If you're wondering what social media marketing is or how to become a social media marketer, you're in the right place! Social media marketing targets a company's desired audience with digital content and advertisements across social media platforms. Businesses need to understand social media marketing to connect with their target audience. These days every business needs a solid online presence. A social media marketer is someone who helps businesses target their audience through digital marketing. This can include creating and managing social media accounts, developing marketing campaigns, and measuring the results of those campaigns. Many social media sites can be used for marketing purposes, so knowing what platforms work best for your industry is essential. There are also many social media marketing strategies that your business can use.
If you're looking to hire a social media marketer, it's important to know what they do and the necessary skills for social media marketers. And if you're interested in becoming a social media marketer, knowing what education you'll need before applying to entry-level positions is crucial. Let's answer the burning question, what does a social media marketer do?
What is Social Media Marketing?
It's important to understand what the term social media marketing means. Traditional marketing avenues aren't as effective as they once were and as the marketing landscape has changed, so have the ways we market. Digital marketing is now one of the most effective ways to target an audience. And social media marketing is a subcategory of digital marketing that specifically uses social media sites to connect with a company's target market.
Simply put, social media marketing targets a company's desired audience with digital content and advertisements across social media platforms and formats. Social media marketing encompasses many different concepts like SEO, search engine optimization, and content marketing. Content marketing uses helpful, unique content designed to reach your target audience. This includes posts on social media. Posting valuable content to social media sites increases the chances of content going viral, something for which all social media marketers hope. Going viral means for something to catch on and be widely shared amongst a large group of people on various social networks. This is great for brands as it increases brand awareness, at least in the short term.
Social Media Marketer Responsibilities
Now that we know social media marketing is the process of targeting a company's demographics with digital content and advertisements, what does a social media marketer do? A social media marketer is responsible for creating and managing social media accounts, developing marketing campaigns, and measuring the results of those campaigns using social media reporting tools.
Creating and managing social media accounts includes tasks like content creation, monitoring activity, replying to comments and messages, and engaging with the customer base across social platforms. Staying on top of social media should always be a priority for businesses; listening to your target audience to see what they have to say is crucial. This also includes creating social media accounts if they don't already exist. A social media marketer will know which platforms are most effective for their goal.
Social media marketers use their skills to create market research analyses to ensure their campaigns are as effective or more effective than their competitors. Marketing plans can be developed by researching the target market, coming up with campaign goals, designing creative content, and scheduling posts. It's also essential to monitor the results of these campaigns and make necessary changes.
There are many ways for a social media marketer to get started. A social media marketer may work for a company under the supervision of a marketing manager or as a part of a larger marketing team. Though, some companies who don't understand the importance of digital marketing may hire an individual social media marketer, assuming that's all they need. Coursera points out that this role is also easily done on a freelance basis.
Social Media Platforms
Social media marketers can use many social media platforms to reach their target audience. Some of the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. These social media platforms allow businesses to create social media channels for themselves. A good social media marketer will know which social media channel to post to and which is best for the type of content they're sharing.
Facebook is a social media platform that allows social media marketers to reach a large audience with their content. It's the largest social media platform and is used worldwide. Facebook is one of the original social media sites and was initially established for college students to connect. It now has over two billion active users and continues to grow. Marketers can use Facebook to run paid ads, boost posts, and create engaging content.
Instagram is a social media platform that allows social media marketers to reach their audience with beautiful visual content. Instagram is the top platform to post pictures and short videos and the birthplace of hashtags. Its feed is easy to curate, and they offer great analytics. Instagram has over one billion current users and shows no signs of slowing down. Marketers use it to share their products, engage with their followers, and run ads.
Twitter is a different type of social media platform. Social media users have 240 characters to make their message count, and the most influential brands know how to use this well. Short and sweet tweets have the chance to go viral and bring in mass amounts of potential customers. Marketers can use Twitter to engage with other brands, tweet about upcoming promotions, and reveal new products. With over 330 million active users, it's easy to find the right audience.
TikTok is the hottest platform for gen Z. Users share short videos, often using visual effects and music in the background. It's quick and easy to set up and doesn't take much to grow a following. With engaging and compelling videos, getting in front of your target audience is not hard. It already has over 550 million accounts and continues to grow quickly.
LinkedIn is a business-minded social media platform. It's often used for networking and sharing business information. Social media marketers can use LinkedIn to post articles, create a company page, and communicate with other professionals. It's an effective way for B2B companies to cross-promote their services and create shareable articles for their peers.
Tools Social Media Marketers Use
There are many tools social media marketers use to help them with their jobs and clients' social media presence. Some of these tools include social media management platforms, social media listening platforms, social media analytics tools, and reporting tools. These tools are invaluable for a social media marketer's marketing efforts.
Social media management platforms help social media marketers by giving them a place to plan and publish all types of content and measure the results. These platforms also allow social media marketers to collaborate with other team members, schedule posts and engage with their audience. There are a ton of management platforms like Sprout Social and Hubspot that offer full integration and real-time analytics.
Social media listening platforms help social media marketers by allowing them to listen to conversations about their brand, competitor brands, and industry. While this sounds creepy, don't worry, no one is recording your conversations with this strategy. Social media listening is the way social media marketers analyze their campaigns. Listening means going through the engagement on posts, DMs, monitoring the brand's mentions and replies, and surveying the competition's social media strategy. This helps social media marketers understand what people say about their brand and allows them to respond accordingly.
Social media analytics tools help social media marketers by giving them the ability to measure their social media performance. This includes understanding which posts are performing well, what time of day is best to post, and which social media platform is most effective for reaching their target audience. This information drives social media marketers' decisions about when and where to post their content. While social media management platforms offer analytics, they don't always offer cross-platform analytics, which is particularly helpful for marketers.
Reporting tools help social media marketers by giving them the ability to create reports that show the results of their social media campaigns. This includes things like reach, engagement, clicks, and conversions. Some social media platforms have built-in reporting tools. Instagram offers a business account with reporting tools like engagement and click rates. These social media metrics are important for social media marketers to pivot their strategies effectively.
There are also scheduling and design tools that social media marketers use. Tools like Hootsuite, Later, and Meet Edgar allow social media marketers to enter their planned content and decide when and to which platforms to push the content. This makes the entire process of posting social media content completely painless and saves time that can be used in more pressing ways. Canva is a popular design tool for social media marketers. In Canva you can use predesigned templates or create your own design for social media posts. They offer both a free and paid version.
Social Media Marketer Degree and Experience
Social media marketing is a field that is constantly changing and evolving, so many social media marketers are self-taught. Most social media marketers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree, although it's not required. Many social media marketers have communications, marketing, or journalism degrees. The best way for a beginner to learn social media marketing is through experience. Many social media marketing jobs are entry-level and don't require many years of experience. It's important to continue your education even after getting hired. There are always new strategies and ever-evolving platforms, so staying on top of these trends is critical. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is set to grow by 10% in the next ten years. There will be a great need for social media marketer skills in the future.
Some social media marketers start as interns or social media coordinators and work their way up the totem pole, some even ending up as marketing managers. Others have previous experience in digital marketing, working as a marketing specialist or public relations as a PR rep. No matter your previous experience, if you're passionate about social media marketing, you can be successful.