Although originally designed as a way to interact with family and friends, social media has evolved into something that stretches infinitely further than that. In today’s competitive world, any large business without a social media presence (whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or a combination of these) is two steps behind the rest. This is where a social media manager is needed to make the most of the exciting marketing opportunities offered by this valuable new field.
The role of a social media manager
Social media managers are responsible for leading an organisation’s social media strategy. Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you’ll be tasked with as a social media manager:
1 – Develop a strategy and set goals for increasing brand awareness and engagement. Goals could include the number of people you’re aiming to reach or the level of engagement you want to achieve with your clients over social media.
2 – Set up and manage the social media channels you’ve identified as being relevant to the business. It’s useful to investigate online tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer, which allow you to manage all your channels in one digital space.
3 – Plan your content. There’s really no limit to your creativity here. Social media is all about being short, fun and interesting, and you should try to add visual elements such as photos, videos or competition announcements. Keep it varied so your target market doesn’t lose interest. Interactive content such as polls or a call for comments can also help increase client engagement.
4 – Start a conversation! Communication with clients is a central cog in the effectiveness of social media. You need to be able to respond promptly to social media posts and develop interesting discussions around topics related – either directly or indirectly – to your brand.
5 – Use social media to build other platforms. Most effective marketing campaigns rely on more than one platform to deliver their messages. Social media can be used to direct people to your website or blog, to alert them to any notable events your company has planned, or to publicise an article published in a magazine or newspaper.
6 – Develop a response plan for social media hiccups. We all know the damage that a controversial or biased post can cause. The social media manager will need to have a plan in place to respond to any social media incidents that may harm the business.
A typical day for a social media manager
A work day for a social media manager includes much more than simply posting tweets and Facebook updates. There won’t normally be a rigid daily schedule to follow, as you’ll often be out of the office meeting relevant stakeholders, attending events, or taking photographs. The work environment is usually exciting and constantly changing.
- When the alarm goes off in the morning, the social media manager will usually reach straight for the cell phone to see how much attention posts have attracted overnight.
- In the office, the first posts of the day will be uploaded. There will generally be a meeting with the social media or marketing team, where new ideas will be brainstormed, data analysed and strategies discussed.
- Some time is usually set aside for researching current trends and hot topics. You’ll also be keeping an eye on your competitors’ social media pages to stay ahead of the curve.>
- For a social media manager in a large company, the average day will normally feature between five and ten posts on various social media channels. As mentioned previously, the content will need to be fresh and varied. You may also be required to attend events where you will need to send out live tweets, as well as take photographs and record videos that can be uploaded to the company’s social media platforms.
- Throughout the day, you’ll be monitoring data with tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. This gives you an idea of the number of views your posts are getting, the number of new followers you’re attracting and how well you’re engaging with your audience.
- Other ongoing responsibilities include responding to audience queries, meeting with clients, managing your social media team and reporting on progress to department heads. >
What companies look for in a social media manager
When looking to hire a social media manager, companies will favour someone with a qualification in marketing, public relations or communications, which all include aspects of social media training. A specialised short course in social media will also boost your chances.
Desired characteristics of a social media manager include:
- Excellent organisational skills
- Ability to be spontaneous and to come up with innovative ideas
- Solid researching skills: on social media itself, new trends and current affairs
- Ability to adapt to the changing nature of social media>
- Knowledge of how to analyse and gain insights from social media analytics data
- Excellent communication skills to interact with team members and clients
Some points to remember about social media management
Social media management is a field which has emerged hand-in-hand with rapid technological development. The digital age is moving at such a speed that new technologies become obsolete much quicker than ever before. So while social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are wildly popular and effective at present, it’s likely that they too will be relegated to the history books.
You should therefore focus on building a solid skill set in the fields of marketing, public relations or communications. Be prepared to evolve your skills along with the brisk pace of growth in technology. This will not only stand you in good stead in the social media field, but in all marketing-related positions.
For now, demand for social media managers is on a healthy growth spurt. Social media is most certainly here to stay for a good while longer, and companies will continue to use this powerful tool for the foreseeable future.
If you’re a curious, trendy and creative individual, then a career in marketing is for you. Click here to find out more about Oxbridge Academy’s range of marketing courses.