With everyone having access to social media and digital technologies, the rules on developing creative content and managing social media accounts are obviously changing. Who is managing social media content and who is creating content is largely reliant on marketing budgets and leadership's knowledge of social media platforms. Sometimes these roles are grouped into one, but is that a good thing?
Accessibility creates market saturation
Social media, smart phones and DSLR cameras are accessible to you, us and everyone in between. This ease of access creates an illusion that anybody with this access can be a social media and content expert. There's the idea that because you are great at creating content you are great at managing it too. Well, not exactly. With more access comes the saturation of self-proclaimed professionals. Access to these tools is a wonderful thing, but having access is not what makes a social media manager.
Social media managers wear many hats
Somewhere along the way, we've gotten really excited about this increased access, and perhaps are a little confused. Creating great content has been misinterpreted as professional marketing and communications expertise. Social media doesn't live in a vacuum - it's part of the total brand marketing and promotional strategy, becoming an extension of a brand's digital and traditional out-of-home campaigns. A social media manager must monitor and report on KPIs, develop and take lead on new campaigns, understand how to manage a team, have the experience to deal with multiple stakeholders; including directors, creatives, accounts people, and owners. They also need to have the expertise to create campaigns that are reflective of a brand's marketing and sales goals, manage social media advertising budgets, analyze category competitors, implement social media best practices, and have the ability to execute social media policies and procedures. We also must mention they are incredibly organized - like, really organized.
They might just be an influencer
Now, let's get back to social media being accessible to everyone. There are thousands of incredible Instagram accounts out there producing awesome content, by some pretty cool influencers. Influencers make great content, draw large loyal followings, and have the power to persuade people to buy, support a cause or promote an idea. They are a powerful tool in your overall marketing strategy. But an influencer or content creator is not to be confused with a social media manager. Social media managers must have a great eye for photography and they must have the expertise on how to develop, manage, organize and utilize that content in a way that effectively meets client goals. This includes integrating content seamlessly into your overall brand and social strategy. Before hiring a service to manage your social media, do research to break through the accessibility saturation - don't simply hire because they can create content and assume they can manage it too. Look for experience, professionalism and the ability to achieve your business goals. An exceptional social media manager is more that an Instagram grid and isn't always the person behind lens.