Managing your brand’s presence across social media platforms is tough. But bringing successful social media strategies to fruition? That's even harder.
Social media project managers have a difficult job, no doubt about that — but if you’re using the right workflows and strategies for content creation, you’ll be able to rule social networks with content that draws leads in droves.
So let’s dive in and discuss the workflows and strategies that will elevate your social campaigns to the next level.
What is social media project management?
When you’re a social media project manager, you manage social media marketing campaigns. That means overseeing campaign planning, content creation, scheduling posts across various platforms, tracking analytics, and more.
To manage social media campaigns on this kind of scale, project managers typically rely on project management software — and one of the premier project management tools for marketing teams is Teamwork. This platform lets you automate workflows, track progress, assign tasks out to team members, and more, all from one centralized dashboard.
To see how Teamwork benefits marketing teams, click here.
How is social media project management different from traditional management?
Traditional project management usually focuses on producing a product or service. Social media project management’s product is a series of social media marketing campaigns.
Both types of project management include an element of customer interaction — but for social media projects, it’s all about the customer. Traditional project managers need to account for customer feedback and customer pain points to guide their teams in creating desirable products and services. Social media project managers, much like marketing project managers, need to do a deep dive on their target audience, learning as much about them as possible so that they can guide their teams in creating campaigns that resonate.
Key elements of social media project management
Statistics show that social media is the place to be. In the United States, about seven in 10 people say they use some form of social media. If you’re curious about the top platforms, YouTube is king with 81% of Americans using it, followed by Facebook at 69%. The point being that social media is filled with marketing opportunities — and this means that social media project managers will need to handle all of the following elements to drive successful campaigns.
Content ideation and creation
Social media marketing revolves around content. That’s what engages your target audience and encourages them to like, follow, and share, thus spreading the word about your brand among their friends and connections.
You’ll need good content for a successful campaign — and good content doesn’t come out of thin air! Instead, the process usually looks like this:
Brainstorming session to generate ideas
Initial development phase
Revisions on preliminary drafts and designs
Pull in other creatives as needed for audio, video, and so on
More revisions as the content nears completion
Final content approval and scheduling
As you can see, content ideation and development is a complex process — and it becomes even more complex when you’re publishing similar pieces on multiple platforms, or when you’re creating content that requires even more steps. Social media project management is crucial to guide teams through each step of this process.
Campaign planning and management
You’re going to need some serious project planning skills to create and manage campaigns that succeed. So, where to start?
Often, the best place to start is by identifying the ultimate goal for the campaign, then work backwards from there.
Let’s say that your goal for a campaign is to increase your follower count across social platforms by 10% in the span of three months. Now it’s time to create some milestones to mark certain percentages along the way. With your goals and milestones in place, now it’s time to figure out how to meet them — and for that, your best bet is to analyze prior campaigns to see what tactics successfully attracted the highest numbers of followers. From there, you can plug in steps along the way until you have a plan your team can execute.
If content is the lifeblood of a great social campaign, then the content calendar is the backbone. In the beginning, even if you don’t yet have ideas or pieces of content ready for each post, be sure to mark down the posts you’ll be making each day of the campaign. For example, if you plan three tweets and one Instagram post per day, your calendar should reflect that so that you can assign posts out as tasks.
From there, develop and schedule content with due dates in advance of the post dates to streamline your posting schedule. Remember that each social media platform has its own scheduling methods, but you can always find online resources that provide easy-to-follow instructions. So, for example, if you're wondering how to schedule Instagram posts, you can find several external resources to help you get the job done.
Workflows and approvals
For every post, there's a workflow — and a series of approvals — so that you can ensure each post lives up to your team’s standards.
As an example, let’s examine a campaign that focuses on social proof. To create social proof, you’ll need some Instagram posts featuring influencers enjoying your product. Your team’s workflow and approval process will look something like this:
Reach out and engage with influencers.
Brainstorm image ideas.
Approve ideas and assign a photographer to create them.
Turn a selection of these images over to a designer for post-processing.
Assign team members to create hashtags and text.
Wrap up with a final round of approvals when the designer has finished.
Add completed content to your calendar for future posting.
Some posts will be simpler than this — like a tweet that needs to be written and reviewed — and others, such as videos for YouTube or another platform, will be much more complex.
Social media strategy development
Social media strategy development is a continuous process that you’ll use to keep on improving your strategy as it unfolds. It should outline goals — like achieving certain follower counts or publicizing new product launches. It should also list out the platforms you’ll be using, the tactics you’ll use to achieve your goals, and the metrics you need to track to gauge your process along the way. As your campaign unfolds, feel free to add to or amend your strategy if that’s what it takes to meet the goals you’ve set.
Social media listening and monitoring
What is social media monitoring and listening? It starts with social monitoring, which happens when you monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand and your competitors along with mentions of products and keywords. This helps you track and analyze the popularity of your products versus competitor offerings.
Social listening takes monitoring one step further. To listen effectively, read through comments, mentions, and even discussions about competing brands to learn what people are talking about.
For example, if lots of people are commenting that they find certain types of posts hilarious, that’s a good indication that you can add more of that type of content to a campaign to build engagement. Or suppose you discover that people react negatively to a feature that a competitor product offers. In that case, you can share this information with stakeholders so that they can avoid the same mistake or produce a feature that customers like better.
Asset development and library
Managing your team’s asset library is a crucial part of being a social media project manager. As time goes on, you’ll develop tons of assets — everything from buyer personas and branding documents to collections of logos, images, videos, completed social media posts, and other assets that you can use for digital marketing campaigns. Create a system that lets your team easily organize and find these assets. It’s a step that is sometimes overlooked but makes everyone’s life much easier.
Analytics and reporting
How do you improve social media marketing campaigns? Easy! Through careful analytics that point out where your campaigns are succeeding, and where they could be performing better.
Tracking analytics means generating reports — and it’s smart to make reporting a regular part of your workflow. After all, you don’t want to discover that you’re losing followers or that you have declining engagement levels weeks or months after the problem begins. Regular reporting helps you spot problems quickly so that your social media team can work on ways to correct them.
7 best practices to crush your social media project management
We’ve covered some of the key elements to social media project management. Now it’s time to learn how you can absolutely crush it as a social media project manager. Read below.
1) Set goals and strategize accordingly
For every social media campaign, you should have a concrete, achievable goal. Not something like “gain new followers,” but instead, something like “increase follower counts by X amount.”
That gives you a target — and now you can strategize ways to get there. Keeping your goals clearly defined prevents campaigns from skewing off course.
2) Clearly define roles and responsibilities
What’s the quickest way to create chaos among a social media team? Dump projects in their laps without first clarifying who should do what and by when.
Instead, rely on a task management system to help you clearly define everyone’s roles, responsibilities, and due dates. This smooths out team collaboration so that each person knows what to do, and when to finish it and hand it off to the next person in the chain of development.
3) Conduct audits of social media content and workflows
When your team is producing lots and lots of social posts per day, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the chance to preview them all before they go live. Instead, make it a regular part of your process to check social platforms, scroll through, and analyze the quality of the content that your team is posting.
The same goes for workflows. There’s no need to micromanage team members, but it is helpful to occasionally audit workflows among the team so that you can spot inefficiencies and help correct them.
4) Identify the best tools for your workflow
If you manage social media projects, you will need a suite of tools that give you functionality, automation, and a clear view of the whole project.
Here's our suggestion: Try Teamwork! It has a robust suite of task management tools so you can break down projects into manageable tasks for each team member. It also lets you automate recurring tasks, offers collaboration tools, provides easy-to-use templates, and more. For agencies, it also offers tools to track billable hours and monitor project performance.
And that’s just the beginning. Check it out here to see what Teamwork can do for your team.
5) Keep tabs on the competition
Just as it’s important to monitor your own progress, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on the competition’s marketing strategy, too. Not only will this tell you about competing products and features that they’re bringing to market, but it will also reveal their social strategy successes and failures. Learn from their successes and avoid their failures.
6) Have productive meetings to check in with the team
Meetings are important, but they shouldn’t commandeer the work week, and when you do have them, they need to stay productive.
So, what's the best way to keep team meetings productive? When you arrange check-in meetings, try not to over schedule them. Shorter timeframes encourage participants to stay on point in the limited time they have.
You may also consider asynchronous check-ins, which give team members a chance to respond on their own time rather than breaking up the workday with real-time meetings. For many teams, this method is less disruptive and more productive.
7) Utilize a centralized dashboard to view progress
Ever heard of the KISS principle? It stands for “keep it simple, stupid” — and it’s a philosophy that you can apply to just about everything, including social media management tools.
In terms of tools, the best way to keep it simple is to use a platform that gives you a centralized dashboard where you can see everything and access whatever you need in just a few clicks.
No platform does that better than Teamwork. In fact, Teamwork features a custom dashboard builder, which means instead of relying on a dashboard created to appeal to a broad audience (that may not perfectly fit your specific needs), you can build your own custom views to track the tasks and metrics most important to you. Check it out here to see how it works.
Benefits of effective social media project management
So, what are the benefits of adopting the strategies above? There are quite a few!
More control over your social media strategy (and its results)
At some organizations, the social media strategy is non-existent, relying on a social media manager (and little else) to develop basic posts for platforms. The results of this type of strategy are typically lackluster. More control over your social media strategy can only improve your results.
Better team productivity and collaboration
The biggest function of any project manager is to facilitate productivity and collaboration among the project team. Effective social media project management will unite your team and keep content development and posting schedules running smoothly.
Easier identification of project roadblocks
As team lead, you’ll be in a unique position to take a broad view of the project as a whole. Between careful planning, detailed notes and analytics, and a top-down view of everything, you should be able to spot roadblocks and bottlenecks before they snowball into big problems.
Up to date with social and industry trends
When projects get disorganized, it’s super hard to stay up to date on the latest trends because you’re too busy putting out fires to pay attention to what’s happening elsewhere in the world. Good project management will give you the time you need to research the competition and stay up to date on constantly shifting social media trends.
Using social media project management software for content workflows
Believe it or not, there are some social media marketing teams who rely on simplistic apps like Google Docs and call it done. Maybe it’s because they want a cost-effective solution, or maybe it’s because they aren’t aware that platforms exist with budget-friendly pricing and lots of tools to help you manage campaigns across multiple social media networks.
But if you really want to see results? Try a tool that can give you plenty of functionality geared specifically toward project management. At the least, it should be able to help you:
Draw up detailed campaign plans.
Set goals and milestones.
Create tasks that align with plans, goals, and milestones.
Assign tasks to specific team members.
Keep track of project status through updates.
Create a content calendar and schedule posts.
Integrate with cloud storage and other useful tools.
It’s even better when the platform can handle more complex tasks, too — like tracking and reporting analytics or keeping clients informed on the status of your projects. Research social media project management software carefully because great tools will become the backbone of your team's work.
Manage your social media projects successfully with Teamwork
Looking for a platform that can do it all? That's Teamwork! Whether you’re managing the social media side of things for one company or working as a project manager for a social media marketing agency, Teamwork has the tools to help you make plans, manage tasks, create content calendars, track analytics, and more. Click here to sign up and get started for free.