Tuesday Aug 19, 2014

So You Want to Be a Social Media Director

social media directorDo you want to be a Social Media Director? Some say the title is already losing its relevance; that social should be a basic skill that is required and used no matter what your position is inside the enterprise.


I suppose that’s visionary, and a fun thing for thought leaders to say. But in the vast majority of business organizations, we’re so far away from that reality that the thought of not having someone driving social’s implementation and guiding its proper usage conjures up images of anarchy.


That said, social media has become so broad, so catch-all, and so extended across business functions, that today’s Social Media Director, depending on the size of their staff, must make jacks-of-all-trades look like one-trick-ponies. Just as the purview of the CMO has grown all-encompassing, the disciplines required of their heads of social are stacking up.


Master of Content

Every social pipeline you build must stay filled, with quantity and quality. Content takes time, and the job never stops. Never. And no, it’s not true that anybody can write.


Master of Customer Experience

You must have a passion for hearing from customers and making them really happy.


Master of PR

You must know how to communicate and leverage the trust you’ve built when crises strike. Couldn’t hurt to be a Master of Politics.


Master of Social Technology

So many social management tools on the market. You have to know what social tech ecosystem makes sense and avoid piecemeal point solutions.


Master of Business Development

Social for selling and prospecting is hot, and you have to know how to use social to do it.


Master of Analytics

Nothing else matters if you can’t prove social is helping the brand. That’s right, creative content guy has to also be a math and stats geek. Good luck with that.


Master of Paid Media

You’ve got to learn the language, learn the tactics, learn the vendors and learn how to measure results.


Master of Education

Guess who gets to teach everyone who has no clue how to use social for business.


Master of Personal Likability

You’ll be leading the voice, tone, image and personality of the brand. If you don’t instinctively know how to be liked by actual people, the brand will be starting from a deficit.


How deep must you go in this parade of masteries? Again, that depends on your employer’s maturity level in social. Serious players recognize these as distinct disciplines requiring true experts for maximum effect. Less serious players will need you to execute personally in many of these areas. Do the best you can, and try to grow quickly at each.


If you’re the sole person executing all social…well…you’re in the game of managing expectations and trying to socially educate your employer. The good news is, you should be making a certifiable killing. If you’re alone and your salary is modest, time to understand how many brands out there crave what you’ve mastered. Not to push back against thought leaders, but the need for brand social leadership has not gone away…not even a little bit.


@mikestiles @oraclesocial
Photo: Stefan Wagner, freeimages.com




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