Social Media Marketing! This is the cliche of this new dot com generation and there are no exceptions. Most companies have realised the importance of social media marketing and the many opportunities and benefits it gives to the marketers. You’ve seen first hand how social media can drive sales, develop customer relationships, build brand awareness, and enhance business credibility and overall reputation. All this cannot be achieved overnight, a complete social media strategy is required but lets take a step back to realise the importance of the person who builds these strategies, Social Media Manager.
Why Social Media Manager?
Unfortunately, for a business owner, time is sparse and efforts can often be spread out too thin. When balancing countless work tasks, adding social media to the mix can appear daunting or almost impossible to sustain. Therefore, the importance of Social media manager becomes much more significant. Hiring a dedicated and committed Social Media Manager to manage social media marketing activities not only allows employers to direct their attention to general management and other important tasks, but also allows for a strong focus on a vital component to any succeeding business; social media marketing.
“A Social Media Manager is integral to any online marketing strategy. They understand the way people think, act, and behave because at the very crux of social media are consumers and by developing strong relationships with them, increases leads and sales.”
Below is a list of only a few responsibilities required by Social Media Managers.
1. Consumer Engagement
Consumer engagement involves a Social Media Manager listening, responding, and asking an online audience questions in order to engage and interact with them. A Social Media Manager has a plethora of ways at their fingertips by which they may engage an audience. Some of which may be through;
- Contests and giveaways,
- Inviting participation without incentive (asking questions, poll, etc.)
- Creative content (interviews, ebooks, infographics, motivational quotes etc.)
Importantly, consumer engagement is generally ‘proactive’ where Social Media Managers will actively interact with influencers or consumers (tagging or mentioning others in social media posts, or starting a LinkedIn group discussion) as opposed to ‘reactive’ engagement (such as responding to comments made by a user).
It is vital that Social Media Managers have a firm understanding of the products and services available by the company and have knowledge of how the sales process operates in order to respond correctly and effectively to consumers’ product-related questions.
2. SEO and SEM Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) attempts to maximise the number of visitors to a particular web page by ensuring the web page appears at the top of a search engine list of results. SEO involves a range of different methods to ensure a high position on the results list such as including quality meta descriptions and focus keywords.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) on the other hand, is a form of marketing whereby businesses pay for an increased visibility in a search engine’s list of results. It is the responsibility of Social Media Managers to combine SEO and SEM practices in order to precisely target a relevant audience by ensuring high website rankings, and an increased competitive advantage.
3. Promotion and Advertising
It is one thing to ensure an active presence across a range of social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, in order to grow and promote your valuable content further, advertising may be required.
Facebook for example, requires high financial expenditure through advertising to obtain even hundreds and thousands of impressions. However, when done correctly, the results can be very rewarding. Instagram on the other hand, does not require costly investment in order to generate a huge following and high levels of engagement. It is often up to a Social Media Manager to decide which social media platforms can be profitable, where to advertise, and what the budget will be.
4. Analyse and Measure Effectiveness of Social Media Strategy
Social Media Managers are requires to record cumulative data from each and every post made from every social media network. Although excessive, the information forms the basis for analysis on the effectiveness of employed strategies. Data must be reported and monitored frequently. Commonly monitored metrics include:
- Number of posts
Job Requirements and Essential Duties of a Social Media Manager
The role of a Social Media Manager however, is not for the faint-hearted. The job requires hard work, the ability to juggle many tasks simultaneously, research and diagnostic capabilities, and the ability to adapt to constant change.
Below is a comprehensive list of competencies required by a Social Media Manager.
1. Quick Feedback
Respond to any online feedback from customers quickly and professionally whilst demonstrating gratitude and genuine appreciation for the feedback and positive comments received online. Personalisation plays a major role in building loyal community of customers.
2. Social Listening
Constantly listen to what consumers are saying online, and react to changing sentiments about your brand.
3. Brand Consistency
Always adopt the ‘voice’ of the brand since every brand has a defined persona and style of expression which is (and should be) apparent in all online and offline activities which should remain consistent. It can be done through personal branding as well.
4. Humanise the brand
Embody personable traits by relating to an audience with the aim of provoking positive emotional responses such as laughter and surprise.
5. Engage with communities
Creatively and uniquely engage relevant online communities and look to other communities for inspiration.
6. Content Creation
Write online quality and valuable content with expression and flair. Content creation is a challenging process and is the cornerstone for the success of any website.
7. Data monitoring
Frequently track progress, analyse metrics and results in order to measure Return on Investment (ROI).
Manage general activities across a range of social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) by discovering optimal posting and scheduling times, and by developing and implementing effective social media strategies.
Without a Social Media Manager, there is no definite online spokesperson for a company with which consumers can directly interact. The Social Media Manager is essentially an online touchpoint whereby consumers can communicate with a business however, without a Social Media Manager’s presence how can a business expect to develop a strong relationships with their hyper-connected consumers? Today’s online consumers are more demanding than ever before and so without an active and well-established social presence, a business is considered at a loss and uncompetitive. In fact, a business’ reputation, future growth, and development depends on a Social Media Manager!