Only a few years ago, the role “Social Media Manager” didn’t exist. Fast forward to 2016 and a Social Media Manager has become a necessity within many businesses.

Unfortunately, a common misconception of the role is that you simply need to be able to use Facebook and understand how to tweet. Although this is important, there is a lot more to it than that!

Whether you’re looking to get hired in social media, or you’re recruiting for the position, here are 10 key business areas that a Social Media Manager needs to understand:

  1. Marketing – Obviously one of the key areas a Social Media Manager needs to have experience in is marketing. It’s important to be able to communicate with customers in order to promote services and product offerings.
  2. Copywriting – Although it’s not necessary to have any writing qualifications, a Social Media Manager will need to be a competent writer, with a good grasp of the English language. Writing is an important part of social media, creating targeted and professional messages with a consistent tone of voice.
  3. Technology – An increasing number of roles rely heavily on technology and a Social Media Manager is no different. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and embrace new developments and useful tools.
  4. Photographer / Videographer – Although Social Media Managers are not expected to be the next David Bailey, they need to have a good grasp of photography and video. Even though a lot of content is written, visual content is increasingly important with 70% of brands saying video is the most effective for content marketing. Although a specialist would normally be used to take commercial-quality photos and video, sites such as Instagram and Vine now make it easier for photos and videos to be created by smartphone users.
  5. Customer Service – An increasing number of customers now turn to social media for help. In fact, a recent report revealed that nearly half of consumers use these platforms to ask questions, complain or to report their satisfaction. A Social Media Manager must therefore be able to manage complaints effectively, addressing them efficiently and professionally.
  6. Branding – Social media is an important tool to build a business’s brand. When a customer visits your Facebook page for example, you should have clear branding, as well as consistent tone of voice that is “on brand”.
  7. Graphic Design – Unless you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated graphic designer within your business, a Social Media Manager will need to have a good eye for design. They may need to source images and understand basic editing. Luckily, there are a number of simple (and free) tools to help with this, such as Canva and PicMonkey.
  8. Sales – One of social media’s key goals is to assist in building brand awareness and generating sales. A Social Media Manager should use platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to engage with existing and potential customers, to the point in which they are ready to make an enquiry or purchase.
  9. Search Engine Optimisation – Social media can be used to help optimise SEO and so it’s important for Social Media Managers to have a basic understanding of how both can complement each other.
  10. Data Analytics – Social Media Managers are regularly being asked to prove the effectiveness of social media in the business. It’s therefore important to be well versed on analytics, using it to help make smarter decisions.

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These are just some of the key areas that a Social Media Manager needs to be experienced in. As well as this, it’s also important to have typical interpersonal skills, such as good team work, strong communication skills and time-management.

It’s also important to remember that social media is constantly changing and so the role of a Social Media Manager will also continue to evolve. What a Social Media Managers role involves today may be completely different in a year or two…

Are there any other business areas that you think a Social Media Manager needs to understand in their role? Leave us your thoughts in the comments box below!

Author Bio

Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more.

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