The social media manager (or a team of them) are playing ever-important roles within agencies, businesses, and organizations. They are ‘product specialists’, the ‘product’ being social media and its entire baggage train. Working on a product – an industry, even – that is still a baby when compared with the other branches of marketing leads to (occasionally) being little-understood by observers, colleagues, and those wishing to enter this career path.
Here is a list that might give an insight as to what being a social media manager truly is
They have a real profession. In the strictest terms of the word, a ‘profession’ is a job that requires a certain degree of training. Social media managers are trained not just in digital marketing, but in the best usage of social platforms, content creation and curation, and often, analysis. It’s not something to hand over to the company intern!
Ex. The internationally-accredited Social Media Marketing course of the CDM
They potentially drive business. By regularly communicating with online communities, they are in the unique position of intercepting passing conversations, and interjecting relevant and useful messages which may or may not lead back to the business, but may lead into being top of mind in the future, and definitely create continuous conversations about the brand/business.
Ex. The social media management of Coca-Cola Philippines.
They grow ‘emotional value’. Social media management has evolved from basic publish-and-observe to publish-and-observe-and-respond, and further into engage-and-connect, hinting at the importance of two-way conversations. It goes without saying that brands and businesses which engage, rather than broadcast, generally experience better sentiments online.
Ex. Oreo’s social media management, specifically on Twitter, which has become a benchmark for real-time social media relevance.
They extend reach. Social media managers know that beyond the platforms they manage, they need to amplify messages through other, authoritative and credible, channels. Many of them are well-versed in their local blogging ecosystems, utilizing influencers to extend the reach of their content, or even partner with bloggers for new, exciting content.
Ex. Unilever’s ‘Personal Care Summit’ in 2013, powered by bloggers’ chatter to get over 100M impressions in three days.
They act as scouts. As the front-line warriors of any brand or business online, social media managers are at excellent positions to spot two things: opportunities for engagement by having a finger on the pulse of online chatter; and potential crises by watching and monitoring endless streams of social chatter. There’s no way to put a price tag on this advantage!
Ex. The social media managers of the Philippine Red Cross, with other NGOs and news sites, who helped organize disaster relief and rescue efforts through social media management.
They provide insights. If there is one thing anyone of them will know, it’s how their respective communities and audiences ‘talk’ online, and the sort of content which makes them tick. These anecdotal data are often supported by quantitative data condensed into reports which provide a peek into the minds of the company’s consumers who are on social.
Ex. The irreverent, almost jester-like tone of engagement and content on the Royal Tru-Orange fan page, adapted for its ‘tween’ community.
As you can see, your social media manager brings a lot to the table. From knowing how to communicate to your brand’s communities, to creating space and relevance for your brand’s ever-distracted online audience, they do so much more than ‘create a post on Facebook.”