My neighbor recently posed the question, “What does a social media marketer do anyway—just post stuff?” If only it were that simple.
Social media marketers are in demand, with CMOs expecting to increase social media budgets steadily over the next five years. The main driver: the channel has been effective at helping businesses increase revenue and sales.
And it goes way beyond posting.
Let’s take a look at what’s involved for someone in charge of social media and why the role is critical for today’s businesses.
Intimacy with the Social Landscape
For a long time, MySpace and Facebook were mainstream social media. That was before other platforms sprung up. Today we have lots of options, from Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram to more professional networks like LinkedIn. Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora are also considered social media.
As a social media marketer, it’s essential to understand the unique environments of each platform:
- The type of content users expect to find
- The type of content that is most effective
- How people consume and interact with content
- The demographics of the users
It’s equally important to stay updated on changes happening on each platform. New features (and even deleted ones), rules, and algorithms can greatly affect your experience on social media—they can bring you a tremendous opportunity or completely shadow you from existence.
It sounds dramatic, but it’s exactly what is happening. And it’s the responsibility of the social media marketer to know about it.
No two audiences are alike, even when comparing two businesses in the same industry. Because of this, your social media experiences will be different with every single audience. That’s why it’s so important to have a deep understanding of your audience, so you can apply it each platform you’re using.
Familiarity with your audience means you can create content that’s targeted and more likely to generate a response. You’ll know what motivates them and what they expect or want to find on your pages. This not only gives your audience a better experience with your business on social media but also improves your experience – as evidenced in your social media analytics (more on that to come).
Understanding Social Media in the Buyer Journey
Most buyers do not come by way of social media. That is, you’re not likely to find your buyers there, although you can influence their buyer journey. What a social media marketer does on social networks can help build relationships with potential customers, which can eventually lead to conversions later on.
Social media is an ideal platform to educate, entertain and establish authenticity. By creating the right content for these objectives, social media marketers are performing a critical function in customer development and maintenance.
Crafting Targeted Content
Social media can often appear as just “posting stuff,” but this type of approach doesn’t work for real businesses. If your content isn’t getting in front of users because it’s not targeted or interesting enough, then you’re unlikely to get any return on investment. This makes it difficult for stakeholders to justify an increase in social media spend.
Instead, social media marketers must strategize. By understanding the platforms, audiences and buyer journey, social marketers can apply this knowledge as they create highly-targeted content that makes people want to interact with the business – and keep on doing so.
Further, marketers must be familiar with the different types of content. Images, video, infographics, case studies, white papers, and reviews can all be leveraged on social media. The key is in knowing which ones work best on which platforms.
Implementing Social Listening
As a social media marketer, part of the job is staying on top of what people are saying about your business online. McDonald’s “breakfast all day” program was largely based on comments people were making on social media. Without social listening, the fast food giant would never have captured this segment of the market that wanted to enjoy their favorite morning meals any time they desired.
Due to the speed at which social media moves and the volume of messages happening at once, marketers must spend part of their time each day on social listening. It not only keeps a business relevant, but it also maintains important connections with customers, helps with the new product or service development, and enhances the customer experience.
Advertising is a key driver of brand awareness and sales on social media. In fact, spending on social media ads is set to double today’s figures by 2023.
Social media marketers must be familiar with how to create effective ads, how to set up campaigns, and how to manage these campaigns for a successful outcome.
Reading and Applying Analytics
Social media platforms give marketers lots and lots of data, which makes it easier to know what content is working and what’s not. These troves of data can also be overwhelming, so it’s absolutely essential that social media marketers understand the nuances of the analytics provided.
When marketers have a thorough knowledge of social media analytics, they are better prepared to apply that wisdom to the work they’re doing. If one type of content isn’t getting any traction, they can pull back. If another type is grabbing attention, then they know what to do more of in the future. The numbers are there for the taking, but not everyone knows exactly what to do with them.
Preparing for a Future in Social Media
Without a doubt, social media is an exciting, fast-paced industry where changes are always happening. Psychology is as much a part of the job as creativity and data. It spans the right and left sides of the brain, and you’ll never have the same day twice.
The Advanced Social Media Certification Training is the first step in preparing for a career in this field. It will transform you into an industry-ready social media marketer. The Course combines the disciplines of advanced social media, advanced content marketing, and advanced web analytics to help you elevate your brand and execute compelling social media campaigns.