If you still think social media is just for teenagers hooked on Snapchat and angry Twitter trolls who don’t see enough daylight, it’s time to think again.
Social media has become an all-pervasive cultural and economic phenomenon, meaning that any business wanting to successfully engage with its customer base must have a solid social media presence in order to thrive.
With the proliferation of social media has come a whole range of job descriptions which didn’t exist until very recently. The role of social media manager is one of these. There is no doubt that all employees operating in today’s rapidly changing digital world need to have a grasp of social media. However, many companies still prefer to employ someone who is directly responsible for taking on the complex, multi-faceted sphere that social media has become.
If you’re a company looking to improve your sales or web rankings, you’re probably thinking about employing someone to focus on social media. But what kind of skills does this person need to have? What needs to go in a social media manager job description?
This guide is designed to give an overview of the key attributes and skills a social media manager needs to have, with an emphasis on how this fits into the wider context of the constantly changing world of digital marketing. If we were writing a social media manager job description – these are the factors that we’d consider.
Why is Social Media Important for Businesses?
Before we get to that, it might be worth outlining what benefits a successful social media strategy can bring to your business. Social media has become one of the pre-eminent sources of information, particularly for younger audiences. Making use of it means that your company is much more likely to grow and succeed in areas such as these:
- Increased brand awareness and loyalty
- Higher conversion rates
- Increased web traffic
- Higher search rankings
- More satisfying customer experiences
Employing a social media manager to engage with potential customers can bring clear benefits. But what are the exact skills this person needs? Below are some of the essentials you’ll need to include in your social media job description so that you can recruit a social media whizz to your team.
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Writing Your Social Media Manager Job Description
Familiarity with the Key Platforms
This might sound obvious, but if your potential social media executive doesn’t know the difference between Pinterest and Instagram, they’re probably not the person for you. Intricate knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (as a bare minimum) and a genuine interest in how these work, is a must for your new employee.
In addition, your recruit needs to be able to understand the advertising value of these platforms. Facebook, for example, is becoming an ever more sophisticated tool for targeting specific demographics. Being able to use these tools effectively will separate your candidate from a host of others with less experience of using social media for business.
Graphic Design Skills
Social media is geared towards the visual. In fact, blog posts or articles that feature images are said to achieve 94% more views than those that do not. As such, a good eye for photographic and video content should form an essential prerequisite of any social media manager job description. Any social media manager you employ needs to know their way around a digital camera, as well being familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite – particularly PhotoShop and InDesign. To be honest, we’d go further and say that anyone who is employed to manage social media accounts needs to be an expert in graphic design. Aside from a grasp of the basics of graphic design, a social media executive job description needs to outline the need for a keen eye for visuals; from logo design and branding, to how a Facebook banner or web page should look. Other desirables should include knowing your way around a Content Management System, like WordPress, SquareSpace or Wix (whichever your website is built on).
A Writer’s Hand
It’s important not to forget that while social media centres around images, it’s the accompanying words that solidify the message. As such, your social media executive job description needs to emphasise the need for any candidate to have extremely strong writing skills, and to feel confident copyediting and proofreading. As a guide, whenever we look to expand our team of social media managers – we pay close attention to anyone who has a degree in English or a closely related subject.
Strategy, Planning & SEO
We’ve mentioned how social media roles often overlap with other marketing or communications roles. This is especially relevant when it comes to strategy. Your social media manager candidate might be a PhotoShop prodigy, but unless the content is going out at the optimum time, this means very little. She or he needs to be able to create, publish and schedule content and be able to identify how this dovetails with the overall aims of the business.
On a practical level, familiarity with scheduling tools such as HootSuite, TweetDeck and Buffer makes this aspect of the job far easier. But it’s also important that the creative and business elements of the role overlap effectively. It’s not enough to have a superbly crafted video that goes viral. Any social media job description also needs to demonstrate the importance of understanding Return on Investment (ROI) and its implications for your business.
In a world where Google search rankings have a huge effect on the overall success of your business, an understanding of the foundations of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) should form a critical part of any social media executive job description. In other words, not only does your prospective social media manager need to be able to come up with stunning content, but they will also need to be able to promote it successfully. This will drive search rankings, which will, in turn, bring more customers to your site. Unless they can understand the implications of what they do on your bottom line, they are unlikely to be the right fit.
Data & Analytics
With the algorithms driving social media becoming ever more elaborate, an understanding of the data derived from all those tweets, likes and viral videos is another vital requirement of a social media job description. This means being able to make sophisticated use of Twitter and Facebook analytics in order to determine which aspects of the social media strategy are most successful and which need to be tweaked.
The data that is gleaned from analytics needs to be cross-referenced with the business’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If one of these is to drive more traffic to your website, is Twitter helping to do this? Or, if one of your goals is to expand into the millennial market, are you making effective use of Youtube to help reach that goal? These are the kinds of strategic elements and considerations that need to feature in a social media executive job description.
The Modern Social Media Manager: Jack of all Trades?
The world of social media is fascinating, fluid and dynamic. Candidates looking to fill social media manager roles within companies need to be creative, intellectually agile and to be able to keep up with the rapid developments in this field.
While some companies choose to retain their social media in-house, others may choose to make use of outside help to navigate this increasingly competitive arena. With a dedicated team passionate about creating successful content marketing packages for small and medium-sized businesses, we can take the stress of dealing with social media off your shoulders and help you harness the power of this tool to develop your business in the way that you want. If you’d like to find out more about how Greener Media can help your company, through our blogging or social media management services, why not use our interactive package builder?
Is hiring a social media manager the right option for you? Have you considered outsourcing?