What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

what is social media management

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Have you ever wondered what a social media manager does or what the job descriptions of a social media manager and a community manager look like? While you are thinking about the answers to those questions, many of your friends and competition are interested in knowing the differences between a social media manager and a community manager.

Still, many have asked me about the kinds of tools that social media managers use in accomplishing effectively and seamlessly their insanely multiple social media management job descriptions.

While I let all those points that I have raised marinate, I invite you to read this article carefully and with a vested interest. That is if this thoroughly researched and relevant information for many, will help you in hiring a social media manager, become a freelance social media manager or a remote social media manager in a business or organization.

Moreover, this article will help small, mid-sized and large organizations or enterprises become well-informed as they make a decision on hiring an in-house social media manager, or in outsourcing this highly important, challenging, dynamic, demanding and still fulfilling job to a freelancer or an agency.

By adding this information to your other strategic digital marketing arsenal, you will be empowered, ready and eager to make an educated decision on amplifying your online presence or in landing your dream job as a social media manager.

It is not a secret that many companies today appreciate the amazing benefits and value of social media marketing compared to the advantages of traditional marketing. If you are a small business owner, you already know what a challenge it is to juggle every aspect of your business.

So, how do you give social media marketing the laser-focused attention that it deserves in this day and time?

You see, being effective on multiple social media platforms is a challenge for lots of small and mid-sized companies and to some extent, some large corporations. It is not easy to find the right fit of person or agency to manage your online presence or even what that person’s job duties should be.

Though many people have recognized and implemented social media marketing and online advertising as a huge part of their online marketing strategy, at the heart of it all, social media is still about people, people, and people.

Importantly, engagements with people lead to real connections, interactions, conversations and eventually conversion into buyers of your product or services. But what are the differences between a social media manager and a community manager?

A Social Media Manager Vs A Community Manager

social media manager vs community manager

An effective and nimble team of social media advocates ensure that every inbound message and outbound opportunity is addressed in order to achieve your strategic goals. If you want to know how to set up your own nimble social media marketing team, this guide from Hubspot will be valuable.

Big digital marketing agencies, PR firms, corporations, and organizations might have social media managers as well as community managers as part of their team.

In a team of social media marketers, who is a social media manager and who is a community manager? Are they the same? What are the differences?

It is true that many people think that both roles are the same, in reality, their functions and responsibilities are actually quite distinct.

Even within digital marketing agencies, many think that there’s a fine line that separates the dynamic positions of a social media manager and a community manager.

Major Differences Between The Two Roles

A social media manager is the eyes and ears of the brand on social media. Such a person is responsible for crafting content, engaging with the audience, responding to comments, answering questions, and much more. Most of the time they engage and interact with people who have an on-going relationship with, or have heard of, the brand.

On other hand, a community manager is a brand advocate on social platforms. These individuals have their own persona on social media channels. Taking advantage of their online influence, they proactively connect, engage with potential customers of the brand.

Community managers typically deal with those who haven’t heard of the business they work for and boost awareness for the company.

What A Social Media Manager Does

The basic definition of a social media manager is that it is the person who is in charge of representing your company on social media. He or she may have others working under her, but the responsibility for responding to comments and questions posted on social media about your brand rests on this manager.

The job of a social media manager is to manage the online presence of a brand through the creation, promotion and management of targeted-content on social media platforms.

In fact, a social media manager is also the person who is responsible for developing social media strategies and campaigns. Day-to-day activities of a social media manager includes developing relevant content topics to reach the company's target customers. Social media managers craft, curate, and manage all published content (images, video and written).

Required Skills Or Qualification Of A Social Media Manager

  • Excellent writing skills: A social media manager has to know how to write an effective copy for different demographics and for different social media platforms. An awesome writing skill is needed in engaging with customers and clients. It is also needed in responding to their questions.

    A good researcher: In an ever dynamic world of social media, an effective social media manager needs to be a good research student. This research will uncover what competitors are doing, the latest social media platforms and trending topics. A good researcher will also know what tools are new in managing, listening and measuring social media engagements.

    Problem solver: A good problem solver is also an excellent thinker. That is why the job of a social media manager is for a person who has less drama and problems to begin with. It is also for a person who doesn't get overly emotional when faced with problems.

    As the person communicates the brand's image with the public, sometimes, customers are not happy with the brand and the issues they raise have to be resolved.

    It takes a cool, calm and collected social media manager to handle crisis or deal with angry customers. If you see problems as challenges and life experiences and stand above them, you are uniquely equipped to be an amazing social media manager.

    Organizational skills: Companies and organizations need workers who can stay organized and focused on the projects at hand. However, social media managers must also organize the work of other team members.

    Good organizational skills are needed in managing the different social media accounts, their campaigns, content and other members of the team.

    Interpersonal Skills: These are the skills that a person uses to interact with others properly. As far as organizations are concerned, it means the ability to get along with others while getting the job done.

    Being a friendly and approachable manager with a good attitude makes it incredibly easy and seamless in dealing with team members and the online and offline audience in general. A good attitude endears.

    Technical Skills: In my articles I have made it clear that social media is not for the faint at heart. If you claim to be computer illiterate, being a social media manager is not for you. Social media marketing is done online and through electronic devices.

    That is why an excellent working knowledge of computers, graphics, some html, SEO, SMO, internet access and being overall tech savvy and curious are necessary. Here are other skills that an effective social media manager should have.

    • Extensive experience in developing social strategies. Having said that, if you love social media marketing and you are eager to learn, companies will give you a chance. After all, everybody started with no experience.

    • Experience with creating and managing leading social media marketing campaigns, multiple social media accounts, online communities and a working knowledge of social analytics.

    • Deep experience in advanced social audience targeting and media planning.

    • Successfully delivered paid multi-platform social media campaigns designed to meet the goals set in conjunction with clients. That writing skill comes in play in crafting a comprehensive report on what worked and what needs to be improved. It will also include SEO optimization recommendations.

    • You are going to copy, edit and proof read all web content and then, overseer the work of freelancers, including writers, copy editors and community outreach organizers.

    • Keep up to date on current and emerging web technologies through all the relevant blogs that we track.

    • Experience with online monitoring and measurement dashboards.
    • Have conducted audits and competitive analysis resulting in recommendations.
    • Strategically developed content calendars, with content and calendars relevant and appropriate for each social media channel.

    • Experience on how to engage with online audience and how to grow communities.

    Responsibilities Of A Social Media Manager

    social media skills

    • Awesome at developing social media engagement strategies and tactical plans and ensuring that such strategies are consistent with the larger integrated engagement strategies of clients.

    • Analyze campaigns ensuring that all social programs add up to defined clear measurement objectives and deliver insightful and actionable reports.

    • Take the lead in social intelligence and listening audits for agency clients providing actionable insights through regular reports to engagement and account teams.

    • Provide thought leadership in annual planning exercises and new business pitches. Evangelize, educate, and sell-in social programs with both internal teams and external clients.

    • Lead the agency’s social media practice; evolve service offerings and processes that deliver on client and business needs

    • Stay up-to-date on platforms, trends, and opportunities in the ever-evolving social landscape.

    • Create client-specific assets like a social media playbook outlining best practices and roadmap to engage, monitor and moderate.

    Key Skills And Tools

    • Minimum of 5 years’ experience developing and executing social marketing campaigns, including quantitative measurement of programs.

    • Some companies will hire you if you can do the job. Many want to see a Bachelor’s degree in mass Communication, Journalism, English or business/marketing with quantitative work experience.

    • Strong understanding of how audiences behave on social channels and how to influence them and be relevant.

    • Highly developed skills in research, presentation, copywriting, and content creation.

    • Ability to handle a wide variety of tasks and assignments in a dynamic, fast-paced agency environment.

    • Keep up to date on current and emerging web technologies through all the relevant blogs that we track.

    • Knowledge of the capabilities and best practices of key social media platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

    • Experience with social media management tools and/or vendors.
    • Familiarity with social media analytics and insights tools.

    • Big picture thinking plus relentless attention to detail.

    Key Attitudes And Behavioral Traits

    • Naturally curious and highly proactive

    • Passion for pop culture, news and what's trending online.

    • Autonomous, yet highly communicative team player.

    • Ability to think on your feet and "out of the box".

    • Understands and strives to perfect the art of storytelling in marketing.

    • Strong passion to become a SME in the projects you own and areas you work on.

    What Does A Community Manager Do?

    community manager

    As the face of a company, a community manager manages communications between a brand and its audience. This digital-savvy person is responsible for all communications, PR, social media, events, and content creation, among other things.

    As a Web 2.0 communications role, it uses online tools and in-person networking to create relationships and ultimately build the company’s brand, both online and offline. It is true that the duties of a social media manager are not the same every day, but the responsibilities include:

    Content creation: Just like the social media manager, a skilled community manager should be excellent at writing blog posts, articles, newsletters, and other content like graphics and videos.

    Social media marketing: Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. That means that a good community manager needs to know how to create, manage and boost the company’s online presence through social media platforms.

    Events and event planning: A community manager is a community person that loves people. This person is good at industry events as well as following up with meetups in the community within a city.

    Public relations: Some large organizations have a dedicated PR department. If a community manager works for a small or mid-sized company, he or she manages incoming media requests. The manager also build strong relationships with industry journalists; creating, executing as well as measuring media campaigns.

    Customer relations: The community manager is often responsible for customer support – answering questions however they come in (phone, e-mail, Twitter) and managing any online feedback forums such as GetSatisfaction pages.

    Communications/marketing strategy: A community manager crafts the strategic marketing/communications plans of the brand. This social media plan provides direction on the brands overall campaigns.

    Analytics: You've heard the expression that what can't be measured can't be improved. Analytics is important in social media and that is why many social media platforms have analytics so that you can measure your progress.

    Using Google analytics and other measuring tools a community manager can provide reports, and continually find ways to improve on those metrics through testing and new initiatives.

    Business development: In some companies, a community manager may also be tasked with business development and sales.

    How Much Do Social Media And Community Managers Make?

    It is true that what a social media makes varies from country to country and from city to city even within a country. To really get the sense of what a social media manager and community manager makes, I searched and reviewed data from multiple sources.

    Social Media Manager And Community Manager Salaries

    Glassdoor showed the national average of $51, 613 while Indeed was higher at $61, 000. Then PayScale showed a median salary of $45, 260.Community Manager's Salary.

    Social Fresh has been releasing a white paper every year with detailed information on community managers. Interestingly, in 2013, the average salary for community managers was $57,733. Glassdoor's national average salary for community managers is  $51,971. Indeed put the average at $49,000.

    Did you notice that there are differences in the salaries between a community manager and a social media manager? The roles are different too. You can expect companies with deep pockets to pay higher than those numbers. Some organizations choose to outsource.

    Tools Used By Social Media Mangers

social media management tools

For any social media management tool to be of any benefit to you, it is important to have a written understanding of your objectives, strategies or overall marketing tool. It is true that you will need the mastery of a few tools in order to manage your brand’s online presence.

Since finding the tools that work for you not rocket science, through trial and error you will find the options that can improve your existing social media strategy the most.

Social Media Management Tools For Agencies Or Enterprises

Spredfast is an enterprise social media management system for managing, monitoring, and measuring across multiple social media channels, with a white label option for agencies. Recommended for large enterprises and large agencies.

Sprinklr is a Social media marketing platform and consulting service for marketers and agencies in B2B and B2C markets. It provides social media audience research, acquisition, content promotion, and measurement tools. Recommended for large enterprises.

Sysomos: Their website says: "Sysomos is a unified, insights-driven social platform that gives marketers the easiest way to Search, Discover, Listen, Publish, Engage, and Analyze at scale across earned, owned, and paid media". 

Talkwalker: Talkwalker is an insightful and  powerful marketing analysis tool that strengthens your brand in the ever competitive engagement on social networks. Their customized reports can help you define and amplify the social media strategy ofy our partners, as you measure in real-time the responsiveness of the audience.

Synthesio: "Today’s marketing leaders own the full customer journey. This responsibility makes access to comprehensive audience data in real time a necessity. Synthesio provides the machinery to take conversations from the social web and convert them into information that can fuel smart, data-driven decision-making across the organization. Social Intelligence data has become an increasingly vital part of any savvy marketer’s arsenal – Synthesio is built to empower that marketer".

Brandwatch: Brandwatch claims to be the market leader for enterprise social intelligence. Brandwatch's social listening platform has been cited as a global leader by Forrester in the 2016 Wave, and is the best in class according the real user reviews on G2 Crowd. They help you discover vital insights within the billions of conversations happening online every day.

Crimson Hexagon: Crimson Hexagon is an enterprise social media analytics company providing insights for brand strategy, market research, and more.

Final Thoughts On The Job Of A Social Media Manager

Social media marketing is dynamic. As it evolves, so do the roles played by team members.
As you look at the differences between a social media manager and a community manager, you noticed that some of their job descriptions overlap. There are still differences.

An interesting development is that there many job titles related to the job of a social media manager. Perhaps, you have heard of Social Media Strategist. How about social Media Planner, Social Media Digital Content Editor, Social Media Content Manager, Traveling Community Manager, Digital Community Manager and Corporate Community Manager?

Looking at those job titles, you see that corporations, enterprises and organizations are looking for a social media person that specializes in in one aspect of the job description of a social media manager.

Since those fancy social media titles are for huge companies like big advertising agencies, newspapers, and media agencies with deep pockets, those tiles may not apply to you.

In most situations, a Social Media Manager / Strategist or Community Manager would be a person from the office or working remotely from home.

Are you looking for a social media management agency that will deliver on your strategy?

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