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10 Things Only Social Media Managers Would Understand

10 Things Only Social Media Managers Would Understand

Picture the scene – you’re at a party and having a nice conversation with a group of interesting people. As everyone starts talking about what they do, an uncomfortable silence falls upon the gathering. Unfortunately, someone invited the social media manager and no-one knows what they do.

My name is Tom and this situation is a familiar one. The role of social media manager is a misunderstood one and so many people believe they just sit on Twitter all day. Worse, they often think the job is simple and can be accomplished by anyone.

As these uncomfortable silences are getting annoying, here are ten things which only people in my profession understand:

1. They are skilled marketing professionals

The role of a social media manager is an extremely challenging one and so much more complicated than just writing a few tweets every day. To begin with, there are several different social platforms to work with – each with their own separate identity.

A social media strategy has to fit into a client’s wider campaign. This requires an integrated approach with different elements of marketing, be they PR, PPC, or SEO, to get the best results possible.

This mix between strategic planning and collaboration dispels another myth about social media – this job cannot be done by everyone. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, almost 60% of social media professionals have previously worked at an advertising, marketing, or PR agency. They are experienced professionals.

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To really get an idea of how skilled these individuals are, Buffer – an essential tool in the social media world – created an article that looks into most of the things social media managers do on a daily basis. While this likely differs between professionals, it’s certainly a great resource for further reading.

2. They know everything about your audience

No-one quite understands your audience like a social media manger. While other professionals will focus on fulfilling the client’s demands, these individuals are in a unique position to directly liaise and interact with the customer’s target market.

Over time, this allows social media managers to learn what makes an audience tick. Consequently, they are able to create engaging content which appeals to them directly. In turn, this enables them to have a range of different strategies for each social media platform which can be further refined to ensure each part of a client’s audience is targeted.

3. They have a pipeline of topics – prepared months in advance

One common misconception of social media managers is that they just jump on the latest trend and attempt to make the most out of popular culture. While these professionals have to be flexible and react to developments quickly, they also have a strategy to boost a client’s online presence.

Social media needs a purpose – and whether creating blog posts, reaching followers, or looking at competitor activity, this is not a job which can be done on an ad-hoc basis.

4. They are often fantastic writers

Obviously, I cannot speak for everyone in this profession – and Muphry’s Law now dictates that I will have made at least one spelling/grammar mistake in this article – but social media managers should be fantastic writers.

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This is more than just thinking creatively to squeeze complicated subjects into 140 characters, the social media manager must be a savvy blogger who is also able to communicate clearly with customers.

While your friends will forgive spelling mistakes on Facebook chat, you can bet that your audience will not.

5. They have all the data

As already discussed, social media managers do not operate in a vacuum. They work alongside other departments to accomplish an integrated campaign. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that successes cannot be attributed to the social media team and the data they collect can be incredibly useful to strategists.

For example, using the correct tracking, social media managers can show a variety of different things, such as:

  • Conversions – through sign-ups and enquiries
  • The most popular channels
  • The most popular posts
  • The best times for posting

6. They are unfortunately prone to epic sugar/caffeine crashes

Technically, this is probably true for all marketing professionals. I’ve been working for about 6 hours today, and just eaten a sharing bag of chocolate while moving onto my fifth cup of tea.

Sometimes I worry about the state of my health…

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Social media is in a constant state of flux and those working in the industry are no stranger to tight deadlines, having to master Google’s algorithm changes, and working late shifts. Combine this with the fact that most of us eat at our desks and sugar/caffeine crashes are inevitable.

We also often need the extra energy to make it through the day.

7. They never sleep

This has nothing to do with the vast amounts of sugar they consume, but social media managers have to be active even when asleep. Unfortunately, people don’t stop using the internet outside of working hours and it is therefore essential to do some degree of automation.

This becomes especially challenging if a client’s audience is based halfway around the world. If they are active at 3AM, then that’s when a social media manager should be available. This brings me onto Buffer.

An essential social media tool, this allows professionals to schedule updates while they’re away from their computers. Frankly, I don’t know where I’d be without it.

8. They live, breathe, and get popular culture

Every social media manager should be well versed in current affairs and able to understand how this affects the content they’re producing. Furthermore, this skill is essential for interacting with their audience as customers want someone who understands them.

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Get this skill right, and you’ll have followers eating out of your hands. Get it wrong, and your audience will go elsewhere.

9. Their industry is often underrated

Did you know that more than 90% of firms use social media to promote their business while almost three quarters claim to have generated new leads from Facebook alone?

This is quite an interesting statistic but, unfortunately, social media as an industry is often underrated. For example, according to an article on Social Media Today, nearly 40% of CEOs reportedly don’t care or slightly care about their company’s social media reputation. Furthermore, more than 30% of firms don’t have a social media strategy and just 21% of small businesses intended to increase their social media budgets in 2013.

Although these attitudes are changing, there is no doubt that this industry is sometimes taken less seriously than more established professions, such as PR.

10. They have no idea what the future holds

Social media is a rapidly changing industry. Every year, it develops and becomes something new. Consequently, marketers must adapt their strategies accordingly. As an example, increasing numbers of over 50s are now using Facebook while smartphones have opened up a whole new range of opportunities.

While this can seem daunting, I think it’s actually pretty exciting. After all, new changes bring new strategies. This, in turn, brings new ways to interact with customers. As a result, I’m in an industry which is never boring.

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10 Things Only Social Media Managers Would Understand

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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