Social Media Coordinator
A very important aspect of modern business is social media. Social media is a prominent tool that every business must embrace if that business wants to stay relevant. The thing is, many business owners either don’t know how to use social media or they’re not using social media to its full potential. They should be hiring social media coordinators and many do.
Social media coordinators are people who handle social media accounts for one large company or for several smaller companies. As time goes on, more and more businesses will realize the necessity of social media, and the vast majority of them will outsource the management of their social media accounts.
What Does a Social Media Coordinator Do?
A social media coordinator handles a business’ social media accounts in order to maximize that business’ online presence. That sounds simple, but it’s harder than it seems. There are many different theories about how to effectively manage a social media profile. The book ‘The Art of Social Media’ by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick gives a very good overview of what running a social media profile entails both for personal users and businesses.
This article will cover some basics for being a social media coordinator such as using analytic tools and automation through HootSuite, but at the end of the day, there’s no complete answer to the question what does a social media coordinator do. Very simply put, a social media coordinator runs various social media accounts with the goal of gaining as many followers as possible for those accounts.
Most social media coordinators have a marketing background, but at the end of the day, you don’t need any formal marketing experience to be a social media coordinator. You don’t even need a college degree!
To be a make a living as a social media coordinator, you obviously have to know how to use every social media outlet available. As of now, the main social media sites that businesses focus on are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Stumbleupon, Hubpages, Linkedin, YouTube and Reddit. For most businesses, the most important social media accounts will be Twitter and Facebook, but for online businesses Google Plus is important to get onto Google’s good side. For professional businesses such as law firms or banks, a strong Linkedin presence is important. And for businesses that sell products, especially products marketed towards women, Pinterest is becoming more and more relevant.
To be an effective social media coordinator, you need to know how to use these all these social media outlets for prime optimization. For example, Twitter posts are limited to roughly 200 words so you’re not going to publish a 1,000 word product review on Twitter, right? Also, Twitter has particular language for codifying information, the notorious hashtag # system. You need to practice using all of the social media outlets listed above as well as some that aren’t listed. New ones pop all the time.
The best way to practice is by perfecting your own personal social media accounts with the goal of gaining as many followers as possible. You’ll need to post several times a day. Ten is normally a good number for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. More than ten and your followers may just be annoyed. Posts can be as short as “Here’s a great article on the power of social media” followed by a link to the article. Note: make sure your posts are well edited so that you seem like a professional!
Another great way to practice using these social media outlets is by marketing your own product. Start a website about something you love. Let’s say you love cheese. Start a website about cheese, and start making posts about cheese on all your social media accounts. On Instagram post pictures of cheese. On Pinterest tag cheese wheels that you’d like to buy. You’ll notice that if you persist at posting relevant tidbits about cheese on all your social media accounts, you’ll gain more and more followers, sometimes exponentially.
Another great tactic is generating your own content. If you make your own content, let’s say a top ten list of the best cheeses in the world and that top ten list goes viral, you’ve just built yourself a solid following. You could also pay for a press release of that article, but that’s more advanced. Remember—it just takes one person to share your article and start a chain reaction all over the Internet. The challenge is reaching that igniter.
How To Find Work As a Social Media Coordinator
Here’s where you need to be creative because the service you’re providing is so cutting edge that many businesses don’t realize they need it yet. Don’t worry, they will eventually. But for now, you can use this lack of awareness to your advantage by educating local business about the importance of social media and sounding very smart in the process.
First off, identify companies in your area that don’t have social media accounts or have lackluster ones. Reach out to these companies, and pitch your services. You can have somewhat of a stock pitch on file for these ‘cold calls.’ Call and email these companies. Tell them that you’d like to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote their business and draw in new customers. Say you’d love to sit down with them and discuss your branding vision. Now you wait. You wait until they get back to you. If they don’t get back to you, move on. Maybe contact them once more a few days later, but be careful not to spam people as well as waste your valuable time. Ideally, you’ll call these companies and speak to somebody on the phone because over the phone you’ll get a better sense of their interest level. When you’re cold calling, there’s a good chance that you won’t be hired. You’ll need to get used to rejection.
Once a company agrees to meet with you in person or over Skype, that’s when you need to do major research and come up with a specific branding vision. Scope out competitors’ social media accounts for post ideas. You’ll want to have specific posts drafted and perhaps some recurring ideas such as a ‘hairstyle of the week’ post if you’re pitching to a barbershop.
Include in your pitch that there are tools available that track certain metrics pertaining to social media accounts. For example, Facebook and Twitter have both developed in house analytic tools. These analytics tools can tell you how many people clicked on a particular link in your post or how many people shared your post, etc. This data can be used to optimize social media accounts as well as track ‘conversion traffic,’ i.e. traffic from social media accounts to the business’ website.
You should refer companies to your own personal social media pages which you’ve built up and developed.
You’ll also want to check online job listings regularly to see if any companies are looking for social media coordinators. Also, list yourself on directory websites such as Thumbtack.com.
If you work full time for one company, you’ll probably get paid a salary in line with somebody in the marketing department—in the neighborhood of $40,000 per year. The best strategy, however, could be to manage hundreds, even thousands of social media accounts for many different companies and charge each company monthly per account.
There are services available such as Hootsuite that allow you to automate posts. You can use an RSS Feed to generate appropriate content. If you get good at using particular software such as Hootsuite, you can automate nearly all your posts so that you’re making thousands of posts a day with the click of a button. Think about how much money you could make if you perfect this method. All you need to do is stay in contact with business owners and provide them with basic analytics as you run their accounts.
Like any other entrepreneur, you'll set your own hours unless you work an office job for a particular company which will likely entail a 9 to 5 workday. Note that social media posts need to be made throughout the day in the morning and also at night. As discussed above, you can automate your posts so that all the posting is set at particular times. You'll also have to post on weekends; social media does not take vacations. But once again, you can automate those posts.
One caveat to automation: you need to regularly check the accounts to make sure that everything is running smoothly. When you're first starting out, you'll probably want to gradually incorporate automation into your work flow once the accounts that you're handling are somewhat established.