9 Defining Qualities Of A Natural Social Media Manager

social media manager [soh-shul  mee-dee-uh   man-i-jer]

Noun

A Social Media Manager is someone who’s in charge of the social face of your business by managing and growing your brand’s presence on a variety of social media platforms. Responsibilities can include some or all of the following: scheduling, publishing, and monitoring content, keeping in close touch with your community, managing your account for growth, creating a content strategy, planning campaigns, managing influencers, and producing content.

The Role Of A Social Media Manager…

The land of social media management is much like the wild, wild west; undefined, untamed, and just a little unruly. When you hire the wrong person it can be like the blind leading the blind.

What even IS a social media manager? Do they moderate community commentary? Do they spend endless hours perusing the internet for pertinent cat memes? Do they write blog posts or long-form content that gets promoted on all of your channels?

Or… Do they do a little bit of everything, from copywriting to graphics to strategy?

Frazzled executives and business owners across the land are looking for unicorns, pegasi, and flying pigs who can do it all, do it well, and do it under budget, but it’s not easy to find The One.

A great social media manager is worth their weight in gold and here’s why: THIS PERSON CONTROLS THE DAILY IMAGE OF YOUR BRAND.

That’s major.

If you’re going to trust your brand to someone who isn’t a vetted professional with legitimate social proof, let us at least help you know what to look for.

Why?

Social media is more than engagement and likes – it’s about taking a strategic approach to leveraging your brand personality, mission, and Unique Value Proposition for steady and sustainable growth.

If you decide to hire a full-time social media manager, here are some qualities to consider…

The Makings Of A Great Social Media Manager

Because the term “Social Media Manager” means different things to different people, in lieu of focusing on the tasks and responsibilities that belong to this role, let’s think about the innate characteristics and qualities to look for in the human you’ll hire.

They ❤ it.

Social media algorithms reward action and time spent on the app, so if you hire someone who isn’t hashtag-obsessed with it, your accounts won’t grow as fast as you’d like. Pick someone who dreams digital with thumbs that scroll in their sleep.

They are super-social-savvy.

#DUH, but you wouldn’t believe the difference between someone who LIVES for all things social vs. someone who does it because it’s their job. It’s like challenging a millennial and a baby boomer to an IG duel…

They can write.

I’m not saying you need a trained conversion copywriter, but a skilled wordsmith is a must. Clumsy wording, grammar mistakes, or boring content will sink your ship faster than you can say i before e except after c.

They have an eye for design.

If you don’t have a designer or photographer collaborating on your team, your social media manager will be the one picking images and designs to represent your brand. If your vibe is smashed avocado and grass-fed beef, make sure you find someone who’s not going to clog your feed with Frappachino-flavored content.

They are balanced humans with composure and maturity.

On a scale from selfie-obsessed socialite to pearl-clutching puritan, you want someone balanced at the helm of your brand’s public image. Check out their own channels – finding a steady human who’s socially conscious, intelligent, and thoughtful with their own personal content, plus has the natural ability to engage their friends in conversation, is a win.

They are a collaborative independent

When you ask, “what are some of your greatest strengths,” answers that revolve around team player-ness or collaboration should pique your interest. Once you invest in your social media program, 50% of your organization will express opinions about what should get published, when, and how. Every once in a while it’s helpful, but ideas from that-person-that’s-not-a-digital-marketer are often strategically wrong. This hire needs to listen well and learn from others while having the ability to think for themselves.

They are friendly and agreeable

Your social media manager will need to work closely with others (re: copywriters, photographers, videographers, editors, depending on the size of your marketing team). If they’re not friendly and flexible, managing them will totally suck.

They’re business-minded

Gone are the days that social media is a shiny brand awareness tool. Done right, social will send more traffic to your website, drive product trial among new customers, and nurture loyalty. It’s fine if your candidate has a lot to learn, but they should show curiosity about how their role can impact the bottom line (or it won’t).

They’re focused on the big picture, dialed to the last detail.

Especially if your team is lean, your social media manager will be: Strategizing, planning, producing, scheduling, and monitoring. This scope of work requires a level of detail orientation many big-picture thinkers lack. You need a person in place who can think long term without missing a single detail.

Rather hand things off to a team that lives for this? Schedule a call with me.

MANAGING PEOPLE CAN BE EXHAUSTING. CONSIDER US YOUR PARTNER IN IMPACT-DRIVEN STRATEGY AND EXCELLENT EXECUTION, HERE WHEN YOU NEED US AND READY TO STEP IN.

Why We Help Our Content Clients Become Self-Sufficient (We are Not Your End Game)

We always think of fit, function, or fee as the reasons a marketing agency might be a miss.

But the real problem is that they’re not going to get you any closer to where you eventually want to be: An industry leading brand with a rock solid and self-sufficient marketing engine.

If you’re in a phase of hyper growth, building an internal marketing department may or may not be the move right now – it depends entirely on your business, the balls being juggled, and every detail of your SWOT that may or may not change next quarter.

The benefits of owning your marketing operation are big. The competitive edge that comes with full-time brand evangelists driving your consumer-facing conversation is game changing. The ability to chart forward progress and build strength through both success and failure is huge. You can iterate your way into the most effective blend of creative and analytical marketing magic with total quality control.

But that takes time and quite a bit of human capital.

Right now? You need all the things. You need a cohesive communication strategy, a social media master, a content producer, a copywriter, a PR pro, an advertising specialist, an email marketer, an SEO superhero, and maybe even an influencer or affiliate program. You need all of these functions to LOCK DOWN around your unique value prop for a coordinated blast off.

Since there’s no finding all that in a single hire, partnering with an external team starts to make some sense.

If you’re investing in external marketing partners, there are a number of things you need to trust:

  • That the tender loving attention you receive during the sales process stays true all the way through to the last day of your contract.
  • That when the agency has turnover, your account progresses seamlessly.
  • That the agency’s copywriters whom you may never speak to understand your brand. Not the mission statement and not the tagline, but your customers, their problems, and how you solve them better than anyone else (with a unique brand personality to boot).
  • That the costs you’re looking at are true, and not some trumped up version engineered to favor the agency’s profit margin.

In so many ways, it comes down to trust: That this team you’re hiring to champion your brand does so, to the point that love bursts from your marketing channels with a genuine fury that stops your audience dead in their finger-swiping-tracks. These unicorns exist, and if you vet hard enough, you’ll find them.

But what about your end game?

When hiring internally becomes the best tactic for your brand—what then?

How will all that you’ve invested in these partners help you in the long run? Will you be starting all over, or continuing upward from the peak you’ve spent the last few years climbing?

As an agency owner, I want your business (your business: your growing, good-for-the-world business).

As a marketer with an “in-house” background that wants what’s best for you, I want you to own your own marketing.

That intersection is precisely where we’re providing a different sort of service for our clients.

We are not your end game.

It’s with that understanding that we proceed, building you a marketing program that works now and in the future, with strategic frameworks, custom playbooks, and all kinds of training to hand off to your future team for a seamless transition. We provide unparalleled collaboration to our partners.  

But enough about us. I want to talk about you. If you want to talk about you, too….

Not sure yet? Want to watch a case study?

Now…

How to Drive a 340% Website Traffic Increase (with the exact same budget)

Someone asked for examples of my work. I can talk all I want about my content marketing skills, but I need to show them.

A digital portfolio is in progress, but since that isn’t going to happen for a minute (more important things, like serving my clients) here’s a quick story.

Background: Vermont Smoke & Cure is a responsibly sourced meat snack brand (so delicious) whose target market is a busy mom and leader of the active, meat-snacking household.

  • Goal: Drive increased website traffic leading up to holiday
  • Challenge: With no increased ad spend – AT ALL …while everyone else is upping theirs due to holiday.

Our content strategy calls for being as helpful as possible. We’re not giving her tips on how to be a better mom (like everyone else), we’re trying to save her time, so she can catch a few minutes to herself at some point.

I developed this 12 Days of Snack Dinner campaign, we published a 5-minutes-or-less dinner idea every other day in December, and put $200 behind a promoted pin on Pinterest (and zero dollars for promoted posts on Insta and Facebook). I developed the recipes, produced the photoshoot (IMPORTANT: we decided to go with one stylist, natural lighting, and iPhone shots because, well, budgets) and I guided their new social media manager through the rest.

  • Pinterest saw a 5625% increase in referral traffic.
  • Instagram, 340%
  • Facebook? 105% increase on mobile, 200% desktop.

Here’s what their referral traffic from social looked like YOY for the first three months after implementing my content strategy. Same exact ad spend and creative budget, no joke. Also important to note that they did have a full time content manager in December 2016.

Remember: “likes” are nice, but referral traffic is a critical measurement of content success. Once they reach your site, you can retarget them with a sweet first time offer. And so on, and so forth, as you move toward increased cart value.

In your corner,

Katie

Reduce “Content Overwhelm” with these Three Steps

“I’m just overwhelmed by the opportunity and possibilities, I can’t wrap my brain around how to get it organized.”

A client said that to me about content marketing the other day. After speaking with more than 60 business owners since April, I can tell you that it’s a common feeling.

So many ideas and so much opportunity…that’s the problem.

How do you ensure that across hundreds of published ideas and touchpoints, your messaging stays consistent?

Coherent?

Sequential?!

…That’s why I have a job.

In an internet filled with fluff and last ditch efforts to stay top of mind, I’m focused on bringing PURPOSE to the content you work so hard to publish. Purpose that drives the action you want, with the target you want to reach.

Here are a few tips to help get your content program organized:

Step 1: Write goals for your content strategy and social media marketing department. These should include items like increasing traffic and sales consistently month over month, boosting awareness and loyalty, and aligning all of your content collaborators for a consistent look, feel, and tone of voice.

Step 2: Understand your target market. From their fears and desires, to their language and tone of voice.

NOTE: There is no such thing as an effective content strategy that fails to start with 1 & 2.

Step 3: Organize your communications strategy around the intersection of your target’s needs and your brand’s unique value proposition. If your “story” is not conceived at this intersection, it will not not achieve your business goals.

After that, you need to find a way to show your team how to bring that to life.

CLARITY.

SIMPLICITY.

CONSISTENCY.

…It’s not just what you need, it’s what your audience needs in order to follow you and buy.

In detailed storytelling layers 😉

If you want to hear more about getting yourself the type of roadmap that accomplishes all that and more for your content program, grab one of the spots on my calendar.

In your corner,

Katie

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How to Drive ROI with Efficiency

I asked 100 business people about their biggest question, right now. Most resounding answer: What’s the most efficient, cost-effective marketing strategy for me? Let me explain something that nobody else is talking about. Heeding this advice will save you a lot of money.

If you are currently asking this question, you need a strong content strategy. Or as I like to call it, a “scalable communication framework.”

I know, everybody else is saying Facebook ads, SEM, or SEO. But those are just pieces of the puzzle.

Here’s why you need to start at the beginning:

  1. Ensure strong “organic. If you currently communicate through .com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, or email, a content strategy guarantees the most return out of your activity. Even while the reach of Business Pages decrease, your interactions are more impactful when you’re working off a content strategy (that you’ve developed after researching and testing the most emotionally resonant and effective way to speak with your audience).
  2. Test before you scale. A strategic plan for your organic content means you’re making the most of your short-term. There’s a learning curve to implementing a content strategy. Once you prove what works, then you amplify with paid tactics. This is the work that will get you a 3-5x return on your money once you are ready to scale.
  3. Leverage. This is really important. Your content strategy is the piece that aligns all of your owned, earned, and paid momentum for the least amount of effort. Once you are ready to scale by investing into the proper marketing systems for you (discovered in the content strategy work), you have a tool to leverage and communicate in a way that gets everybody moving in the same direction.

You know what really stinks? When your organic channels are doing one thing, and then your agency starts targeting Joe Schmo and the copy sounds completely different than the tone of voice you’ve been using. This is so counterproductive, it kills me. Your content strategy lays it all out: the way the creative is going to look and feel, photography guidelines, tone of voice, subject matter…the list goes. You use it to communicate with: your BOD, external agencies, contractors (writers, designers, photographers) and influencers, as you scale up your proven communication framework.

Questions? Book a call, we’ll talk.

Katie