As social media marketing matures, it’s becoming evident that things have to change. A lot of money is being spent, with little notion of what’s workingand what isn’t. This profession is still very young (as social networks have appeared not so long ago) therefore there is no clear list of knowledge, skills and abilities required to plan and carry out efficient social media marketing campaigns. Requirements are often vague enough, which may lead to misunderstandings between SMM specialists and their clients. Chief among the changes required are marketers with the necessary skills.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a general term that refers to an entire set of activities where various social media (mainly social networking websites) are used as the main channels for promoting websites or companies on the Web. SMM specialists take full responsibility for successful realization of such activities and, therefore, for achievement of positive results in solving a number of important business tasks.
In social media marketing the two most common formal paths that converge in a social media expert and specialist are from public relations and marketing. With the rise in the importance of content marketing, multi media and technology, the skills required can even extend into creative, technical and writing.
Also thrown into the mix is the need to have an understanding of data that keeps us on track in our quest for determining what does and doesn’t work.
In order to make up the list of required knowledge, skills and abilities for such specialists, you should first of all have a closer look at their daily routine. The main duties of a social media marketing professional may include (but are not limited to): posting interesting thematic content in communities or on public pages of the companies they promote; communicating with the members of these communities (or the subscribers of the public pages); drawing new members/subscribers while retaining old ones; reacting to the mentions of the company in social media.
Based on the basic duties described above, the list of required knowledge, skills and abilities of a good SMM specialist should include the following principal skills:
proper positioning of communities and public pages;
drawing up and optimizing advertising budget;
creating and promoting events in social networks;
managing advertising tools in social networks;
quick reacting to mentions in social media and neutralizing negative attitude;
using popular SMM tools and techniques;
boosting members' activity in groups (communities);
working with viral content in social media;
working with web analytics tools for evaluating the efficiency of social media optimization and marketing.
Along with carrying out activities that are directly related to the company's presence in social networks, SMM specialists often have to perform a number of general management and marketing functions. They develop effective strategies for companies' behavior in social networks, calculate SMM campaign budget, monitor the course of social media marketing campaigns, keep records etc. As a result, SMM professionals are kind of universal workers who possess the qualities of several specialist at once. It helps them to promote companies and their sites in social media with maximum efficiency.
So, what are the skills necessary to be successful in social media marketing?
Social – you have to be willing to share — even over share. That doesn’t mean you should talk about what you had for breakfast, but your personality needs to show through what you’re doing on social networks.
Organized – you have to be able to post consistently so being organized and having a schedule seem critical for success.
Analytical – this is a caveat to the above — you need to be intuitive and interpret analytics to maximize success in social networks.
Thick-skinned – no one likes people complaining, but that’s much of what you’ll find happening on your Facebook Fan Page and Twitter Feeds. Be polite and express your apologies, even when it’s not your fault.
Patient – success takes time so you need to be able to work without immediate rewards, just keep doing what you know is right.
Creative – it goes without saying that social media managers need to be good writers, use graphics expertly, and think a little outside the box.
Strong grounding – not only is some knowledge of computers required, but an understanding of changing social platforms and a good marketing toolbox.
Today a lot of people think they are good specialist. But optimistic thinking is not enough. In fact, it may be impossible to find a single person with the necessary skills to run your entire social media campaign — you may need a strategist who can think strategically to put together the campaign and 1 or more tactical people who can implement the strategy.