Social media is a platform that requires consistency to be effective. Used well, you can get incredible results from social marketing.
Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to implement social marketing correctly. The most-mentioned content marketing challenge is finding the time and resources needed.
This is where a social media strategist can make a big difference. A strategist does more than just post funny pictures and trending articles. The right individual will implement a clear social media strategy that will move your organization forward.
Finding the right person can be difficult unless you know what you’re looking for. Here are ten things to look for as you select your social media expert.
A Mix of Skills
Social media is not a single thing – it’s comprised of a variety of platforms, and each one has its own technicalities. A social media strategist needs the skills to analyze different user bases, understand terms of service that vary widely, and much more.
An excellent strategist will not only have a strategy for each platform, but they will also have a focused approach to their own workflow. As many already know, social media can be a rabbit hole. Finding a professional who can be effective and disciplined is essential.
Social media is increasingly visual, so make sure your ideal candidate has a lot of design and video skills. It also requires careful analysis to determine the return on investment, so analytics skills are vital as well.
Strong Customer Focus
In all kinds of marketing, customer focus is essential. A marketing strategy that’s all about how amazing your company is won’t catch anyone’s attention on social media or anywhere else.
If a social media strategist isn’t ready to tap into prospects’ curiosity and desire for fun, communication, and discovery, they won’t be successful.
A strategist needs a clear understanding of your target market and what makes them tick. In an interview, they should be able to articulate which platforms are best for your audience and give you a general idea of a marketing message.
If they aren’t ready to engage the customers where they are in a way that is beneficial for your organization, they aren’t ready to be your social media strategist.
Excellent Communication Skills
Someone working on social media has to walk an interesting line. On the one hand, they should be professional in a business environment. On the other hand, they have to craft messages that are playful, engaging, and fun.
As a result, someone you hire to do social media needs to understand how to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. The audiences they interact with in a given day may include:
- Various demographics in your customer base
- Employees and management in your organization
- Brand advocates
- Co-marketing partners
- Both happy and unhappy customers
Of course, you cannot communicate the same way with every one of those groups. Having compassion, emotional intelligence, and a great deal of tact goes a long way. So does clarity, forthrightness, and the ability to stand up for your company.
Because social media moves very quickly, you also want to look for someone who is quick to respond to messages. Comfort working in a fast-paced environment is vital for anyone interested in social media strategy.
Because social media has so many different outlets, the value of creativity is very high. A social media strategist needs to be able to create content that looks great and performs well on dozens of platforms.
Understanding how to turn data and text into compelling content requires outside-the-box thinking. Can it become an infographic? A video? A slideshow? All of the above?
The types of content that hold consumer attention tend to be consistent, but they aren’t always easy to use for marketing. Being able to tie in well-known viral elements with a marketing campaign connected to your organization is a valuable skill.
It’s not just about the kitten videos, it’s about how kitten videos can tie into your particular marketing message!
Social media is not for the faint of heart! Involvement in new platforms requires quick action, a thick skin, and understanding that outreach can easily fall flat.
Choose a social media strategist who is able to roll with the punches online. They should be able to jump into the fray in a social media interaction, but they should also know when to take a conversation offline for appropriate resolution.
Someone who is resilient won’t get discouraged if an outreach isn’t immediately effective. The right combination of courage and patience is rare, but it’s worth looking for.
A Great Listener
Listening is one of the most important aspects of communication. A social media strategist who is an excellent listener will not only do well with your marketing, they will excel in your organization.
Social listening is the process of tracking what is being said about your brand and your industry online. There are a variety of tools that can help with this process, but the wisdom and wit to respond well are key skills for your strategist.
It also pays to listen well to colleagues and company leaders. A social media professional who is attuned to your organization will quickly understand the approach and tone that’s best for your business.
Technical Skill and Experience
Understanding and having experience with the tools of the trade is important for any strategist you bring into your business. No one person can keep up with social media on their own. Working smart is just as important as working hard.
Some of the types of tools that can be central to social media strategy include:
- Sharing and scheduled posting
- Data collection and analysis
- Social listening and measurement
- Tools to connect with influencers and the media
The specific tools may vary, but these proficiencies are imperative for anyone who will help you with your social media strategy.
A Social Media Strategist Who is Channel-Savvy
Your social media expert needs to be well aware of what social media channels are available and which ones are best for specific outreach. There are dozens of social media platforms, and more seem to come up every day.
Different types of people gravitate to each channel. Also, the setup of each platform is best suited to particular content. Understanding how to use each social media outlet best is a key skill for any social media strategist.
No one can be everywhere all the time, but the right strategist can get you in front of your target market on a consistent basis. Using social media channels judiciously is central to that effort.
Focus on Return on Investment
Engagement on social media is great for generating awareness. But your social media marketing can’t just be about awareness. There need to be conversions that give you a return on your time and money.
A social media strategist who focuses only on likes, shares, and comments is missing a large part of the picture. Having people love your brand is only the first step. Having them become customers or clients is the end goal.
Your strategist should understand your entire sales funnel. They should have a plan for how to move people from engagement to purchase, and hopefully into becoming active promoters of your company. Anyone who thinks that selling isn’t part of their job should not be planning your social media strategy.
Excellent at Repurposing Content
Creating new content every time you post on social media is time-consuming and unnecessary. Your company already generates an enormous amount of material that a strategist can repurpose for social media.
Being able to take elements of blog posts, sales flyers, email campaigns, and more and turn them into shareable content is vital. The good news is that someone who has this skill is highly efficient.
Your organization will be able to share more content on more platforms without investing a lot of time and money when repurposing is a focus. Your social media strategist can also help you come up with creative ways to use social media content in other marketing materials.
Social Media Strategy is Part of a Larger Whole
A social media strategist is only part of your marketing team. Having a large-scale focus when you work with online marketing is essential. It may be helpful to choose a marketing partner who can help with social media and a variety of other services as well.
Knowing whether it makes sense to hire a social media strategist in-house or outsource the work is part of running your company wisely. If you feel that your social media strategy needs a focused, full-time individual, you now know what to look for.
If you feel that perhaps outsourcing is a better option, we’d be happy to discuss what we can do. Every company is unique, and we provide a personalized touch.
If you’d like more information on how we can create and implement a marketing strategy, contact us today!