Getting Things Done With A Social Media Project Manager

As social media goes mainstream, more companies are starting to pay close attention to building strong social media teams. With multiple social media campaigns and all the different types of content that goes with them, managing social media projects can become unwieldy very quickly. Someone has to track and manage all this stuff! This has given rise to the relatively new role of social media project manager.

What Does A Social Media Project Manager Do?

A social media project manager is responsible for managing and executing a company’s social media campaigns on time and on budget. This person understands the company’s business goals and how to lead, manage and communicate with the various team members charged with creating the company’s social media branding and content.

Social media project managers often have different names for essentially the same function. This can include social media manager, social program manager, social marketing manager, social media lead, etc.

A social media project manager must be able to communicate and collaborate clearly across the organization. Perhaps the biggest value-add they provide is in creating effective and efficient processes around ongoing content creation and management of existing content.

Getting Things Done

Most social media campaigns are based on a pre-determined strategy outlining specific business goals. Once the strategy is approved and in place, the social media project manager creates an implementation plan. This often includes a content calendar, resource assignments, and a moderation plan for comments and sharing.

Depending on the type of business, most social media content can be created and curated ahead of time. This makes it possible to manage multiple campaigns simultaneously. For example, the project manager creates a development schedule for all Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts, and any other relevant pieces of an upcoming social media program and assigns resources to do the work by a specific date.

Deliverable dates are matched up to the content calendar so that approved content launches on schedule. As another example, a company may have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Your social media project manager will ensure all four accounts:

  • Are maintained appropriately
  • Have a similar look and feel matching the company’s branding and messaging guidelines
  • Post regular updates
  • Comments are moderated and responded to in a timely manner.

The project manager will also review available metrics and identify any trends that can lead to improved engagement and interaction.

Because many messages are being created and approved by potentially numerous people, it’s important to have a central repository for all social media assets. This way people know where to find relevant copy, images, audio, video, metadata, and any other content involved in a given campaign. This information can be organized and stored on a local server, a collaboration tool like Basecamp, or a cloud-based solution like Dropbox.

The ideal social media project manager juggles all of this with a smile, lets you know what to expect well ahead of time and can tell you where the latest .jpg is for the CEO’s upcoming blog post next month.

Where To Find A Good Social Media Manager

Like anything, you get what you pay for, and finding a talented social media project manager is no different. At a bare minimum, you want someone familiar with the latest trends and uses for all the different social media channels.

You want someone with good familiarity with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and others. The more social platforms your candidate is familiar with the better.

The person should be likeable, friendly, trustworthy, detail-oriented and comfortable communicating up, down and throughout your organization. They should also be skilled in conflict resolution, since miscommunications will occasionally happen.

Candidates who have a background in web design or web content development can also work beautifully. Anyone who has experience with creative teams and technologists can likely handle a social media project management assignment. This could include college students, freelancers, and agency specialists.

Social Media Project Managers are available at marketing agencies, as independent consultants, on freelance websites such as Elance and Odesk, or maybe even down the hall from you.

Over To You

Does your company have a social media project manager? Should they? Have you used freelancers in this role or do you plan to in the future? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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