Social media is an essential component of online marketing, and it focuses on using comments, conversations, pictures, audio, and video to curate sales relationships and leads. A social media manager oversees a company’s social media marketing efforts, and they should be creative, highly motivated, and passionate about connecting with potential and current customers. A social media manager’s skills can be the driving force behind a company’s successful marketing campaign.
Social Media Manager Skills
A talented social media manager handles goal setting, planning, and strategy for all the company’s social media campaigns. They are responsible for brand identity development and awareness, the company’s online reputation, and sometimes even sales lead cultivation. They can wear several hats, including that of a content writer, analyst, customer service rep, marketer, and/or strategist.
Sproutsocial divides these responsibilities into two categories: hard and soft skills. Hard skills are more subjective, like data analysis, monitoring social media accounts, investigating social media trends, and creating and adhering to publishing schedules. Social media managers also leverage tools to manage content and seek out ways to improve the strategies already in place.
Soft skills are more subjective, like developing and maintaining digital relationships with target audiences. Social media managers often contribute to content, and they may have the last word as to what is published and posted. Customer care is also an essential component of social media manager skills, and seasoned pros know that good service translates into higher profit margins.
The Planning Phases
An effective social strategy is designed to support a company’s marketing to achieve overall business goals. Social media managers need to understand both traditional and digital marketing, since companies use both. This includes company events, radio and television commercials, emails and all the platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Each can create lead generation in different ways, so different strategies will be needed for whichever medium is appropriate.
So how does one choose which kind of social media to use? It starts in a team environment, with the social media manager, company CEO, marketing team and any other employees who can provide valuable input; this is where solid communication skills are needed. Productive initial group meetings can lead to brand voice development and blueprints for marketing strategies.
A target audience also needs to be defined, and from here, the digital media options can be explored. As an example, WP Manage Ninja posted that 59 percent of millennials are active Instagram users, and Synthesio reported that 58 percent of adults ages 56 and up use YouTube. These are only two platforms, and since there is so much “noise” coming from different digital sources, identifying the best ones to reach certain audiences is crucial.
Putting the Strategy Into Action
Written and visual content strategy can be devised next, based on the goals and target customers. Social media managers must ask themselves what makes their offerings unique, and why people would want to engage and make purchases. Anything that makes the company seem appealing can also draw in other fans who are necessarily in that target market.
All written and visual branding needs to be consistent, from the Facebook ads to the Instagram videos to the website landing pages. Once the customers arrive at the website, they need to hang around instead of clicking somewhere else; that is why website development is also key to a successful strategy. But if content writing, visual branding and web development do not fall into a social media manager’s skill set, it may be best to delegate those responsibilities.
Engagement, Conversion and Analysis
Once the social media content is posted and running full-force, the social media manager needs to monitor things, respond to inquiries, and keep the audience engaged. An understanding of how sales processes work is another desirable skill, as it helps with lead generation and guiding prospects towards final sales. Fans who make short comments at first can become customers, and most platforms have resources to help with conversion strategies.
Most social media strategies have room for improvement, and another essential social media manager skill is knowing how to ascertain key performance indicators or KPIs. This information about engagement according to content, audience profiles, content reach, response rates and positive or negative feedback is used to refine digital marketing strategies. Being proficient or certified in Google Analytics can help with this, and there are countless other online resources that teach about these kinds of metrics.
An Evolving Job Description
In a nutshell, the top social media managers are creative, strategic, organized, and data-driven. Knowing how to write copy helps, and being a digital conversationalist is even better; this kind of social media engagement involves communicating with customers, while prioritizing brand identity. And with new platforms, tech and trends popping up often, a social media manager has to be eager to learn and adapt to the next big things. This is definitely not a stagnant industry; to quote HootSuite, “Social media moves fast,” and managers must stay current, always.
Back to the wearing of the hats: social media managers have to work with many different moving parts. Aside from planning the strategies, they have to manage postings across several channels, monitor and respond to those postings, analyze data, and stay on top of trends. A challenge, indeed; and an exciting, rewarding one for anyone who is so inclined. Those who are not can contract outside help, because social media marketing is widely recognized as one of the most proactive ways to grow a business. Luckily, a dedicated team of experts is waiting to assist you. Contact Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing today for help with your social media needs.