As the time people spend on social media increases, marketing department leaders have made social media management an essential component of their strategy. Focusing on social media is critical for any business wanting to stay competitive in the modern and increasingly digital business world.

Data compiled by the World Economic Forum shows why social media management is so crucial for every type of business. People in the United States spend an average of two hours and 14 minutes a day on social media. Residents of Nigeria top the list, spending more than four hours daily on social media.

People also increasingly make buying decisions on social media. Shopping on social media–sometimes called “social shopping”–is forecast to generate $1.2 trillion in purchases by 2025.

Given these trends, modern organizations seek competent social media management professionals to help them capture the attention of these millions of potential buyers. Social media is also essential for government agencies and non-profits to reach, grow, and inform their target audiences.

Social Media Best Practices

Effective social media management starts by creating a comprehensive, strategic plan incorporating best practices.

Adhering to a strategic plan helps social media marketing teams post material that is aligned with overall business goals. A plan identifies the target audience for the business, develops tactics to reach that audience, and puts key performance metrics in place to measure the plan’s success and make adjustments as needed.

A guiding principle for any marketing or communication campaign–online or off–is to know the target audience. Without a clearly defined target audience, even the most well-crafted social media marketing campaigns will come up short. This often requires engaging with consumers online and learning how a business’s products or services can solve their problems.

It is said that “content is king.” Social media marketing teams understand this is true only by creating quality content relevant to their niche markets. They consistently post articles and information that reflect their brand’s tone. Investment in social media tools and attention to recent trends lead to success.

Social Media Trends

New social media trends emerge every year as technology and marketing strategies evolve. The software company Sprout Social, specializing in social media management, recently listed some of the latest trends.

Authenticity. Consumers want more authenticity from companies, so social media teams should not focus on overly polished or stylized content.

Focus on the right social media. With so many choices for social media platforms, marketing teams should identify and focus on the ones where their potential customers spend the most time.

Fast response times. Consumers expect responses to come within 24 hours. Businesses should invest in the personnel and tools needed to make that happen.

Short-form video. TikTok has shown the popularity of short-form videos. Businesses can take advantage by investing more in video production, even if it is outsourced.

Testimonials and demonstrations. Video offers the perfect way to showcase customer testimonials and product demonstrations, which remain popular with consumers.

Personality. Consumers tend to respond better to social media content that has some personality behind it. It’s part of the authenticity that consumers prefer.

Experiment with tech. Testing the waters with new technology, including the metaverse and AI-driven chat, keeps businesses on the cutting edge.

Crisis management. Social media can play a critical role when an organization goes through a crisis, helping to get the word out quickly and to reach as many people as possible. This includes addressing minor and major issues before they grow into something worse.

The Point Park University Online BA in Social Media Management

Point Park University offers the only online social media management bachelor’s degree in Pennsylvania designed for first-time students or those who want to complete their four-year degree. The degree prepares graduates for success in many jobs, including:

  • Social media specialist
  • Media buyer
  • Advertising manager
  • Marketing specialist
  • Public relations coordinator

Students in the program cover various topics related to social media marketing, developing expertise in all the critical areas of this emerging profession. They include marketing principles, media ethics and responsibilities, and communication law and regulation. They also have the opportunity to apply their learned skills to real-world situations, including social media crisis management, analytics and SEO, and various social media platforms.

Graduates of the program enter the working world with the skills needed to excel as leaders in social media management.

Dana Jo DeSantis, who graduated from the program in 2021, said the program is “such an outstanding major because of the diverse courses it offers. I’ve had the chance to test out every interest of mine, from creative writing to digital marketing to business law. All of these opportunities have helped me find out what I am most passionate about. “