What is a Social Media Manager?
And what does a social media manager really do?
The actual job title of ‘Social Media Manager’ is relatively new in the grand scheme of things but it’s definitely an increasingly popular career path. You’ll often find the role of Social Media management is passed down to perhaps a younger employee or offered only as a part-time position. However, the role’s range and responsibilities require extensive experience (at least, in our opinion!).
A Social Media Manager is often part writer, part designer, part analyst, part strategist, part salesperson, part customer service, part marketer – the list goes on. A businesses Social Media Accounts are an extension of their brand, just as a website is, which is why it’s essential to delegate to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Social Media Manager Responsibilities
As above, the role of a Social Media Manager is extremely diverse and a lot more intricate than simply posting across Social Media platforms. Social Media Managers are responsible for a business’s online presence and digital tone of voice. Content must be of high quality and shared consistently.
Each Social Media Platform will have a slightly different audience, features and algorithms. Experienced Social Media Managers will know how to best identify the right platforms for a business to be active on and what style and tone of the content should be shared and where. For example, the audience, tone of voice, and format required on Instagram or Pinterest will differ from LinkedIn or Twitter.
Some businesses may choose to outsource their Social Media to an agency or freelance professional or form an in-house team. If time and budget allow, businesses may decide to have specialists within the Social Media team dedicated to different areas such as copywriting, graphic design and proofreading.
Social Media is a fast-paced environment, and Social platforms are continuously introducing new features, so it’s essential for anyone working in the industry to stay abreast of the changes and trends within Social Media, but also the latest third-party platforms and technology, to get the most out of each platform. A Social Media Manager will also monitor what a business’s competitors are doing across their Social Media accounts to develop and maintain a competitive edge.
Write and create engaging multi-media content suitable for all platforms in line with the Social Media Strategy
Schedule or share posts across Social Media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube
Monitor and measure Social Media metrics and results to track success against the Social Media Strategy and Marketing Objectives Conduct Social Listening across all platforms and actively engage with audiences
Research and reach out to key influencers within the industry
Study and understand the latest trends within the industry but also across Social Media
Undertake target audience research across all active platforms – working with the rest of the Marketing and Sales teams
Manage Social Media marketing budget (when relevant) and ensure all Ads are optimised and achieving the desired outcome
Social Media Strategies
Part of a Social Media Manager’s role will be to create and implement a Social Media Strategy for a business. This Social Strategy should align directly with the comprehensive Marketing Plan, which should reflect the business objectives.
A professional Social Media Manager will be able to identify which areas of the Marketing Plan Social Media would best support and how to implement campaigns to meet objectives. Each campaign will be fully tracked and reviewed to analyse the results and whether the objective was met. The outcome of each campaign will then influence the future Social Media strategy.
Social Media strategies can be split into two sections: Organic or Paid. Organic Social Media is the ‘free’ posting to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Paid Social Media is a combination of Social Media Ads, and some professionals include Google Ads within this category.
Social Media strategies will often be along the lines of increasing brand visibility and reputation, engaging with customers and potential customers and, ultimately, support with driving sales.
What To Look For In A Social Media Manager
When looking to hire a Social Media Manager, whether that’s inhouse, an agency or freelancer, there are a few key aspects to consider.
The usual indication of someone’s ability level will be a qualification in the field. However, there are very few qualifications dedicated to Social Media alone and the industry changes so rapidly the learning and development will likely never end.
However, overall a degree is a good sign of commitment to learning, and there are some Marketing courses available with modules covering Social Media and/or Digital Marketing. The two best known will likely be with the Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM) or The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Member Of A Professional Body
Members of professional marketing bodies, such as The Chartered Institute of Marketing mentioned above, will be better placed to stay up-to-date in the ever-changing world of Marketing and thus, Social Media. Members will have access to events, mentoring schemes and extra support from their fellow members which will, in turn, benefit a business.
Social never sleeps, which means, somewhat depending on the industry, a Social Media Manager will need to be available more than 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. The beauty of planning and scheduling platforms means they may not have to actively write and post out of office hours, but Social Listening is an essential part of the role which may mean evenings and weekends.
If you are looking to outsource your social media management the team at thesocialnetwork would be happy to help!
View our services here!
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