First, allow me to manage your expectations.
This is not a blog about the must-have skills or experience of a Social Media Manager.
There’s a whole host of fantastic blogs out there that list these. I’m reluctant to re-invent the wheel here. If you’re interested, here are a few of my favourites:
- 10 Important Skills and Traits Your Social Media Manager Will Need in 2017 – Buffer
- 8 Essential Skills a Social Media Manager Must Have – Hootsuite
- 10 Essential Skills a Social Media Manager Needs To Have on Their Resume – Jeff Bullas
Instead, this blog will talk about three things that all successful and respected Social Media Manager’s understand to be true – but may not be fully appreciated or understood by those outside of this line of work.
- The ability to say no:
As the social media expert in your business, you not only understand the best practice and purpose of each type of social channel, you also know how and why your audience uses certain types of channels to meet their needs – and how your brand can fit into this.
You will often (VERY often) be asked to “post this on social media” by internal colleagues from all functions from across your business. Not only is it a challenge to manage all of these requests (or, rather, demands), it is a bigger challenge to have to respond with a “no” when necessary.
A great Social Media Manager understands where it is necessary so either say an outright “no” or push back with challenges to the how/why/where that this content is published on social media. Sometimes it’s not the right time, type of content or channel to add value to your customer. We should always strive to create and share content that adds value to your followers, not to your internal stakeholders, and this means that the ability to say no is an essential one for success.
- Internal PR:
It may be shocking for us to accept, but some people out there just don’t use, like or understand social media in the same way that we do.
(Scandalous, I know!)
You will have colleagues from several generations in your business, those who aren’t digitally minded, those who have a distrust of social media, and those who simply don’t understand how essential social media is in current times.
Strong internal PR (whether through intranets, staff meetings, newsletters, regular reports) is a must-do to demonstrate the positive value that social media adds to both the business and your customers. We may not consider ourselves salespeople, but we do have to sell our line of work.
Once this is implemented effectively, your colleagues begin to become social advocates themselves and to recognise potential opportunities that they can share your way.
- Treading the fine line of automation:
Artificial intelligence and bots are the trending topic of choice at all conferences and seminars on digital communications these days.
When it comes to social media, there is a very fine line to tread on automation. Social media scheduling tools are a Social Media Manager’s bread-and-butter to help us manage our time more effectively. However, there is a tendency from some poor misguided souls to believe that you can simply automate content, and then leave it.
NO! Please… Just no!
My golden rule is ‘you can automate content, but you should never automate engagement.’* Your followers want to talk to you, receive a human reply, and feel listened to. The moment your channels feel as though they’re purely automated, they will become ghost towns.
If your response rate is high and you’re constantly engaging with your audience, you’re helping to provide the necessary excellent customer experience expected of brands on social media these days.
*A caveat here is that I understand the value that bots can have for customer service – either out of hours or to help filter queries for advisors to respond to more efficiently. These, however, should always be monitored or followed up by a HUMAN, though.
If you’re a lone-wolf social media manager looking for tips and tricks on how to work smarter, not harder, for better results join my FREE Facebook group: bit.ly/socialwolfpack