More global consumers are turning to social media than ever before to discover new brands and products. In a survey by GlobalWebIndex, 26% of Baby Boomers (age 57-64), 37% of Gen Xers (38-56), 46% of Millennials (24-37), and 50% of Gen Z consumers (16-23) said they’ve used social media to learn more about brands, products, and services. According to Neil Patel, customers spend 20 to 40% more with companies that they engage with on social media, making it clear that social media is a crucial marketing channel for ecommerce businesses.
Social media marketing, however, is challenging for many ecommerce retailers. Effective social media project management allows you to plan and organize campaigns for seamless execution and better results, boosting brand awareness and sales.
Defined: Social Media Project Management Social media project management is the process for managing social media marketing campaigns across one or more social media networks. Social media marketing is complex, involving research, campaign planning, content creation, graphic design or photography, scheduling posts, monitoring analytics, and more. It often involves multiple team members and departments, requiring effective collaboration and task management. Social media project management includes the tools, systems, processes, and workflows that keep everyone on the same page and projects on schedule.
Whether your social media team consists of two people or ten, managing social media marketing involves overseeing a variety of channels and moving parts. Social media marketing teams of all sizes benefit from effective social media project management to organize and executive the many facets of social media marketing, including:
Campaign planning: Every social media project begins with campaign planning. This process requires social media teams to collaborate with the marketing team and business leaders to align social media campaigns with broader marketing goals and overall business objectives, as well as careful consideration of the campaign goals, target audience, targeted social media platforms, the types of content needed, the contributors needed to create the content (copywriters, graphic designers), and the timeline for campaign execution.
Content ideation: Every social media marketing team relies heavily on content ideation to develop compelling ideas for campaigns and posts. Effective social media project management includes tools and processes for managing the ideation process and capturing ideas from team members and external resources. For instance, some social media teams use Trello boards, shared Google Sheets, or similar tools for capturing ideas, with periodic meetings to brainstorm and refine ideas for future campaigns.
Creative asset development: Systems and processes for creative asset development are an essential component of social media project management, as social media marketing relies on both written and visual content. These tasks are handled by graphic designers, videographers and video editors, and copywriters, but having a clearly defined process for assigning those tasks and ensuring that assets are developed and approved in time is a must for seamless campaign execution.
Asset library: An asset library is a central repository where images, photos, videos, and written content are stored. Having a repository filled with on-brand, approved assets and product images allows marketers to find the assets they need to keep campaigns on track. Tools with user access controls and permissions allow social media managers to give team members access to the assets they need, without risking the misuse of non-approved assets or rights-managed assets.
Content calendar: A social media content calendar is the cornerstone of every effective social media campaign, offering a visual planning method for scheduling posts across the growing number of social media networks today’s marketers manage. With an organized social media content calendar, social media managers can ensure that campaigns are on-track. It also creates transparency, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and knows what’s coming up next.
Workflows and approvals: Clearly defined workflows allow teams to establish who is responsible for which tasks and set deadlines for creative asset drafts and approvals to keep the whole team on track. Defined workflows and task management reduces the likelihood that campaigns will be delayed due to miscommunication or not receiving drafts or approvals in time.
Post scheduling: With the ideal days and times to post on social media varying from platform to platform, keeping up with posting at the right times on every network is a complex task. Social media scheduling tools are the most widely used tools in the social media project manager’s arsenal, allowing marketers to draft and schedule posts weeks in advance to ensure that your campaigns never miss a beat.
Social media listening and monitoring: Another important aspect of social media project management, social media listening involves monitoring social media networks to identify comments on posts, brand mentions, product mentions, questions, and direct messages, all of which are opportunities to respond and engage your audience. Social media listening is also a useful tool for competitive analysis.
Paid campaigns: There are ample opportunities for advertising on social media today, from social commerce posts that allow customers to make purchases seamlessly to sponsored posts, offer ads designed to drive conversions, and more. If paid social media advertising is part of your campaign, you should have clearly defined processes for creating ads, establishing your budget, managing the ad campaigns, and monitoring results.
Measurement and reporting: Monitoring analytics is an ongoing process, allowing teams to identify the most effective campaigns and tactics to engage audiences across social media platforms.
Ecommerce social media managers benefit from having a bird’s-eye view into the many facets of social media marketing. Without visibility into every process, it’s easy for your campaigns to go off the rails. Following these best practices will help you streamline social media project management to keep your campaigns on track and your team in sync.
The right tools are the foundation of successful social media project management. Most social media teams rely on several types of tools to manage different processes and workflows, including:
Task and workflow management tools
Tools for capturing ideas
Social media content calendar tools
Social media listening and monitoring tools
Social media scheduling tools
Contest and promotional management tools
User-generated content tools
Some tools cover several of these needs, such as social media scheduling tools with built-in content calendars and analytics tools, or scheduling tools that also include task management features. Choosing tools that integrate seamlessly with other tools in your arsenal will save you time replicating data and information across platforms while making social media project management more seamless.
While you should maintain a consistent brand image and voice across your social media networks, social media marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. By identifying social media personas for your target audience for each social media network, you can create tailored social media campaigns for each network to cater to that audience’s unique needs and preferences.
Your LinkedIn audience is likely to have different interests than your Pinterest audience, for instance. Running the same campaigns and promotions across every social network simultaneously means you’re probably alienating a portion of your audience, and you might lose followers. By targeting the audience personas with specific campaigns developed for each social network (or multiple networks that share similar personas or like-minded audiences), you’ll keep your audience interested and engaged. Keep your audience personas up to date and make them readily accessible to all team members who need them.
Boost your reach and increase engagement by installing social media share buttons on your website. Share buttons, such as the Facebook share button, make it easy for your visitors to share your blog posts, product pages, and other content on their favorite social media networks with a single click.
Not only do you reach a larger audience effortlessly when visitors share your content, but those shares come with an element of built-in social proof. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most effective form of advertising there is. According to MarketingCharts, 93% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising – even influencers and celebrities – making these shares incredibly valuable for not only boosting brand recognition and trust, but also sales.
Keeping tabs on your competition on social media is a must for effective social media project management. Monitoring the competition allows you to identify their most successful campaigns and promotions, giving you ideas and inspiration to do it bigger and better.
Competitive analysis also helps to identify areas where your competitors are leaving needs unmet, allowing you to capitalize on those opportunities by offering information or solutions to fill those gaps. For instance, if you find that your competitors are being asked similar questions repeatedly but don’t offer any relevant, useful insights or informative content, you can craft a post or host a social media Q&A to answer those questions and attract some attention from your competitors’ audiences.
Social media project management is most effective when informed by data, and conducting a social media audit provides valuable insights on what’s working and what’s not, on what networks your audience spends the most time, who is engaging with you on what networks, and more.
Social media audits should be conducted periodically, such as quarterly, every six months, or once per year. By conducting an audit, you can refine your social media strategy to focus on what resonates most with your audience.
Clearly defining roles and responsibilities ensures that every member of your team knows what tasks they’re responsible for. Develop written workflows and processes to clearly define the steps involved in each campaign or promotion and the requirements at each step, such as getting a manager’s approval before posting new creative assets, where to find on-brand assets or user-generated content approved for use, and how to appropriately tag products for social commerce posts.
Your social media content calendar is your cornerstone for establishing timelines for each step in the process. If you’re running a promotion to tie in with a holiday, for instance, you already know when you need to post content to reach your audience on each network. Your content calendar should include all the essential details for each post, including the content format and title, a description, the campaign it’s a part of, keywords and hashtags, social media channels, type of post (organic, sponsored, etc.), and a call-to-action.
There are lots of routine tasks repeated regularly in social media marketing. If you always post curated content on certain days and times, you should set up these recurring tasks in your task management software or project management tool. Setting up recurring tasks means that new tasks are created automatically at specified intervals, meaning you don’t have to spend time manually adding those tasks each week or month.
For one-off campaigns, set up an individual project and establish a timeline with due dates for each task. Then, assign the responsible party to each task. When all contributors have access to the project, they know what team members need to provide them with assets, information, or approvals before they can begin their tasks, and they’re also aware of other team members who are depending on them to complete their work so that they can begin working on their responsibilities.
Refer to your social media content calendar to determine when you need to have drafts for creative assets and when other tasks must be completed. Allow ample time for each task while also allowing adequate time for feedback and revisions. Establishing deadlines for feedback and approvals helps to reduce bottlenecks.
Every social media effort should have clearly defined goals, and your team should know precisely what they’re working towards. When you set clear goals from the start of a campaign and get the team aligned on meeting certain key performance indicators (KPIs), such as a 30% increase in engagement, a 10% growth in followers, or a target number of conversions or sales, it’s easier for your team to stay motivated and on track.
Monitoring KPIs provides valuable data that allows you to pivot mid-stream if it becomes clear your campaign is falling flat and your goals aren’t achievable. If you aren’t seeing an increase in engagement, for example, you can shift the days and times you’re posting or adjust your messaging to get the results you’re looking for. You can even add new elements to your campaign, such as leveraging influencers to amplify your message or promoting user-generated content, to reach your objectives.
Cohesive collaboration is a must for social media marketing teams. Social media project managers should regularly solicit feedback from individual contributors and encourage team members to share ideas.
There may be a hiccup in a workflow that’s making it challenging to meet deadlines, for example. If your team members feel comfortable bringing up concerns and offering suggestions, you can continue to improve your workflows and processes to create a seamless, streamlined project management system that keeps your team motivated and on-task and your campaigns on track.
Social media project management is a complex task for ecommerce retailers, with many contributors, channels, tasks, and responsibilities to manage. Establishing clearly defined processes leveraging the right tools to support your workflows, automating tasks where possible, and following social media project management best practices saves time, keeps your team aligned, and ensures your projects remain on track.
Effective social media project management makes your campaigns more effective. When you run more compelling social media campaigns and promotions, you’ll tap into the growing number of consumers using social media for product research, driving more sales for your ecommerce business.