Living in the 21st century, we’re all aware of the power of social media. With the increasing importance of the online world and the rise of social media platforms, there has been a whole new industry created in the form of jobs that relate specifically to social media and the promotion of businesses on social media. Whether you’re a marketing whiz, a content creator or a social butterfly who’s good with people, there is probably a role for you somewhere in the social media sphere. However, these days more and more buzzwords are used in the social media industry and it can be confusing dissecting different positions. Here are the top social media jobs in 2018 and what they really mean.
1. Social Media Strategist
A social media strategist is, as the name would suggest, someone who develops a strategic plan around cultivating the relationship between a business or company and its clients or customers.
Their role is to come up with both paid and non-paid social media and content strategies that will help in the growth and exposure of a business and that meet the company or department’s goals. The process begins by evaluating the needs and objectives of the business as well as the areas of social media that you can take advantage of and how different platforms could benefit the business in terms of marketing, advertising and recruiting clients or customers. The ideal social media strategist should have the ability to adapt to different social media networks by understanding the workflows, plans, functions and effects of different platforms, and identifying various workflows, plans and rules as they apply to their respective networks. Working in this role you should be creative and innovative in your use of social media strategies, but also have an understanding of analytics in order to gauge and improve the success of your initiatives. Part of the role often involves updating those in leadership positions in the business on your progress through numbers, visual data and ROI reporting. This means strong communication and organisational skills are essential. Being a social media strategist can be hard work – it’s more than just posting funny memes on a Facebook account – but it can also be very exciting and rewarding.
2. Social Media Analyst
As a social media analyst, your main role is to analyse data and translate it into something meaningful for stakeholders so that together you can use the results to inform business plans.
The role involves analysing user engagement, reporting on web traffic, understanding of social media platforms and the way they function and extensive knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) practices, as well as their implementation in brand awareness and marketing efforts. Depending on the business or company, you may need to be tracking other types of data as well. For example, social media metrics may be more important to one company whereas website traffic or engagement may be more important to another. As your position is essentially focused on the collection and articulation of data, an essential element of being a social media analyst is formulating a cost- and time-efficient way to track and record data, whether this is through the creation of hashtags, tracking URL parameters or using URL shorteners for links. Once you’ve collected data, good communication skills are needed in order to explain the metrics to those who might not work in analysis. You should be able to eloquently articulate what the data says about the effectiveness of certain strategies and findings on prevalent sentiment amongst key audiences.
3. Content Curator
With more and more content being produced every day, and not all of it good quality, content curation is becoming increasingly important to companies. Effective content curation can add value and credibility to a brand. Content curation refers to the process of sorting through and compiling content online and then arranging and presenting the best or most useful content in an organised way that is going to resonate with followers or clients. This can mean placing found content into specific themes, sharing content on different platforms and deciding what information to publish and what not to publish. It focuses on the amassing and delivering of content rather than the creation of content. In this way, a content curator can be thought of as a type of online or digital librarian. The role involves researching, selecting and preparing online content, which can be anything from articles, video clips, infographics and images. For this reason, the position involves content analysis and an understanding of the way certain demographics respond to certain content. It requires attention to detail, good judgement and technology expertise. Technology plays an important role in helping successful content curators aggregate, filter and republish existing content.
4. Online Community Manager
Online community management involves the convergence of social media marketing skills, community development and forum moderation. While a social media strategist or manager may focus on the logistics of creating and distributing content and monitoring analytics, an online community manager’s focus is on building, developing and managing a company’s or brand’s online communities. It is about creating a healthy environment for members and being a bridge between the community and the brand. Part of this is functioning as an advocate – advocating on behalf of both the company and the customer to represent the brand and provide feedback to the company. Community managers are about two-way communication; listening and responding to the queries and concerns of the community. They also implement community guidelines, monitor content, encourage networking, facilitate discussion and measure metrics.
5. Social Media Consultant
Social media consultants are often self-employed or work on a freelance basis and are hired by companies or individuals to help them navigate their social media strategies. It can involve helping businesses that know nothing about social media to create and implement a plan for how to leverage different platforms for the growth of the business. However, it can also mean stepping in and helping businesses discern what strategies and which networks are most suited to their objectives even though they may already have social media strategies in place or employees who work on social media networks. What a social media consultant does is effectively coaching companies on social media and guide them in the right direction. As a consultant this might mean finding your client smarts tools to interpret their data, connecting the brand with relevant influencers, creating compelling content or developed a tiered approach to social media marketing. Working as a consultant gives you the opportunity to work with different brands of different sizes with different needs, so every day is different!