I should start off by saying that I hate the term guru.   It’s an ambiguous term that too many folks have started using. If someone introduces themselves as a guru and you’re not in India, that’s a big red flag.  

social-media-gurusIn the first days of social media there were very few benchmarks to separate the truly skilled from those who just enjoyed posting memes on Facebook.  Thankfully, the industry has matured a bit.  I want to discuss a few of the things an actual professional will include in their services.  

1. Funnel Marketing Management.

Social media is a very powerful tool.  You can expand the reach of your content, attract new fans to your site, generate leads and develop them into customers.  Your Social Media Manager needs to understand how their every move leads to the development of customers.  Too often we see Social Media disconnected from the business goals.  More than 50% of businesses have acquired a customer from Facebook.  with the right person managing your social media you can acquire customers as well. 

2.  Market Analyst

At one time there were very few ways to measure Social Media efforts.  Those days are over.  Your Social Media person needs to be able to sift through the piles of data available and find real actionable insights.  This includes macro data items like reach, leads, customers supported etc. all the way down to micro data experiments.  If you’re not constantly testing content and new ideas you need to evaluate your strategy.

3. News Hound

Social Media Management is not an 8 hour a day job.  It’s not even 12 hour a day job.  A good Social Media Manager understands that it is a lifestyle.  The best people are constantly aware of new trends and tools in the industry.  Their ears are always open to the latest events and news items that can be used to further the business goals of their employer.  Additionally Social Media can be implemented as an extension of the PR dept. connecting the brand to reports and journalists.  It is all about constantly finding new opportunities for their client at all hours of the day.  

 4. Content Creation

Even if you have a team of copywriters working for your company, each social update needs to be tailored for the individual network.  A significant portion of a good manager’s time is spent creating and altering content for different platforms.  This ability ties in directly with the analyst side of things.  A good manager will split test messages to see what types of content resonate with their customer base.  There is no room for typos and bad grammar.  

5. Customer Service Representative

When we run Social Media audits for our potential clients around 85% of them are missing out on this very important opportunity.  When someone is selected to manage the Social Media for a brand or company they are in fact the voice of that entity.  A good manager understands that they need to respond constantly to questions and comments.  Social Media is a two way conversation.  You need to be able to communicate back and forth to customers during all different stages of the buying process.  

Understand that a complaint is a gift.  It gives the company or brand a chance to really show off how they treat customers, to other customers.  It drives me crazy to see a terrible review on Facebook that no one from the company responds too.  Don’t be afraid of negative comments.  They’re are a golden opportunity!  But when they are left unanswered it shows that you really don’t care.  

Summary

Some companies still feel as though the position of Social Media Manager is an entry level gig.  I would contend quite the opposite.  If you hire the right person they can be invaluable to your business.  Do you really want to leave your entire online presence in the hands of an intern or entry level employee?