The Role of a Social Media Manager

A Social Media Manager is a relatively new position but it's a role that has certainly gained prominence in recent years what with the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other popular social media platforms.

Social Media has become one of the most powerful and popular way to engage with consumers, attract new customers and increase overall brand awareness.

The Role of a Social Media Manager entails many responsibilities which include both creative and analytical skills across several different social media sites. A good social media manager must have an understanding of each social media platform, or at least the most popular ones and be able to connect business objectives to content and online campaigns.

Social Media Strategy

Running a social media campaign isn’t just updating a Facebook status, retweeting something interesting, or ‘winging it’ to coin a phrase. It’s managing and promoting your brand via social media which is a big job and could potentially promote your product to a worldwide audience. Therefore, a social media strategy plan needs to be in place to help identify, plan and execute the goals that your business wants to achieve.

Here are some factors to review when developing a social media strategy:

  • Determining your objectives
  • Developing content and campaigns
  • Understanding your customers and what tone of voice/language to use
  • What is the competition doing?
  • Are you looking to increase sales or web traffic?
  • Targeting the right audience
  • Choosing what Social Media platforms you’ll be using

Managing Social Media Sites

The last point above is important as there are many social media sites available at your disposal but you probably don’t need to use them all. Most companies tend to focus on the big 6 social media sites; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google+ and Linkedin. These are the most popular with Facebook and Twitter being social media’s mass market and most dominant platforms. Businesses in a specialist sectors like music or travel may use other social platforms that appeal to those types of markets e.g Soundcloud or Pinterest.

As a social media manager, your role would be to update all social media accounts on an almost daily basis and make sure customers are engaged with. The more activity and engagement your business has, the more need for tools and extra personnel. Tools like Hootsuite and Zendesk give you a dashboard that helps you effectively manage and run all your social media sites as well as provide additional tools for insight, analysis and reporting. It’s available on both desktop and mobile so it’s a popular tool used by many.

Engaging with Audiences

One of the main tasks of a social media manager is to interact with their audience and provide customer service, whether that’s engaging them with new content or responding to queries. Larger organisations or companies may have a team of social media executives to help respond to questions as well as coming up with exciting content too. With Facebook now measuring Response Time it’s become important that queries, comments and posts made to your page are answered as soon as possible. However, you can be subject to complaints and criticism too so it’s important someone can attend to this quickly. As a social media manager, each staff member that is managed under them must fully comply with the community guidelines and be able to respond to any customer queries or complaints in the manner the business expects them to be handled.

Measure & Analyse

When you share any post, tweet, photo and story to the world of social media you will then need to measure, analyse and report the performance and use that information to influence future business decisions. Many social media platforms have built in analytical tools to view performance of posts, likes and other useful insight. Though as a Social Media Manager you may require more in-depth analysis which is where tools like Hootsuite and Zendesk can come in handy. These tools can allow all sorts of social media measurement including:

  • Track your brand growth
  • Visualise social demographics
  • Measure sentiment metrics
  • Identify social influencers
  • See what content resonates
  • Create detailed social reports

These results are typically measured on a daily to weekly basis to see if posts have performed well and if ROI has been established. Reports are often sent to directors and upper management through email or as a visual Powerpoint presentation.

Other Duties

Social Media Managers have several day-to-day activities and can often take their job outside of work hours if required via mobile. Other duties can include:

  • Researching Competitor’s Social Media Activity
  • Writing engaging content for the company blog and other social media channels
  • Monitor the latest trends
  • Check Paid Campaigns and set up New Adverts
  • Visit other departments and locations involved in your business
  • Be set up on mobile to update and monitor on the move
  • Engage in Charitable Events
  • Travel to Networking and Social Media Events
  • Be up to date with changes, updates and revisions to social media channels.
  • Be an ambassador for your brand, online and offline.
  • Oversee design, look and layout of social media channels
  • Create and manage campaigns and promotions
  • Report back to management with results (ROI)

Experience and Qualifications

Someone in this position should have excellent writing and language skills as well as experience in marketing, PR and obviously social media. Being able to source and manage content development is a key quality to have as well as experience in customer service.

Although it is now possible to apply for a degree in social media management in certain institutions, a degree in marketing or PR would likely suffice.

Salary and Benefits

According to Technojobs data, the average salary for a Social Media Manager is £25,000. Salaries for new entrants vary between £17,000 to £20,000. The amount is dependent upon a number of factors, one of which is location. It is not uncommon for Social Media Managers in London to be paid more.