The realm of social media is constantly evolving. Its role in society, moreover, is becoming increasingly important. All this has resulted in the creation of new job positions: social media/community managing positions, specifically.
But, what exactly does it take to “be good at” social media? How does one display their competency in working platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
This week’s blog post is dedicated to answering the latter questions. I came across an article on the PR News website that gave the following tips:
Journalistic chops: Strong writing skills and an understanding of techniques that work for the various social media formats is a must. So is a command of proper grammar and practical experience proofing and fact checking. See what the candidate can do within a Twitter character limit, but also test his or her ability to write and edit clearly, cleanly and concisely.
Tech/Web savvy: From working with do-it-all social media platforms, such as Sprout Social or HootSuite, to using channel-specific analytics tools like Facebook Insights and PinReach, the compelling candidate has a passion for identifying and mastering the latest innovations. A social media manager should exhibit a broad perspective on Web marketing, from the ability to track, analyze and report on activities to a working knowledge of the close relationship between social and advanced SEO strategies.
Superior communication skills: Not only does the position require exceptional writing skills, but also necessitates the ability to communicate and present ideas and concepts verbally. In addition to having a sound grasp on all outgoing communications, a social media manager must be able to listen to the conversation and accept criticism and guidance.
Networking and promotion abilities: Does your candidate have the network of media contacts, online influencers and freelancers to achieve objectives ranging from reaching qualified pools of targeted consumers to producing media collateral primed to go viral? Look for an ambassador who has a grasp on the nuance and etiquette of working with brand advocates and is capable of interacting with customers and clients in order to build relationships forged on trust.
Considering how one of the goals of social media is to make communication more simple, the skills and abilities listed above prove that it takes a lot of practice to master social media on a more “serious” level.
Think about it. With personal accounts, content is entirely up to the user. He or she can manage social networks however he or she wants. The user can choose to filter content and what is said, or the opposite can be done. He or she is personally responsible for what goes onto the various platforms.
When looking at social media from a business or professional standpoint, however, so much more goes into the content. Handling social media in this case does not only reflect on the person who tweeted or posted, but it also speaks for the entire entity that the professional/company social media account represents. Therefore, how an individual chooses to tweet or post on a personal social media account can be extremely different from what that same individual would choose to communicate on a professional account.
Social media has become so embedded in daily life. It is not going anywhere any time soon. So, to my fellow persons pursuing a public relations/communications career, bear in mind that––regardless of whether or not your concentration lies in social media management––practicing and mastering the skills listed above can help you with career evolution.