What Is Social Media Management? | :: Why Use A Social Media Management Agency?
What is social media management?
The most basic definition of social media management is that it is the online management of social media accounts.
Such Internet management of social media accounts could be for individuals, businesses or organizations.
While content development and postings are big parts of social media management, they are only a small part of this amazing business strategy.
A brilliant and effective social media management plan is part of the overall digital marketing strategy of the individual, business or organization that is using it.
It is an important business and marketing decision.
And as such, we don’t recommend leaving your social media management to just a good family member, your neighbor's smart college kid that's good on Facebook or the faint at heart.
A professional social media management strategy starts with an audit.
After auditing and signing up for the different social media accounts, the next step is to create different profiles and background images as recommended by the respective social media networks.
Such awesome and impactful images reflect the brand and importantly, are designed specifically to be emotionally relevant to the target audience because they get results.
Most people on the Internet already know that well-crafted social media profiles and images amplify the brand.
Moving forward, managing social media accounts includes researching trending topics, the creation of content that takes advantage of the buzz in the social media landscape of the targeted keywords and promoting the content massively and ruthlessly.
Using the 20/80 rule, if 20% of the time is used in creating the content, then 80% of the time should be used in promoting the content. That tested formula works all the time.
A major part of social media management is monitoring, listening, engaging and converting such interactions into buyers of your products or services.
As the volume of conversations and engagements on the different social media platforms increase, it becomes ridiculously time-consuming.
What started out taking few minutes of your time, is now taking hours. Honestly, such insane amount of time has become an unnecessary invasion into your private space without achieving the results you envisioned.
In other words, the other important components of social media management like listening, tracking, engaging, and monitoring the target audience have become an annoying commitment.
Sadly, this affects the time that is spent on the core business which most business owners enjoy.
At this juncture, most companies outsource their social media management to a social media management agency that understands their niche or they intensify their in-house social media management efforts.
They know that a well-thought-out social media strategy works holistically and seamlessly with their other marketing strategies.
Such brilliant marketers understand and appreciate the advantages of social media marketing.
Why Use A Social Media Management Agency?
Are you still sitting on that fence that is at the crossroads of your social media marketing efforts? Hiring a social media marketing agency has the potential for skyrocketing your brand awareness and bottom line.
Here are reasons to ponder over in deciding whether to hire a performance-driven agency or to keep it in-house.
#1. You Get Strategists
One of the benefits or advantages of hiring a trusted social media agency is that a professional agency becomes your marketing ally and strategist.
And as such, the agency develops a social media marketing strategy or plan before engaging with the audience.
The plan or road-map is crafted to meet the specific goals of the business and the target audience.
Such a plan is not crafted in stone and is therefore continually updated and refined in order to meet the present needs.
One of the most important benefits of having a capable strategist is that she ties all of your social media activities to specific business metrics.
#2. You Get Results (Huge ROI)
Social media management companies measuring the return on the social media investment is not an option.
That is why they work extremely hard for the client because they know that it is only by getting results that their effectiveness as an agency is measured.
Business executives are not eager for any buy-in and budget for social media strategies without a measurable demonstration of how the efforts are impacting the business’ goals.
This means that social, like other channels, has to prove its return on investment (ROI).
But beyond proving the impact on your organization, measuring and tracking social media return on investment also lets marketers dedicate more time and resources into what’s working, and improve the tactics that aren’t delivering real value.
#3. You Get Experts
As experts in their field, professional social media management companies have the experience and understanding necessary to navigate the turbulent sea of the social media landscape.
Social media, in general, is so dynamic that tons of new updates for the multiple social media networks are developed.
And when you add software and search engines' algorithm changes that leave hardly any time between trending topics and old news.
That is why it is highly important for companies or organizations that want to be on top of their game while maintaining professional appearance must know and adapt to these changes.
It wouldn’t cut it to relegate social media management to a marketing department that doesn’t have the expertise nor tools to execute a winning social media strategy.
Interesting, the huge companies hire a social media management agency as a component of their advertising or PR duties.
Others choose to hire a community manager to handle their growing social media marketing responsibilities.
As you have rightly imagined, hiring an expert social media team is the ultimate solution.
#4. You Get Benefits Of Social Media Tools Without The Expense
There are agency tools for social media management and software for designing those awesome images and graphics for blogs and social media channels’ profile and background images.
As if those were not enough, you have tools for SEO. You see, these tools and new ones are game-changers for being effective and in achieving your marketing goals. All these tools are not cheap.
The beauty is that you get the amazing benefits of these premium tools without spending the money that these agencies paid for them.
#5. You Save Money
The different hats expertly worn by the social media management team cannot be practically replicated by an in-house social media marketing team.
Some of these duties include the design and crafting of a successful social media marketing campaign.
A professional agency has a community or social media responsible for coordinating with other experts on the team on content creation, SEO, graphics, and advertising specialist.
It costs more money to combine the duties of the sales or marketing department with that of social media management.
The reason is that it takes a full-time employee to craft a solid content, promote that content massively and ruthlessly, engage with the audience as well as measure results.
Many businesses who appreciate this need hire a full-time employee.
The problem with this approach is that the learning curve for social media is steep and littered with all kinds of hidden costs and unintended circumstances.
Interestingly, an awesome social media agency has a team of experts that handle all the necessary tasks.
When you hire an agency that specializes in social media management, you get the benefits of the individual expertise.
That is why we recommend that for the same marketing reasons why you hire an advertising agency to manage your advertising, you should hire a competent social media management company.
Your agency would help you choose your social media channels, build your audience and optimize your content.
#6. You Get A Different Perspective
An outside social media management company can bring insights to your business that you wouldn’t discover when managing things in-house.
This includes drawing on experience with other clients (more on this later) as well as the fresh minds they apply to the problem.
By having an unorthodox viewpoint, they can also point out opportunities that your brand might have otherwise missed.
Divergent thinking means more potential solutions, increasing your businesses chance of making the best decisions.
If you only looked within for advice you’d end up making a lot of the same mistakes.
Social Media Management Tools
There are tons of enterprise and free social media management apps on the internet. All of them have their pros and cons.
That is why it is not easy and effective to choose a social media management until you put in writing what you are trying to accomplish.
If you work with a team, how that team likes to work and collaborate as well as budget and working hours of your team are important factors to consider.
The most basic function of a social media management software is that it makes it ridiculously easy for a trained person or organizations to connect their many social media accounts.
From that dashboard, you can post content, manage, monitor and analyze engagements.
Many of these online applications make it easy to have real-time and automated postings to different social media networks at the same time.
After the post, some of these management platforms allow you to keep track of what your audience and those of your competition are saying.
You can also evaluate what interests your followers and/or potential customers.
According to Wikipedia "Sprinklr is a social media management platform for enterprises.
It provides social media marketing, social advertising, content management, collaboration, advocacy and social media monitoring for large enterprises".
This social media management app is genuine social media management big-hitter that is designed for serious enterprise use only.
Forrester once described this app as “the most powerful technology in the market”. Their client base includes the likes of Virgin, Cisco, Nasdaq, HP, NASA and Nike.
This amazing high-end social media management app makes it possible for brands to manage their channels on one integrated platform.
This is a social media management app for big brands, digital marketing agencies, and enterprise. It is awesome for organizing content that is managed by larger teams of community managers.
Another beautiful feature is that it has a content library that allows teams to share content internally. It has Google Analytics integration.
According to their website "Sysomos is a unified, insights-driven social platform that gives marketers the easiest way to Search, Discover, Listen, Publish, Engage, and Analyze at scale across earned, owned, and paid media".
Sysomos can be used to manage social media accounts like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, LinkedIn and Google+. It can also be used for social media monitoring across the web.
Infegy has a brilliant and effective search system that generates fast results that go as far back as four years.
Apart from being precise in search results, the app provides analytics. It monitors social media to keep track of trends, perform market research online, and figure out the needs of consumers.
Its flexibility makes it different from other social media management tools because it works with marketplace changes.
Shoutlet presents a platform in which you can give your customers immediate and concise responses.
Shoutlet can come in the form of an app that is compatible with Apple products, making it an advantage for individuals who have iPhones.
There is a simple menu that includes texts, audio, images, and video.
Users can conveniently use any of those applications to capture useful content, add the content to the Shoutlet library, and leave it there until they are ready to distribute it for marketing purposes.
Shoutlet provides some insight on what consumers really think about your brand
Hootsuite is one of the earliest and better known social media management tools that millions of people around the world use to manage their social media accounts in an efficient and simple way.
The platform allows you to manage up to 100 social media profiles. It allows you to post as well as respond to interactions.
It has an automatic scheduler that automatically chooses the best posting time for your accounts so as to get the optimal results you want.
It also allows you to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter from just one web-based dashboard.
Buffer is a smart, simple and still powerful social media management tool. It makes it amazingly simple and easy to schedule content across social media.
Think of Buffer like a virtual queue you can use to fill with content and then stagger posting times throughout the day.
This lets you keep to a consistent social media schedule all week long without worrying about micro-managing the delivery times.
The Buffer app also provides analytics about the engagement and reach of your posts.
Buffer’s app is superior to the scheduling flexibility of Hootsuite because it lets you designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week.
Agora Pulse is a cool premium tool that allows you to do social media scheduling across multiple channels with CRM, monitoring, analytics, dynamic reports, and advanced functionalities.
The app lets you schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all in one place. Plus, Agora Pulse has dynamic reports for all three social networks.
You can market content and run promotions from Agora as well.
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management app that social media management agencies use because with the premium package, you are equipped to manage multiple social media accounts.
SproutSocial is an all-in-one browser-based social media management platform.
Their goal is to help businesses build lasting and meaningful relationships with their customers.
In addition to social media platforms integration, you can also integrate ZenDesk, UserVoice, and Salesforce.
This makes it seamlessly easy to manage all your customer support, interactions, and relationships from a single dashboard.
MavSocial includes the standard tools for SMM and might be the right choice for marketers with multilingual followers — including Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.
It also supports some of the main Chinese social networks and gives access to free stock images.
MavSocial is a visually-focused social media marketing tool that includes the standard tools for SMM and might be just the perfect app if you have multilingual followers!
This social media management app supports the main social media platforms in China.
It offers stock images as well. It has an amazing library of images that can be used for scheduled posts.
That means that if you don’t like the image featured in a post, you can change.
You can even try different images to see which one gets the highest engagements.
Another awesome feature of this app is its ability to post videos directly to social media networks.
This tool posts to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Tumbler.
You can track audience interactions and reply to comments within the program as well. The reporting system is wonderfully robust.
Social Media Management Monitoring Tools
Social media management tools are used by professional social media management agencies and marketers get the most out of their social media efforts.
These tools help them listen to what their target audience is saying. Such monitoring helps you see in real time what your audience is saying about you, your competitors, and your niche in general.
Though Hootsuite is mentioned in this article as a scheduling tool, it is still is one of the best free social media listening tools you can get today.
With it, you can monitor many networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+.
Use TweetReach to see how far your Tweets travel. Not only do you see how far your tweets travel but you get to measure the actual impact and implications of social media discussions.
Social mention gives in an amazingly easy format, information about how your brand is mentioned online and your interactions.
It is as simple as typing in a name, click and watch the links to your mentions appear. In addition, find the strength of your brand, the passion, and sentiments of your engagements.
As the name implies, PinAlerts is much more a Pinterest alert system than a traditional monitoring tool. It tracks when someone pins from your website and alerts you through email.
With the alert, you can be engaging with the person or people on Pinterest and develop relationships with them.
This app is a fairly sophisticated monitoring and management tool that allows users to compare search profiles or relevant terms across the web.
This allows businesses to track individual products and compare social buzz among their own products.
On the other hand, they can also compare their brand mentions to those of their competitors. Viralheat offers a few ways to visualize this data in a graph or a pie chart.
Here are other social media management monitoring tools.
Sumall.com - Tracking for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and more.
Mention - Real-time media monitoring on Facebook, Twitter, blog, forums etc.
SImply360 - Social CRM Application.
uberVU via hootsuite.com - lets you monitor and analyze the buzz.
TweetDeck column that searches for any mention of your company
Beevolve - monitors blogs, social networks & video platforms. Offers sentiment analysis, Geographic analysis & competitive analytics.
NetVibes - Social Media Monitoring, Analytics and Alerts Dashboard
As you have seen there are tons of hues of social media management.
As you are reading this article, there are many more strategies, many more tools, and technology that are being developed.
When combined with your other marketing strategies, social media marketing knocks traditional marketing off by performance.
So what are your social media marketing goals? What are the social media activities that are keeping you up late at night? Where are the holes or gaps?
Looking for a social media management agency that will deliver on your strategy?