We’re all aware of how useful, influential, and integral social media sites have become to businesses across the world.
Whether you’re a multinational pharmaceuticals corporation or a small-time solo comedy act, the right use of social media can help you build your influence, reach an audience much wider than you probably ever thought was possible, keep abreast of the hottest issues and trending topics, and establish a strong foothold as a pioneer in your industry (or at the very least, someone to watch out for).
Now, some people may believe that managing social media accounts on their own is an easy, cheap, and effortless way to build and foster online engagement and drive their own content to virality.
However, a number of critical factors come into play: among the most important considerations are the brand’s identity and reputation, the amount of traffic their pages receive, and the actual impact of the strategies they have in place on their overall bottom line. These elements require the expertise of someone who has had enough experience to know the ins and outs of social media like the back of their hand.
That’s where social media consultants come in. One of the most interesting social media jobs out there, a social media consultant serves as both advisor and subject matter expert, helping clients develop a winning strategy and improve their current brand reputation.
To serve as a guide for those who plan to specialise in social media consultancy, I prepared a list that breaks down the word “consultant” letter by letter, in order to shed light on the duties and responsibilities that the job entails. (I guess I’m lucky that they didn’t think of a job title that’s longer and more complicated than “consultant” – otherwise, it would have been much more challenging to come up with this list!)
C is for Content Integrator. One of the most important responsibilities of a social media consultant is to ensure that the client’s business has consistent and synergized content across all the social networking sites it is part of.
The client’s messaging and tone need to be conveyed consistently, regardless of whether the actual messages come in the form of a quick tweet, professional status update, or friendly shoutout.
Think of it this way: planning and executing a mission without a single person to make sure that everyone’s objectives and methods remain on the same page will lead to said mission becoming a grand mess — and that’s why brands need a content integrator in the form of a consultant to make sure that everything and everyone is headed in the right direction.
O is for Opinion Giver. Of course, working closely with a brand offers a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of what makes it tick, as well as the things that it might be doing wrong (or could be doing better).
The consultant is able to give a fair and unbiased assessment of the brand’s overall marketing strategy because that person becomes well-acquainted with the way the business operates, who it’s targeting, and how it’s using its social media accounts to achieve its present objectives.
It is this unbiased assessment that will prove that the social media consultant is indeed knowledgeable about what needs to be done… and has a well-researched opinion to share when asked.
Nis for Navigator. Running campaigns and executing strategies on social media without the guiding hand of a social media consultant to steer you in the right direction is tantamount to sailing on a cruise ship without a captain.
After all, it is the social media consultant who recommends integrating established industry best practices and ensuring that the clients can maximize the effects of their campaigns.
The social media consultant is also equipped for getting the business out of tight spots with regard to its social media activities, analyzing what went wrong, providing counsel when asked, and coming up with better ways to handle such situations, should they ever occur again.
Sis for Strategist. Incidentally, being equipped to identify problems and come up with effective solutions also means having everything one would need to come up with a winning strategy for social media.
It’s a war for engagement and increased followers out there, and the key to success lies in a solid battle plan for effective online marketing — one that a social media consultant is more than qualified to develop and oversee.
U is for User. To be able to provide good advice and sound insights about social media, one has to actually have regular firsthand experience with even just the most widely used platforms out there.
Naturally, a social media consultant would be an active social media user — one who manages to stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and changes concerning social media platforms, and can thus adjust marketing strategies accordingly whenever needed.
L is for Lawmaker. When it comes to corporate social media accounts, employers and employees are guided by a written social media policy. A social media policy is a set of rules that establish corporate guidelines on social media use, governing both the use of corporate accounts and the use of personal accounts within company premises.
Writing social media policies for companies also falls under the responsibilities of a social media consultant — a significant step in ensuring that neither employers nor employees are placed in jeopardy as a result of a lack of rules on social media use.
T is for Trendsetter. A social media consultant is not afraid to make recommendations based on new information and experiences that they have acquired over their years of working in the industry. Because of their willingness to risk trying new ideas, social media consultants end up setting the trend, exploring previously deemed “unprofitable” ideas and turning them into successful ventures.
A is for Analyst. It’s not enough to run campaigns and advertise — after all, how will you be able to gauge exactly how effective your efforts were? This is where Analytics comes in.
With sufficient data to work with, social media consultants can take a look at the brand’s statistics over a set number of months and try to identify trends, pain points, and even best practices from the team members.
N is for Negotiator. Being a social media consultant also means knowing when to strike a balance between what the client insists on having and what would actually be most effective for the brand. In such instances, the consultant may rewrite the existing dsocial media strategy based on the client’s priorities and objectives.
T is for Teacher. Lastly, the social media consultant must also take the role of educator, not just for the brand’s social media management team, but also for the overall management team in general. The consultant must be able to impart valuable knowledge on the right tactics to ensure the best outcomes for social media campaigns.
The 7 Super Powers of a Social Media Consultant
Now that we looked at the more serious side of what a social media ‘consultant’ is, let’s have a bit of fun and take a look at the funner sides of being a social media consultant.
Liz is a researcher who is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society.