We cover a lot about social media on our blog because in 2016 and beyond it’s one of the more important factors in digital business. Without a visible social presence your customers, fans, loyal devotees, etc. have no way to interact with you or check in on recent happenings. But what constitutes effective social media management? Here are a few things we feel are important for any truly “effective” social media manager to focus on.
Post & Share Interesting Content That Starts Conversations
Part of being a great social manager is curating content. That’s right, simply seeking out and sharing recent news articles or undiscovered gems is a big part of the social media management game. Not only does this make you a useful source of information it helps generate valuable social reference for your brand… if you’re doing it right. Here are a few other methods that our social media managers use to foster better engagement for clients:
Sharing Interesting Blog Articles: If you run a restaurant you want to associate yourself with content relevant to restaurant goers. Articles about recent events like Octoberfest or Food Truck Festivals is likely the kind of thing that’s going to spark interest among your followers – they followed you because they like or are interested in your restaurant. So give them a reason to stay interested!
Post An Inspirational Picture or Quote: Be careful with this one as it’s quickly becoming a bit passé to go overboard. But if it’s heartfelt and relevant to what you do that can eclipse any corny aspects. If you’re going to use these, just be conscious of your business, brand and followers to avoid becoming the butt of a huge internet joke.
Comment on a recent news item: This is another area you have to be extremely careful. Wading into politics on any level can quickly alienate a demographic of potential customers. Our recommendation is to stay “Above the fray” but if a news item is positive, upbeat, unhindered by politics and relevant to your industry it could be the perfect vehicle for conversation and added search relevance.
Have a clear call to action: If you’re going to solicit opinions or want to start a conversation for gods sake be clear about it! End your post with a question like “What do you think?” or “We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!” – This is a great way to engage people and give them a seat at the table for discussion. Great social media management creates a conversation where multiple parties enthusiastically exchange thoughts and opinions on a given topic, so make sure you push for this level of engagement.
Build a Following by Following…
The world of social media is a simple one. It’s a direct parallel to the actual reality we live in every day. People want to be noticed. People want to know that they matter… and as stupid as it sounds a re-tweet or a follow makes people feel that way. I have to admit I am personally addicted to checking my phone for new Instagram likes… as I’m sure a lot of you are. Snapchat… don’t even get me started. Understand that EVERYONE on social media has a bit of this attitude and feed into it by following people who follow brands or companies similar to yours.
If I was going to start a social media account for an up and coming shoe brand tomorrow, the 2nd thing I’d do (after designing a clean and crisp header & profile image) is go to Nike’s social profiles and start following their followers. Why? Because those people will instantly get that request and go: “Oh I got a new follower, anyone who follows me has to be cool…” and they will look at your profile, some will click your link and read though your feed, etc. etc. You do it all the time, I do too. Social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest also work on hashtags as a “discovery” engine. So doing this will not only help you get discovered by people who care about the type of stuff you’re doing, eventually you’ll have a growing following of your own.
Create Your Own Content
Last but not least is the most important factor in an effective social media management strategy – creating original content. A big part of driving social traffic from those platforms to your own properties is creating content to feed into them. If you’re sharing other people’s content you’re driving traffic to their websites for them to benefit from. It’s much better to have your own content strategy in place and to create keyword rich articles, videos and graphics that will feed into organic search for terms relevant to your business.
This of course is the most trying of any of the tasks an effective social media manager would have