Social media management skills are in strong demand right now as more businesses look to build a strong presence on social networks. There are now a whole array of full-time jobs specifically based around managing a company’s social media activities, which may lead you to wonder what exactly a social media manager does.
I’ve been a freelance social media manager for over 5 years now, and have taken partial or full control of social media accounts for a range of companies. This involves a number of different skills, including:
Creating content to use in social media posts probably seems like an obvious task for a social media manager but this can actually be quite a complex challenge.
It’s getting increasingly difficult to cut through the noise on social media and stand out and that’s without taking Facebook’s many algorithm changes into account.
Creating the right kind of content that your audience will love and that will encourage them to engage with you through likes, comments, shares and re-tweets is a lot harder than many people assume and it’s all too easy to get it wrong. Many brands do far too much of the “hard sell”, for example, or post content that they think that their audience will want to see and wonder why they’re not getting huge engagement.
There’s no magic formula for the kind of content that works well for a particular company but a good social media manager will do some experimenting to see what works well and stay on top of trends that might have an impact on their content strategy.
Knowing what to post on social media isn’t luck; it’s the result of meticulous planning in the form of a content strategy. This takes into account your goals for using social media and the most appropriate ways to achieve this through your content. As well as your posts themselves, you’ll also need to think about blog content. An effective social media manager can put this strategy into place, refer back to it repeatedly and where necessarily, revise it to stay on track with your goals and on top of ever changing trends in social media.
Posting your own content is all very well but curating and posting great content from other sources can grow trust and authority with your audience. Finding content and scheduling it can be time consuming but a good social media manager will know the go-to industry sources and the tools to make life easier.
If your social media efforts are going well, you’ll have an engaged community that frequently interacts with your content and a steady stream of current and prospective customers who want to know more about you. Customer service is crucial on social media and most people expect a timely response to their communications, especially for questions and enquiries.
Depending on what kind of company you are and how many interactions you get in the average day, this may be too much for you to manage by yourself and many choose to pass this over to a social media manager. They can respond to comments and enquiries and where necessary, liase with customer services or sales staff for more in depth queries.
How do you know if your social media efforts are really working? Numbers and engagement tell some of the story but you need to dig deeper to see how you’re doing in comparison with your goals for using social media. Things like traffic, email sign ups and conversions can all highlight whether social media is having a positive effect for your company’s bottom line.