When I tell my friends and family that I’m a social media coordinator for a digital marketing agency, I usually receive a polite smile and nod, a look of confusion or questions about how I play on Facebook all day.
I understand the confusion. The position of social media coordinator didn’t really exist when I started college five years ago. I think the easiest way to explain the job is to define many of the other jobs that make up my position. Every social media coordinator has different responsibilities and wears different hats, but these are some of the hats that I wear every day:
1. The writer – A social media coordinator regularly writes content for blogs, promotional posts for social networks, and copy for websites as necessary. I’ve crafted everything from articles and interviews to polls and influencer outreach. Being able to create different kinds of content for different platforms is a critical part of the job.
2. The developer – Believe it or not, there’s more to understanding social platforms than knowing how to post a tweet or update a Facebook status. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress release several major updates and layout changes every year, and most of them are rolled out without any advanced notice. It’s my job to stay up to date on those changes and make sure we’re always using the platforms in the best way possible. I feel like I know more about social media than is even cool to know, like the dimensions of profile pictures on most social networks and the character limitations for more things than I’d like to admit.
3. The teacher – Even in today’s digital age, many people aren’t familiar with the science/art/existence of social media or how to use it to market products and services. Part of my job is to teach my coworkers and clients about current social trends and explain how they impact our industry in particular. I work exclusively with pharmaceutical clients, so I need to understand if and how we can use emerging platforms like Pinterest or Google+ with our clients’ goals and FDA regulations in mind.
4. The community manager – A good social media coordinator is, well, social. They’re able to facilitate conversations among people online and interact with others to answer any questions they may have and provide support. You might be surprised at how many people share their personal stories and problems online, and how many others rally around them to provide encouragement. We help as much as possible when people reach out to us through social media, by either directing them to someone who can help or giving them as much information as we can. Even when we answer only small questions people have about their health, I feel like we’re able to really make a difference in their lives. That’s a great feeling.
5. The analyst – There are dozens, if not hundreds, of metrics one can use to measure engagement in social media. As an analyst, I create reports based on those metrics to draw insights from the previous month’s interactions. What kinds of content performed the best on our Facebook Timeline? What were our most popular blog posts for the previous month? How can we adjust our posting schedule to maximize our reach? We sort through tons of data generated from tools like Radian6, Brandwatch, Facebook Insights, and Omniture to build the reports. In the end, we use all of this information and insights to determine how we can best serve our clients and consumers and maximize the value of those social media channels.
Hopefully next time someone tells you they work in the social media field, you won’t have to ask if they have a real job or simply smile and nod. I really enjoy my job and the fact that I’m able to wear so many hats every day. All in a day’s work for a social media coordinator.
[h/t to Marketing Easy for the “hats” concept]