As a person in charge of social media, you live a hectic life. Between building effective strategies and overseeing multiple social media accounts, you need to stay on top of finding new opportunities for marketing growth, and report on your performance – all under the pressure of time.
And if this wasn’t challenging enough, your social media teams are growing. This means you need solid management know-how to build efficient workflows and deliver results.
We know things can get overwhelming. That’s why we created this step-by-step guide explaining how to manage social media more efficiently – from persona analysis and content creation to listening.
What is social media management?
Social media management is the process of analyzing social media audiences and developing a strategy that’s tailored to them, creating, and distributing content for social media profiles, monitoring online conversations, collaborating with influencers, providing community service, and monitoring, measuring, and reporting on social media performance and ROI.
All these tasks, which were once marginalized by businesses, have now stepped into the limelight of companies’ marketing strategies.
Why? Because social media provides great money-making opportunities – on the condition you manage your social channels in an organized, efficient way.
Why is an efficient social media management process important?
The business potential of social networks is immense. Brands can leverage social media platforms to successfully drive their objectives across the marketing funnel, from raising brand awareness to increasing store visits.
But to be able to accomplish this, they need efficient social media teams.
The more goals you want to achieve through social media marketing, the more people dedicated to this channel you are going to need. This demand will eventually lead to building complex social media team structures.
If you are a large brand, you might even have multiple teams in different offices and regions of the world, leveraging different strategies to meet different targets.
Now, how do you make sure all these people work together hand-in-hand to deliver maximum value from social media?
The answer is: to build an efficient social media management process.
Managing social media: where do I begin?
If you’re not sure how to begin optimizing the way you manage social – don’t worry. It’s something many marketers are confused about.
To be able to start off on the right foot, you need to do three important things:
Conduct a social media audit
Decide on the right social media platforms
Analyze your target audience
Why did we outline these three tasks in particular?
Because completing them will provide you with fundamental information that will steer your social media marketing efforts in the right direction. As a result, you will be able to concentrate your resources on strategies that work and cut down on those that don’t.
Let’s take a closer look at each task:
Conducting a social media audit
A social media audit can always improve how you manage social media:
It will give you a granular picture of the effectiveness of your strategy
It will allow you to pinpoint where you’re wasting your resources
It will show which social channels are bringing in the most results
It will demonstrate the impact of social media on your web results
So, how do you go about performing your social media health check?
Step 1: List all of your company’s social media profiles, including those from different regions and belonging to your different sub-brands.
Step 2: Use social media analytics to review your key performance metrics, such as follower growth, engagement (including the average engagement rates for particular months), publishing frequency, most engaging content formats, top-performing posts, traffic sources, community sentiment, question response rate, average response time, audience interests, demographics, and behaviors.
That’s exactly the type of information you need to single out shortcomings in your strategy. From there, you can take the first steps towards fixing them and making your social media management activities more efficient.
Step 3: Put all that information into a neat social media audit template.
Step 4: Analyze the data and identify areas that could use improvement. For example, if you see a dip in your engagement volume, it might be a result of low content quality, inaccurate targeting, or wrong publishing frequency.
Decide on the right social media platforms
Another critical element of managing social media more efficiently is picking the right platform.
After you conduct a social media audit, it might turn out that some platforms simply don’t work well for your brand. In that case, you should take the time to understand the effort it will take to get the results you need.
A lot also depends on where your audience is. If during your research, you find out your audience is mostly on Twitter, for example, but your presence on the platform is far from strong, then you should obviously seek to improve.
If your results aren’t that great and your audience is somewhere else, you might consider shifting your resources to a different channel. But before you do, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my business objectives (improving brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, conversions, etc.)? Will I be able to meet my business objectives on the platform? How much will I have to spend to meet my goals?
Will I be able to perform efficiently enough to generate positive ROI on the platform? Will the amount be enough to justify the cost of marketing on the platform?
What are the demographics of the community on the platform and are they matching the demographics of the audience I’d like to reach?
Is my target audience present and active on the platform? Will I be able to reach them effectively?
How popular among marketers is the platform? How much content will I have to produce to stand out?
Is my direct competition present on the platform? How are they doing? Will I be able to outperform them?
If you need help picking the right platform for your business, here’s a little cheat sheet from Socialbakers
Analyze your target audience
Analyzing your social media community is everything when it comes to managing social media efficiently. There are plenty of benefits to analyzing your followers – including building stronger customer relationships, creating more relevant content, and boosting social media conversions.
On the flip side, if you don’t do market research beforehand, you’re at risk of getting on the wrong path, wasting both money and resources.
How do you build a detailed picture of your social media audience?
Start off by segmenting your audience into personas according to their shared characteristics – you can do that using this free customer persona template.
Or, if you want to make your life easier, you can let AI do the job for you.
It’s likely that your customer personas will be diverse. For example, you can have a group of teens interested in sports and a group of 30-year-olds following Digiday’s Facebook page and interact with their content.
Having this information will allow you to make better use of your resources by concentrating on doing what works best with your community. Need help analyzing your target audience on social media? Check out this audience insights report from Socialbakers (now a part of Emplifi).
Stock up on the right social media management tools
Advanced social media management tools are essential to building, executing, and measuring your social media marketing strategy effectively.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
Analyzing your top- to mid-funnel audience is especially important. That’s because people at these stages, sometimes called an unknown audience, are your potential customers.
The better you know these users, the more effectively you’ll be able to nurture them towards conversion with tailored marketing campaigns.
So, which tools are going to come in handy at this point?
Native social media analytics. The audience data you can get from social media platforms is quite detailed and includes:
Facebook audience insights: demographics, page likes, locations, activity
Instagram insights: top locations, times, and days when your followers are most active
Twitter analytics: demographics, lifestyle, consumer behavior, mobile footprint
LinkedIn analytics: demographics, job function, seniority, industry, company size, employment status
Audience Analytics: These enable you to see your Facebook audience grouped into personas based on their demographics, interest, and behaviors. As a result, you can save the time you’d have to spend on manual audience research.
You’ll also be able to immediately turn the result of your audience analysis into action.
Analyze the bottom of the funnel users, which are sometimes called a known audience, and use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to focus on every part of the customer experience (CX).
These will give you a better understanding of the people who purchased your products, including their demographics, the touchpoints on their customer journey, and content that eventually made them hit the buy button.
Content management tools
Content creation is an important part of the social media management process – but also a really challenging one. To make your content workflow faster and more organized, try these tools:
Content ideas tools
Social media monitoring – discover trending topics online that you can tap into
Social media analytics – see what your competitors are posting and get inspired by some of their most successful ideas
Audience analysis – understand the content your audience responds to positively
Content curation tools – find trending articles online that you can repost
Content inspiration – discover thousands of top social media posts that will resonate with each of your audience personas
Content creation tools
Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay – visit these sites for free high-quality stock images
Canva, Makeagif, Awesome Screenshot – design amazing visuals for your posts
Biteable, Lumen5, Shakr – create fun social videos your followers will want to share
Google Docs, Grammarly, Nuclino – collaborate with your team to create social media copy
Social media editorial calendars
Google Calendar – use Google’s visual calendar to easily slot your posts
Google Spreadsheet – create your own editorial calendar tailored to your needs
Free calendar templates – save time with pre-made social media calendar templates
Content calendar scheduler – access a visual breakdown of your social media content, schedule and review posts (also from mobile!), and have your teamwork on all content-related tasks directly within the calendar
Social media publishing tools
Social media publisher – manage social media publishing more efficiently by posting to multiple platforms with a single click. Plus, you will get precise recommendations on the best publishing times, so you can maximize your visibility and interactions. Below is a look at the best times to post based on data from Socialbakers (now a part of Emplifi).
Social media listening tools
Keeping tabs on online conversations around your brand is crucial to understanding the real impact of your campaigns that goes beyond just likes and comments.
Social listening – monitor social media for topics and queries, uncover the conversations about your brand and analyze the sentiment around them
Google alerts – create alerts for relevant phrases and topics appearing online and receive regular email reports, so you never miss a mention of your brand
Influencer collaboration tools
Managing influencer relationships is a relatively new addition to social media managers’ scope of work. Yet, it’s also become one of the most important tasks on their to-do lists.
Here’s how you can effectively manage influencer marketing-related activities:
Find influencers tool with AI – discover the most relevant influencers for your social media audience in seconds. Get an instant overview of their demographics, audience size, and engagement, along with an easy-to-understand performance score, so you can pair up with the most effective influencers.
Social customer care tools
Social media is a go-to channel for many customers to express their opinions or ask questions about your business. To be able to manage all the incoming messages, you might need:
Community management – interact with your community in an organized way with automated notifications, and defined team roles and responsibilities. View your incoming messages across channels in one spot and monitor your teams’ efficiency with filterable feeds, so you can provide top-notch customer service.
Social media analytics tools
Monitoring social media performance is critical to understanding the impact of your campaigns, identifying the most successful tactics, and fixing the shortcomings – which is why it’s so important to have the right tools.
Social media analytics – get a detailed understanding of your performance across channels in terms of all the key metrics, including:
Distribution of interactions
Most engaging post types
Number of interactions per 1,000 fans
Number of fan posts
Most engaging posts overview
Share of promoted posts and interactions they generated
You will also be able to see how you compare to your main rivals in terms of these metrics to find out who’s ahead of the game. And to add even more context to your performance, you can benchmark your ad spending and video strategy effectiveness against your industry, region, or country.
Google Analytics – understand which social media platforms drive the most traffic to your website
How to manage and analyze social media audience personas
As mentioned before, analyzing your audience personas should be the foundation of your social media strategy. Before you create any content piece or launch campaigns, you need to understand your community on a deeper level.
How do you go about managing and analyzing your buyer personas?
Step 1: Analyze audience data. Use the data sources listed in the previous section – the more information you have, the more accurate picture of your audience you’ll be able to build. Ideally, you’ll be using software that aggregates multiple audience data sources, saving you time and manual labor. Pro tip: Some audience information won’t be available in platforms’ native analytics or even Google Analytics. If you need answers to very specific questions, such as one’s favorite travel destination, consider running polls or doing market research.
Step 2: Consolidate your audience data. It’s likely that after you pull the data, it will be scattered and difficult to read. To get a holistic view of your social media community, you need to bring all the data together and analyze it in a single spot.
Step 3: Define your audience personas. Your social media audience is diverse: there are groups sharing different demographics, locations, behavior, and interests. By segmenting your audience according to these characteristics, you’re able to get a more detailed understanding of your personas. As a result, you can create tailored content that sparks engagement and effectively nurtures your community down the marketing funnel.
Step 4: Check up on your audience personas regularly. It’s not enough to analyze your community once and rely on this data for years. Keep in mind that your audience is constantly evolving – there are new people starting to follow your page and your “old” followers might develop an interest in different content. To be able to spot these trends and act on them in time, you need to analyze your audience personas on a regular basis.
See this guide to target audience analysis for a more comprehensive insight into researching your social media audience.
How to manage social media content creation
Once you’re done with analyzing your audience personas, you should have an idea of the direction your content strategy should take.
Yet, deciding on content formats and topics is not everything. As your business scales up, you’ll face the challenge of producing big volumes of content at a fast pace. To be able to tackle this issue, you’re going to need an optimized content workflow.
Here’s how you can efficiently manage social media content creation activities:
Step 1: Download a social media calendar into your Google Calendar with one click. It includes all national holidays for the whole year.
Step 2: Assign team roles and responsibilities. This step is critical to improving your efficiency, whether you’re an agency or brand with multiple offices around the world. To produce content efficiently, you should have the following roles on your team:
Content manager – In charge of creating a social media content strategy, managing an editorial calendar, distributing content promotion budget, and measuring KPIs.
Content creator – In charge of coming up with relevant content ideas, creating engaging posts, and optimizing them for different platforms.
Content editor – In charge of collaborating with all the people involved in content creation across the company, reviewing posts, and approving them for publishing.
It’s also necessary that you have a structured approval process in place. With the sheer amount of content you need to produce, it’s easy to get bogged down by unclear procedures. To ensure that no post gets stuck in a line, manage all your content in a unified system.
Step 3: Leverage data on your social media audience personas. Pay attention to their interests and the influencers they follow. This information will help you focus your efforts on creating tailored content, making this area of social media management much more efficient.
Remember that the more personalized your social media content, the more effective it is in driving your business objectives.
See this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to personalize your social media marketing activities.
Step 4: Round up content ideas by looking at the competition, utilizing social listening to monitor and join online conversations, analyzing your personas’ page with analytics, and curating interesting articles.
Step 5: Determine how much content you need to create. Obviously, you don’t want to put out too little and disappear from your audiences’ newsfeed or publish too much and appear like spam. Knowing how many posts you need to create on a daily or weekly basis can help you manage your resources better and be more efficient. How much content should you be creating?
Facebook – 3 times a day
Instagram – enough to publish 1-2 times a day
Twitter – enough to publish multiple times a day
LinkedIn – enough to publish 5 times a week
Step 6: Create amazing content using a variety of available online content creation tools that we discussed before. Pay attention to formats that work best on each platform:
Facebook – videos (75 million users visit Facebook’s video platform every day); learn how you can make the most of the video format on Facebook
Instagram – photos (Instagram’s audience size is 28% larger than Facebook audiences)
Twitter – tweets with video (receive 10x more engagement than without videos)
LinkedIn – posts with video (your video content can receive 5x more engagement)
Additionally, thanks to the visual layout of the calendar, you will be able to get an instant overview of your social media content.
Step 7: Monitor your content performance and report on it. Tracking how your posts resonate with your personas allows you to identify the most effective elements of your campaign, and focus your resources on replicating them in the future. Here are the metrics you should be tracking:
Awareness metrics: engagement overview, number of interactions per 1,000 followers, top-performing posts
Campaign goal completions: link clicks, sign-ups, purchases
You can get an instant overview of these metrics with customizable dashboards. And to keep your team in the loop on the latest data, leverage automated reports that are sent straight to the team members’ inboxes as frequently as you need.
How to manage social media listening
Social media listening is an important element of the social media management process. If done on a regular basis, it can help you complete multiple tasks, including:
Monitoring @mentions and how your campaigns resonate on social media
Finding out what social media users are saying about your competitors
Providing better customer care
Identifying new social media influencers and brand ambassadors
Spotting and preventing any brand-related social media crises
Pinpointing larger conversations your business should join