The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016

The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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The role of a Social Media Manager has changed in recent years and it’s not surprising given the pace that the Digital Marketing space is moving. This article explores the Social Media Manager’s role in 2016 and most importantly will help you decide if your business should invest in a Social Media Manager this year.

If I’m a small business, do I need a Social Media Manger?

By all means, yes. You need a Social Media Manager because just like you devised a business strategy, you’ll need to map out a strategy for all of your social media networks. If you do not formulate a solid strategy to then analyse the results of your actions on Social Media then you’ll be shooting blanks and will not know what steps work best or if the objectives you set out have been achieved.

Most of the time, small business owners want to try to be their own Social Media Managers and soon enough they realise just how time consuming this can be. Even with automated posts, social media marketing now requires a less robotic presence and more knowledgeable, original quality content (captions, descriptions, blogging/guest blogging). This is not just to acquire backlinks or get your products/services out there, it’s also to network with others in your industry who are also active on social media. Which is why, despite being a small business, if you’re not an expert at Social Media Marketing then you should plan to have one down the road, especially if your business expands.

Is Social Media Manager the same as a Community Manager?

No. The Social Media Manager will take care of strategy and a Community Manager takes care of fieldwork. Meaning, the Social Media Manager will create the Social Media plan (scan the web, distribute the budget), set goals, and choose the social networks that are best for your business so that the objectives are met. The Social Media Manager will also analyse the results and change/modify the strategy if needed. The Community Manager, on the other hand, will perform all the actions that were set forth in the strategy in order to achieve goals. Here is a great article from SEJ titled What’s The Difference? Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager. In summary, a Social Media Manager is the one in charge of plotting a strategy and analysing the results and a Community Manager is the one who carries out the actions to achieve the goals of the strategy and is the middle person when it comes to customer service. Of course, these two roles become more prominent depending on the expansion of your business/product. Many times the small business Social Media Manager might take on the role of Community Manager as well.

How to become a Social Media Manager? 

If you’re set on becoming a Social Media Manager, the most important piece of advise is to take a current course backed by a large company for which you know you will obtain certification and the knowledge necessary to perform this role at a professional level. The top three I recommend are online and given by Hootsuite, Coursera and Udemy. There are plenty of other choices, even at regional levels/universities, but make sure the course includes all the elements mentioned below.

What does a good Social Media Manager do?

The duties/tasks of a Social Media Manager are very important given that they are largely responsible for the online communication strategy of the business. Below is a graphic outlining the most important aspects of the role of Social Media Manager in 2016.

Social Media Manager

So far, these are the top tasks that can be laid out for the standard role of a Social Media Manager in 2016. One thing I would add would be the need to “master the use of Google’s Knowledge Graph,” for much better reach. If the company is big enough to incorporate a Community Manager, this role will comprise the mission to build, manage and administer a community on the different platforms of social media, with the aim of establishing and sustaining a lasting and reciprocal relationship.

Social networks as a customer service channel

Nowadays, almost anyone can use social networks but for a business to have a professional presence in social media platforms it is beneficial to hire an expert. Remember, obtaining a new customer costs 5 times more than to re-sell to an existing and satisfied customer. A complaint can sometimes even be a gift from a customer. Why? Because through social media, we can reduce the number of dissatisfied customers (surveys, creation of more tailored products, competitor analysis, product promotions, etc.). The moment a complaint comes in, it’s an opportunity to listen, understand, empathise and apologise to the customer, along with subsequently thanking and resolving the complaint.

Now, if you’re wondering which social media platform might work best for your business, stay tuned for my next article.

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