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The Evolution of the Social Media Account Manager

By NOW Marketing Group
NOW Marketing Blog Evolution of Account Manager

Gone are the days of the single-manned (or womaned) Marketing “team.” As our marketing continues to evolve, so must those who we trust to elevate our brands and businesses and amplify our message.

As we have been reflecting back on the past 10 years we’ve been in the biz, we’re reminded of the early years in social media/digital marketing when brands and businesses were just testing the waters. When all you needed was a few written posts with a few links to outside articles or your website and you thought you were a rockstar killing it in the social world. 

The dynamic of social and online marketing has skyrocketed and where you used to be able to get by with an account manager who knew “enough” about Facebook or have your account managed by the intern, that isn’t the case anymore.

Today, there’s a lot more that goes into managing a social media entity than JUST the writing and graphics. 

“There was no paid advertising to begin with,” @mike_gingerich (click to tweet)

So what does an account manager look like these days? What qualities do you look for when hiring out or building your marketing team? We’ve got a few starting points for you. And also, take a peek at our Magnet Marketer’s episode on this very topic. 

Passion

This is the starting point with all things. Who has heard this one before? 

“Oh well, I can manage my own marketing.” 

Okay, that was rhetorical because ANYONE who has spent ANY amount of time in marketing has been told this at one time or another. 

What is this person missing? Passion. 

They may be passionate about their business, but finding someone who truly lives and breathes marketing because they have this innate desire to grow and build and elevate their business or client’s business or brand is the keystone to a strong, successful marketing team. 

NOW Team Dressed Up Passion fuels curiosity. And curiosity leads to constant learning. A successful account manager has to have that constant desire to learn and grow because the way we market seems to change on the daily. There are more platforms, features and functionality than ever before, so having someone with the passion to keep up with the changes is critical. 

That passion fuels strategy and creativity and a desire to show up every day bringing their best. 

Strategic and Creative

“The very first thing you need to look at when you’re thinking about hiring, or bringing in, or doing social media for yourself or for another company, is the strategy that you’re going to use.” - @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Today’s social media manager needs to be a strategist; a photographer; a story-boarder; a writer; a videographer and a community manager. 

Some may think this is a bit contradictory… a bit of a unicorn. Someone who understands the data and can knock out some creativity too. 

NOW Account ManagersMore and more, we are looking to our account managers as the “ideas” guy. This person needs to be able to take a look at web traffic, social engagement numbers, ads performance and see what’s working, what’s not working, what’s staying status quo and be able to create a plan to A) keep pushing what’s working and B) come up with new ideas to fix what isn’t. 

“Different platforms are catered to different industries and business types,” @mike_gingerich (click to tweet)

A strong social media manager understands the importance of creating engaging messages that resonate with the ideal audience. They understand the difference between the platforms available and have a clear sense of the right tone and delivery to use on each of the platforms in order to drive the results they're looking for, whether that be post engagement or website clicks. 

Being able to look at your marketing performance and adjust and create content around what you’re seeing and take action based on numbers is a MUST-HAVE.

“Anyone can put social posts out. But if you actually want a result from it, these are the things that need to happen.” - Jessika Phillips

This is why it’s critical that the individual who is crafting your social strategy is well-versed in the nuances of each social platform.

Anyone can craft a social post. But crafting posts, with no plan to guide them, is useless. 

“All you’re doing is adding to the noise out there,” - @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Without a clear understanding of who the brand is, what their tone of voice is and who the ideal customer is, you’ll fail time and time again to craft content that’s truly meaningful to the audience. 

Adaptability

One key attribute you need for a successful marketing manager is adaptability. 

As platforms change daily and it seems like there is a new “hot” app or channel coming out on the regular, we need to be able to have members of our team who are able to learn about those changes, and those new and improved, hottest, must-be-seen-on platforms, and shift gears.

“An account manager also has to be someone that keeps their finger on the pulse.” - @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Staying up with the trends and evolving features and functionality of each platform is critical in order to be a successful social media manager. 

You must be able to take what you know AND have a willingness to grow and continue to learn because, with marketing, there is a constant learning curve. There is a constant need to build upon what you know and continue to evolve so your team is able to provide the best strategy for your business or your clients. Adaptability ties back to that creative strategist. 

JessikaTesting out new platforms and features is the only way to continue to craft content that educates, entertains and inspires. 

For instance, our team here at NOW has fully embraced TikTok and we’ve been having a ton of fun flexing our creative muscles to come up with engaging and entertaining content for the platform that shows off who we are as a team. 

“Our whole goal with TikTok right now is showing culture.” - @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

The point? Don’t forget to always bring it back to strategy. Ask yourself: what is our goal for using this platform before just diving into the newest trendy place to post. 

Understanding the goals will allow you to be able to best adapt to the trends, and use the data, in order to be able to shift when needed. 

Change your idea of what you THINK you need

Gone are the days that you can get away with having your “niece or nephew who loves social media” manage your pages. 

There are a lot of businesses out there who want one person who can do all things. 

We are the first to admit that we can’t do all of the things. As much as we all would like to be awesome at the strategy and the images and the creative writing and the data analytics and the ads and the and the and the… we aren’t. 

However, we have built a team with diverse talents so while this TEAM of account managers does do all the things, it doesn’t all fall on a single person. There is someone who is excellent at graphics, and another who is really great at videos and another who comes up with great contest ideas. 

So while a successful account manager is someone who needs to be able to wear a lot of hats, building and nurturing their strengths will help the overall team. 

When you think you only need a one-man-band to run the show, maybe think about what your marketing goals are and build a team that can help you best hit those marks. When it comes down to it, why have one person who is spread too thin to really hit the mark on all deliverables, when you can have a team who collectively are amazing at ALL things.

The truth of the matter is, there is a lot that a successful account manager does:

  • Copywriting
  • Posting in real-time
  • Community management/engagement 
  • Analytics
  • Photography
  • Graphic design
  • Videography
  • Research/keeping your finger on the pulse

As we navigate into uncharted territory with our marketing, remember that your marketing team is truly your voice, so as you are building and growing your team be sure that voice is a loud one. And one that can passionately tell your story.

Today’s successful social media account manager is a strategist first, and a community manager, writer, designer, photographer and analyzer second. They understand the importance of diving into data to inform future content as well as the need to stay up to date with the changes in platforms and functionality. 

What do you think? What skills do you think you need to be a successful social media manager in 2020? 

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Tags: social media content, Social Media, social media platform, marketing trends, Social Media Account Manager, digital marketing, social media manager, adaptability, account manager, account management

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