When many people hear the words “social media” in a job title, they might let out slight giggle or smirk.
They’re thinking: Isn’t social media supposed to be a fun time-waster that someone does off the clock and away from the office?
The thought of writing social media posts, managing social media pages and accounts, and creating social media ads seems like something “anyone can do” if they just have a little extra time.
Of course, it’s not quite as easy as all that. Social media is so prevalent and easily accessible now that it is a critical part of any marketing campaign.
And it has to be done right, because it’s all too easy to a) let the campaign slide because other people in the company really don't have time, or b) post something that says all the wrong things at exactly the wrong time.
Every business needs to have a social media presence. Just like everyone is online, browsing the internet, the vast majority of your potential customers are on social networks. Companies must go where the consumers and potential customers are if they want to stay in business.
Social media, like the rest of the online world, constantly changes. It can be hard for owners of small companies to effectively manage the company’s social media efforts while trying to run a business at the same time.
This is where a social media manager comes in.
What is a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager plays a significant role in a company. They are fundamental in maintaining and building the company’s online reputation. They represent your company online to current customers and potential customers. They’re the ones who interact with customers on a daily basis.
They work with social media. That much may be a little obvious, but what do they specifically do day in and day out?
While the exact duties may change based on industry and brand demands, the duties, tasks and responsibilities of a social media manager may include some or all of the following:
- Set goals and plan out an extensive social media strategy
- Develop brand awareness and build an online reputation
- Monitor, manage and respond to online reviews
- Curate, create, and publishing relevant, original, and high-quality content
- Coordinate with any SEO strategies to help generate more inbound traffic
- Design, create and manage promotions and social ad campaigns
- Create and implement an editorial calendar to manage content
- Promote any other blog or website content through social advertising, social posts, and more
- Develop relevant content topics that speak to the company’s target audience
- Participate in online advocacy efforts and look for cross-promotional opportunities
- Build and expand community and/or influencer outreach efforts
- Track and analyze key metrics and then tweak the strategy as needed
- Monitor trends in social media tools, applications, channels, design and strategy, and implement the ones that are going to provide the most benefit
- Continually educating yourself on the most effective methodologies so you can remain as effective as possible
- Coordinate with others in the company to find the best new stories to tell
- Develop relationships through social media platforms
Staying on top of social media requires constant work. While anyone within your company can post to Facebook on occasion, you really need someone who can take on the responsibility of managing the company’s social media efforts from start to finish. You need someone who is capable of fully refining your brand’s social media marketing strategy in order to see some success.
Your company’s social media manager needs to be willing to learn, be trustworthy, creative and consistent.
Besides these qualities, a Forbes article also included five skills your social media manager should possess. Let’s take a closer look at them here:
1. Graphics design and production skills
It doesn’t take an expert researcher to realize that social media posts that contain graphics get more attention than posts with all text. This is because we are visually stimulated. Graphics have colors and patterns that stand out and attract the eye.
Images are also easier to remember. Content contained in an infographic, for instance, will be easier for viewers to mentally take in, understand and remember. Social media posts with graphics will, therefore, get more reactions and engagement, which is the jackpot for social media marketing.
Depending on the industry your company is in and what its targeted audience is, the constant production of high-quality, original images onto certain social media channels is paramount. Pinterest, for example, caters to women and Instagram is popular with teens.
Whether your business caters to either of the aforementioned groups or not, unique, original images need to be a part of your social media strategy. Therefore, if you want your brand’s social media marketing efforts to be successful, it is important that your social media manager has skills in graphic design and production.
2. He or she must have strong, basic writing skills
There isn’t a lot of long-form writing in social media, but that just means you have to be more effective with a very few words.
The social media manager doesn’t need to know how to write blog posts, but basic grammar, spelling, punctuation and powerful word choice are all must-haves for social media.
The social media manager must be able to clearly articulate a message in a short, concise, yet creative and attention-getting way.
This person also needs to maintain a constant voice throughout every social post so that the message is always on point and feels like it’s coming from the same person.
3. Strong customer-service skills
Most customers engage with their favorite brands online, and if they are really interested in the products and services, their engagement is more frequent and their expectations for a quick response are paramount.
The person who’s in charge of your brand’s social media marketing strategy needs to be willing to interact with customers and people who visit your social media platforms in a timely, personable and professional manner.
4. A solid understanding of SEO and content marketing
Like point #2 alluded to, a social media manager will communicate primarily through text (or content.) For many companies, the blog attached to the website is the fodder for their social media content. A good social media manager should, therefore, be familiar with content marketing.
SEO is fundamental in content. Ranking high on search results is the goal of blogging and content marketing. Social media is the engine through which the blog content can be shared to the online world. Then, as these social efforts deliver more visitors and engagement, that can contribute to the overall SEO strategy.
Social media managers need to know and understand the importance of SEO and how it ties closely to their efforts on various social platforms.
5. Experience in social media advertising
Posting on social media might get some attention, but it isn’t taking advantage of all social networks have to offer. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all have opportunities to advertise. Social media advertising is inexpensive and highly effective if done correctly.
To get the biggest bang for your company’s marketing and advertising dollars, it’s important to have a social media manager who is familiar with advertising on a variety of platforms.
A social media manager can be someone in house or hired on from an outside marketing agency. Either way, it’s critical to understand that these managers bring a lot more to the table than just posting the occasional link or image to Facebook.
Protect and promote your brand by hiring an experienced and knowledgeable social media manager.
How are your social media accounts doing? Download this free checklist to find out: