PR + Social
The secret life of the social media manager
Do you hear that?
That guttural groan followed by under-the-breath expletives and ending with a sigh of defeat?
It’s the universal sound of social media managers everywhere waking up to find another algorithm update. A new Instagram stories feature. A change to Facebook’s page settings. Another CEO for Twitter.
LinkedIn might be the only one we’re not mad at yet. (And even then, with all the connection requests you get excited about just to realize the salesperson doesn’t truly want to connect … well, that can cut deep on a tough day.)
If you think new features and algorithm updates make social media managers groan, an entire new social media platform will compel them to pick up their MacBook and toss it out the window. Don’t expect to see them online Monday morning.
So I propose a mindset shift in the way we perceive social media.
I knew it was time to write this blog after seeing far too many marketers post a picture on social, close the app, smile at a job well done, and then open it back up the next day to see 12 likes and wonder what went wrong.
(I get it, I’ve been there!)
What went wrong was, with all due respect, everything. It’s not enough to make the post—you’ve got to make the right post, consistently, and with purpose.
Which brings us to the real problem: why things *really* go wrong. Marketers and business leaders need to stop viewing social media as it was 10 years ago. It’s not a little fish in a big pond. It is the pond. Most businesses (that includes you, B2B) need to show up in a way that’s worth it. Not just for your ROI and your KPIs, but for your customers.
I’m on a mini-mission to take the negativity out of social media marketing for our brave and beloved managers. Along with opening the eyes of business leaders everywhere to see how social media can help them meet their business goals in ways that never occurred to them.
This is how social media could be your greatest marketing tool.
Search engine optimization isn’t just for search engines anymore. The same best practices and strategies you use to increase your ranking and drive more website visitors can be used across social media platforms. It’s often referred to as social SEO, and it includes several optimizations:
- Keywords in captions
- Subtitles for all videos/reels (Include keywords here, too!)
- Alt-text for images
- Hashtags based on what your target audience is looking for, keeping search volume in mind
- Keywords in and formatting of bios/about sections in your profile
- The location feature, especially if you have a local business
If that’s not enough to convince you, according to Google’s own internal research, 40% of US users ages 18-24 are now using social platforms like TikTok and Instagram for search. And I’ll be the first one to admit that I am guilty of this every time I’m in a new city—I want to know what restaurant Instagrammers think I should go to for lunch, and I need the pictures to prove it.
Use these social SEO tips to gain more exposure for your content. Work with the algorithm to grow your channels faster and reach potential customers.
Whether your company is inundated with direct messages, comments, tweets or if you only get one inquiry a year, please (please!) respond. Gone are the days when we could leave a consumer’s comment high and dry on our Facebook post. Answering their question—or simply replying to a comment—is a great opportunity to do two things:
- Build a genuine relationship with this person. Why? It creates a more loyal customer. And a loyal customer is more likely to trust your brand, try your new products and services, and, best of all, recommend your company to their friends.
- Elevate brand perception. When other consumers see you respond to comments, especially in an authentic way, they don’t forget it. Next time they need your product or service, they might just think of you first.
Social listening goes further than just monitoring your social accounts, and it goes in a different direction from providing customer service, as well. It analyzes the overall sentiment: reach, trends and behaviors behind your product, service, people and brand.
When you understand the value of social listening and how you can use it for your long-term strategic marketing and business initiatives, there’s no doubt you (and your C-suite execs) will see how powerful social media can be for your brand.
Here are just a few key benefits we’ve seen as we implement social listening for our clients:
- Identifying customer pain points or gaps in the industry
- Current thoughts and feelings surrounding an industry or company
- Target audience messaging and content ideas directly from the customer
- Understanding your competitor’s social sentiment and what they might be doing differently than you
Social Intelligence Lab reported that 89% of survey respondents rate the quality of social listening data has high or very high, meaning the information we gain from social listening can be trusted and should be used to inform marketing decisions.
We use technology and tools specifically designed for social listening for our clients so that we can consistently have access to what their customers are saying about them on social.
This one’s not new to social media marketers, but how we encourage consumers to post user-generated content (UGC) and the fresh ways we can leverage that content is.
UGC is often directly connected to influencers, and for good reason. They have a larger following than the average Jane and they typically take great photos or videos. But I’m here to say that all UGC is welcome. You never know who might see a photo about your product or a video of your event and feel motivated to dig deeper into what your brand can offer.
Remember: When you see average Jane post about your service in any way, be sure to thank her. Show up for her and you’ll show up in the feed of potential customers who are looking for a company like yours.
When you want to encourage more UGC, be sure to do one of two things:
- Make it easy for them to post, especially if they’re not a paid influencer or if there’s not a tangible incentive for them to post, like a giveaway.
- Or, if they’re paid, make sure you give them easy-to-follow parameters about posting, such as lighting tips, copy suggestions, hashtags and tagging requirements, etc.
You can see a theme here when it comes to UGC: Make it fun and easy for the consumer or influencer to post and they’ll want to continue working with you on and off social media.
Lastly, when you finally get your hands on your precious UGC, think of ways you can use it beyond reposting:
- Website product pages
- Embedded UGC feed on your homepage
- Email marketing
- Paid media
- Blog images or video
- Reels/videos showcasing your product or service
Sometimes looking at social media in a new light gives us the fresh perspective we need to change up the daily routine.
Is it a struggle? Yes. Is it tedious? Double yes.
But it’s also rewarding. And fascinating. It’s fun and funny. It’s unpredictable. That’s the life of a social media marketer, and they deserve so much credit for opening those apps each and every day.
This is your sign to be kind to your friendly neighborhood social media manager. Send them a note about how funny the meme they created was. Or bring donuts into the office. They like that, too.
If you’re looking to bring this level of social media marketing into the mix, or just have questions for us at DS+CO, send us a note here and we’ll have one of our social media experts talk with you.
Emma Alexander is DS+CO’s content manager and email strategist.