The fact that there are over 2.307 billion social media users around the world has prompted brands and businesses to take social media marketing more seriously than they did in the past. The rippling effect of this is that the number of social media marketing jobs have also increased.
Did you know that there are over 50 million business pages on Facebook with over 2.5 billion comments made on these pages every month? If you are interested in becoming a social media marketer, there are certain skills you need to acquire and there are certain things you should do.
We will cover what social media marketing is, who a social media marketer is as well as the skills and things that are required.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising via the internet by making use of social networking websites as a tool.
The objective of social media marketing is to churn out content that users can engage with, share across their social networks in order to increase brand exposure and expand customer reach for a brand or business.
Who is a Social Media Marketer?
A social media marketer is someone who takes up the responsibility of promoting brand-related content on social media platforms with the aim of increasing traffic, brand awareness and collecting leads.
What do Social Media Marketers Do?
Social media marketers are responsible for helping businesses manage their brands on a growing number of social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Flicker and several others. Below are services that cover everything a social media marketer does:
- Setting up social media accounts
- Management of social media accounts
- Auditing social media accounts
- Social media strategy
- Social media consulting
- Social media advertising
- Content generation and management
- Speaking at events as professionals
As a social media marketer, there are two types of requirements – There are essential requirements as well as desirable requirements and there is a clear difference between them as we shall see below:
Essential Traits: These are traits that a social media marketer must possess in order to effectively function as a social media marketer. Without these, getting a job would prove difficult if not impossible. Examples of traits for a social media marketer include the ability to communicate effectively in a language the target audience understands, the ability to proofread and a good understanding of the English language. English remains a popular language for social media marketers all over the world. Approximately 375 million people speak English around the world and there are more than 50 English speaking countries, where English is either the official or the primary language.
Desirable Traits : These are the traits that give you an advantage over your peers in social media marketing. These could include your in-depth knowledge of analytics, the ability to create graphic designs and other multimedia content. A sound knowledge in Digital marketing would also help you stand out amongst your peers.
Academic Qualifications Needed
Social media marketers in Nigeria require a basic degree from a tertiary institution or its equivalent through self-development. Some recommended bachelor’s degree courses for social media managers include Marketing, Public Relations, Mass Communication or Computer Science. More importantly, you would need experience in social media as well as the digital space.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Social Media Manager?
Social media management requires an ability to communicate effectively amongst other sterling qualities. The job space is constantly evolving and as it evolves, so do the skills required to keep up with the needs of the target audience.
- Writing Skills: It is essential that you know how to write as a social media marketer. The better you are at writing compelling captions and posts, the more engaging and successful you will be. Your style of writing also needs to be fluid and flexible enough to fit the peculiar needs of different social media pages. For instance, writing for Twitter is different from writing for Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
- SEO Knowledge: You need to understand the intricacies of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the best way to tap into the vast pool of benefits it holds for you and the brand you manage.
- Research Skills: The internet is replete with history as well as current information. As a social media manager, it is important that you know about every single thing that is happening around you as well as how best to tap into it. As surprising as this might sound, you also need to keep a close tab on brands that are direct competitors.
- Interpersonal Skills: Your role as a social media marketer goes beyond generating leads and disseminating information to the target audience of the business you manage. By default, you will be the contact point between an organisation and its teeming target audience. It is crucial that you remain friendly, courteous and respectful when dealing with those who choose to reach out to the company via its social media page.
- Updated on Latest Trends: The social media space thrives best with the use of latest tools that you have to keep up with. For instance, in the past, you would have to post articles live every single time you had to update a social media page or account. However, with the birth of social media tools, you can now schedule posts way into the future.
- Tech Savvy: Virtually all your work will be done using computers, phones and mobile gadgets. The exception to this is when you find yourself attending events on behalf of the brand you manage. The tech space must be a natural habitat for you as a social media marketer and this includes how easily you can navigate the cyber space.
- Organisation: Your ability to organise your content and arrange them according to their peculiarities and audience need is one of the things that will set you apart as a really good social media marketer. The social media space calls for a great level of consistency and discipline. There are many different platforms, and new ones are being developed all the time. How you communicate on each, determining audience, and measuring tactics all take the organisation
- Problem Solving Skills: You will excel as a social media manager when you understand the best way to respond to sensitive issues when they arise. In some cases, you might need to deal with clients who have unresolved issues with the business you manage.
- Keen on Growing numbers: All social media marketers who know their onions are gurus when it comes to growing their numbers. You don’t want to be the odd one out here. You should ensure you check all numbers; from the number of followers that you have on Twitter to the number of subscribers on Youtube to the average number of likes you are able to generate on each post you share on Instagram.
How Do You Acquire Work Experience?
Social media marketers are more respected when they have a long list of clients and businesses that they have handled. If you are looking to become a social media marketer, how then do you gather enough work experience to make you an authority in the field? There are several things you can do and some of them include:
Volunteering: You can volunteer your services as a freelance social media marketer to build your portfolio. You won’t make money doing this for obvious reasons but consider it a price to pay for the rewards you will reap in the future. More companies in Nigeria are creating opportunities for volunteers and this is one thing you want to take advantage of. If you perform well as a volunteer, it gives you an opportunity to get a strong recommendation as well as work experience. You might even be fortunate enough to be converted into an employee if the employer is impressed by your performance.
Internships: They offer you an opportunity to get a foot into the door of the organisation. Remember that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Rather, it helps you get the work experience you need to eventually become a social media marketer. Online platforms like Stutern have made it easier for graduates to access internship opportunities that are relevant to their careers. Internships will also help you sharpen your skills.
Networking: The key to networking is striking the right networks and relationships that can positively impact your career. Some organisations commit sufficient resources to networking events and workshops. This is where you can strike professional connections that would prove highly valuable as your career progresses.
As a social media marketer, you should note that there are 2 types of social media marketers; those who handle all social media marketing services and those who specialise in specific networks and services. Regardless of the type which one you intend to specialise in, you need to pay attention to updating your skills and tools in order to keep up with technological advancement and industry trends.
Are you interested in taking up a full-time job as a social media marketer or would you rather be a freelance social media marketer? Let us know in the comment section below.