What does a Social Media Manager do?

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How many times have you thought “I’m going to manage all my social media accounts, it’s easy, isn’t it?”? Well, this is the truth: managing social media accounts in a proper way is a job and, exactly like all the other jobs, it requires skills and expertise.

What does a Social Media Manager actually do?

The Social Media Manager, also called Social Media Strategist, is responsible for defining the strategic guidelines for the presence of a brand or a single one on social media platforms. In large companies and agencies the SMM is supported by the Community Manager, also called Social Media Editor, who is the person in charge of putting into practice the strategic decisions of the SMM.

Broadly a Social Media Manager does these things:
* Draw multi-channel strategies to be applied to social;
* Management of a budget;
* Agree with other managers from other teams about the campaigns that will allow the brand to reinforce its identity;
* Manage and oversee the implementation of the editorial calendar, the communication strategies and the content strategies;
* Track the results with numbers in hand by defining and adjusting ROI and KPIs based on the goals to be achieved;
* In an agency the SMM works closely with other teams within the marketing dept, in a company responds only to himself/herself but works closely with the PR and Product Manager.

Which skills a successful Social Media Manager needs to have?

1. Project Management
If you know your goal you have to know how to plan the steps to achieve it. A successful SMM knows how to plan at the strategic level, starting from what he/she has and trying everything he/she can, given a certain budget, to bring the result home. This means being able to predict the moves to ensure that the plan is executed properly: after all, a good SMM must have been a Community Manager in the past!

2. In depth knowledge of the Web, its content and social media
Reading Buzzfeed read and following the Daily Mail on Facebook does not fall into this definition. A SMM knows the way contents are shared and loved online and what makes a content better than another. A good Social Media Manager also knows the less frequented social media platforms, also the ones limited to a few countries. It’s not all about Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

3. In depth knowledge of the brand you work with
A SMM knows the brand and its audience both demographically and sociologically. Starting from this knowledge he also knows how to expand the reach, with what kind of people engage and why. He does not use, in short, kittens to communicate with the followers and the potential ones!

4. A creative but also analytical mind
The good Social Media Manager is able to combine creativity with being analytical and that means that when planning a campaign he will look at the creative side but also at the potential numerical implications.

5. In depth knowledge of the tools
A successful Social Media Manager knows Excel and similar software at an advanced level. He also knows all the most important tools for analyzing and monitoring the social media from Radian6 to Sprout without forgetting Sprinklr ad so on. It ‘also essential that he knows how to use Facebook Power Editor and Twitter Ads.

6. Improvisation’s skills
You can great at being creative and also analytical but what happens when you’ve to think straight and produce a real time social media strategy? A great Social Media Manager has a great sense of improvisation and it’s improvising that allows him/her to show his/her skills the most. Being on time when something happens can be really hard and just a few minds can do it. For sure not the guys at Crocs:

crocs

7. Able to prioritize
With all the existing social media platforms, a Social Media Manager has to be able to choose the best one based on the brand and the message to be vehiculated. It ‘easy to jump on Facebook and find out later, after a few months, that it’s really not the channel that converts the best in that market and it is easy to forget, for example, that Pinterest converts very well in certain situations.

8. He’s a seller and also a buyer
A good SMM will always be asked to try new services and tools and that’s the reason why this job requires a good ability to “buy” good thinks and, at the same time, to sell yourself and the brand you work with in a professional and very “salesy” way. There’s no SMM without sales’ involved.

9. Great management of a social media crisis
A good SMM can handle crisis, knowns to be critical of its brand if the situation requires so but above all knows how to fix the situation and if necessary he also knows how to turn the fail in its favor. The Social Media Editor of KitchenAid USA has published a personal message on the company’s Twitter account sparking controversy and do you know what the Social Media Manager of the company did? She took charge of the situation by explaining what had happened, apologizing and resolving the situation in a personal way:

kitchen aid

10. Risk-loving
A Social Media Manager risks at the strategic level but also at the level of execution, in the choice of the platform to work with, in the allocation of the budget and in the choice of forms of communication. Loving risks is part of the game to progress and make your company shine.

Last but not least…
… Seriously, the Social Media Management is a really skilled job, often boring and stressful, more than one would think. Improvising as a SMM is detrimental both for those who do that and for the companies that choose to entrust not skilled people just to discover that the yoga kittens are not doing well on the company’s social media profiles.

How to become a Social Media Manager?

Keep studying, start from the lower level and then build your career from there. Make sure you’ve a Social Media Manager which can help you in learning and avoid expensive courses! Starting from a Management position without the necessary experience is a risk for you and for the company. After all, what do you put in the “experience” field? Managing your grandmother car wash Facebook page? Always think on a long term way and be patient…

How to hire a Social Media Manager?

Although the prospect of paying less is tempting, I imagine that the prospect of losing revenue opportunities it is not good at all. A better qualified and experienced person which may cost more is the solution to get results. When you’ve to hire someone as a Social Media Manager always ask about experiences, case histories (no need to ask for the names of companies but the overall strategy) and specific questions to make your mind and decide for the best. Always think on a long term way because the results achieved with a good planning and expertise are the ones that really count.

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