Social Networking Salary Guide
Demand for social media employees is growing rapidly, driving up salaries — but not enough, according to Maggie McGary. And the situation is much worse for women in social media marketing, than men; confirming the glass ceiling still exists.
The problem is there’s lots of supply for all those social media marketing jobs.
In part, because companies under-estimate the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in social networking. Most businesses think they can hire a 20-something who basically grew up in the digital age and they would magically drive ROI in social media. WRONG.
I teach at a prestigious university and our marketing students are highly sought-after by major firms to help manage their social networking. But, without training, I’ve seen the mistakes possible. Everything from sharing social media content in the wrong channels, to pushing advertising, to not integrating social media content across media, to saying the wrong thing to your customers.
If anything, the stakes are MUCH HIGHER in social media because everyone is under a microscope online. Having the wrong social media content can piss off customers and prospects. So the cost of a failure is HUGE.
First, let’s take a look at the social media salary guide, then I’ll breakdown where the disconnects are:
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Now, let’s take a look at why you need more highly trained folks and need to pay them more.
Creating Social Media Strategy
You need more than just a couple of college kids who manage your Facebook and Twitter. You need a social media marketing strategy, including a social media policy guide and great social media content. And, a kid without training and experience in marketing strategy and a deep knowledge of how social networking work, including understanding SEO (search engine optimization) and sharing algorithms, isn’t able to put something like that together. Employees who don’t know how to use metrics to improve social media content and don’t know how to listen can cost a company much more than their annual salary.
Your social networking strategy will determine your success in social media, as well as determine metrics to analyze and improve your success rate.
Subtle differences distinguish between success and failure in social networks
Little things like integrating your social share and connect icons on your website, cards, email marketing, and promotional pieces can have a huge difference in the return you get. I recently worked with a 20-something who created a great graphic designed to go viral. But, he didn’t include a hyperlink from the graphic to his website (or better a landing page to drive sign-ups for his email marketing). Here was a lost opportunity. Can your business afford this kind of mistake.
Creating engagement with fans and followers also relies on subtle tools. For instance, you should reward influencers who share your content, but you shouldn’t do it in public (unless you’re just giving them a thank you). Otherwise, you undermine their ability to impact their networks.
Measure, test, tweak, ask
A major complaint about social media marketing is that it’s difficult to measure ROI. Sure, it’s especially hard when you’ve hired folks who don’t understand the sales funnel, are afraid of numbers, and are more comfortable working on well-defined tasks. And this describes lots of people employed in social media.
Social media marketing success relies on sound marketing practice and tactics. Hence, you need to understand the sales funnel, understand consumer behavior, know how to create market segments, branding, and know how to influence your market. You also need to understand market research to understand your market better — including things like perceptual mapping, customer lifetime value, and database marketing.
You also need to understand how to do things like A/B testing so you can tweak your strategy to optimize success.