Building An Integrated Social Media Management Plan

Image of an integrated social media management strategy
Image of an integrated social media management strategy

We are on the cusp of 2022 and social media has become ever more critical in the fields of marketing, communications and public relations. As businesses still contend with the pandemic restrictions, the onus is much greater in getting that social media strategy right. Companies know the impact of social media is crucial to a brand’s reputation as well as an excellent tool to canvass brand awareness across the world. 

By now, organisations are adept in making social part of their paid, earned, shared and organic media strategies. The functions of marketing, communications and public relations have to work much more closely to achieve their respective department’s goals. 

In a recent Meltwater survey, the State of Social Media echoed that development, with more than 3000 marketing and communications professionals indicating that the role of paid and organic social media is increasing in 2022.

Table of Contents

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Bridging the Gap Between Marketing Communications & Public Relations

So what do marketing, public relations and communications professionals need to do to develop effective strategies and run integrated social campaigns? With social media and audience interaction driving the speed of change in how brands communicate their messages it is imperative that brands maintain a 360 view of their social media marketing campaigns.

As your audience grows online, brands usually expand their presence through various platforms. Each platform has its own role in reaching out to a specific audience or function. Most brands now use at least four to five social media platforms to market their name and it is important that the teams behind each business unit keep pace with the changes on multiple platforms, and meet their audiences where they are most active.

This highlights the symbiotic relationship between social media management, social analytics and media monitoring. This relationship needs to be in sync with the whole marketing communications strategy. Actions taken within this relationship have causative and correlative traits which brands need to maintain almost simultaneously.

From a product recall crisis, to a major announcement being covered in the press, to customers voicing their love of your new product on Instagram, there is a process flow that runs through the marketing communications strategy. 

But this is where many teams face an internal issue — gaps between the different functions of marketing and communications become a challenge. These gaps encumber a speedy and effective process. Slower response times affect a brand’s reputation every minute when bad press continues to escalate.

This is why the gaps between the marketing, communications and public relations departments need to be bridged. Each department faces its own set of challenges, but having a unified strategy and  source of information  will allow all teams to efficiently and effectively manage their programmes.

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End-to-end Management of Your Social Media

With every challenge, there comes an opportunity to address it and make the process better for your brand. The motivation is to bridge that gap with a few simple methods or most effective tools. 

These opportunities bring about several benefits to the brand. Firstly, time is a commodity that most marketing and communications professionals value the most. Saving time can come in many forms. One way is to systemise the methods of responding to queries on social media. This reduces chances of repetitive points-of-action and general queries are answered in a timely manner.

Marketers can also discover trends almost instantly with intuitive dashboards. Integrated with vital metrics such as media coverage and engagement rates, marketers can make quick decisions without the hassle. Marketers can also save time by scheduling content in advance. With more time saved, there is more room for other programmes in your campaign.

Next, having a comprehensive process in managing your social media gives brands a holistic overview of campaigns. Tasks such as publishing social media content and analysing campaign performances become more aligned with daily operations. These factors are important in gaining knowledge across the broad marketing spectrum and simplifies the process of communicating to their audiences and stakeholders.

Having a single, robust tool to manage the different facets of social media marketing helps teams to stay on top of what is needed to be done at any given stage. Having this breadth of continuity across the marketing stack indefinitely helps brands to quickly manage crises or jump on trends which may boost their social standing.

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How to Manage Community Engagement Efficiently

Many brands are still manually doing social media management tasks on a daily basis. Only half of respondents to Meltwater’s survey stated that a social media management tool is part of their MarTech stack. This insight is in contrast to a majority who said efficiency is one of the most common challenges. 

When considering a process to better engage your audiences and communities, there are three main processes that you have to consider.

Publishing

With different platforms to manage, it is important for brands and their teams to have the ability to produce and publish content in a unified manner. From uploading images and copy to scheduling the posts at the most effective time of the day, the tasks can be confusing at times when social media managers have to go through various platforms natively. 

Having a single calendar view of all the content is also a great way to keep track of the different campaigns. In this way, any stakeholder in the various teams can quickly identify gaps in the calendar and synchronise marketing efforts accordingly.

Conversations

Once the content is up on social media, this is where the fun begins! Conversations between your brand and the audience are the integral part of the experience. Customers are more likely to develop better relationships with the brand if there is constant and prompt communication. 

Social media managers and other members of the marketing communications team need to have the ability to find content streams which they are interested in to interact with the customers. These content streams are the main source of communication between the connected social profiles and they give the team members the ability to review and respond to the messages promptly and accordingly.

Social Analytics

The third process to consider is the social analytics behind these conversations with your audiences. On top of standard social metrics such as likes and shares, the insights found within conversations may bring about your next campaign strategy. Brands can control what they deem to be the most important to their campaigns and customise reporting structures to highlight how social is helping to achieve their marcomms goals. 

The most successful brands want the ability to analyse organic and paid metrics from their owned social accounts together. They also want to benchmark their competitors and other players in the industry to observe where they can fulfil the needs of their customers.

With those processes in mind, brands need a tool that will increase efficiency as well as execute social media marketing plans at scale. Brands need to find a tool that enables them to publish, schedule and engage on their most important owned channels. They also need a tool that gives a good overview over performance metrics over time. And most importantly, they need to use a tool which is easy to use as a team and everyone can dive straight into the mix.

Other processes which complement these considerations are media monitoring, consumer insights, as well as a collaborative influencer marketing platform. These processes allow brands to find trending topics in the media, draw audience insights  from social media data , and discover the best social influencers which can elevate  a brand to the next level.

In fact, the best way to do this is to find a tool which can incorporate all these processes in one platform, like Meltwater

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Social Media Management Success Stories

What do brands gain with an integrated social media management plan? Top of the list for brands who have worked with Meltwater would be measuring the success of their social media strategy through in-depth metrics, more aligned interaction with their audiences, a great overview of competitor benchmarking, and integrating reports on their paid, earned and owned media.

For example, British fashion wear brand Fred Perry used an integrated social media management plan to tackle the diverse conversations across 10 different social media assets. Juggling tasks across the channels, the brand’s lean marketing and PR team in the Asia Pacific region found it difficult to keep up with the ever-changing trends and conversations.

With a robust social media management tool, the team was able to save precious time and synchronise efforts more efficiently. By concentrating on one platform, the team was able to quickly respond to customers on social media and boost the brand’s relationships with their various audiences.

A unified social media management platform also integrates social listening into the conversations that brands have with their customers. Social media managers can gain an overview of what people are saying in real time which brands can use quickly to address and engage with their customers. For example, brands can repurpose earned social mentions by creating content revolving around those topics. Advocating the positive mentions of your brand reinforces brand recall among customers. 

It is also important that brands use these social media mentions as a way to get to know what the market is saying about your brand. Using these insights in social media gives brands a better understanding of the positive aspects of their products as well as the gripes they have about their services. This insight positions the brand to actively address and connect with their customers in a more direct way.

Repurposing user-generated content (UGC) into your content plan is also another way for brands to capitalise on social listening. Those social media mentions can be collated and turned into testimonials about your brand. Creating new content based on those insights develops your brand’s thought leadership within that space and strengthens the relationship with your customers.

In Australia, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca implemented a comprehensive marketing communications and social media strategy in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. The brand established a system to integrate media monitoring and social analytics with their social media management function. This allowed the brand to locate all their paid, earned and organic posts in one platform. 

With access to Meltwater, AstraZeneca was able to gain key insights from social conversations and news coverage, and report on this to both internal and external stakeholders. With eyes across their social media strategy, the team could locate topics and quickly publish factual content on their social channels. They then could also engage with the general public through these conversations —  on a single platform. 

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A Social Media Marketing Strategy Under One Roof

Being able to access your paid, earned, shared and organic (PESO) media on a single platform is crucial to any business. Businesses are able to navigate easily across channels, quickly identify problems and opportunities, and undertake appropriate actions to address the customers. Marketing with the PESO model helps brands to think strategically and avoid critical mistakes. 

Having one simple-to-use tool to monitor, publish and report gives social media managers as well as marketing professionals complete visibility of their public relations and marketing communications strategies. With AI-powered technology and automated reporting, executives can have a full picture of their brand’s position in the market within a few minutes.

All things considered, brands with an integrated social media marketing strategy will gain a sense of harmony within their organisation. Marketing teams are better aligned with the sales and product departments. Brands also find unique selling points generated from customer-based conversations on social media. Trust is reinforced between the brand and their customers, which in turn solidifies the brand in a much stronger position in the market.

To know more about a complete social media management plan or an integrated social media marketing strategy, and one of our colleagues will reach out to you as soon as possible! 

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