What IS a social media strategist?
What IS a social media strategist?
“How would you explain Twitter to your grandmother?” is one of the interview questions I enjoy asking candidates who apply for roles at the agency. The best answers always feature an analogy, and are delivered in “plain speak”- I am a big fan of both these formats. Interviewees have compared the micro blogging site to a 24 hour cocktail party (top answer), and one likened each individual tweet to a “brain fart” (special answer). My (very) old Dad tells his friends (equally long retired from work) that his daughter works on “the Internet”, as if it were a battleship belonging to the Royal Navy.
It is not easy to explain social media to the older generation – they may have never pressed any digital buttons, nor see any value in doing so. But the low level understanding of my role is not limited to those of 60+. The mystery of what and how I do my job, can be observed in so many – from university leavers joining our team, to company directors of international brands.
Social media strategists were often called “gurus” and recently, I’ve heard social media brains referred to as “unicorns”. Both definitions make my toes curl a little. No-one can know everything about social media – the subject is just too big, and changes so much, so fast. The comparison to a mystical creature, seems to infer we are maverick characters, spinning a dark art. These descriptions are amusing but inaccurate, and do nothing to communicate the work and worth of a social media strategist.
Kim Randall wrote a brilliantly clear breakdown of the role of a social media strategist, including these points (among many other good ones). The best social media strategist:
- Is a creative, who thinks, researches, tests and loves all things social media, most often along the first to adopt new apps, tools, trends and social networks.
- Knows not every client requires the same strategy. There is no cookie cutter for campaigns – each is an individually crafted, bespoke plan.
- Understands the real world: social = people, and work to humanise brands, finding the right voice, real personality and target audience.
- Integrates – social media is not an island; the best campaigns tie in other avenues of marketing, and the strongest brands weave social media activities into the business. The work does not only happen online and is delivered with as much client input as possible.
How do I do my job?
At G&I we create social media strategies, build content schedules, manage campaigns, train professionals, implement activities and provide support for businesses of all kinds. But what does this mean, in “plain speak”? To further pull back the curtain, on how a social media strategy is delivered and how valuable it is for every business, I’m sharing some examples of what we do at G&I, including the first look at two new social media marketing services:
Social Media Masterclass – NEW service at G&I
A two hour, tailored masterclass, featuring a custom mix of Social Media Consultancy, Strategy, Planning & Training. Usually delivered on a 1-2-1 basis, this session delivers a social media “power up”.
Social Media Brand Workshop – NEW service at G&I
We work together to create the best social brand for an organisation. To do this, we ensure the brand knows itself confidently, as well as the target market. We then define the voice, personality and story, which works to attract and engage the right audience. More info.
Instagram training event, to be hosted at a beautiful Grade II listed, Georgian coach house, in Clapham Old Town. £50 per ticket. Info on Facebook.
Good Morning Twitter – Friday 24 June 10am-midday
Networking, breakfast and Twitter training at Chicago Ribshack in Clapham North. £30 per head inc. breakfast & coffee. There are 50 places available. All levels welcome. Book here.
Good social media marketing is no secret – as Erik Qualman once famously said: “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is HOW WELL we do it.”