In recent years, smart businesses large and small have enthusiastically embraced social media marketing. They have recognized the value of building online communities to directly engage with their customers and prospects, and have seen positive results.
Many have also learned that social media marketing is not as simple as plopping a few posts on popular sites or putting out a couple tweets. It takes time and strategic thinking to reach your market, provide value and stay ahead of the competition. A logical move to meet these challenges is hiring a social media manager, a fairly new position in the job marketplace.
Here, we will examine what social media managers do, and what employers are looking for when hiring for this pivotal position.
Social Media Manager Job Description
Social media managers are ultimately responsible for their company’s social media presence. They create and maintain profiles on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, and design and implement a content strategy.
They create and curate relevant content, including articles, images, videos, promotions and whatever else the audience finds valuable. Social media managers are in charge of driving engagement among the company’s followers.
Good social media managers constantly analyze the market, scanning trends and news, and searching for items of interest to their audience. They answer customer inquiries using the company’s brand voice and measure progress with web analytics tools. In large firms, they work with other departments, such as marketing and advertising, graphic design, customer service and public relations, to create content and deliver essential and coordinated messages to the audience.
Typical Job Duties for Social Media Managers
A social media manager’s main duties include keeping up with trends, analyzing data and generating content that drives results. Specific daily tasks will vary according to an employer’s needs, but typically include the following:
- Planning and organizing content: Social media managers are tasked with figuring out which platforms the company’s target audiences prefer and how to communicate through each. They create content calendars in advance and adapt content to each social network.
- Curating content: Finding content to share with followers means lots of time reading blogs and newsfeeds and scanning social networks.
- Writing copy: Some social media managers write a lot of content, while others work with or direct copywriters. The content could be for websites, Facebook posts, tweets, video scripts, and other marketing efforts, keeping the company’s official tone and brand in mind.
- Listening to and engaging with followers: Social media managers pay attention to what people are saying on social media about the company, its products and the competition. They check to see if followers and fans are leaving messages or asking questions, and make sure they get a response.
- Researching: Social media managers must stay on top of trends in their industry, as well as what the audience wants and needs from the brand. Additional research is often performed on the competition’s activities and results, as well as emerging social media trends, networks and tools. Much of their time is spent compiling and presenting statistics.
- Analyzing: With so much data generated from social networks, it’s important that social media managers know how to use it. They are responsible for gathering and analyzing data, finding insights and then using them to plan content.
- Problem solving: Sometimes, customers go on social media networks to talk about an issue with a company’s product or service. Responding to complaints, fixing miscues and solving problems can be a big part of a social media manager’s job.
Job Outlook and Salary
Because social media manager is an emerging career, the U.S. Department of Labor does not track pay and job outlook information. For the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, this field compares closely to the advertising and promotions manager category and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the expansion of digital media and ongoing need for promotional campaigns will drive demand for these professionals.
The median pay for advertising and promotions managers was $96,720 in May 2014, according to the BLS.
Planning on Becoming a Social Media Manager?
Social media managers should have outstanding writing and communication skills. They also need to be organized and have an eye for good graphic design and photography. Other useful skills include analytical thinking, good decision-making and resourcefulness. If you think you would be a good fit for this up-and-coming, exciting career, a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, marketing, communications or a related field may provide opportunities.