Are Social Media Management and Marketing Different?

Social Media Management

What is social media management?

  1. Setting up Google alerts to keep up to date with industry news and trends. Google alerts is still the most convenient (and free) tool that can be used to monitor the Web for the latest industry and competitor news. Go to google.com/alerts and choose keywords/phrases relevant to your industry.
  2. Creating communities on social media and managing communities. Twitter Followers or Facebook friends do not constitute a community until they start engaging with your content. Turning passive followers into raving fans is not easy, as you need to strike a balance between promoting your brand and providing value to the community.
  3. Social media listening.  Tools like Hootsuite or SproutSocial make listening to your customers and competition easier. Bear in mind that most of these tools (and more valuable features of free tools like Hootsuite) are not free.
  4. Social media engagement.  Once you have built an online community it’s important to keep in touch by sharing, liking, commenting and responding to comments, otherwise your audience will lose interest very quickly. Choose the right voice for your brand – playful comments are OK if they are in line with your brand’s image.
  5. Data analysis and making informed decisions. As the amount of available data increases, so should the ability of marketers to analyse it and suggest a suitable course of action.
  6. Customer service.  Answering queries from customers is an important part of social media management. Make sure your marketing personnel know the appropriate responses and can quickly assign the queries they cannot deal with themselves to other departments.
  7. Dealing with PR disasters.  Reputations are fragile and can be ruined with one tweet or Facebook comment. Have a clear policy on how to respond to genuine complaints, but also know when not to engage.
  8. Content creation, publishing (includes developing a publishing schedule) – content has to be differentiated for every platform you publish on, both in terms of size and substance. Things that work on Twitter may not work on Pinterest. Content creation is an important element of community building as it must reflect the interests of your target audience, not your own.

To summarise: social media management includes all ongoing activities a business needs to undertake in order to maintain the presence they already have on social media without engaging in self-promotion.

Every company is its own TV station, magazine, and newspaper. Jay Baer Click To Tweet

What is social media marketing?

social media marketing As opposed to social media management, social media marketing includes activities that aggressively promote a product or service and help build an audience or increase its size on new or existing social media platforms.

  1. Content creation (yes, again). There is a difference between content that is created to keep your audience engaged and content that is promoting a product and is there to drive traffic to a particular page on your website. Content that is meant to sell should have an appropriate call to action.
  2. Driving engagement.  As opposed to the actual engagement with your audience you can try to increase the engagement by making it easier to share your content on social media or by offering a reward – an e-book, a white paper or a free video seminar. For tips on driving customer engagement see: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2015/01/29/6-strategies-to-drive-customer-engagement-in-2015/
  3. SEO.  Search engine optimisation is not dead, but it has become virtually impossible to cheat search engines. In order for your content to rank highly in search results it has to provide value to the reader.  See how SEO has changed in 2015: http://searchengineland.com/job-seo-2015-isnt-actually-seo-214150
  4. Advertising.  This activity is obviously an increasingly important part of social media marketing. See our previous post explaining that social media isn’t free anymore
  5. Funnel management. This means expanding the reach of content, generating leads and nurturing them.

 

Does it make sense to differentiate management and marketing activities?

As a business owner you may ask, are social media management and social media marketing indeed different? Surely the differentiation is purely technical and is only of interest to marketing professionals? Not true. Whether you are growing your business and are running the whole show yourself or are managing an established company, you need to understand that different activities on social media help achieve different business goals. It’s true that marketing specialists need to know how to perform all these activities, but you need to understand why they are required.

To put it simply social media management activities do not and should not involve direct selling. If you as a business person keep that distinction in mind you are much more likely to be successful at both social media marketing and social media management.

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About the Author

Digital marketer, writer with an interest in marketing technology, cyber security, entrepreneurship and culture.