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What Does A Social Media Strategist Do? Everything You Need To Know Before You Apply.

Social media is nothing new, per se, but for businesses who want to remain competitive, communicative and connected to their audience, prospects and targets, it’s become much more than a Tweet here and there and some icons in the footer of websites and emails. 

In fact, that doesn’t even qualify as having a social media presencenow. Because what was once satisfied with some scraps every once in a while has become a full-time job. Even a cursory Google search yields an exhaustive list of social media marketing companies, departments, careers, and even degrees and certifications.

Simply put: It’s not a hobby or a pastime anymore. 

ENTER: Our Social Media Strategists, who enable organizations to maintain successful social media presences that allow them to build their brand and ultimately attract and retain new clients. 

But for a small-to-medium business, the thought of hiring someone to manage their social presence seems lofty at best, and decadently impossible at worst.

But consider the findings of a 2019 study on the state of small business marketing:

  • The most common platform for building brand awareness was social media marketing, which consistently outranked all other mediums
  • The foremost opportunity for gaining new customers is – again – social media marketing
  • 73 percent of respondents reported they would increase spending on social media 

What really stood out from the study, though? 

“… while social media continues to be a challenge for many small businesses, it can also help small businesses grow their audience and push customers to their site—but only when executed well.”

“But only when executed well.”

So while SMB owners worry that they can’t afford to have someone dedicated solely to social media, they really can’t afford not to. Why?

Because when you think about how social media has – at least in part – leveled the exposure playing field, its opportunities are endless for SMBs to increase brand awareness and new customer gains, and all without paying-to-play like in the traditional advertising and marketing media days of yore.

So whether you’re interested in becoming a social media strategist or you’re looking to hire one, we’ll cover the essential skills that every social media strategist must have.

 

Definition of Social Media Strategist

Now more than ever, organizations are realizing they need social media professionals. Like, yesterday.

First things first: Let’s cover what a social media strategist is – and does.

A social media strategist manages all of a client’s unique social media needs to take their social media presence to the next level by managing their social channels, engaging with their audience, and tackling their scheduling to help them stay ahead of their competition and make lasting connections with their community and target audience. 

Their skills and responsibilities include:

  • The strategy and execution of social media across the client’s channels. The goal is to increase followers and engagement.
  • Collaboration with the client and/or the client’s marketing team to understand current marketing initiatives and strategies and plan to leverage the social media space when applicable.
  • Publishing content across all social channels for the client. This could include blog posts, tweets, status updates, photos, and videos.
  • Strategizing, creating, and executing monthly content plans that align with the overall content theme for that month. Create, maintain and update the client’s Editorial Calendar for social.
  • Coordinating all social content from start to finish. This includes mining curated content and working with the client and/or the client’s creative team to design graphics for posting.
  • Handling all commenting and direct messaging across all client’s social channels with the support of the client.
  • Leveraging measurement tools to provide progress reports and mine insights, while continually finding ways to improve on those metrics by working with the client and/or their marketing team to hone in on content that resonates.
  • Engaging with influencers and creating conversations with industry leaders in the social space.

 

What Skills Do You Need to be a Social Media Strategist?

First things first: Do you live and breathe social media? Does every ping, ding and red-badge notification give you anticipatory butterflies as you eagerly engage with people online? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, then we’re on the right track.

Now, do you have … 

  • Experience developing strategies for individual social media campaigns in different channels?
  • Experience with social media platforms, including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn?
  • Experience with leveraging social media management and analytics tools, including Sprout Social, Buffer and/or Hootsuite?
  • Experience writing, editing and creating content for the social media space?
  • Working knowledge and real-world experience in managing, strategizing, and executing social media initiatives?
  • Real-world experience planning social media programs that span owned – like blogs, organic, and paid?
  • Knowledge of digital marketing current best practices and understanding of digital production processes?
  • Knowledge of social media legal guidelines?
  • Knowledge of strategic planning and processes for brand management and creative development?
  • Knowledge of media strategy and planning options and the media’s role in integrated communication?

Think you’ve got the skills? Then it’s time to find out how to put them to good use.

 

How to Become a Social Media Strategist

Becoming a Social Media Strategist with BELAY is no easy feat. It’s a bit more competitive than just filling out an online application and getting an offer the following week.

Why?

Because we’re in the business of quality. After all, our acceptance rate for our contractors is lower than Harvard’s – 4.5 percent for anyone wondering – with our contractor acceptance rate at 3.93 percent.

That means more than 96 percent of our applicants don’t make the grade.

But those that do? Oh, they’re special. We’re talking creme-de-la-creme, knock-your-socks-off special who have a passion for serving others. Is that you? Could it be you?

There’s only one way to find out.

One of our recruiters extraordinaire at BELAY shares exactly – we’re talking serious behind-the-curtain intel – what it takes to become a BELAY Social Media Strategist.

The ideal Social Media Strategist candidate …

  • Has 3+ years of experience developing strategies for individual social media campaigns in a variety of social channels.
  • Should be a master storyteller – one who understands how to leverage social media management and analytic tools.
  • Should also be an expert in writing, editing, and crafting content for the social media space and demonstrate proficiency in using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Excel, Google Analytics, and scheduling tools.

The BELAY Social Media Strategist hiring process …

  • Includes a short one-way video interview, a skills assessment, and two interviews with recruiters.
  • It can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks depending on the volume of applicants the recruiters are working with at that time.

The signs that indicate that an applicant will be successful … 

  • They are highly responsive, attentive to timelines, and demonstrate that they’re hungry, humble, and smart are highly successful.
  • They are not only skilled at what they do but equally as passionate as we are about helping people climb higher and achieve their vision.

The signs that indicate that an applicant won’t be a good fit … 

  • They aren’t proactive, a work-from-home productivity master, or love helping others achieve their goals.
  • They don’t enjoy content creation.
  • They need a client to give them all the ideas.
  • They are currently working a full-time job with no plans to transition from that job.

 

Social Media Strategist vs. Social Media Manager

Let’s break this down. They both involve ‘social media.’ So we can nail that down. We know what they work on. But who does what?

See, a strategist can pull double duty as an assistant and manager but the assistant and manager are likely not strategists.

Clear as mud, right? Stick with us here.

Fear not – we can do this! Below, we break down both strategists and assistants so you can decide which one is right for your business – and realize why you probably need one, like yesterday!

Social Media Strategist

Social Media Manager or Assistant

A Social Media Strategist is responsible for the overall strategy of your social media from a big picture perspective.  A Social Media Manager or Assistant is responsible for the execution of the strategist’s plan.
Tasks Tasks
  • Identifying your audience on social media
  • Posting content daily
  • Determining what types of things you should post
  • Curating or writing the content to share on your page
  • Determining how frequently to post and on what channels
  • Creating graphics
  • Defining your sales funnel and KPIs
  • Finding content to share on your page
  • Creating marketing emails/campaigns for your products or services
  • Repurposing content you previously wrote
  • Developing your ads strategy
  • Keeping up on engagement, such as responding to all comments and DMs
  • Doing keyword research
BONUS: A BELAY Social Media Strategist will also be responsible for all of the tasks of a social media assistant, too!
Social media strategists may have a bachelor’s degree or even a graduate-level degree in communications though often, experience proves paramount.  Similarly, social media managers may have a bachelor’s degree though again, experience proves paramount. 

 

 Are You Ready To Become A BELAY Social Media Strategist?

If you’ve made it this far nodding your head along in agreement while checking off all the skills, experience and passion listed above, then it’s time you apply to be a Social Media Strategist with us.

Your next great career starts with one click.