More and more brands and businesses are recognizing the value of social media for connecting with customers, spreading their message, and driving actions. Whether you're a team of one or in a larger team, social media managers have had to adapt to new changes and trends within their growing field.
Here are @buffer's insights on how the role of a social media manager has evolved and will continue to change:
What skills are needed now for a social media manager that weren't before?
Social media manager roles are evolving from “reactive” and scheduling-focused to "proactive" and creative-focused. Creating a variety of engaging content from graphics to videos and everything in-between is all part of a social media manager's day. Skills such as communication, writing, analytics, creativity, technical, design, empathy, and experimentalist are all useful to have now.
Brands are shifting their focus to the customer experience. How does this shape a social media manager's role?
Social media is no longer a one-to-many form of communication. It's becoming a one-to-one channel to reach new customers. Social media managers who have an understanding of the full customer journey from the first touch to evangelists are thriving. It's all about understanding how to approach the full customer journey.
How are brands structuring their social teams?
Social media teams at big brands are structured as specialists, rather than generalists as you might find in small businesses. Specialists are focused on a specific area of expertise. Ex., analytics, content, community management, advertising, etc.
Social specialists add big value to brands as they provide deep expertise, vision, and strategy in certain aspects of social. Social generalists also add big value to brands as they're able to wear multiple hats and understand a variety of strategies.
What role has data played in social media marketing?
Data in social media marketing has allowed brands to go from, "we think this works" to "this is driving real business ROI". A combination of Google UTMs, Buffer, and native platform analytics give marketers all of the data tools they need to grow. Finding the right combination of creative and data-backed decisions is the perfect way to increase engagement on social.
Beyond vanity metrics, what's important for social media managers to be measuring?
Social media managers that are on the cutting edge of social measurement are starting to understand brand sentiment more. Brand sentiment factors in real conversations with customers on social media and how they feel about the brand. Brands that advertise on social media need to have a clear picture of the customer journey from awareness to conversion.
With the growth of social ads, what do social media managers have to be aware of?
Boosting and promoting top performing posts on social media is a great way to amplify content. Social managers should have a deep knowledge of traditional advertising metrics like CPC, CTR, conversion rate, and CPA. Taking the time to craft an incredible piece of content and then A/B testing to find the right combo is key.
What tools should a social media manager have in their belt?
Tools are a social media manager's best friend. A perfect social media stack can help you to work smarter, not harder.
Tools used at Buffer include:
How do you see the role of a social media manager shaping up in the next five years?
Social media manager roles will continue to evolve into more of a full-stack marketer mindset over the next five years. Social managers will be responsible for writing, design, analytics, advertising (+ROI), video, community, and more.
Over the next five years, we'll see a huge increase in demand for social media marketers who can do it all and deliver results. The future is bright for those looking to get into social media. So much awesome stuff to come as platforms and roles evolve.