Social Media Marketing (SMM) is more than just a buzzword or phenomena. Social Media Marketing is marketing of the future; where companies, businesses or individuals leverage on available Internet and communication technologies and use these as tools to deliver customer focused messages that encourage participation and dissemination, ultimately achieving branding and marketing communication goals.
MarketingSherpa has released some research that reveals that more companies are shifting a lot of their marketing efforts from traditional to social media. Why? These companies are seeing higher ROIs from social media efforts, and traditional media not as effective as they used to.
This growing interest in SMM has also created opportunities for a position that did not exist a short time ago, the Social Media Manager.
Everyone is going social; these are not just Fortune 500 companies but any business or person who has a product or service to offer like dentists, mechanics, painters, wedding planners…. people who urgently need but don’t know how to run a social media campaign, and likely do not have the time to spend on Facebook or Twitter looking for new clients.
Forrester has published statistics showing that 99% of retailers are planning on developing an online presence specifically on Facebook by 2011. Now, here lies the demand for this type of marketers… people who are already experts on SMM and will deliver the results faster than a business owner striking out on an SMM learning curve.
But what do Social Media Managers do? Apart from creating and implementing your social media strategy, they are your brand’s executive assistants and perform tasks like:
1. Cleaning up your Twitter communications and weeding out the spam messages, leaving those messages that are important to you… or as in the case in customer relations / support, routing them to the appropriate individual or department in a company.
2. Blogging and all tasks related to blogging and functions that pertain to the maintenance of a blog such as comment approval and clean up; and in some cases for managers knowledgeable in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), blog optimization and content development.
They also help ensure that your blog posts / content, get the most traction by getting them out on other sites at different times of the week, or getting them exposed to your Twitter followers at different times of the day so more people would catch it.
3. In social networking, grow your network or followers. In Facebook these could be your profile friends or fans in the case of fan pages, and on Twitter, these are your followers.
It’s all about numbers, the more people on your network the more people see or read your messages. Social Media Managers will find people who are your target audience, follow or connect with them and then facilitate engagement to develop relationships.
The three keys to success being, network growth, sharing content and engaging your audience.
These tasks can take as little as half an hour to 1 or 2 in a day to do, which is why hiring a regular employee might not be cost effective. Doing this yourself or training someone within the company to do it might not yield immediate or ideal results for a variety of reasons. Which is why it would be best to simply hire an expert to do it for you, get results faster, and you get to focus on more important aspects of your business.
Who says no one can make money from social media? Companies and business are, so do the people that do the social media work for them, of course the latter probably have more fun… making a good living getting paid to play around on Twitter and Facebook all day!