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Mastering Social Media Management: Proven Tactics for Growth

Most companies know that social media has a crucial role to play when promoting their products or services. Across all industries, strategies focused around social networks now form a sizeable chunk of marketing activity. 

But mastering social media management, understanding its importance in driving brand growth and staying up-to-date on the latest trends is easier said than done in this fast-paced, ever evolving landscape. Despite its prevalence, many businesses still get social media management wrong or fail to use it to their advantage in the most cost-effective, sustainable and efficient way.

In this comprehensive guide we share an overview of the key skills and knowledge you’ll need to acquire to manage your socials effectively. Throughout the article we’ll be covering a variety of burning questions, including:

  • Why understanding social media management is crucial for businesses – whether you’re outsourcing or taking care of it in-house
  • Why content is important, and how to develop an effective content strategy 
  • Our run-down on social media advertising – along with some benefits and pitfalls to be aware of 
  • The importance of metrics in socials and how to monitor and analyse them to ensure better results from future campaigns
  • Getting clear on your audience, building a following and maintaining engagement 
  • How to stay on-trend and scale your efforts as you grow

Whether you’re new to running socials for a business or simply want to learn more about how to maximise your social presence, you’ll find everything you need to know in this top-level guide. You can read from start to finish, or pick out the topics most relevant to you as you go. Let’s get started!

Crafting an effective content strategy

Content marketing experts

The foundation of any successful social media management strategy is content planning and creation. Without content, you have nothing to share. Without good quality content, your social channels will stagnate and fail to engage or excite your target audience.

How to define your brand’s unique voice and personality on social media

There are millions of accounts on social media platforms – so your brand needs to stand out. Start by considering what makes you different – such as your values and USPs, or any stand-out features and benefits of your products or services. Then think about how you can communicate these positive attributes in the most effective and engaging way. 

Consumers form emotional connections with the brands they love, so the voice and personality you develop will determine whether they feel something or not. It needs to reflect and resonate with your audience, mirroring their likes and dislikes, satisfying their needs and addressing their concerns or objections. 

Brands who are successful on social media create communities of engaged followers who trust and support them. So focusing on how you can build a connection with content is key, rather than simply paying attention to the design or type of content you share. 

Determining what types of content resonate with your target audience

If you’re new to socials, it’s a good idea to conduct some competitor research or take a look at similar brands in your space (or brands with a similar audience – even if their offering is different) to assess what types of content and approaches receive the best response. From this you can get a clearer idea of what types of content will resonate with your audience the most. 

Identify businesses with the same target audience, then get inspired by what they do well (and take note to avoid anything that isn’t working). 

If you already have an established social presence, this exercise is still useful periodically to ‘check in’ with your audience and stay on top of trending content. You can also drill down further on what your audience loves through monitoring and comparing analytics on different types of content or running some A/B tests to see if a different approach produces better results. 

The importance of consistency with your posting schedule and content quality

One important aspect of social media management brands tend to fail when it comes to social media is lack of consistency. Consistency doesn’t just mean posting regularly and keeping platforms up to date – it also means consistent quality of content, consistent tone of voice and consistent effort in terms of engagement and time spent interacting on your account. Making consistency a key focus enables you to sustainably and efficiently build a highly engaged online community. Without this, everything else becomes more difficult and it’s harder to win. 

Maintaining a consistent quality of content will come down to the resources you have available, your overall strategy and the management of your teams or external contractors. Everyone working with you and producing content for your brand needs to be on the same page, both internally and external contractors such as graphic designers, copywriters, agencies and influencers. 

Bear in mind also that when it comes to posting, what is considered ‘consistent’ varies between different platforms. For example, a consistent posting schedule on X (formerly Twitter) is once a day, but for LinkedIn it’s more like 3-4 posts per week. For the new kid on the block, Tik Tok, it’s more like 3-4 times per day. 

Repurposing content across multiple platforms to maximise reach

Brands that excel on social platforms work smarter, not harder. They know that with careful planning, it’s possible to produce one piece of content which can then be diversified across different channels and mediums. Even older content can be continuously repurposed and reshared provided it’s still up to date and relevant. 

You can find much more on crafting compelling content including storytelling techniques and engagement tips in our bumper guide here.

Harnessing the power of social media advertising

Many companies dive head-first into social media advertising to boost their brand visibility; but it’s crucial to exercise caution here. Whilst some will lead businesses to believe that advertising on social networks is simple, it’s anything but – and it’s easy to get it wrong (and waste a lot of money in the process). 

As platforms increasingly restrict organic reach to monetise and encourage companies to spend money to maximise their profits, the world of social media advertising has become even more tricky to navigate. 

Getting this right can make a brand, but getting it wrong can be disastrous – and each platform has its own tools, techniques and best practices to ensure success. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider before spending any of your company’s hard-earned cash on social ads. 

Consider your platform: Start by assessing which platforms you perform well on, and then decide where your money is best spent. Do you want to maximise your efforts on a platform that’s already performing well, or use your funds to increase visibility on another relevant network where you’re less well-established? Don’t discount Twitter and LinkedIn ads, which have huge potential to drive business growth even if you have a smaller presence on those platforms to begin with. 

Train and test first: We can’t stress the importance of being cautious and ensuring you have a basic understanding of how to make ads work for you on your chosen network before getting started. Too many companies dive straight into advertising without any understanding of how it works or a passing glance at the guidelines. Networks have encouraged this false sense of security in part through making advertising seem more accessible – such as Instagram’s Boost Post feature. Going in unprepared is a sure-fire way to waste hundreds of pounds of ad spend within hours. 

Budget allocation and A/B testing: This is one area of social media advertising where many businesses come unstuck – because they fail to properly budget for and test their ads. Firstly, you need to consider how much you have to spend and how that money will be allocated or split between ads and networks over a period of time. You can do this through conducting some market research or asking a marketing expert for their advice based on similar companies within your space. Next, you’ll need to put together two different versions of your ad (choosing variables as appropriate such as content, audience parameters and geographical location). Even when you’ve done the research and understood your audience, you still need to test to see which types of content, ads and approach resonates best with them. This allows you to spend more confidently and increase ROI incrementally as you continue to fine-tune your approach.

Make it measurable: You’d be surprised how many companies stick money on ads, lured in by promises of astronomical success, with absolutely no understanding of ad analytics or any tools set up on their other touchpoints (such as websites) to be able to determine whether they’re making a difference. Be sure to continuously gather data to assess and analyse the ROI of your social media ad campaigns. This allows you to identify both successes and areas for improvement, so you can fine tune and maximise the effectiveness of your social media advertising efforts moving forward. 

Monitoring and analysing social media metrics

Learn how to effectively track and analyse social media performance

A lot of businesses find monitoring and understanding metrics challenging – and it’s easy to see why. Every platform has its own way of sharing (and measuring) social media success with various insights and metrics available for businesses to analyse and use to enhance their promotional activity. It’s easy to focus on the fun, creative side of social media management but true success comes from getting acquainted with the not-so-sexy numbers and data which comes from each activity or campaign. The ‘post and pray’ approach never works – you need a solid understanding of metrics, clear parameters and a set plan to inform your social media activity and campaigns. 

Key social media metrics to focus on

There are lots of different ways you can measure the impact of your social media activity. The key is not to become overwhelmed with the amount of data available and instead choose just one or two areas to focus on at one time. Metrics available include engagement, reach, conversations, interactions and more. Some platforms offer deeper insights for premium or paying customers. 

These should be closely tied to your KPIs and overall objectives – what do you want social media activity to achieve? What tangible outcomes or assets do you want to acquire? What actions do you want or need users to take as a result of what you share on social platforms? The overall aim of your presence on a social platform or the specific campaigns you run will inform what you measure and how you interpret the data.

The role of social media analytics tools in decision-making

Ideally, your decisions should be well-informed, and being well-informed requires a sound impression of what makes your audience tick, and whether you’re hitting or missing the mark. If you don’t have external agencies supporting you, much of this knowledge will be gleaned from your data and insights. Make a habit of learning and tracking metrics from social media analytics tools so that you can use these insights to your advantage. Over time this will enable you to make sounder decisions when it comes to marketing, not just for your socials but in other similar areas too, such as PPC and email marketing. 

How to adjust your strategy based on data-driven insights

If your data indicates that you’re moving in the wrong direction or need to adapt your approach, what happens next? It’s often easier to notice that something isn’t working than to find the solution to fix it without experience and background knowledge. 

First, start by drilling down on exactly what the data is telling you.  What are the outcomes from your strategy so far – and do they meet or exceed your expectations, or fall short? Which specific areas are showing signs that there’s room for improvement? Then you can begin to adjust your strategy accordingly moving forward. 

Building a community and fostering engagement

Explore techniques to build an active and engaged social media community

The most successful brands don’t have followings – instead, they build engaged communities. Businesses that focus on engagement over follower numbers may experience slower visible growth, but this approach pays dividends in the future as their community continues to show loyalty and naturally builds through referrals and resharing.  

Strategies for encouraging user-generated content and customer testimonials

Getting eyes on your content and profile is key in order to grow an audience on socials. But in a similar way, getting your followers involved in your page and business is crucial in order to experience tangible benefit from your efforts on social media platforms. This is where community-building content strategies come into play, helping you to connect with your audience and maintain their level of interest in your brand. These can come in the form of contests, giveaways, and interactive content. 

Responding to comments, messages, and reviews—best practices for engagement

One area many of the businesses we meet tend to struggle with is keeping on top of audience engagement. We can’t stress this enough – ensuring timely responses to all comments, messages and reviews is crucial. It not only flags up the interaction on your account to the network’s algorithm, encouraging more views and fresh pairs of eyes on your content – but it also enables you to nurture and build a connection with your existing, warmed-up audience. Due to the time-consuming and constant nature of this task, most companies need a dedicated person to take care of this for them, either externally or in-house. 

How to manage and prevent negative feedback or online crises effectively

Sadly, the swift spread of information online has drawbacks as well as benefits for businesses – as negative publicity can quickly reach a lot of people. The fast-paced nature of socials also causes people to be quick to jump on the bandwagon and take things at face value. This means that one bad review can snowball into a full-blown PR crisis if ignored or not handled properly. 

Prevention is better than cure here, so having plans in place for various types of negative publicity online will help you to quickly and efficiently respond in order to reduce the impact on your brand. At the very least, your social platforms will all need to be monitored on a continuous basis so that you can identify any potentially damaging interactions, posts or comments and deal with them in good time before they become a bigger issue. 

For online crises, a more in-depth, specialised plan is required to enable you to respond in the best possible way should an unexpected event occur. You’ll also need to think about roles and responsibilities and assign various tasks to team members you feel have the skills and knowledge to be able to implement a crisis management plan effectively. This is closely tied in with how you deal with complaints and the delivery of excellent customer service. 

Staying on-trend and adapting to changes

The importance of staying current and adaptable in the fast-paced world of social media 

Another aspect of social media management that companies find challenging is the fast-moving nature of it. Apps constantly change, update and develop new features and functions – so it’s not easy to keep up with the latest trends and techniques unless you’re a dedicated professional.

This is one of the key advantages of external social media management – experts keep abreast of industry changes and continuously upskill, so you don’t have to. But if you’re working with an in-house team or managing socials yourself, these tips should help you to keep on top of things.

What are the benefits of adapting to platform updates and user behaviour shifts?

Without a clear and current impression of what works well on your chosen social networks you risk falling behind competitor brands or actively repelling your target audience. Ensuring that you continuously stay on top of updates and adapt to them keeps your brand feeling current and active to users. In the same way, understanding behaviour shifts specific to your audiences enables you to more accurately predict their needs and connect with them on a deeper level to foster more engagement and reach. 

How to stay updated on social media trends and algorithm changes

Social media can be overwhelming and confusing to keep a track of – especially if you have a presence on more than one platform. But there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re not the last one to know when it comes to staying on top of changes – including signing up for mailing lists and updates from experts and social networks themselves and attending (or providing staff with) regular training. 

Strategies for future-proofing your social media management tactics

Although their features and functionality can change rapidly and frequently, there are a few foundational elements that will always be important to social networks and their users. These include quality, relevant content, a consistent posting schedule and tone of voice and regular engagement which builds an online community as opposed to a ‘following’. As mentioned earlier, focusing on these elements and mastering them helps make your brand’s social presence more resilient amidst the constant updates and can buy you time to get acquainted with new trends. 

Leveraging influencer marketing 

Exploring the role of influencer marketing in social media management

Influencer marketing is an area of social media management and marketing in general as well as being a strategy in itself – as such it needs focus and understanding to make it work. With this in mind we recommend checking out our dedicated guide to influencer marketing here – but for more of an overview on how you can use influencer marketing for your brand, take a look at our top-level tips below.

Identifying the right influencers for your brand and campaign

Selecting the right influencers to work with is a crucial first step for any brand. Get it right and you can secure some pretty impressive results – but if you get it wrong, you could stand to lose existing customers as well as potential revenue. The influencers you choose to work with represent you – so they’re effectively an extension of your business. Choose wisely and be sure to exercise caution along with careful planning.  

Negotiating partnerships and setting clear expectations with influencers

Approach this partnership as you would with any other supplier, ensuring that there is a clear contract and terms between you outlining what you will receive in return for the money you spend and managing expectations on both sides. Many brands and influencers alike have been burnt by a casual, creative-led affairs which couldn’t deliver for either party. Make sure you’re covered by a service level agreement and written guidelines before you embark on a campaign. Don’t be afraid to be too detailed here – make sure you ask for and include every aspect of the campaign you need. This should be agreed upon first before you start working together. 

Measuring the impact and ROI of influencer collaborations

Gaining clarity on measurements and metrics can be more challenging when you’re working with influencers. In the past much of the suspicion and hesitance smaller businesses expressed when working with influencers was based on a lack of trust or results, or both. Many are understandably twitchy to part with cash when so many seemingly more solid options were available to promote your business via channels. Ideally trust should still be at the heart of any influencer partnership, but it’s always a good idea to conduct your own research. Thankfully we now have a host of third-part tools which can help you to, as well as your own analytics. 

Interested in finding out more about influencer marketing? We’ve written a dedicated guide on it here. 

Scaling your social media efforts 

Once you’ve established a presence online and put together a personalised plan to populate your platforms, it’s time to think about how you can scale. Getting the aforementioned foundational elements spot-on should help you to scale more easily and efficiently. 

Techniques to scale and optimise your social media management efforts

As we’ve touched on above, you’ll first need to have some tangible data based on previous social media activity to inform your approach. Every company’s strategy will be unique to them, but typically social-savvy businesses tend to reinvest revenues from socials so that they can build larger, better-trained teams, explore new strategies or hire more experts to help them grow. 

How to build and manage a social media team or outsource tasks

Companies have various options when it comes to managing social media. First of all you need to consider whether you’re going down the inhouse or outsourced route – or a blend of both. This will depend on the size of your company, your current resources and teams and budget. There are benefits and drawbacks to inhouse and outsourced social media management – taking into account various factors such as cost and complexity. Lots of companies opt for training, external support or a blend of all three to enable them to run socials most efficiently. 

Whether you choose to take care of things internally or enlist expert support from trusted professionals, be sure to focus on putting together comprehensive briefs and clear plans in advance to ensure everyone’s on the same page. 

The use of scheduling and automation tools to streamline operations

Lots of businesses now use scheduling and automation tools to take away some of the heavy lifting involved in a consistent social presence. These tools offer a number of benefits, including better time management and planning and no missed posts or frantically shared (yet poorly executed) content. There is also a responsive, time-sensitive element to social media that can’t be managed by software, so the use of scheduling tools frees your teams up to focus on engagement and other aspects of social media management which can’t be automated. 

Balancing the need for growth with maintaining a consistent brand image

Generally quality over quantity is key – so you will need to consider how to balance the need for engaging, exciting content which connects with your audience with the need to create and share on a regular basis, which can be time-consuming. Think of social media as a sales tool which forms an integral part of your wider marketing strategy, rather than putting the pressure of your entire promotional efforts on one medium. The best way to ensure sustainable growth and consistency is to plan a few months ahead and prepare accordingly, rather than posting on an ad-hoc basis. 

Are you set up for social media success?

The significance of mastering social media management for brand growth can’t be underestimated. Through taking the time to learn and understand the basics of social media and implementing a carefully planned and well-thought-out strategy, you can begin to open up social networks as a source of revenue and brand awareness. 

It can be challenging to keep on top of every aspect of the ever-changing social media landscape, even for seasoned professionals. Try not to let this overwhelm you – stay committed to your strategy and consistent with your effort, and the results will come. 

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