Social media has changed immensely in the past six years. When I first began managing social media accounts, social advertising was barely a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye and Facebook still had strong organic reach. Now, social advertising extends to Pinterest, Twitter and most recently, Instagram. Facebook’s organic reach is less than 1 percent, meaning a very small population of the people who have liked your business’s Facebook Page actually see your posts unless you’ve used advertising to encourage them to do so. So much has changed.
Because of these changes, it’s essential for social media professionals to know how to do more than simply post a compelling piece of content to a social platform. Social media professionals should be great writers, storytellers and advertisers. They should have a basic if not strong understanding of search engine optimization. Understanding how to navigate a WordPress website, Photoshop and basic design skills and a number of other technical skills are often also involved in social campaigns. And don’t forget PR. It helps if social media pros understand not only how to craft a message, but how to engage with influencers and promote content.
Here’s a breakdown of why social media is more than just candy crush and games.
Social Media is Technical
Social media professionals should have a basic understanding of the other digital marketing functions that affect social media. Keyword research, typically associated with SEO, is a major component of social media. Using keywords in Facebook and Pinterest posts and understanding how users search, not only on Google but on social platforms, could mean the difference between your content being viewed and shared or being ignored. Facebook has begun further encouraging people to use the platform as a search engine. Pinterest has always hinged on this expectation. They’re further improving search for users through images.
Social Media Requires Writing Skills
Writing well involves not only writing and editing skills, but also the ability to craft stories. Even if a social media professional isn’t writing blog content, they’re still crafting messages with the intent of meeting a specific goal (encouraging engagement, driving traffic to a landing page, etc). This takes skill. It takes an understanding of how to craft content in an appealing, enticing manner. Essentially, social media pros must know how to write to get inside a target audience’s head. They must be able to inspire action with their words.
What to Consider When Hiring a Social Media Professional
Perhaps you’re a small business owner and your team wants to engage on social but doesn’t have the time. Or maybe you’re a digital marketing professional for a large brand and you need strategic support. Either way, ensure that the social media professional you either hire, contract or work with through a digital marketing agency has the following skills:
- The ability to create Facebook advertising campaigns through Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor. Being able to boost posts on a Facebook Page helps, but it’s not half as powerful as creating targeted Facebook ads.
- As mentioned, great writing skills. They should be able to craft quality content that supports your brand’s tone, voice and goals.
- The ability to create campaigns that do more than simply grow your following. A successful social media manager should be able to create strategies that get results: contests, influencer outreach campaigns, posts that garner shares, comments and more.
- A clear understanding of how to create and sustain a voice for a brand.
Additionally, ask them how they stay on top of industry trends. Social media moves very quickly. You want a social media professional who will alert you to changes to Instagram and Twitter. It’s essential to have someone in your court who knows the lay of the land.
These are just a few of the essential skills needed to be a successful social media pro.
Learn More About This Topic
We discussed this topic during a recent #OrganikChat. The discussion featured insight from digital marketing pros, consultants, students and more! Read the transcript here and join us every week for #OrganikChat, Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. PT. Tweet to the hashtag #OrganikChat and follow @SamHosenkamp, @Nicole_Barbato and @OrganikSEO for questions.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “The Importance of Storytelling in Digital Marketing.” Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!