As a social media trainer I train individuals and teams to use social media well for their business or charity. But increasingly lately I’m delighted to say that I’ve been asked to train the people appointed as social media managers.
This is particularly smart move by those organisations as they are investing in their staff when so many just put some one in role and leave them to get on with it with very little support.
Increasingly employers just hand over responsibility to the youngest person in the office just because they are young and therefore must understand social media. By virtue of their age they are the most experienced person in the team! But just because someone has been on twitter since they were 15 does not mean they understand social media etiquette, or your business well enough for you to just hand over the company voice.
Social media is so new and actually very few social media managers are trained to do what they do. That means a large number of staff put in post will have limited skills in this area. But it also means that appointing a social media manager is a difficult task as it’s hard for people to know what skills the new recruit should have.
Organisations have admitted to me that they have asked at interview for a totally different post,’do you know about social media?’ The consequence is that organisations are handing over their reputation, not monitoring the work but then are quick to sack people when things go wrong.
Social media managers I talk to are often left with no time for research to keep up to date with changes either as their manager did not know that that was needed.
Social media management involves research, a good understanding of marketing, sales, and customer care. It involves planning campaigns, evaluation and understanding your customer profile. It also requires regular communication with all other departments.
So you can see that just leaving someone who is familiar with social media to get on with it,is not a great business plan.
Last month I was contacted by Big Green Energy. They had appointed a young man to work as their social media manager and asked me to work with him as no one in house had the expertise to guide him. He was competent on social media platforms but needed a coaching session to pull all the elements together and focus on how to use it for business growth. A 90 minute strategy session via live webinar left with with a knowledge of how to use all the current tools and enabled him to develop a clear plan of action.
It’s really important for social media managers to have someone to bounce ideas around with when there is no-one in house to do that with. And I just love working with people on their plans, campaigns and strategies.
I’m a trainer who also does social media management for others as well as myself, so I understand the practice as well as the theory and I know what needs to be done.
“Working with Jane has been a pleasure. She is prompt in her dealings and understands exactly what needs to be carried out. Thank you Jane. Michael Orr. MD. The Big Green Energy Company“
What do you think? Are you a social media manager who feels unsupported? Are you an employer who has implemented good support for your social media manager? Drop me a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.