10 Truths Nobody Told You About Being A Social Media Marketer
It is clear social media marketing is delivering real and measurable business value for companies large and small today. Marketers of all specialties from digital, content, strategy and even operations know they must not only learn, but also deeply embrace social media as a way to connect, inspire and serve their new online audiences as well as current, prospective and future customers.
With this incredible opportunity created for businesses using social media there is obviously solid opportunity for smart and savvy marketers to specialize and build a career in social media marketing.
However, as I discussed in detail in episode 218 of the Social Zoom Factor podcast, social marketers must also have a solid understanding of business and marketing. Smart social media marketers also know how to align social media to business goals.
Building a career as a social marketer is not as easy as jumping on Twitter or Snapchat and firing off some 140 character tweets and selfie snaps. Being able to rock your personal brand as a new college graduate doesn't necessarily translate over to knowing how to use social media for business. Big difference.
Unfortunately many new social media marketers jump into the fields of social networks, tweets, snaps, and Facebook live video to find themselves overwhelmed. They are often thrown to the wild pack of tweeting craziness as their management teams and leadership know less than they do in understanding how to drive business value using these new social tools and methodologies.
Many new social marketers start out excited only to find their hopes of a career in social media completely deflated. Not only do they feel overwhelmed but they find it hard to show and prove their value. They lack the necessary training to understand data and measurement, conversion funnels, content marketing, foundational digital and visual marketing skills and the list goes on. It's even more challenging for recent graduates who lack solid business or marketing experience in the real world.
These same new social marketers may be working 24/7 yet making little progress. They're tweeting through the hamster wheel and making little to any forward progress in learning. They often lack real mentorship, business experience and because of this they wind up stunted in their career.
They think…. “nobody told me it would be this hard.” I've had many new college graduates working in social media marketing come to me and proclaim they had no idea they would need to know so much about marketing or business to be successful running social media for a company.
The truth is that social media is not a band-aid for a broken business. Hiring a cheap intern who knows how to tweet, snap and stream a live video is not going to fix your brand perception problems, inspire your customers to engage in a relationship with you. The intern or person new to social media is not going to help you solve the customer services problems you have by setting up some auto Twitter auto direct messages (DMs) to anyone who asks for help.
The truth is that all of us working in the field of social media and digital marketing today are change agents. We must understand mindsets of our stakeholders, management and team members. We must know how to push change when needed and integrate social media technologies and best practices into the business, not force it.