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Keeping Up with Social Media Management with Matt Navarra

Matt Navarra takes us through the last 12 months on social and what the future looks like for social media managers.

Sophie Thompson
14th May 2021

Social Media Commentator, Matt Navarra, joined us to look at how social media has changed over the last 10 years, and how the social media manager role is quickly expanding into so many other areas of a business. The increasing difficulty of a social media manager's job has been a trending topic for a while, so we are delighted to be able to share Matt's advice and tips - as well as the key areas social media managers should be focusing on.

Watch the replay below, or keep scrolling for the summary:

The last year has had a significant impact on the way we do social (from crisis comms to reactive content), and we're effectively taking a whole new approach to strategies that had previously been proven to succeed.

As people spent more time indoors and more time on social (in 2021, 55% of the entire world is actively using social media), new apps began to appear and even take over, including TikTok and Clubhouse.

Some of the key trends we've seen over the last 12 months include:

  • Social-audio apps (including Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces)
  • Live-streaming
  • User-generated content and remixing (a huge part of TikTok culture)
  • Short-form video (using Reels and TikTok, as well as YouTube's huge new push on creators to use their 'Shorts' feature)
  • Private communities
  • Ecommerce integrations (including Instagram Shops)

The newest and biggest recent trend has to be social audio! Matt spoke about how social audio was almost born in response to Zoom fatigue and screen burnout - but the rise in live streaming, like the 437% increase in LinkedIn live streams in 2020, and the very successful launch of IG Live rooms, tells a different story. Matt noted that the rise in Live Streaming could be in response to the lack of live events, and suggested that the end of the pandemic could equal the end of the trend.

"We've had more time when we're working from home to multitask," Matt says. "The excitement for it comes that there's a low bar for don't need to look good on camera!"

However, like most of us, he thinks that the end will be nigh when people return to work and there's a) a lack of content go around and b) a lack of people looking to discover new content.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 16.08.37

As exciting as it is to see new platforms and new social capabilities launching, for social media managers - this often leads to increasing pressures and workloads to keep on top of. In response to this, Matt admitted he's relieved to longer be in a social media manager position and acknowledged the difficulty faced: "Social media manager is not a great title anymore, because there's so many niches, disciplines and skill areas, which in effect shows you the growth and importance of it."

"You can't switch off at 5, the job does creep into your personal life. Unfortunately, a lot of companies are still lacking in awareness in just how important that person is in their team."

Not only are many social media managers feeling overworked and undervalued, but the increased pressure from constant technology and platform developments can lead to:

  • Unrealistic expectations at a senior level
  • Constant demand for skill development
  • A negative impact on original success metrics
  • Detrimental effects on wellbeing

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 16.09.31

Accepting that it's not possible for a social media manager to be an expert on all areas of all platforms, brings us to the need to prioritize and specialize. Matt advised that if there's one area that should be getting extra attention this year, it's UGC.

Not only is it cost-effective, but it also drives amazing results. User-generated content has a 4.5 times higher conversion rate than brand posts. And with ‘tap to shop’ functions readily available, it’s the perfect time to use UGC to drive potential customers directly to your website.

You don't have to spend thousands on getting an influencer to take photos with your product (although that is an option), you can simply repost images you’ve been tagged in by customers. So make sure you keep encouraging customers to share pictures/reviews of your products and services.

Matt says the only issue is authenticity, particularly as we're living in an influencer world where what can be deemed as true (or otherwise sponsored) can often blur the lines.

While that's one huge driver of success, the trouble with social is that no result is guaranteed without paid spend - which is why roles for paid social managers continue to become more common. That's not to say your organic social can't thrive though, it's about being willing to adapt and find the right balance.

Even though the ever-changing landscape of social media can feel completely unpredictable, Matt did reassure us that you can prepare for the unknown! Here's how:

  • Plan to be spontaneous - reactive content can be a brand's biggest mark! Schedule content to make time for creativity.

  • Know what's coming up! Subscribe to podcasts, YouTube channels, or newsletters such as Matt's weekly Geek Out.

  • Allow time to changes rapidly and a strategy that works one week won't necessarily work the next. You need to be willing to try new platforms!

  • Track meaningful metrics. These are the ones that will help you define your content's ROI and dictate what direction your strategy should go in next. There is no need to waste time trying to track everything - Matt says there is no one 'best metric'! Aspects such as your industry can impact where your attention should be.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 16.11.18

Finally, Matt's biggest piece of advice for great social media management consisted of 3 key things:

  • Support - find your tribe of internal supporters for the work that you're doing on social and the content you're creating. Share posts that you're proud of on an internal comms channel to keep your wider team aware and interested in your work - as well as securing those all-important early likes and shares
  • Unite - we're all playing the same game. Support your fellow social media managers and join groups where you can connect
  • Steal - take inspiration from brands you think are doing a good job, and turn them into even greater campaigns

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