The profession of a social media manager is one work profile that is talked about a lot. This is one job role that has significantly changed with time. To construct a broad idea, a social media manager is in charge of understanding a brand's needs. With this understanding, they develop and put in place a strategy to engage the audience.
The role differs across companies based on brand requirements and terms of engagement with the social media manager. Many young creatives tend to consider the career owing to skill transferability and job mobility.
If you're a 20-something, chances are you know somebody who moonlights or freelances as a social media manager for brands. As the gig economy picks up, this is a lucrative opportunity for young professionals in the creative industry to make a little more money. The pandemic and Work From Home culture have given way to job profiles like social media management, which offers the possibility of hybrid and remote work.
Social media management, part of the digital marketing umbrella, is the third most in-demand profile (by volume of job postings), according to LinkedIn. It makes sense because a brand's image is a product of its social media manager's competence. It requires expertise in content development, some number crunching, and effective strategies to engage users. This is necessary to secure the brand's place on the internet.
This article explores the top social media manager skills.
Here's an outline of the contents of this article:
- Modes Of Engagement As A Social Media Manager
- Most In-Demand Social Media Manager Skills
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
Before we go any further, you should know the three primary modes a brand may choose to engage a social media manager.
Modes of engagement as a social media manager
Digital Marketing Agency
It is when a company hands over its digital marketing efforts, including social media management, to a creative agency, which would have other brands as part of its clientele.
Quick detour: The difference between digital marketing and social media marketing is that the former is a strategy of combining online and offline marketing efforts. Digital marketing could also include Television and SMS marketing, in addition to marketing on social media platforms.
A brand may hire a freelancer to take care of the brand's social media platform on a contractual basis. The freelancer may be in charge of specific marketing efforts or the entire gamut of work.
An in-house manager is an employee who works closely with the company's internal departments to streamline the social media strategy with the company's marketing strategy. The advantage is that workflow communication and approvals can be expedited, as the social media team is part of the corporate structure.
Most In-Demand Social Media Manager Skills
- Social Media Management Tool Stack
- Skill-relevant qualifications
- Workflow management
- Public relations
- Customer relationship management
- Analytics and Reporting
- Social listening and responsiveness
The heart of social media management, inarguably, is good communication. The crux of the social media manager's work is promoting a product or service through text, photos, and videos on chosen social media platforms. The person in charge has to identify the best strategy to get the message across to the intended audience.
It also entails communicating your vision with your client (think mood boards, presentations), helping the creative department translate the vision into copies (setting expectations, providing brand references, etc.), and disseminating the brand's message across social media platforms. When it comes to the audience, it's essential to understand the sentiments and lingo of your target audience so the message isn't lost in translation.
Grammarly - so your mail and messages are free of grammatical errors and clunky sentences.
Whether you're just starting and trying to rope in clients or you've got yourself a decent list of clientele, communication is an area that can benefit from improvement. There's always a better way to write to clients; create engaging copies and social media captions. It would hardly be an exaggeration when we say that this is a make-or-break game.
2. Social Media Management Tool Stack
As someone who's a beginner in social media marketing, knowing what tools you can work with is a must. This is because you might not have the budget to hire a design and copy team. You might have to run a solo show- and the audience wants what it wants. You would have to learn design tools like Canva, basic editing in platforms like Adobe Premier Pro or iMovie, and sharpen your writing skills.
Observing what competitor brands are doing can help understand the tone of communication favored by the target audience. This will give you a blueprint for your copy and how you could craft your content. There are a whole array of free tools at your disposal to try and see which one fits you best.
While one person may prefer using an external app to shoot and edit videos, the other may manage very well using in-built app features. Instagram, for example, lets you shoot, edit, and add text, music, and filters within the app- thereby making it a tool in itself.
Social media platforms are managed better with workflow management tools that ensure you never miss anything important. This way, you can schedule posts, automate tasks, and have an overview of your client's social media channels on one platform. Statusbrew lets you do all that plus more with the most affordable Lite plan.
This is useful when expanding the scope of your brand's social media marketing and establishing tangible goals for your social media team.
3. Skill-Relevant Qualifications
A social media manager, on average, makes $51,991 a year ($25/ hour) working in the United States. Their income can go up to $87,429 per year with higher experience. The competition is high, and recruiters receive resumes of highly qualified creatives vying for the position of 'Social Media Manager.'
You may choose to get a bachelor's degree in specializations such as marketing, digital communication, design, or writing. Identifying your niche and building thereon ensures you have a marketable skill that you can develop as you go.
Let's say you are a freelance professional who wants to approach a brand to manage its social media. A background in design helps you promote yourself as someone with good design thinking and can design copies to post on social media.
The key is to have one skill down to a T so that you can focus on developing the rest. Online learning platforms like LinkedIn, Coursera, and Udemy offer digital marketing and related courses that one can use to create a skill and get a certificate. Internships are a great way to earn and learn on the job.
Creativity is a huge part of this job, and there's no other way to put it. It is an inclination to indulge in abstract thinking, develop ideas, and create original campaigns that work. It is a combination of pragmatism and innovative thinking.
One can always develop the creative bone for being a social media wizard the more one immerses themselves in the online world. One idea leads to another, and you have found the inspiration to create an exciting campaign for your brand before you know it.
Online users are tired of being exploited to serve the corporate interest. The quest is to engage your audience and sell your idea in the same breadth. You can build culture and value so that users have value, above and beyond the brand's need to sell. Building social capital is creative work as much as it is strategic work. Automating social media tasks can leave room for ideating and creating innovative ideas for campaigns.
Pro-tip for beginners
If you're feeling stuck, use the tool of reciprocity. Putting up polls and questionnaires is an excellent way to engage users and understand what they want from your brand.
5. Workflow Management
It is a must to have a map sequencing tasks to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If you have a social media team you're managing, you need to know how to create an appropriate chain of command, divide tasks, and establish task approvals.
Ensure you lay the groundwork:
- Set goals for specific time frames
- Choose social media platforms
- Identify personnel for tasks
- Identify right tools
- Curate user-generated content and original content
- Identify relevant hashtags and communities
- Create a social media calendar
- Schedule posts
- Monitor and review metrics
- Establish a crisis management protocol
Scheduling your posts in bulk with live preview, for example, can help make sure you never miss a holiday season post or time-sensitive content. Statusbrew lets you create a content calendar, schedule posts, and reschedule just as easily. See for yourself, and try Statusbrew's scheduling and publishing tool.
6. Public Relations
If you're the social media manager of a brand, you're an extension of its public relations team. Every piece of content that goes out there either adds or takes away from the brand image. So you need to have a feel for social sentiments and ideas about what would be engaging for the audience in your target segment and expand user interest in your content.
The key to managing a successful social media presence is about what you don't say as much as what you do. Crisis-handling skills are crucial when your brand is caught between a rock and a hard spot. The 2017 Equifax crisis led to seemingly minor slip-ups but caused a furor all the same.
The brand's social media team had scheduled posts that should've been rescheduled. Given the context that the credit rating giant had just had a security breach that compromised the data of 147 million people, it was wildly out of touch with reality. If that interests you, you can read more about crisis communication using social media here.
7. Customer Relationship Management
A social media page inevitably becomes a customer relationship center because the reality is this is where a lot of younger people live, work, make friends, get entertained, and get educated. It is natural that the social media platform also becomes your primary contact point. Cultivating a sense of empathy and professionalism while communicating with curious users and retaining regular customers is important.
Learning to use CRM tools (Customer Relationship Management) can help you bring conversations across channels under one forum, so your team never misses important feedback or communication. Responding to your audience in real-time does wonders for customer satisfaction.
8. Analytics And Reporting
This is the most crucial step in your social media management journey. Metrics such as audience engagement, views, advertisement conversions, and follower counts are indicators of the effect of your current social media strategy.
One must learn how to generate and make sense of performance reports so that the client understands their current standing.
Networking is becoming increasingly important as brands benefit significantly from influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnerships. This is built over time, as making connections can help you form mutually beneficial dynamics with brands and negotiate better deals for your client portfolio. It is a lot like building an empire.
10. Social Listening And Responsiveness
Social listening is not just beneficial for idea generation. It is also crucial to the brand's survival. Monitoring dialogues surrounding your brand's industry ensures you aren't trampling on sentiments or making a tone-deaf post. Responsiveness is vital, especially in times of crisis, as information can spread like wildfire on the internet.
Social listening summed up:
Monitoring conversations online is more manageable with Statusbrew's social listening tool. This helps social media executives stay on the ball and focus on directions that user engagement may take. Forecasting a dialogue tangent can help the brand pre-empt customer needs and deliver.
Being a social media manager is about taking strategic calls on the brand's behalf and creating and developing content. The overarching task is to know your brand inside out, the environment it operates in, the factors that can shape what the brand is- and what it could be. A social media manager must have an eye for design, culture, conversations, and resources that can help you make your work more efficient.
This profession requires one to find a niche and simultaneously hold their own in all fields concerning creating content. One phrase thrown around in corporate self-help circles is "Jack of all trades, master of none." But here's the thing, it doesn't end there. The original saying goes -
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."
It turns out that being a generalist is a compliment. More so when you have the right tools to back you up. In the context of social media management, that means ensuring your workflow management is equipped to handle your vision. Plans are much better when backed by data, tracked, and revisited.
Using a platform like Statusbrew lays the groundwork for you and your team to streamline thinking and process so that you're not beating in the dark for solutions. Our management solutions let you collaborate with team members, delegate access and permissions, and increase productivity.
Statusbrew is an all-in-one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even Google My Business.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best social media platform for my brand?
There is no one size fits all solution to choosing the best platform for your brand. It is a decision taken based on your demographic and resource availability. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram figure among the top three most popular platforms globally.
Do I need a college degree to work as a social media manager?
Technically, no. Although this is not a prerequisite for the profession, specializations in communication and digital marketing could boost your competitive edge in the hiring market. The job involves honing your content creation and project management skills.
How should I respond to hate comments?
You may choose to hide comments and respond later or delete them if they are inflammatory. Trolls or spam comments can be hidden or deleted. Strategically speaking, responding professionally to bad reviews or user dissatisfaction is better than ignoring or removing them.
How do I know my strategy is working?
To measure the effectiveness of your strategy, you can look into user engagement and sales conversion rate. Measuring brand performance is more than just financial return on investment. For instance, if brand awareness is one of your goals, you need to look into engagement metrics to analyze if your strategy works.
Do I need to run ads?
The decision to run paid ads or focus on organic reach depends on your marketing objective. If you want to retain the existing audience, you could stick to creating engaging content. Running ads may help attract newer demographic to your page. You may also focus on ad spending during certain times of the year when it's profitable for your business.
How many times do I need to post?
There is no hard and fast rule regarding how often a brand should post. You need to study audience behavior over a period of time to perfect your posting schedule. It helps to understand other interconnected factors, such as the time of the post and the algorithm of platforms to get maximum reach.
What’s a typical day in the life of a social media manager?
Generating ideas for content, ensuring posts go on schedule, monitoring user interaction, and workflow management are typically part of the average social media manager’s day. Depending on the contract, the social media manager may also be responsible for content writing, design, photography, and posting. Other than the commonality of creating content plans and strategizing, the rest of the details can vary.