Many people think that a social media manager sits in front of a computer or device and simply ‘updates’ various social media accounts all day.
Although the updates are a crucial part of the role, this is far from the only task that makes up a social media manager’s job.
For local businesses or companies who work in targeted industries, your social media manager is the equivalent of ‘neighbourhood watch’. They have their eyes and ears to the ground:
- picking up what is ‘trending’;
- keeping tabs on your competitors’ activities;
- making sure they are up to date with the ‘gossip’
- and building a community built on trust and engagement.
Every day social media managers are looking for information to share specific to your business. They are working with it and applying it in a way to make sure your business is seen as the ‘go-to’ place/person in their industry.
Yes, that’s right. Your social media manager is the first line of defence against any negative comments mentioned online. In fact; good, bad or ugly, they will respond to them professionally and efficiently in line with your social media guidelines. If your business doesn’t have any, your social media manager will coach you through the process. Ensuring that next time (if there is one) you have a plan!
Often when the proverbial hits the fan, your social media manager (especially if they’re outsourced) can play a crucial role in mediating. This could be between you and the disgruntled customer, an employee or a supplier. Taking the emotion out of the situation means it is resolved quickly with little or no damage to your brand.
Often social media managers often find themselves in interesting positions to get the perfect shot for your networks! Health and safety would have a field day with the amount of chairs/desks/appliances that get balanced on, just so that you have content to share. And usually, a mobile device takes 99.9% of these images. While we don’t agree that this is best practice, social media managers understand that there is sometimes a sense of urgency to jump on the bandwagon. Therefore waiting for professional corporate photography could mean missing out on the latest trending topics. The preference is always to have a bank of professional photographs and unique images, which can be used to enhance updates for your audience, but for live updates, a smartphone will have to do!
Writing updates is an art. With varying character limits, differing audiences and only some networks that support hashtags, you won’t see many occasions when one update suits all platforms. This no truer when considering elements such as tags and locations! If you have a presence on multiple platforms, think how many updates are being uniquely written for your business all about the same thing! The social media manager has to know your services and product inside out, to be able to create compelling updates that will engage your audience. Without that knowledge, albeit through an employee induction or a full copy brief, a social media manager can only go so far with their updates. Make sure you have educated them in the way you want your audience to be educated.
Social media managers are always on the hunt for good content. Regardless whether a client has a blog or images, it is a fundamental part of their daily routine. Curating this information ensures your feeds are interesting for your audience. Ultimately, sharing your unique content will draw more people back to your website – it is amazing how much mileage your social media manager can get your unique content!
Any social media manager (or agency) worth its weight in gold will measure and report on what they do. How else will they know what has or hasn’t and what they intend to do going forward? A decent social media manager will know where to find the information, what it means, identify trends and make suggestions to move onwards and upwards in line with your social media goals.
Usually, you are hiring a social media manager (either in-house or via an agency) because you don’t have the expertise in your current team to service it. This doesn’t mean that social media is a separate entity to the rest of the business. It should be as integrated into your plan as HR and sales, and have goals that are related to your overall business objectives. Your social media manager should be able to mentor you in:
- how social media can be used to meet these goals,
- ensuring your business is represented online in the same way it is off!
Finally, social media managers are often your biggest brand/employee advocates.
Their main aim is to make sure you hit your goals. And they will often go above and beyond. They will ensure their relevant connections know about your business, by introducing you to their network.
So next time you think that social media is a job for ‘anyone’ and you pass it on to the intern, think of all these ‘roles’ and the responsibilities that come with each one. Choose your social media manager carefully. Ask questions. Look to see if they practice what they preach and give them as much information as you can to ensure that they can do their job properly.