Picture this: You’re a startup accounting and taxation firm based in Australia and, because you have a pretty good idea of the importance of establishing a strong online presence for any brand, you’ve decided to make social media marketing a significant part of your overall strategy.
The problem is, you have no idea where to begin with regard to which social media platforms you should be signing up for, or the kind of content you should be posting to get more leads and conversions.
Sure, you have the option to talk to a social media consultant, but even if you end up being able to devise a solid plan, you have neither the time nor the patience to do it yourself. The best solution? Hire a social media manager to take care of your social media pages, grow your fanbase, and monitor your campaigns.
Sounds simple enough, right? This is why a lot of people think that being a social media manager is a walk in the park.
Think about it, though: data from the past few years indicates that social media-related jobs have swelled in number – over a thousand percent, even. Thus, the question persists: How can you stand out in a sea of other social media managers? What would make clients want to hire you instead of the other guy?
I’ve listed down 6 characteristics that most entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to look for in a social media community manager. Check out the list below:
1. Is passionate about social media
If you look at all the prominent social media experts out there, you’ll see that they have one big thing in common: They’re all having a blast with what they’re doing.
They have a genuine love for social media — a willingness to participate in online discussions, to grow communities, and to provide assistance with social media whenever possible — and an active commitment to make their presence known and establish themselves as experts on the subject matter.
Prospective customers are more likely to trust someone well-known for their insights than some unknown with an almost bare Twitter account and nothing new to add to the table.
2. Can communicate with specific audiences properly
In general, social media managers must understand the importance of being respectful in the way they communicate. Whether they’re replying to comments, participating in online discussions, or even just sharing a link to a blog post, social media managers are courteous and warm, ready to answer questions or address concerns with as much patience and understanding as it takes.
Some may even infuse a bit of humor in the way they interact with their customers – check out these customer service exchanges on Twitter for a good (and entertaining) example.
A great social media manager should thus be able to understand the brand’s audience — apart from knowing what they need, you must also know how to talk to them. More importantly, you need to be able to make your customers feel that you empathize with their struggles and understand how they feel
3. Can think outside the box
Social media platforms open avenues for brands to express their unique characteristics and come up with marketing campaigns that are creative enough to capture their audience’s attention. An expert social media manager knows how important it is to stand out, and is able to come up with creative, fresh, and interesting new ideas instead of rehashing what’s already been done before. Consumers have their own systems of filtering out content and brands that do not address their needs or hold any relevance for them; it is the social media manager’s job to make sure that the brand’s content is compelling enough to convince consumers to hop aboard.
4. Is willing to learn more
In just about any situation or profession, knowledge is power, and social media management is no exception. That’s why a social media manager needs to be willing to expand their knowledge and stay updated about the latest social media tool updates, algorithm changes, SEO trends, and so on. Reading news websites related to tech, such as Mashable and TechCrunch, should help keep you in the know. Additionally, don’t belittle the benefits of a good training session; sign up whenever the opportunity presents itself to learn a new social media marketing skill or try out a new tool.
5. Embraces the principles of journalism
Despite the differences in the procedures and content found in traditional media and new media, the same journalistic principles found in the former should also apply to the latter. In this era where updated information is instantly available to anyone with an Internet connection, it is important for brands on social media to keep churning out well-written, accurate and timely content. It is the social media manager’s task to ensure that the brand’s pages remain relevant by publishing share-worthy content.
6. Can work while on-the-go
We have already reached the point where we have the ability to update our social media accounts, get directions online, or browse the Internet regardless of where we are (and provided we have a device on hand capable of doing so). For social media managers, however, it is important to have the ability to post updates no matter what place they’re in (or what time it is).
To clarify, I’m not saying that being a great social media manager means being a full-time social media nerd, with no time at all to do the things you enjoy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: meeting new people and sharing insights will help you go further in your career. You just need to be able to provide assistance to your consumers when necessary.
6 Professions That Embody What Social Media Management is All About
This brings us to the fun part of this blog post. When I was doing my Masters degree, I took a subject called “Hybrid Management”. Back then, my degree was teaching me on how to be a “Hybrid Manager” because we knew how important it was going to be, but we had no idea what that role would look like. Little did I know, almost 10 years later, here I stand as a social media manager, who embodies all the qualities that I learnt a “Hybrid Manager” should have.
To give you a glimpse of what I learnt 10 years ago about “Hybrid Management”, here are 6 professions that embodies what social media management is about about. It definitely is a hybrid of many jobs rolled into one. No doubt! Check it out.
Liz Azyan is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society. Get involved with Liz’s latest project here.