Social media has never had a more important role in anyone’s lives than it has today and as the world continues its digital journey, that importance will continue to grow. Social Media Marketing has taught me that the marketing field is forever changing and adapting to new trends and that is one of my favorite things about this field. When I started researching majors and deciding what I wanted to do with my life I wanted to pick an industry that was always going to have meaning and never become obsolete and this course specifically showed me that I made the right choice. “Marketers, in particular, have quickly adopted digital social media tools, in large part because they have always known that word of mouth and person-to-person social influence are strategically important for reaching and influencing consumers.” (Stephen and Bart, Social Media Marketing)
As an active social media user, myself, I believed that I wouldn’t have all that much to learn from this course but after the first few chapters alone I realized the complexity that comes with social media marketing. One chapter that think I took the most away from though was how to manage social media communications and planning cycles. When I began this chapter, I thought it would be the most straightforward, after all I know how to use social media and I’m an organized person. So, how hard could It be? That question was answered quickly. The key to implementing a successful marketing strategy is planning and planning is not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Managing social media accounts for a brand, no matter how big or small, is not easy – and one of the biggest and most consistent challenges is staying organized.Lindsay Kolowich Cox (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-managers-organization-tips)
Like Lindsay states, when it comes to running a social media account you are responsible for making sure you are communicating with customers across multiple platforms as well as professionals on those platforms too, you’re managing social promotion goals, staying up to date on trends, posting relevant information, and so much more. Having a detailed plan for each day is a necessity whether a marketer is planning for a specific campaign or just posting ongoing social media marketing activities.
The image above shows the planning process for social media marketing, more specifically I’m focusing on stages 3 through 8. Like I stated earlier planning is one of the most important things when it comes to social media. Stage 3 is the implementation plan and this step is when the strategic plan gets converted into actions – like when it should be done, how, by whom, and so on. This step can be difficult and could be the point where an objective fails because this step should involve everyone that has anything to do with the strategy. Everyone must come together to communicate and be on the same page because if not there is a huge possibility of failure. Just another reason why planning is crucial. To help keep all of these moving parts and people on track step 6 recommends using calendars and setting timelines. In Lindsay’s blog she asked some people who are responsible for running social media for brands how they stayed organized and their number one answer was to keep and up to date content calendar. At the same time, too much planning can hurt a campaign, “…simply put, social media moves fast and therefore you need to take into account what happens during a campaign as you go.” (Social Media Marketing, Stephen and Bart) Planning is essential, but being flexible is too.
I know for a fact that no matter what career I go into, these lessons will apply to all of them. As a marketer though, this will be something I use consistently on a day to day basis. If I want to be a social media manager, I will be responsible for all these tasks and looking at them all from the bigger picture would be too overwhelming. In 2017 nearly 56% of marketers planned on increasing their spending on social media (https://www.postmm.com/social-media-marketing/organize-business-content-social-media-marketing/), and as you can imagine in 2021, that number has only gone up. With all the work that comes with managing social media it can easily get all consuming and using calendars and mapping out your tasks makes it so much more manageable. With no end in sight for the growth of social media, opportunities that never would have existed now do all because social media has created them. We now have entire departments that dedicate their work to social media marketing, and I hope one day I can apply this take away to my career.