need someone to manage their brand and how to get started in this field.

What is Social Media Management?

Social media management is the process of creating, scheduling, analyzing and engaging with content posted on social media platforms.

A brand's online presence is managed and optimized through various social media channels to achieve specific marketing and communications objectives. Activities within social media management include:

  • Content Creation
  • Scheduling and Posting
  • Audience Engagement
  • Social Listening
  • Analytics and Monitoring
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Strategy Development

Social Media Management is an essential piece of brand awareness for businesses and individuals looking to build and maintain a strong online presence. It requires combining creativity, strategy and analysis to be successful.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manager is an individual responsible for providing voice and content for a brand on social networks. They are responsible for responding to comments, creating content and keeping up to date with trends on social media. Social media managers look for opportunities to increase brand exposure for their brand or organization.

Taking a deeper look into the activities mentioned above, some daily tasks of a social media manager include:

  • Creating and curating content that resonates with the business’s target audience is a must. This can include text, images, videos, graphics and other multimedia elements.
  • Planning the timing and frequency of posts is important to maximize reach and engagement. Often, a social media manager will use scheduling platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, etc., to schedule posts in advance and plan their content calendar.
  • Interacting with the audience through comments, messages and other forms of engagement is key. Fostering a sense of community is an essential aspect of social media marketing.
  • The engagement piece mentioned above requires social listening. Many social media marketers use tools for this to monitor brand mentions or relevant topics to engage with.
  • Reviewing and tracking the performance of social media efforts through analytical tools is essential to know what is performing well and what isn’t. This involves measuring key metrics such as reach, engagement, clicks and conversions.
  • Many social media platforms limit the reach of businesses. This is where social media advertising comes in. Running and managing paid advertising campaigns will help increase visibility and reach specified target audiences.
  • A strategy is key for aligning social media with the overall marketing objectives of your brand. This includes choosing the right platforms, defining target audiences and setting goals.

Many times, a social media marketer studies and works within digital marketing. Digital marketing is a good career for those who enjoy working with technology, flexibility and being online. Social media marketing is also often part of the brand’s holistic marketing plan and ties in with an integrated marketing communications approach.

Interested in being a social media marketer? Learn how to get into Social Media Marketing with our beginner’s guide!

Why Social Media Management is Important for Businesses

Social Media Management is important for businesses as it contributes to increased brand visibility, better customer engagement, targeted marketing, trust-building, website traffic, staying updated with trends, and showcasing products and services effectively.

Social Media Management is crucial for businesses for several reasons:

Increased Brand Awareness and Visibility

One of the primary benefits of having a dedicated social media manager or team is the ability to increase brand awareness and visibility.

Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms helps businesses reach a larger audience and increase brand awareness. Regularly sharing content and engaging with users contributes to heightened visibility, making the brand more familiar and accessible to potential customers.

Social media platforms provide a powerful channel to showcase products, services, and brand values to a wide audience.

Improved Customer Engagement and Communication

Consumers want to feel connected to a brand. One way to improve customer engagement and communication is through social media management.

It’s a direct channel for businesses to interact with their audience.

A dedicated team can actively respond to comments, messages, and mentions, fostering a direct connection with the audience. Engaging with customers on social media humanizes the brand, making it more approachable.

Enhanced Target Audience Research

Social media platforms have a lot of valuable insights into users' demographics, preferences and behaviors.

Social media managers can use analytics tools to gather data, understand their target audience better, and tailor content to meet audience expectations. This targeted approach leads to more effective marketing strategies.

For further reading on target audience research, you can visit What Is a Target Market? A Guide for Aspiring Marketers.

Building Trust and Loyalty Among Customers

Customers want authenticity before they become loyal. A dedicated social media team can curate authentic content, share customer testimonials, and address concerns promptly.

Consistent, transparent communication on social media helps create a positive brand image and fosters loyalty among customers. Building trust through social media can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Driving Website Traffic and Conversions

Social media posts can drive traffic to your business's website. By sharing links to products, blog posts, or promotions, businesses can direct followers to their websites, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Keeping Up with Industry Trends

In the world of social media platforms, there is constant change. Brands need a dedicated social media manager who can stay informed about industry trends, competitor activities and changes in their audience’s behavior. This allows businesses to adapt their strategies to remain relevant and competitive.

Showcasing Products and Services

Instagram has its built-in shopping platform, and with the link sharing mentioned above to drive traffic to your website, it's a must-have for promoting products.

Businesses can use images, videos and other multimedia content to highlight features, benefits and use cases. This visual storytelling helps potential customers better understand offerings and encourages them to make informed purchasing decisions.

Important Skills Every Social Media Manager Needs

A good social media marketer possesses a combination of skills, qualities and strategies that contribute to successful engagement, brand awareness and a positive impact on business objectives. Here are just a few skills every social media manager needs:

Copywriting Skills

You need to craft compelling and concise copy for social media posts, ads and captions. It also needs to match a brand’s voice to be effective.

Graphic Design Skills

A social media manager with design skills can create visually appealing branded content including images, infographics and social media graphics. Visual content is known to attract more engagement on social media platforms.

Data Analytics Skills

To be a successful social media manager, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. This makes data analytical skills are crucial for measuring the performance of social media strategies.

By interpreting analytics data, they can assess the effectiveness of campaigns, identify trends and make data-driven decisions to optimize future content and strategies.

Social Media Advertising Skills

Social media managers need skills in creating and managing paid advertising campaigns to reach new audiences and support the brand's overall marketing plan.

Understanding the intricacies of ad targeting, budgeting, and analyzing ad performance is essential.

Community Management Skills

Social media is a community. This requires community management skills to effectively moderate and engage with this online community. Social media managers need to be adept at handling both positive and negative interactions.

Strategic Planning and Adaptability

If there isn’t a plan or strategy behind your efforts, you’re likely not going to grow. A social media manager needs to have a clear understanding of business goals, target audience dynamics, and industry trends.

Adapting strategies based on analytics, emerging trends, and changes in the social media landscape ensures ongoing success in reaching and engaging the audience effectively.

How To Get Into Social Media Management

While we dive deeper into this topic in our beginner’s guide, here are a few steps recommended for getting into social media management:

  • Furthering Your Knowledge With Higher Education And Certifications. Marketing jobs often require advanced marketing and social media skills. You can advance your knowledge with a bachelor’s in Integrated Marketing Communications, or if you already have a bachelor’s degree, show you know marketing with a master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications or Digital Marketing Communications. There are also many industry certifications you can earn from Google, HubSpot and more. Our M.S. Digital Marketing Communications program has many of these certifications built into the courses!
  • Building a Strong Online Presence. Maintain an active and professional online presence to demonstrate your knowledge of social media platforms. If you don’t have a good online presence, why should someone hire you to build theirs?
  • Gaining Practical Experience. While companies are adding new digital roles, it doesn’t mean it is easy to be hired. They want someone who has some experience. Having internship experience or freelance experience will allow you to get started in digital marketing at an entry-level position.
  • Developing Your Skills. Hone skills in copywriting, graphic design, analytics, community management, and social media advertising. You’ll use various technical and soft skills in your career and need to develop those skills to get ahead.
  • Staying Updated on Trends. If you want to get into social media marketing, you have to know the emerging trends. Stay up to date on social media trends by following industry blogs, attending webinars and attending industry conferences.
  • Networking. Become a member of online communities and network with industry professionals. As you build relationships, you’ll meet people who can recommend jobs and let you know about the latest algorithm changes.

For a more detailed guide on becoming a digital marketer, refer to our article How to Become a Digital Marketer.

Explore Social Media Management at WVU Online

West Virginia University (WVU) offers online graduate programs that focus on Digital Marketing Communications and Integrated Marketing Communications, providing valuable insights into Social Media Management:

M.S. Digital Marketing Communications

Overview: This program is designed to equip students with advanced skills in digital marketing and communications. It covers various topics, including social media strategy, analytics, content creation and digital advertising.

Curriculum: The curriculum is crafted to meet the evolving needs of the digital marketing landscape. Students gain hands-on experience and strategic insights into leveraging social media for effective brand communication.

Career Opportunities: Graduates are prepared for roles such as Social Media Managers, Digital Marketing Strategists and Communications Directors.

M.S. Integrated Marketing Communications with Digital and Social Media Specialization:

Overview: This program focuses on the integrated approach to marketing communications, with a specific emphasis on digital and social media strategies. It provides a comprehensive understanding of how various communication channels work together for effective marketing.

Curriculum: Students take courses in audience insight, social media management, branding, and integrated campaign development. The program emphasizes the integration of traditional and digital marketing channels.

Career Paths: Graduates are well-equipped to pursue careers in digital marketing leadership roles, where they can strategically integrate social media into broader marketing initiatives.

Why Choose WVU Online Programs?

Flexibility: Online programs offer flexibility for working professionals to balance education with career commitments.

Expert Faculty: Students benefit from the expertise of faculty members who are experienced in the field of digital marketing and communications.

Networking Opportunities: Engage with a diverse group of peers and industry professionals, fostering valuable connections for future collaborations.

For more detailed information about these programs, you can explore the offerings on the WVU Online Digital Marketing Communications page and WVU Online Integrated Marketing Communications page.

Start Your Career in Social Media Marketing at WVU Online

Get started on a rewarding career in Social Media Marketing with WVU Online! Our comprehensive programs are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the dynamic world of digital marketing and communications.

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