As more marketing and advertising moves online, you need a different way of doing things to excel in social media marketing. Successful social media marketing requires community engagement through content creation and curation — which online marketers expect to grow significantly from current spending of $44 million over the next year.
Whether you’re looking to hire a digital agency or build the necessary components into your existing marketing and advertising, you need the right combination of strategy & technology, talent & operations, and analytics to make your social media marketing successful.
Social Media Strategy
A successful social media marketing strategy starts with a sound social media strategy that includes:
- SMART goals
- Thorough internal and external audits – competitors, target market, internal resources, etc
- KPIs – key performance indicators to show you’re on track to achieve your goals
- Detailed plans for SEO (Search), Social, Email marketing, building engagement, monitoring, and other key elements necessary to build your successful social media marketing campaign
Your marketing team
Increasingly, a social media strategy relies on having the right technology. Maybe someday social media will evolve into something resembling traditional advertising where creatives know the technology and marketers direct the campaigns, but I doubt it. I think the days of marketers being highly skilled on technologies related to blogging and sharing are here to stay. And, gone are the days when a marketer simply sent requests for analytics to an IT department. Business Intelligence will forever belong to the marketer who needs to show the ROI of the firm’s social media marketing. So, I see a different agency model than the one depicted to the right.
Coming thorough traditional advertising and ecommerce, I’ve struggled with how to create the optimal team as my agency grew. Hence, my agency pulls the best parts from both to ensure quality social media marketing campaigns, optimize results, and reflecting the long-term focus inherent in social media marketing.
Sure, you’ll still need developers and graphic designers — these are highly technical skill requiring years of training and experience. But, I think community managers (along with an account manager – because some things just need to go through an approval process) run the social media marketing campaign for a brand instead of the more traditional agency model depicted to the right.
- Community managers are the voice of the brand and build an engaged community. They create and curate content, build 2-way conversations with their community, promote the brand with contests, questions, and coupons,
- Account executives interface with the client (or management) and ensure the social media marketing campaign achieves its goals. Account executives coordinate between the community manager and designers and developers to ensure all the elements come together on the editorial calendar.
- Strategists build both long-term and tactical strategies for the brand — and maybe coordinate social media campaigns across brands. They provide direction for the activities of the account executives and community managers. Strategists also monitor and tweak their strategies to optimize engagement, SEO, and ROI. Strategists also design websites and social platforms to ensure they meet marketing goals.
A digital agency needs multi-talented individuals (translate this as more highly paid than in traditional agencies).
Here are some skills I look for when hiring community managers:
Your community manager should be a good conversationalist, but also a good content creator to maintain a consistent voice across multiple platforms. A good community manager also understands the target audience — what they like and don’t like, how they live their lives, etc. Otherwise, they can’t really engage their community. And, while community managers might not create analytics reports, they should have insights that allow them to interpret the reports and how they impact the types of content they’re creating and sharing. Good writing skill are also a must, but community managers should recognize they’re not writing a term paper. Content should be fun and easily digested by the community.
Some of my community managers also have specialized knowledge to help them create content appropriate for my more technical clients.
More than anything else, I look for folks with great people skills because their biggest challenge is managing talented folks without getting in their way. I look for the cheerleader-type who wants to build up their team, not hog the glory.
I want folks with sound marketing backgrounds from top schools. They MUST have excellent quantitative and qualitative analysis ability, as well.
Again, I look for good people skills and leadership qualities.
We can help. Whether you need a complete social media marketing strategy or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.