Social Media Manager Job Description - Skills, Duties and Responsibilities
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What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
Social media managers are responsible for coordinating the social media efforts of companies, brands, celebrities and other public figures (e.g. singers, actors, sportsmen and women, politicians).
A social media manager’s task is to maximize the company or client’s return on its investment (ROI) in social media. Specific ROI objectives will vary based on the marketing strategy adopted, but may include a larger online presence, improved brand awareness and brand reputation, higher engagement, lead generation or greater brand loyalty.
But what does this actually involve?
Social media managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of the official social media profiles, accounts and pages of their company or client on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, as well as on any company blogs. They interact with the users of these platforms and work to create active communities.
Social media managers also analyze and interpret web and social media data, using analytics and listening tools to track and monitor trends and hashtags and identify marketing and communication targets.They then work to devise an effective brand communication strategy and select the social media platforms on which it will be deployed. Their next step is to prepare a social media plan, i.e. a plan setting out how the strategy will be executed, in terms of the creation and publication of social media content aimed at the target audience. The content, which may include text, images, GIFs, videos, surveys, interactive competitions and viral marketing campaigns, is usually designed to generate user interest and engagement and increase followers and social media shares.
Once a social media strategy has been put in place, the typical working day of a social media manager involves publishing posts and viral content on social media profiles (as well as on any company blogs), monitoring numbers of followers, likes, retweets and shares, finding and sharing interesting content and hot topics that are aligned with the brand identity and managing relations with bloggers and influencers. Social media managers are also typically required to submit some sort of report on their work efforts to the marketing manager.
Additional tasks of a social media manager will often include interacting with users (e.g. by instant message, chat or twitter), moderating user comments and coordinating social media ad campaigns and the publication of paid posts - although, strictly speaking, these would normally be the duties of the Community Manager and Social Media Marketer, respectively.
One very important aspect of a Social Media Manager’s duties is the ability to respond promptly and effectively to crisis situations, using a social media crisis management plan designed to protect the corporate brand and image, limit any damage and provide users - who may be angry or upset - with a rapid and effective answer to their complaints or comments.
To optimize and enhance a company’s or client’s social media efforts, social media managers often deploy social media monitoring and performance measurement tools (including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and many others), keyword research tools to optimize content for SEO, graphic design and video-editing software and multi-channel publishing tools. Deploying a social media strategy may require the involvement of other members of the marketing and communications team, such as copywriters, web designers and videomakers.
Social media managers may work for a web agency or social media agency or, alternatively, be employed in the in-house marketing department of a company or other organization. Experienced social media managers may eventually decide to work as a freelance consultant, specializing in social media management. Working on a self-employed basis has the advantage of offering greater autonomy and freedom, but the flipside is that the variable working hours require a significant degree of flexibility.
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Social Media Manager Duties and Responsibilities
The main duties of a social media manager include:
- Managing the social profiles of companies and other organizations, corporate brands, and celebrities and public figures
- Devising digital strategies
- Planning, creating and distributing content on social media channels
- Working to increase user engagement
- Monitoring performance and preparing regular performance analysis reports
- Keeping track of latest trends
How to Become a Social Media Manager
A degree in Marketing and Communication is usually required to become a social media manager, although there are also specific courses for social media managers that teach the skills needed to devise successful social media strategies and create and manage content. Of course, a knowledge of the principles behind social media management needs to be to supported by actual experience in the field, which can be obtained through an internship at a company or a web agency. This will allow prospective social media managers to gain a better understanding of how client accounts are managed on a day-to-day basis.
Another important aspect to consider is ongoing learning and training, which will help to ensure that web marketing professionals stay on top of the latest trends and are able to identify the most effective strategies for a given brand in a given market or environment.
Social Media Manager Skills
Social media managers require the following skills and personal qualities:
- Knowledge of and strong ability to use the most common social networks
- Content creation, copywriting and creative writing skills
- Graphic design, photo and video-editing skills
- Analytical and data interpretation skills
- Knowledge of most widely-used social media management and analytics tools
- Creativity and excellent communication skills
- Strong organizational skills and ability to multitask
- Positive attitude and problem-solving skills
Social Media Manager Career Path
The career of a social media manager can develop in a number of different directions. From an entry level or junior position, it is possible, with experience, to transition to more senior roles and, eventually, to reach the position of head of social media. This is the person who has overall responsibility for the social media department and who supervises and coordinates the work of the social media team. Alternatively, strong web marketing skills (e.g. online advertising, social media marketing, SEO, SEM, e-commerce, email marketing etc) may open up further career opportunities as a digital marketing specialist, which in turn can lead to a role as head of digital media.
A further option is to set up as a self-employed consultant, providing clients with social media management services. Freelance social media consultants enjoy the added advantage of being able to directly manage their own clients.
Top Reasons to Work as a Social Media Manager
One key factor that leads many people to choose a career as a social media manager is a passion for the innovative communication opportunities offered by social networks. This is a dynamic and exciting profession which allows talented individuals to put their enthusiasm for social media networks to use in contributing to the success of a company, organization or brand.
An additional advantage is that there are numerous job openings for social media managers, as companies are constantly on the lookout for qualified professionals capable of coordinating their online communications and marketing efforts to generate traffic and revenues.