Have you ever considered hiring a Social Media Manager for your business?
Or are you like many entrepreneurs, who are not really clear on what it is that a Social Media Manager does?
It’s okay to be unclear.
Social Media Managers come in many different forms.
Sometimes they’re called Social Media Strategists, or Social Media Specialists, or Social Media Gurus, or Social Media Ninjas… it can get a little vague and overwhelming.
And with good reason.
After all, just a few years ago, Social Media Managers didn’t even exist.
They weren’t really a thing.
You couldn’t take a college course in social media, or graduate from an accredited university with a Major in Social Media Studies.
We’re just now starting to get a handle on what it means to be a Social Media Manager, and the important role this job plays in business.
All this confusion can make it daunting for a business owner looking to hire a social media manager, or intending to take on that role themselves.
So… what does a Social Media Manager do, anyways?
That’s a good question.
Some people think that all Social Media Managers do is hang around on Facebook or randomly Tweet all day.
But there’s much more to it than that.
If you’re thinking of hiring a Social Media Manager, or if you are thinking of filling that role yourself, be aware that a Social Media Manager actually plays many roles and requires diverse skills and knowledge.
Here are just a few of the roles that a Social Media Manager for any company can be expected to take on day-to-day…
A Social Media Manager needs to be able to write sparkling copy. They may or may not be involved with creating original blog content, but at the very least, they are going to have to write posts, captions, and catchy headlines.
A great writer is creative, compelling, and concise. Remember that often times, space for text on social media is limited. So you need a writer who knows how to get to the heart of a story very quickly, and inspire followers to click links, read further, subscribe, or follow any other calls to action with immediacy.
Also, you definitely don’t want someone with poor grammar and spelling writing for your social media campaign. Typos and errors are pretty acceptable on personal social media, but when it comes to representing your business on social media, sloppy writing is going to make your business look unreliable and unprofessional.
Photographer / Photo Editor
Thanks to smart phones, photography for social media doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
Nevertheless, you still want to make sure that the responsibility of photographer (and subsequently photo editor) goes to a Social Media Manager with a good eye, a steady hand, and a knack for capturing the right moment. They also need to have access to a great camera phone.
That said, when it comes to photography, nothing can replace a professional photographer with high-end gear. Depending on the nature of your product or service, quality images might be the backbone of your social media presence, in which case, don’t compromise the integrity of your brand with mediocre photography.
For example, the food and fashion industries often require gorgeous images in order to have impact – it’s just something that has become expected, at least from bigger companies. If you want to represent your company as a high-end business, by all means go big with your photos, but if you are a smaller business and need to save your marketing budget for other things, you can fare well with a skilled Social Media Manager behind a camera phone or quality camera.
Videographer / Video Editor
Video is becoming increasingly more important to a business’s social media presence.
Incorporating video into your social media presence will attract and engage a larger audience.
Therefore, you should have a Social Media Manager who not only knows the ins and outs of producing a great video (scripting, shooting, and editing), but is also knowledgeable about how to leverage video on social media.
As with photography, if you want your brand to rise to the next level, it is in your best interests to hire a professional videographer, but if the occasion doesn’t call for one, make sure your Social Media Manager is equipped and skilled to take on video production.
Creating memes, resizing logos, designing ads, adding captions to images… all just another day in the life of a graphic designer – oops… I mean, Social Media Manager.
Each social media platform has its own set of image requirements, and if you want your images to look their best (and you do), you will make sure that your Social Media Manager has the capability to resize, crop, and edit the resolution of any image that comes their way.
A poorly represented image on social media will tarnish your brand in much the same way substandard writing, photography, or videography will.
Branding, in basic terms, is your business’s reputation.
In other words, branding is everything.
Your Social Media Manager must have a deep understanding of your company’s brand if you are to allow them to create and manage content on social media on your business’s behalf.
This means, they should be able to identify your target audience, know how to communicate with this audience, and know exactly how your business fixes problems experienced by this audience.
Branding and social media have a symbiotic relationship, in that your company’s social media presence must align with your branding, and your branding will evolve in accordance with the reactions you get on social media.
A big part of maintaining a business social media presence is creating and maintaining relationships – in other words, networking.
Social Media Managers network on social media with your target market, your clients, your suppliers, your referral partners, and anyone else they can find on social media.
Networking requires finesse and an understanding of how to bring value to the table, in order to forge and maintain meaningful relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Customer Service Representative
Your clients and potential clients will likely want to engage with your business on social media in order to ask questions and post testimonials or complaints.
Customer service is an art that requires tact, communication, and etiquette.
Make sure the person managing your company’s social media presence exhibits the patience and politeness required to handle delicate situations.
New Media Nerd
The social media landscape is not only relatively new, but it changes often.
Your Social Media Manager needs to be able to keep on top of new social media platforms, features, trends, and best practices.
A Social Media Manager needs to see the big picture – as in, the overall strategy and purpose behind your company’s social media efforts.
They also need to break down big tasks into little tasks and make sure everything happens on time, in synch with other tasks, and on multiple platforms.
Then they have to monitor everything that’s happening, analyze data, and respond accordingly.
Your Social Media Manager needs to be hyper-organized and detail-oriented, while at the same time never losing sight of why they are doing what they do.
Ultimate Doer of Things
The perfect Social Media Manager has all the above qualities, and then some of what the French call je ne sais quoi.
This last piece is a combination of consistency, discipline, an ability to roll with the punches, a desire to constantly learn new things, and a need to never show up to the same workday twice.
Being a Social Media Manager is more than just randomly posting things on social media. In fact, it requires a very diverse set of skills. A great Social Media Manager assumes many roles, including: writer, photographer, videographer, graphic designer, branding/marketing specialist, customer service representative, project manager, and new media specialist, to name a few.