Habits of Effective Social Media Managers

If you’re looking for a regular old 9-5 job where you know what you can expect every day, social media management probably isn’t for you. Social media platforms are active 24/7/365. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others are constantly evolving with new features and changes to your news feed. New platforms continue to emerge (remember a few years ago when people were wondering, “What’s Snapchat?”). To meet this ever-changing atmosphere, a social media manager needs to stay on top of their game as one day may not be like the next.

For a role whose responsibilities are constantly evolving, there are a few things every social media manager worth their salt does. These are the core habits that keep a brand healthy and growing on social media and its customers happy.

Plan, Create and Analyze

Social media is all about sharing content your community will appreciate. It’s up to social media managers to figure out what their customers want to see and how to present it in a way that draws attention. A good social media manager starts with the important messages they need to get to your audience and then peppers in additional engaging content, posts that aren’t necessarily tied to a precise business goal but will allow their community to connect with each other and the brand.

Of course, it takes some fine-tuning to figure out exactly what types of posts resonate best with your audience. Morning posts, midday, or evening? Text-only posts, or ones with photos, videos, or links? Captions with emojis or without? Native channel analytics and robust third-party tools offer a lot of information about your audience, what they like, and when they’re online. A good social media manager will also experiment with posting at different times and days, and with different styles of messaging.

Content strategy is all about iteration, so it’s good to get into the habit of analyzing and reporting on what’s working (and what’s not). It’s also good to check in on your competitors regularly to see what content seems to be working for them and drawing inspiration from how they engage their audiences.

Review and Respond

Once you’ve put content out there, it’s time to monitor how your community responds to it and reply to them when appropriate. Depending on the social channels a brand is active on, its social media manager is responsible for checking a variety of ways customers can contact them: posts, comments, tweets, and direct messages, to name the most common. A good social media manager prioritizes questions and support inquiries, ensuring their customers have the information they need. After those have been responded to or escalated, they can then move on to responding to users who don’t necessarily expect a response but whose posts offer an opportunity to build a stronger customer relationship.

Beyond those customers contacting a brand’s social media account directly are those talking about a brand. Those conversations are just as important, and that’s where social listening comes in. Using either native search terms or a third-party tool, social media managers are always monitoring content that uses specific brand or industry hashtags or keywords. For brands with a physical location, geofence monitors on Twitter or location searches on Instagram also offer great opportunities for engaging with customers and addressing concerns that may have otherwise gone unseen.

Stay Current

Algorithm changes, new features, updated functionalities, a new study about the best times to post or how to properly incorporate hashtags… There’s always something new to learn, and it’s essential that social media managers keep up-to-date on the latest industry happenings. A daily check of your favorite social media publications is a good practice to get into, as is following social media professionals on Twitter to get their perspective on what a given update might mean for brands.

Another thing to keep a regular eye on are trending hashtags. Every morning, good social media managers check to see which hashtags and topics are trending, particularly on Twitter. From hashtag holidays like #NationalPizzaDay to breaking news, social media managers can decide whether to engage or determine if the day’s news impacts their content plans.

There’s a lot to pay attention to when you’re managing an always-on brand presence, but a social media pro with the right approach will be able to get it all done.

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