Interest in social media management has rocketed since 2009, with global Google searches for the term now 100 times more frequent.
With this rise in interest has come a flurry of innovations and technologies to make management for effective than ever. There are some crucial tools out there, but first, you need to separate the best from the rest.
With so many people looking into social media management, being properly equipped can help make you stand out. Here we’re going to show you the tools to expand your reach and efficiency further than they’ve ever been.
If you’re ready to become the best in the business, let’s get into it.
What’s in a good social media manager’s toolbox?
Providing your clients with a good service requires you to have the best tools out there and the skills to wield them. You need one to make the most of the other if you want to deliver top results.
- Content scheduler and calendar to make sure every day is a win. People expect constant updates and reminders, make sure you can deliver
- Social analytics to track what’s going well and what can be better. This is what defines this era of marketing and is crucial to modern success
- Editing software to produce high-end, original content. Whether it be photos, videos or sound, a craftsman is only as good as his tools
- Project management software to keep things organised and collaborate efficiently. Things are always moving rapidly, so staying organised is key
- Platform-specific tools such as a hashtag collector, which lets you shine in a chosen area. The more platforms you specialise on, the further your reach goes
- Planning and organisation are crucial if you’re going to keep up in this fast-moving industry
- Creativity will allow you to take your tactics from the drawing board to people’s hearts. Who doesn’t like a bit of flourish?
- Copywriting to ensure people act on your stunning content
- Analytical ability to capitalise on the vast amount of data that can be collected. Data is now more valuable than oil, this should be your bread and butter!
- Leadership if you have a team means you’ll earn the ‘manager’ title in social media manager
- Community management means navigating the prickly world of internet anonymity will provide you with opportunities, not problems
- Attention to detail means your plans will be carried out accurately and give you consistent results
- Understanding trends will keep you ahead of the curve and help you produce content people connect with
There’s a wealth of blogs and listicles out there discussing what skills and tools are the most valuable. What exactly you most need to curate will depend on your preferences and how you tend to operate as a social media manager.
How do you work out where to focus on initially though?
Things may seem overwhelming initially. There’s just so much information out there and so many ways of interpreting and utilising it. Once you’ve got to grips with things, you’ll be grateful for the options though!
You will have to quickly come to terms with the fact that adaptability is key. What works on Instagram won’t necessarily work on Twitter. It’s important to not just know different platforms, but also to keep up with them as they evolve.
This can be managed a whole lot easier thanks to the analytical tools available on each major platform. They all work slightly differently but will usually provide you insights on things like your audience, engagement rates and ROI/CTR on adverts.
If you’re taking charge of an already established business, this will be your means of getting up to speed with the company’s current social media presence.
What if you and your client are starting from square one?
If you’re setting up brand new social media accounts and campaigns then you won’t have much analysing to do initially.
Instead, you’ll need to begin with content. This could be anything from creative Tweets to original videos to igniting engagement on Facebook comment sections.
How you approach this will depend on whether you’re a lone wolf or part of a team. If you’re a one-man army, you’ve got a few skills to learn. The Adobe suite is your friend here, with Premiere Pro and Photoshop being staples in the picture and video editing worlds, respectively.
If you’ve got a team, the best choice may be to designate a person/people as the creators, perhaps with different specialities.
If your operation is collaborative, then a project management tool goes from helpful to essential. These allow you to organise priorities, delegate tasks, and collaborate efficiently. In the continuous, fast world of social media management, group work with such a tool’s support is bold, if not naïve.
Trello is widely regarded as the best entry-level project management tool out there. Without spending a dime you’ll be able to automate tasks, prioritise work and collaborate with colleagues.
If your team grows significantly, then premium options are available, as are less beginner-friendly tools like Asana and ProofHub, which have their own merits. When starting off, Trello has the advantage of integrating with tools you already use and having an accessible learning curve.
A digital calendar is also invaluable for meeting deadlines and planning ahead. A project management tool worth its salt will let you integrate whatever you already use into your social media planning.
So, you’ve covered the basics. How do you take things to the next level?
Once you’re comfortable with how things are going, it’s time to start rounding out your or your team’s skill set. You’ll need to decide what areas can most be improved, but many people suggest nurturing soft skills ends up being a worthwhile investment in the long run
What are you waiting for?
These tools can be reached from your computer and the skills can be refined by just diving in. The first step is always diving in, and then you can learn whilst you’ve got something to practice with.
If you’re unsure how to find work as a social media manager, don’t worry! It’s an in-demand profession. Job sites are filled with openings for businesses looking for your guidance. There are even resume templates available to make your application that much easier.
So go for it! Now you know how to equip yourself, it’s time to get started!