If you’re thinking of hiring someone to help manage your company’s social media accounts, you might be wondering: should I hire a social media specialist or a social media manager?
In this post, we’ll compare the two roles and explain why companies are more likely to get more bang for their buck by hiring an experienced social media manager instead.
1. What is a social media manager?
Social media managers are the new trend in digital marketing and it seems like every company has one now. If you work in digital marketing, then you probably know what a social media manager is.
They help companies get more engagement on their social media channels.
The great thing about a social media manager is that a lot more people now understand the importance of social media engagement, so you can hopefully get a higher hiring rate.
It really is a great job to have on your team, but hiring a social media manager may actually be the wrong decision for some companies. Let’s take a look at what goes into the job and why some companies choose to go the social media management route instead. It depends On who you ask. A social media manager will have some slightly different responsibilities depending on the size of the company and its plans for new social media strategy.
A company’s budget will heavily influence their hiring decisions as they will want to allocate their budget towards hiring a quality social media manager.
Unlike a regular SEO or PPC manager, a social media manager can only add and remove social media accounts so they cannot optimise the pages. They can move existing social media accounts, however. So a social media manager will be involved with potentially hundreds of social media profiles if the company decides to go the new route and add new accounts. They can push out messages across all profiles they feel are important especially after a company’s recent social media hubbub and stay in touch with the company’s current profiles.
A social media manager will also be able to create and promote new company social media accounts that would also need to be approved by the rest of the company. For example, if a company wants to focus on photos, the social media manager will need to connect with other team members to see who would be interested in creating and promoting photography profiles.
2. What is a social media specialist?
A social media specialist is someone who works in social media and manages a brand’s social media accounts.
They’re responsible for creating content for social media, replying to comments, and interacting with followers. A social media specialist is also someone who creates content for social media and manages a brand’s social media accounts.The professional responsibilities of a social media specialist are: Creating content for social media (posts, videos, etc.) Analysing the performance of each social media post Profiling successful and unsuccessful posts Communicating directly with followers via email, phones, and text Openly sharing controversial or positive content Whether or not you consider this role to be a medium of direct communication, it’s the interface through which conversations take place with your followers. Social services Consider the following points when considering whether to hire a social media manager or a social media specialist:
A social media manager will oversee and manage the daily management of a brand’s social media accounts.
A social media manager will repackage, organise, and officially “publish” brand posts, videos, and other content for all of your social platforms. A social media manager will also work with designers and content creators to optimise each social platform for maximum rankings.
A social media manager should be familiar with all of your social media platforms and should be well-versed in the purpose for which each platform is created.
Technical requirements Social media specialists require a variety of skills and knowledge in order to effectively manage a large number of social media accounts. Social media specialists also require the ability to regularly (and steadily) update and optimise your websites’ code so that visitors can access your content.
Requirements such as a high-speed internet connection, computer knowledge, and active social media presence also apply to social media managers. Social media role descriptions Social media specialist
Do you innovate? Do you like challenges? Do you love information? Do you work well with other people? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you’ll be a great fit for this role.
3. Key differences between social media manager and social media specialist
A social media manager is a social media expert who manages the day-to-day marketing efforts of a brand on social media. A social media specialist is an expert who helps a brand develop social media strategies, but hires a social media manager to execute them.
The following part of this post examines the differences between the two roles and what it means to your social media marketing and business goals for the future.
Differences in their profiles
Before jumping into the definition of social media pros and cons, it’s important to explore the duties defined for each role. Although I’ve divided up each of the social media manager’s duties below, I encourage you to jump to the responsibilities section to familiarise yourself with all the duties, contingencies, and responsibilities.
Accidental social media pros
This could be a major conflict. If you hire someone to do social media management with the express purpose of getting it done in general, you’re likely to end up with a stepchild (or worse, a social media manager) whose job it is to do a poor job and then complain about it. Here’s a good rule of thumb:
Get someone with a high level of basic SEO knowledge, but understand social media in general, not social media specific.
Hire someone who prioritises branding over self-promotion and isn’t concerned with promoting their own authority.
Fortunately, there are plenty of people that specialise in helping companies hire social media specialists, so the process should be relatively straightforward.
4. Why you should hire a social media manager rather than a specialist
There are a lot of social media “specialists” or “experts” out there who claim they know everything there is to know about social media. But that’s simply not true.
Every platform is different, and there’s no way to know the ins and outs of every single platform.
Let me pose some questions to get your mind working in the right direction: When does social media make the most sense for your business?
There’s a reason that, as the old saying goes, “Every company is an island.” Social media can play an integral part in any company’s community- building strategy.
For example: Some survey research has shown that increasing the number of targeted Facebook fans and Twitter followers can increase conversions by as much as 10%. When marketing a new product or service, it’s important to build a community of advocates and evangelists who actively spread the good word about your brand and product. But every business has different roles, time constraints, and technology to target that community. Keeping the big picture in mind is essential—no matter how big of a goal social media can ultimately affect.
What to Look for in a Social Media Manager: Social media pros usually have at least a basic understanding of all of the platforms in which a company will engage with its target market. Beyond knowing the basics (i.e., who to follow, how to engage, etc.), a social media manager should also have a handle on a company’s target demographics and target personas. That means analysis of numbers, speech patterns, preferences, desires, and more. An experienced social media manager will be well versed in the types of topics that interest his or her audience—things that can inform community building campaigns.
Some companies even start with social media analysts and engage them in the early stages.
If you are wondering what I Barrie does, well that’s easy, I’m a social media consultant that does everything from creating strategies, through to implementation, basically, anything online is what I specialise on.