How to become a social media marketer
If you are serious about working online, then becoming a social media marketer or manager should be among the top of your list of considerations.
The role of a social media marketer
As a social media marketer or manager, your job is to promote products and services of a company on social media. You also build their image on social media. As simple as that may sound, it is not easy as writing a post on Facebook or uploading a picture on Instagram. But if you are already building your own brand across Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the rest, then you are almost there.
Promoting will mean you will have to learn how to post ads on social media, and optimize the ads for optimal performance and conversion.
Social media marketing is becoming very famous and lucrative in many countries. And it will likely continue to soar as more businesses become dependent on social media for sales and promotion.
You can make a lot of money as a social media marketer or manager but how much you make will depend on who you are working for and what you bring to the table. According to Glassdoor, the average social media manager’s salary in the United States is $54,238 as of March 2018. That is very promising.
But the big question is, how do you get started? How do you become a social media marketer or manager? We have listed out steps to become a social media marketer.
How to become a social media marketer
Follow these steps to become a social media marketer:
1. Learn more about marketing and communication
A soldier will never go to a full-blown war without weapons, as a social media marketer, you don’t go in without knowledge. You have to read and learn about the two important factors you will be dealing with. That is Marketing and communication.
The success of a Social Media Marketer will depend on their marketing skills and communication skills.
The truth is social media marketing is still marketing. While you may not need to go to a regular school to learn, you have to just learn the fundamentals of marketing. Learn good communication skills, especially in writing. Your writing skills will come in handy.
There are many places online you can learn skills free, you can read our article: 9 places to educate yourself free online. Or alternatively, you can google free resources on the basics of marketing and communication. There are platforms online you can pay to learn marketing and communication.
2. Research your potential customer base
Almost every business, product, or service has a target audience. The first step is to decide the industry you are diving into. While you could market anything, it is advisable to have a primary industry. The point here is to pick an industry you want to become an authourity in.
It could be tech, fashion, music, cars, phones, and so on. Once you have made your primary pick, then try to understand what is going on in your industry: what is trending? What are people talking about?
What are consumers excited about in your industry? This will help you build your marketing strategy to conform to what the consumers expect. In social media marketing, your consumers drive your strategy. Move through different online forums, and social media pages with your target audience, write down all that is trending, what consumers are talking about, and what they are expecting. This should form your social media posts and updates.
The product or services you market will help you understand where to find your customer base on social media. For example, if your product/services are targeted at entrepreneurs and business people, LinkedIn should be your best bet. If it is targeted at gamers, Youtube should be your best bet. If it is very visual, Instagram will make a good platform to market. Facebook and Twitter are broad in nature, which is good for every form of product or service.
3. Understand Social media algorithms
You should pick Social media platform to focus on. These days there are too many social media networks and it can be depressing doing them all at a time. It is better to focus on which you understand more as long as it converts for you. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are usually top picks. But a platform like Reddit cannot be ignored.
However, it is important you understand social media algorithms. This will go a long way to save money and help you gain more visibility on social media.
You may ask, what is a social media algorithm? Social media algorithms are the ways in which social media platforms determine which post a user should see at any given time. You must have noticed that on Your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you do not see the latest posts when you log in. The platforms determine which post they think is relevant for you. That is what is meant by social media algorithms. You may keep seeing posts from certain pages or individuals always, that is because the social algorithms feel their content is relevant to you.
This means that you can write a post and no one sees it, comment, or like it because the social media algorithm feels it is not relevant.
Other times you could write a post and get lots of views because the algorithm feels it is relevant.
As a social media marketer or manager, understanding social media algorithm is very important. Unfortunately, social media platforms change their algorithms from time to time but there is one constant in all social media algorithms, that is engagement.
Engagement is very important if you want your post to be seen. When making a post, you should ensure it is what your followers will love. The more people engage with your content with likes, comments, shares, and time spent reading, the more social media algorithm will deem it relevant. Before you make a post, put yourself in the shoes of your followers, “if I were my follower will I find this interesting” or “If I were a consumer will I have a question or comment to make on this post”.
In summary, write a post that targets engagement such as comments, likes, and shares. If it is not engaging most social media algorithms will find it irrelevant.
Some social algorithms rate video post highly or post with images. You have to research and read up on your preferred social media platforms and understand their algorithms.
4. Build your social media presence
Spend time and effort to grow your social media followership. It is very important. There are employers that will ask for your social media links before recruiting you as their social media marketer or manager. The point is they want to see how far you have come and what you offer.
A good social media presence will boost your opportunity of getting a contract or job as a social media marketer or manager.
So spend time growing your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other social media platform that captures your audience.
Write posts that attract consumers to comment and follow you. Don’t just write posts, engage with your followers. Reply to comments, reply to tweets. That will encourage engagement and boost your visibility.
Share posts from other marketing companies and gurus. Reach out to big brands by mentioning or tagging them when you share their posts and they may just share yours someday and give you a big exposure.
5. Follow influential marketers and brands
What you surround yourself with, will likely influence you. The same applies to Social media, those you interact with and associate with will likely influence you.
Make a list of successful social media marketers you know, companies, and brands in your industry that you fancy. Follow them on social media. Join groups that relate to social media marketing. Like pages that relate to your niche.
This way you have a good social media surrounding that will influence you positively towards a successful career as a social media marketer or manager.
You never know where you will pick up that life-changing information or opportunities.
6. Volunteer to get experience
Experience is very essential too. It will give you the opportunity to learn and boost your portfolio for the future. While volunteering, you may have the opportunity to meet with other top-level social media influencers who will teach you a thing or thing.
Technique is everything and that is what volunteering can help you acquire.
Get in contact with NGOs, Schools, politicians, Churches, and Businesses and volunteer to help them in their Social Media marketing.
Get exposure from there and boost your portfolio.
7. Post fresh content regularly on your social media profiles
Keep on posting fresh contents that are relevant on your social media pages. No matter how tired you are, don’t let a week slide by without posting content that impacts your followers.
This will keep you relevant and keep your name out there.
Make sure you do not post irrelevant or spammy posts. This will backfire. You will get unfollowed and blocked or even blacklisted by algorithms. Only posts that are relevant and the kind your followers will love.
8. Build relationships and collaborate with other social media marketers
Let’s be honest, for a starter, there are many people out there doing a better job than you do. This set of people have worked hard and earned a good name and are well known. Look for them, establish contact and find a way to collaborate with them.
It could be on your own job or an idea you have. Reach out to them via social media, email, or phone. And work together on a project.
These will play two ways to your advantage. First, you will learn a lot from them. Second, you will get some juice from their reputation. Working with an established Social media marketer will boost your portfolio and tell potential employers that you have played with the big boys.
9. Monitor Social Media analytics for data
To be an effective social media marketer or manager you need to evaluate your work based on data available and see where you can make improvements. Thankfully, most social media platforms have analytics to help you understand how your followers consume your content.
If you are running a Facebook page, an Instagram business account, a Twitter account, or a LinkedIn page, you will find analytics integrated within.
The analytics will tell you what kind of posts is getting more engagement and those that are not. This will help you focus on topics that interest your followers.
Analytics will tell you the locations and gender of your followers to help you target posts.
Data is very important. You need it to grow. Study the information and trends in your analytics. This is very important for planning and growth.
10. Create a portfolio
Create a portfolio of your works and show it off. Get together samples of your best works and write descriptions. The goals and what you achieved with them.
Include campaigns you have run, your ideas, and the impact.
Understand that employers love numbers. Ensure to write the effect of each of your ideas with numbers. For example, “as a result of testing this new idea, the page received 100% more engagement.” Note the 100%, employers love numbers.
You can upload your Portfolio to your website and social media pages. Keep a hard copy of it, in case you need it for a physical interview or negotiation.
And of course, you should also have a Resume to go with it!
11. Keep pushing, people are watching
Always be conscious of the fact that people are watching! There are people who are likely following up in the background and may someday need your services.
And again, the internet is an open book, it is important to keep your social media clean. Run an audit and remove posts that might damage your reputation.
No big brands will want to identify with certain public images that will be harmful to them. Maintain a good social media image.
12. Apply for jobs look for opportunities
There are many companies and individuals looking for social media marketers or managers. Some of them are full time while there are also freelance opportunities. Search through job posting platforms like Indeed.com.
You can look for freelance social marketing jobs at Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and others.
Peruse through various classified ads. Even in the newspapers. Make those around you aware of your skills just in case they know of opportunities.
13. Never stop learning
The most important thing that will keep you going is learning. So many changes every day, make sure you keep up to date with time. Subscribe to news related to your field, and stay in touch with trends.
Can you believe that many years ago, the leading social media network was MySpace.com? Today it is Facebook, and even Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn have overtaken Myspace. That is the power of change. You have to be open to learning so you don’t stay out of date.
Read, learn and grow.
14. Manage your time
Social media is very addictive and it is possible for you to lose focus and face what is irrelevant. Learn to manage your time. If possible set daily targets and try to meet them.
Don’t get entangled with what is unproductive and ignore your duty as a social media marketer. Stay focus always
Facebook offers you the opportunity to partner with them. Yes, you can become Facebook marketing partner and work together in a mutually beneficial way. If you are interested. You can click here to apply to become a Facebook Marketing partner.
Working as a social media marketer or manager is very rewarding. It needs discipline, self-motivation, and focus. We will try to keep this page updated. You can check back in the future for new information
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