Social Media Management 101
Letâ€™s face it. Jet Blue and Comcast have mastered (and perhaps set the standard for) integrated social media campaigns. They do not need a recent grad to show them the ropes and establish a strong brand presence using a variety of platforms and media.
Fear not, digital natives, you can perhaps help steer the social media boat for small businesses. How about that deli down the street that makes mean organic veggie burger? Or that new bar that everyoneâ€™s talking about? Maybe that mechanic shop that changes your carâ€™s oil? These are the kinds of clients that may be open to hiring a knowledgeable youth as their social media manager.
What is a social media manager? Glad you asked. The duties of a social media manager vary by platform. It is up to the social media manager to decide which platforms are best suited to the company. For example, a bar may have great use for Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. A mechanic, however, may produce content better suited for Twitter and YouTube alone.
Once you (the social media manager) decide which platforms would be best for your client, you will be expected to create and fully manage each of those accounts as well as create content for them. This will require constant communication between you and your client. Also, you will need to actively search out mentions of the brand (hint: Google alerts are rather useful) and topics related to their field of work. As social media gurus should know, much of your content should be helpful to the reader as opposed to 100% sales-oriented content. A mechanic, for example, could post news in the automobile industry (you would likely have Toyota to thank for loads of tweetable material recently).
Starting from Day 1, be sure to keep meticulous metrics. This will show the effectiveness of your work and keep your job safe. There are not many free, sophisticated tools at your disposal to accomplish this task. You are going to have to get creative and uses the tools that are out there and compile the data (this is where Excel comes in). Additionally, you should analyze this data frequently so that you can figure out what people are responding to and thus be able to tailor your tactics accordingly.
Compensation. Not a pleasant topic. However, you and your client should settle on a fair rate before you begin your work. Some social media managers charge a monthly rate, others charge hourly. Many employers prefer a monthly rate, especially when their budget is tight, and it cuts out a lot of tedious time-tracking work for you. This way, they know what to expect to pay you monthly which relieves them of penny-pinching worries. However, charging hourly may encourage you to work harder for your client. The more time you put into social media, the better the results. This can rack up some great income for you and outcome for your client, but may be outside their comfort level and budget. No matter which payment method you agree upon, your fee should reflect the number of platforms you manage.
At this point you may be thinking, â€œI could do that.â€ (If thatâ€™s not the case, I am not sure why youâ€™re still reading.) But, you ask yourself, how do I convince them to hire me? You will need to draft a thorough, concise, captivating proposal. Get excited because Iâ€™ll outline just how to do so in my next post.
There are plenty of resources out there to help you be successful. Read everything you can: keep up with industry news, read social media blogs, and scout outÂ articles that talk about social media management. The social media community is quite an open one and many are specifically there to be of help to others. No matter how well you know social media, you will not have all the answers. Reach out to pros via Twitter or e-mail for help if needed; you’d be surprised at how many heavy-hitters will happily help out.
Have questions about pitching to a company and getting them to hire you to manage their presence in social media? Submit your question in a comment below or e-mail me.
Are you already a social media manager? Please submit your tricks of the trade for us all to learn from!