You’ve probably heard many different titles thrown around in the industry – community manager, social media producer, social media manager? You might know what they mean, but what about being a social media strategist? But what does it mean?
Today, we’ll answer 5 main questions on this topic:
- What defines the role of social media strategist?
- What does a social media strategist’s day-to-day look like?
- What should he/she care about?
- What salaries should he/she expect?
- How can one become a better social media strategist?
What Is A Social Media Strategist?
In the broadest sense, in small or mid-size companies, we’re looking at a person who can be “everything” for “everybody.” They’re a one-man or one-woman show, in a war room with one single laptop and all the analytics, sticky notes, ideas on the table, and probably a few empty cups of coffee. Apart from that, a social media strategist involves everyone in the company, including departments such as customer service, product development, legal, and even jokes in the kitchen on a coffee break. After all, social is about human emotions and connections, right?
Still, being a social media strategist involves a lot of solitary time as well, digging into analytics, content, and new ideas. Your social media strategist is very often your copywriter, designer, media planner, photographer, editor, analyst, and more, continually looking beyond their job title.
Though there are more than a few places where the ideal doesn’t happen, social media strategists should be involved from the very top of a company’s processes, including recruitment, product, website, content, and more, and they’re brand ambassadors everywhere – not only in the digital world. They are the person responsible for making people recognize a brand on social platforms.
What Does A Digital Strategist Do?
Well, it all begins with strategy, as the title suggests. Understanding where a company’s social media presence should be going is their key to success. That’s why a true social strategist starts with an accurate understanding of the product or service. Knowing a product or service doesn’t happen without talking to the customer.
Understanding, and even improving the company’s core product or service really defines the chances of a successful social media marketing presence.
After defining a clear strategy, any social media strategist finds the real difficulty in staying true to it and remembering the goals and vision for the next three, six, or twelve months. Here are a few things that go into creating a social media strategy.
Duties will vary from one company to another. Some places will mostly let you do your thing; others will require you to coordinate with marketing and legal departments. In some cases, you’ll be on the strategy side, developing campaigns for weeks and months on end, and at other places, you’ll be filtering hundreds of Tweets or Facebook posts. In very happy places you’ll be directly involved with the production and posting of content.
Social media roles are quite diverse, so we advise that you ask what your responsibilities will be, at the interview, if you think it will make a huge difference for you. I have met social media strategists who covered everything from copywriting to graphic design, analytics, to listening and customer service. At the same time, I’ve known others who did content curation and posting. So don’t be too sure that you know what you’re getting into – or that there’s a definite answer.
It’s important to stay organized. It’s important to know exactly what you plan to achieve, when, and how, but your organisation skills have to come with flexibility, and quick decision-making for some real-time action.
What Does A Social Media Strategist’s Day-to-Day Look Like?
- Create content calendar, weekly or monthly
- Engage with the customer on a brand’s social media pages
- Reply to comments, ask questions, post great content, encourage customers to leave a review and answer private messages
- Be part of multiple Facebook communities, such as private groups
- Optimise social media pages for better conversion (profile pic, description, CTA)
- Keep track of the most important metrics by using native or other analytics tools
- Take actions based on the insights you discover
- Encourage employees to share their ideas, suggest content and give feedback
- Take picture of the brand/ product/ service in action
- Work with influencers
- Create landing pages for product launches
- Drive traffic to the website
- Community management
- Implement best practices across all the platforms
- Organise events
- Grow email subscribers list
- Create engaging content
- Prepare analytics reports
- Find new ways to grow follower base
- Manage hate sometimes
- Have loud notifications for every channel to not a miss one thing
(did I miss anything? let me know by tweeting this article)
What Should Social Strategists Care About?
What we love doing for you is helping you to succeed in all of your social media efforts. A big part of it is setting goals and making sure that you stick to them. I know it’s tough, and goals change from one company to another. These might not fit each case, but most of these social media goals should fit every brand:
- Raise brand awareness
- Drive website traffic
- Generate new leads
- Increase revenue
- Boost brand engagement
- Establish a community around your brand
- Enhance customer satisfaction (NPS)
- Increase social media mentions
What Salaries Are We Talking About Here?
LinkedIn recently introduced a new way to help their users and companies in their recruiting processes by showing the salaries across countries, positions and cities with estimated data and salary ranges to open roles available in their Job recruiting tools. Numbers are provided by employers or estimated ranges from data submitted by members. The tool can be adjusted to reflect a professional’s experience, skills, education level, company size, industry, and location.
We can see that based on 103 responses submitted by LinkedIn members who have this title in the United States, the average salary for a social media strategist is $59,000 per year, ranging between $34K and $91k.
Here’s how it looks for the other similar job titles and their salaries across the United States:
- Social Media Marketing – $42,000/yr
- Social Media Manager – $53,500/yr
- Social Media Specialist – $46,900/yr
- Social Media Coordinator – $40,000/yr
- Social Media Marketing Manager – $56,200/yr
There’s always also Glassdoor which reports a slightly lower average: $49,395/yr. When it comes to similar roles, here are the Glassdoor stats:
- Social Media Community Manager – $54K/yr
- Social Media Coordinator – $49K/yr
- Social Media Specialist – $49K/yr
- Social Media Analyst – $56K/yr
- Digital Strategist – $67K/yr
How To Be A Better Social Media Strategist?
It might get really complicated, but usually, it’s fun and exciting. You’ll have to constantly try new ideas, create engaging content, stay up to date with the events and everything that’s happening in the company and industry. With just a little effort, you can improve your skills and knowledge. Here are a few things to start with.
Understand the product or service
Marketing only works if the product is great, and it means you should start with it. Understand what the core values are, who the target customer is, and what problem it actually solves for it. It’s not about producing content, making videos or running ads. One thing that will actually make a difference in your future social media marketing activities is understanding the customer and improving the product. You can work closely with the product development team, set up calls with customers, read reviews, analyze your competitors, and see what you can do better. It involves not only social media, but also rewriting and redesigning other marketing materials, such as websites, landing pages, and descriptions.
Conduct a social media audit
I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s essential to review everything and find out what’s working, what’s not, and what can be improved for each social media channel. This activity might not be your favourite (unless you’re a geek like me), but this is an important step in being a better social media strategist. You have to know your numbers, and understand how the current metrics look:
- Number of followers
- Video views
- Post Reach
- Engagement rate
Analyze your numbers and the posts, to get what your audience is reacting to. Social media is a lot about testing, so see what works, why and how to repeat that.
Use a social media marketing tool
It’s probably safe to say that brands already act differently and understand that social is much more complicated than expected. New platforms appear every single month, and to understand which is better, you’ll have to try them all. All these tools help you analyze social media campaigns, generate leads, schedule social media posts and create content calendars to supercharge your efforts. Tools will help you save time and be more productive.
Curate the best content out there!
Your brand is looking for someone to curate the content based on the materials your marketing team is creating, such as blog articles, eBooks, PDFs, infographics etc. If it’s copy, photos, video or all of the above, you’ll most likely have to tailor the raw material and make it publish ready for the social media platforms. Tie the brand with the current events and trends in the world, and keep these three things in mind:
- Keep the same style and voice
- Maintain the basic marketing guidelines
- Ask yourself if people will actually be interested in what you’ll publish
To wrap this up, keep in mind that the life of a social media strategist is quite exciting and its importance is sometimes underestimated. If you define a clear strategy and stay close to the business objectives, your social media efforts will not go in vain.