What Is A Social Media Manager Today?
Social Media Manager – What Do They Do?
Five years ago, who would have thought a position within a company would be dedicated to using social networks to market a brand? Fast forward to today and people are using social media to land actual jobs in social media as a social media manager.
Social Media Then And Now
Social media has certainly come a long way from the days of MySpace and when a blog was more or less a conversation thread or a glorified diary (see “evolution of the blog” here). As social networks have increased in number, so have their users and uses. Today, social media has evolved from a communication tool among college kids to a serious marketing tool, and a vital part of marketing in virtually every business sector.
Jobs in Social Media
With this evolution came the jobs in social media. Basically, a job in social media entails learning a multitude of social networks and how best to use them for marketing purposes. Then the best networks for a particular brand must be determined based on its audience. Once that is established, the person who holds a job in social media will develop the content for those networks, post to and monitor a variety of social media networks and the blogosphere on a daily basis to increase awareness of a brand. They also often serve as a customer service representation for that brand.
Social Media Manager Becomes A Job
So what do you call that role? I call it a social media manager. It’s a combination of strategy, planning, content development, platform monitoring and analytics. It also entails staying on top of the industry and doing a lot of research. Here’s a great explanation at Social Media Today by @lpmikov of what a social media manager actually does.
Of course there are others who would disagree with that title. The job market has been inundated with fun and creative titles for the folks who do this kind of work. Search through job boards and you might find “social media ninja” or “community rockstar,” among others. While interesting and certainly destined to draw attention from job seekers, they don’t exactly explain the actual role of the job.
There are even websites like Social Media Jobs that are dedicated completely to finding a job within this field and you will find a lot of different titles. Some are focused more on strategy, others on content, still others on analytics. My thinking is that the social media manager is one that has to do everything from soup to nuts, and it could be as a consultant for many brands, or for just one brand as an employee.
I’ve dubbed myself a social media manager even though that isn’t my official title. What does it really mean? It means you live, eat, breathe and sleep social media. I don’t know what’s coming next, but there are two things I do know — it’s definitely not a 9-5 job, and it’s certainly a legitimate profession.
How serious is social media today? Well, it’s important enough that accredited universities have now begun offering degree programs:
- Government Tech now creates degrees in social media.
- A Master’s program at Quinnipiac for social media.
- A virtual “mini-MBA” from Rutgers in social media marketing.
- A bachelor’s degree in social media marketing from Southern New Hampshire University.
Here’s a great breakdown of the social media degree and certificates availableout there.
So what should this tell you? Social media, and the role of the social media manager, are here to stay and should be taken seriously in today’s world.
Would You Like To Become A Social Media Manager?
Top Image courtesy of photoraidz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Chalkboard Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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