By Cassy van Eeden
Previously, the duty of social media and community
management – especially within the media industry – was generally the
responsibility of a number of employees. Now there are social media managers
and even specialised MBAs
and other qualifications in social media management.
So, what is a social
Digital marketing specialist, Michael Patterson, explains that: “A social media
manager is responsible for being the band on social media. They create content,
respond to comments, answer questions, and much more.”
An important part of the function of a social media manager
is forming and maintaining relationships. They are also usually required to
“strategically create and distribute a brand’s content across a variety of
different social networks”, says Patterson.
What do social media
misconception about social media managers is that they simply spend all
day browsing Facebook and Twitter. The truth is that there is a
lot more to managing social media than this.
Writing for the BufferSocial blog, content crafter Kevan Lee, says that the average 40 hour week for a social media manager looks
something like this:
- Four hours spend on updating social networks by
posting text, photos, videos and comments.
- Seven and a half hours are spent on planning,
writing and publishing blog posts.
- Around four hours are spend on sourcing internal
and external content as well is managing he editorial calendar.
- They spend around two and a half hours reading
RSS feeds, filtering, curating and sharing content.
- Four hours per week are spent on engagement.
This includes responding to follows, mentions, dialogue, questions and
- At least five hours are spent on problem
solving, unscheduled posts, social research and damage control.
- A further two and a half hours are spent on
community building, running campaigns, measurement and analytics and tactical
What skills do social
media managers need?
Whether you’re looking to hire a social media manager or
pursue it as a career, you need to know what the core skills, qualities and
qualifications a successful social media manager would need.
Mirman, HubSpot’s inbound marketing team leader, says that social media
managers need strong copywriting and design skills as well as a knowledge of
positioning and a discernible level of creativity.
Another important skill is the ability to dig into and
analyse data and to draw actionable insights. In order to do this, social media
managers need to have the ability to analyse data, conduct experiments and
process and present data.
She adds that social media managers need to be
information-hungry. “They need to know what people are saying, what’s changing
on social networks and in the industry, and be able to react and respond
accordingly.” Experience in content curation and professional communication
skills are necessary here.
Social media managers also need to be resourceful and have
the ability to connect people and stimulate discussion in order to be an
effective community facilitator. “Facilitating a community takes work,
including asking questions to seed discussions and kicking out people who spam or otherwise detract from
the community,” Mirman adds.
What are your thoughts? Is social media important enough to
you to hire someone solely dedicated to managing it? Let us know in the