It's almost second nature for group conversations to lead to talking about what people do for a living, and whenever I mention that I own an agency specializing in website design, email marketing, and social media, I got a variety of puzzled looks. Of course, one of the first follow up questions that I am asked is what can someone "do on Facebook all day?". The truth is, social media is a very small part of what we do for clients and it certainly isn't limited to Facebook and Twitter.
However, there are many professionals and agencies that focus entirely on social media strategy. So if you've ever wondered what a social media specialist actually does for a living, here are some of the various hats that they would wear:
Creator of Content
Certainly one of the most challenging tasks that a social media specialist is faced with on a daily basis is creating engaging content that adds value to their audience. While there are many marketing channels that content is produced for (business blog, ebook, etc), a social media specialist needs to know how to take this content and adapt it for each social network. For instance, this could mean shortening the content to 140 characters for Twitter or finding a way to get the message across via an engaging image on Instagram. By taking the time to optimize content to appeal to each specific social media site, you can dramatically improve results.
Measurer of Analytics
One of the many things that makes social media marketing so attractive to business owners is the ability to regularly measure its success and quickly make adjustments when necessary. A social media expert needs to have a strong understanding of analytics tools and be able to dig into the data to really determine how a strategy is performing. With this powerful data, a social media expert can help your business to test new strategies, branch out with new content ideas, and build social campaigns that will create greater online awareness of your brand.
Follower of News
A good social media specialist could easily be called a news junkie because he always seems to be "in the know," which helps his company to keep a pulse on the industry and avoid being part of a social media crisis. There are obviously many different online sources for staying up to date with this information, and a social media expert will know exactly where to go to get the news that is most pressing to his industry.
Specialist in Customer Service
Social media gives your brand a voice on the internet. So, if you think about it, the person that is responsible for running your company's social media efforts is really the face of your brand online. Often this means doubling as a customer service specialist as many consumers turn to brands' social media pages to get relevant issues addressed. Therefore, as a social media specialist, you need to have alerts in place to be able to respond promptly to customers and know how to provide a course of action for resolution.
Of course, there are many additional hats that a social media specialist wears on a daily basis. However, this list hopefully helps to show you the value that this critical role can provide to your organization. So the next time you hear someone stereotype a social media expert as a lazy person that just plays around on Facebook all day, you'll know that there is really much more to this position!