Becoming a social media manager requires experience more than education. Courses in social media management are available, but you should also do a little studying and research on your own.
You should understand social media as a marketing tool. It’s one thing to get a bunch of followers to view a “cat tricks” YouTube feed, and it’s quite another to build a following for a business. Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing, which is why many businesses struggle with it. Social media is all about having an interesting, informative, and/or entertaining conversation with the market.
Know the various platforms
Each platform has its own rules and methods for best marketing practices. How a business promotes on Instagram should be different from how it markets on LinkedIn because each platform is vastly different.
You should have the ability to manage several social media platforms for numerous clients. There are a host of tools, such as Hootsuite, to help you manage platforms. However, organization and having a plan are crucial to ensuring that every client’s social media needs are met.
Develop strategies to match the client’s goals
As a social media manager, you must help clients understand social media and how it works. For example, in our opinion social media goals should be in line with engagement rather than sales. Be able to capture the client’s voice. If your client is fun and quirky, social media posts should reflect that.
Build your following
A large number of followers means nothing if none of them are paying attention to what you post. Your goal is to build a following that engages with you. They comment, share, or like what you post. PeerIndex (Brandwatch) and Kred monitor your social media activity and assign a score that reflects your influence.
Decide what services to offer
You can offer several packages, such as a start-up service that creates accounts then passes management of them back to the client or a full-service package that does everything from creating the accounts, posting content, and moderating the community.
You might want to focus more on marketing or more on data analysis. Your key talents will help you narrow it down. Go with what you’re really good at.
Consider if there are industries you want to focus on. For example, you can be a social media manager for realtors or authors.
Identify your niche
Determine which platforms you’ll specialize in. Knowing something about all the major platforms is important. But, sometimes, it’s better to focus on a couple that reaps big results for a client’s particular industry. Some clients might have Twitter and Facebook down pat, but they need help with Pinterest or YouTube.
Write a business plan
Your business plan is a roadmap for your business success. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Outline your business goals, services, assets, liabilities, and marketing information, and explain how you’ll compete against the competition.
Determine your pricing
You might have difficulty charging top dollar as a new business, but referrals and testimonials can get you there eventually. What you charge will depend on your experience and the work you do. You can charge by the hour or offer package plans.
You might have to offer your services at a steep discount at first r work for a client for free for a limited time. You’re selling yourself, your skills, and your talents. Word of mouth can go a long way after you knock it out of the park.
Pick a business name
A business name becomes your brand, so you’ll want to choose it carefully. It should reflect your service and your market.
Any name you choose that isn’t your given name should be checked with the registration authorities to make sure it’s not already registered by someone else.
Determine your business structure
You can operate as a sole proprietor, particularly when you’re starting out. It’s free and doesn’t require any paperwork except for possibly a business license.
Social media can go wrong, however, and a client might sue you for any problems it incurs. Consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect yourself. An LLC won’t prevent you from being sued, but it will protect your personal assets, such as your home, if you are.
Obtain licenses & permits
Contact your local city or county about getting a business license. You can do this online in many areas.
Develop a marketing plan
Make your own plan for getting clients. Networking will be your best bet for getting your initial clients, but also include methods for getting testimonials and referrals.
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