Brands everywhere are looking for a social media expert, guru, strategist, manager, senior executive and/or visionary but because social media and the broader category of digital marketing (and all of its varied parts) is still relatively new to many, the job ‘needs’ list gets long and unwieldy because those hiring often don’t understand the different levels of expertise required based on present needs, long term goals and senior management’s commitment (or lack thereof) to building their online presence. Here are some tips on finding what you need to make magic happen whether you are a brand or an agency supporting many brands online.
You know you need a Community Manager* when:
- You have no online presence and you don’t know where to begin.
- You, the founder of your company, have built your brand’s social media profiles which has helped to grow the business, but now you are too busy (thankfully) to manage all of the social media.
- Other people in other departments have been pitching in erratically to help build your brand’s social media presence but now you need to make a real commitment to social media in order to take your business to the next level.
*My definition of a community manager is someone who understands how the various social media channels work, is a great ‘social’ writer, knows how to engage an online community and understands basic marketing principals.
You know you need a Social Media Strategist* when:
- You have been investing time and money into your social media but you don’t seem to be making a dent in brand exposure or sales.
- Your social media really needs to support and lift your public relations and marketing efforts but you don’t know how to make that happen either.
- You have no idea who and what an online influencer is but you hear that building relationships with these people is a good thing, but again you don’t know the who, what, and where of blogger building.
*My definition of a social media strategist is someone who has come from a PR or marketing background who understands all social channels and could either be doing daily content too or will oversee the daily content producers. This person is able to peak their head above the daily work and put a strategy in place that is linked to the company’s overall marketing and communication goals. They should also be able to build relationships with online influencers.
You know you need a Digital Strategist* when:
- Your website, social media, online ads, videos and all other web based assets don’t look or sound the same…there is no continuity.
- You need to go beyond social media and understand if online ads, social ads, native advertising and/or sponsorships will be good for your business, and then implement based on what your online research reveals, but you need help.
- You need to bring all online elements together for an effective 360° digital campaign but you have no idea how to do this.
*My definition of a digital strategist is someone who not only understands social media on all levels but then looks at the whole online presence in order to bring every element together so that messaging is not only clear but it moves present and potential customers to take an action like sharing (for greater brand exposure) or buying (to increase sales).
You know you need a Senior Social/Digital Marketing Executive* when:
- You have a department full of community managers and social strategists but no one to pull them and their efforts together while making sure all overall marketing and communication goals are met for the brand.
- You need a senior level executive on the management committee who understands every level of the digital horizon.
- You need a digital strategist who can also manage a team and a budget because you have now made a deep commitment to your brand’s expansion via your online presence.
*My definition of a senior social media/digital marketing executive is someone who has over 10 years’ experience in social media alone, digital, PR and Marketing even longer and whose expertise includes market analysis, strategic planning, client and team management, creative production, P&L management, and new business development.
While all of this can be confusing to anyone who doesn’t spend a lot of time mastering the digital space, take a moment to slow down and really assess what your needs are and take baby steps so you can achieve both your online and off line goals.
-Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, follow me @CreativeConsult