I wanted to write a post this morning detailing my top tips for becoming / working as a Social Media Manager.
This is something over the last 12/18 months I have been doing in part for a few select clients of mine, but as you all now know I will no longer be continuing with for 2013.
A Social Media Manager is an awesome job, that can give you a LOT of geographical freedom, and if you are keen to learn and are enthusiastic about Social Media, is something that you can aim for, and achieve relatively easily.
Its important to mention here, that a lot of people who are ‘Social Media Managers’ are often ‘bogged down’ with other tasks outside of the scope of what that is, and if you decide this is the route you want to take you need to be VERY clear in the tasks that you will carry out.
To simplify, I’ll put it like this:
A SM Manager is someone who takes care of daily profile management, it is not someone who creates, designs and builds the profiles (imagine that part like project management) that is NOT something that a typical Manager would take responsibility for.
A Social Media Manager typically is responsible for:
- Responding to messages
- Updating statuses across relevant platforms
- Commenting on posts
- Managing blog posts
- Distributing content
- Customer service
- Reputation management on social media sites
- Growing fans / followers
- General networking on behalf of the company you are managing
- Reporting on progress
I’ve put that out there, but that’s not set in stone – you may not be required to cover all of that, or may have something else to add to that list, but the important thing I wanted to put across is the basics here, so that you aren’t drawn into becoming a designer, or web wizard – The people who set up accounts, and design sites work on one project at a time and then move on, whereas the work of a Social Media Manager is ongoing for the duration of your contract with the client.
The work of a manager is TIME CONSUMING – that is important to know, because being organised is the key to being a successful Social Media Manager.
Now I want to share a few top tips to help you with deciding your future as a Social Media Manager (based on MY OWN experience of running accounts successfully)
1) Be selective with your clients – It sounds a little bit diva – like but it is true. We all want to be successful and work, but if you are enthusiastic or have a lot of knowledge in a certain industry START THERE. Build your portfolio, find your feet with something you know about. It will give you the confidence to experiment and learn at a much faster rate if content comes easily to you (which it will do if you know the industry) For example, if you know a lot about beauty – pitch to clients in that industry, or if you are a sports fanatic, look for businesses in sport. Confidence is key, and you don’t want to make things harder for yourself by learning the intricacies of a Social Media Manager at the same time as learning the in’s and out’s of a whole new industry too.
2) Invest in a GOOD Social Media Dashboard – such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck. This is SO important because you can do multiple updates and manage different platforms all in the one place. As a Social Media Manager you need to keep your finger on the pulse – dashboards that help manage accounts are ideal for this, as you don’t need to keep logging in and out from various sites and you can also in some dashboards have multiple views / streams at a glance allowing you to search various things easily. This is why I LOVE Hootsuite, its great for streams, keyword searching, at a glance account information, and its a web based application, so even if I was without my laptop, I could still log onto any machine and access my account details. Whereas Tweetdeck is a desktop application that you install and run. Both however have mobile apps that allow you to access via smartphones and tablet devices for those of you on the move.
3) Communication!!!! – So many people often run unsuccessful campaigns on behalf of clients because they don’t keep in regular contact with them! From the outset, managing an account for ANYONE will only work if you work together to ensure the right message is delivered in the most appropriate manner. I worked with a client at the beginning of the year, who was SO busy, they didn’t have the time for regular progress meetings, or weekly email updates – so it was pretty much the blind leading the blind. In the end it became almost impossible to manage. The client was frustrated at the lack of results, but that wasn’t for my lack of trying, but when you are trying to run an account with little guidance it can be impossible. Remember nobody knows a business better than the owner, so they have to have a commitment to you as their manager to help steer the ship in the direction they want it to go in. My suggestion here is that you hold bi-weekly meetings, either Skype or face to face, and ALWAYS give an end of week email account, and ask for directive for the following week.
4) Keep a spreadsheet of facts and figures – There are tools out there that can give you basic statistics to anaylse, but a lot of the time, these can be quite expensive to run detailed anayltics. For anyone starting out on a brand new account developing a presence – the basics for the beginning will be suitable to demonstrate progress. New fans, followers, leads, postive recommendations / tweets. Favourite comments that show a good job being done (makes it easy for someone to go looking for it) Over time as momentum builds you can then look to more detailed tools for running statistics / anaylytics on Social Media activity. Facebook’s insights are absolutely awesome for any business page, and the report running is completely FREE of Charge and is great for building reports. Use a spreadsheet to begin with, so as to not over complicate the findings.
5) Be Committed – This might sound obvious, but this is your job, and when you are walking in someone else’s shoes its not just your reputation on the line. So if you say you are going to do something, do it. People on Social Media hold you accountable, they believe you owe them to be true to your word. If you are being paid to work 1 hour per day, then you work 1 hour per day. If you say you are going to run a Facebook competition, or start a LinkedIn discussion – Then DO IT. People remember the negative, and only ever used to spread the bad stuff, but Social Media has given a whole different voice to consumers, and they love nothing more than to shout from the rooftop if someone or something is good. And you can make that happen easily by just being committed and doing what you say you will.
I’ll let you into a little secret …… The secret to marketing with social media is this : Always provide VALUE – and to help you achieve that for any of your clients bear this in mind when thinking about WHY consumers are using Social Media TODAY
Consumers interact for:
- Reviews and product rankings
- General information
- Exclusive information
- Learn about new products
- Customer service
- Event participation
- To feel connected
- Submit ideas for new products/services
- To be part of a community
The last tip I want to give you for your work as a Social Media Manager is this:
Give yourself some time off – where your phone isn’t going 99 to the dozen all the time – be clear with your clients, you won’t be responding to emails on ‘____’ day of the week, or after ‘____’ time each day, let them know if they do make contact in those times, they will get a response the next morning.
Social Media has no opening hours, and if you don’t set yourself some parameters, you will find yourself out for dinner on a saturday night, and will be reading, responding to messages at the restaurant!
I’ve had a great time working with the clients I have been, and whilst I am removing this service from my business, it doesn’t mean I won’t be there to answer questions / offer support to anyone out there who wants to work as a Social Media Manager – so don’t be a stranger. I’ll still share content in all the same places that is designed to help ANYONE who wants to get ahead with Social Media
Have a fab day!