You might think that social media management is uploading posts to a publishing app and having a few conversations online with your friends and followers, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Often because it’s free to use social media for our business, we don’t always put the same amount of time and energy into it than we would marketing approaches that we have to invest our hard-earned cash into.

Social media marketing done well can bring a wider range of benefits to your business, including:

  • Improving brand recognition
  • Enhancing your authority and credibility as a business owner
  • Improved reputation as an expert in your industry
  • Increased traffic to your website
  • Real-time interaction with your target audience

It all starts with a strong social media strategy

Before you can get to grips with managing your social media, you need to know how you’re going to be using it and why. An effective strategy will outline what you want to achieve from using social media, which platforms you’re going to use (so make sure you know where your target audience prefer to hang out), and how you’re going to be using them.

Doing your research is important at this stage.

Make sure you know where your potential customers look for businesses like yours. Different platforms work best for different business types and their audience.

Creating and updating content is the basis of good social media management

Again, you’ll need to do some research here.

  • What kind of content is your target audience responding well to?
  • Is it written, audio or video?
  • What kind of topics are getting their attention?
  • Is there anything viral that you keep coming across?

This information will guide you to creating and posting the right kind of content. You want to be using an 80/20 ratio of informative and helpful content over sales posts. This can be your own blog posts, videos, and infographics you’ve created through to curating and sharing content from other social media accounts and business owners.

Scheduling your content is something of an art form

Once you’ve got your mix of content ready to go, you don’t have to sit at your computer waiting for the right time to publish them. That’s where scheduling apps like Buffer and HootSuite play their part. You can upload everything in advance to be published at set times.

Timing is everything though.

You want your posts to be seen so you need to consider when your target audience will be using their social media accounts, and where they might be in the world too. You can use your social media analytics data to see when posts were read to inform your scheduling strategy for the future.

Use your social media analytics data to monitor and evaluate your strategy

The problem with social media is that the algorithms are constantly changing, and what can work well one week could very well fail to get any attention the next.

Each social media platform has their own data dashboard packed with information on how well your content has performed. Take the time to look back over the last month and pay attention not only to how well each post was received, but whether this also led to new followers, increased engagement or even web traffic.

It isn’t always the posts that perform the best that bring the most benefit to your business.

Engagement and interaction is a key reason why social media works so well for small businesses

A cheerful chat with another user can bring you far more exposure on social media than a well-placed post. Why? Because it shows that you’re a real business owner that knows what they’re talking about, and it’s this that will bring your target audience to your website.

Engagement is far more than just replying to comments and messages though. Listening to your target audience and being there to help when they have a question or concern is a great way of getting noticed without having to be pushy or ‘salesy’. It doesn’t even have to be relevant to what you do – if they have a question and you can answer it, go for it!

Social media is about being part of a community. Being an engaged member of that community and helping others is a key part of follower management, and something you should focus on wherever you can. It’s this helpfulness that improves your credibility and authority as a business owner.

Effective social media management can be time-consuming, so do consider outsourcing to a professional that will ensure your brand and reputation remains consistent. We can help you manage your social media accounts effectively so get in touch with us today to find out more about how to make your social media work for you.