The 6 habits of a successful social media manager

Just like any marketing channel, social media requires a certain set of specialist skills to be successful. Knowing how to use the software is one thing, but really understanding how social media fits in the marketing mix, the best ways to use it and how to measure success are another thing altogether (obviously it helps to be interested in social media on a personal level, but again that can be said of any form of marketing).

Here are the 6 habits of a successful social media manager you can take and apply to your marketing efforts today.

Take a holistic view of all your marketing efforts
Whichever social media channels you use, a good social media manger will view them as components of the same strategy. By approaching each social network as a self-contained silo you leave yourself open to inconsistencies, repetition and disjointed campaigns.

The profile images, status updates (message and tone) and shared links/ images should all be consistent with other aspects of the brand and/ or campaign.

Think about what people want before you start
Key three questions every good social media manager asks themselves is:

  • Why will people follow my business?
  • Why will they interact with us?
  • Why will they share us?

If you can answer these questions, you are on your way to a successful social media strategy. The key is to understand it is not about what you want to share and talk about, it is what people want to read and hear about.

Only launch on relevant social networks
Not every social network makes sense for every brand. Too many businesses open accounts with the latest network de jour only to abandon it soon after. What objectives will that social network fulfil and what content can you create or share on that network that people want?

For example, B2B brands will find it difficult to engage with clients over Twitter and Facebook, but LinkedIn is a great network for sharing high value content and discussing trends in industry groups. Additionally, a service led brand with no physical presence will find using Instagram a challenge.

Become the voice of the brand, not the person
As a brand’s social media manager you are essentially the company’s voice, and your words are the businesses words.  Everything you say and do should reflect this responsibility.

The personal nature of Twitter, Facebook Google+ et al can draw social media managers in to a false sense of developing relationships at a personal level. This in turn affects tone of voice, grammar and topics of discussion.

Genuinely engage with followers
By ‘engage’ I mean actually speak with, rather than to your followers. Asking questions is one method, albeit a slightly lazy one. What is better is starting a real conversation that goes back and forth. The conversation can be over a short period of time, or it can be over the lifetime of that customer.

Measure success without chasing meaningless metrics
The impact of social media one sales and retention may be difficult to quantify fully, but it is not impossible and depending on your objectives, you can completely gauge how successful they are. Likes, shares, comments, clicks and sales are all easy to track through a mixture of the social network’s interface and the likes of Google Analytics’ attribution modeling.

Metrics such as the Klout score tell you next to nothing as a business and are only used when the other performance based metrics are poor (in my opinion).

What do you think?
Are there any habits you think should have been included here? Let me know in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “The 6 habits of a successful social media manager

  1. Nice article! We recruit for Social Media Manager jobs and number one on our clients’ list is candidates with experience building an active community along with being a brand advocate.

    Creating a CRM strategy is becoming part of a Social Media Manager’s remit. Companies are providing offers and personalised communications to customers who have interacted with them on their social media pages. We are also seeing a rise in PR and Social Media roles which ties in with crisis management and the impact social media has on companies’ reputation and dealing with negative feedback.

    1. I totally agree, the role of a social media manager is changing a lot. I think this is partly down to businesses understanding how social media works better. Rather than viewing it as a standalone channel, they now see how it weaves in to pretty much every other form of marketing in some shape or form, and even beyond with CRM and customer services.

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