Remember the days when building a strong, captive social media following was as simple as engaging your followers in valuable discussions and sharing super relevant content? Back then, disseminating thought leadership and responding quickly to questions and comments virtually guaranteed you could build relationships and generate leads.
Today, building a strong, captive social following is a much more complicated process.
In fact, many companies’ efforts are now being undermined by the major social channels’ attempts to monetize user activity. These monetization strategies have led to numerous algorithm changes — particularly on Facebook, but more recently on Twitter and Instagram, too — that make it far more difficult to organically appear in your followers’ feeds.
The Role of a Social Media Specialist
This doesn’t mean social media is no longer a viable channel for organic engagement, relationship building, and lead generation, or that you can just ignore it altogether. To the contrary, I’d argue that it’s more important than ever to participate on social media.
The reality is that getting attention and building relationships on social media does take more time and effort than it used to. This means that your business may need to implement more advanced social media strategies managed by a skilled resource.
Enter: Social media specialists.
Whether you hire this role in-house or outsource it to an agency, a social media specialist can help your company stand out in today’s cluttered social space. By staying up-to-date on algorithmic changes and trends, this role allows you to develop unique communication strategies for each channel to drive engagement and leads.
In fact KLA Group offers several options that can get your social media up and running, and take it to the next level. Our service is called BEST Social Media Management, and we’ll make sure that your company gets discovered, your audience is engaged, and we enable you to convert new prospects. KLA Group’s BEST Social Media Management gives you 100% custom content and strategy, white glove premium service.
8 Skills Every Social Media Specialist Needs to Succeed
Here is our checklist of the 8 skills that I advise companies to look for, whether they’re hiring the role in-house or outsourcing it to an agency like our own:
- Deep understanding of the strategies that work for each social channel. Each social channel has its own unique qualities and users interact with them differently. A social media specialist must be able to develop a strategy with distinct goals for each social channel you’ll engage on.
- Willingness to provide lead generation support in real-time. More than simply liking and retweeting, your social media specialist must seek out opportunities to engage and converse, directly via the appropriate social channel. Through engagement they drive people to your website to download an ebook, read your latest blog post, and sign up for more.
- Ability to develop content. Social content is very different than web content, and engagement starts with interesting content. This person must be able to create original content for social media, including comments, images, and abbreviated blog posts as well as adapt existing content. Great social media specialists are able to boil content down into snippets that can be used across your social channels.
- Analytical mind that can track social media metrics. While it can be difficult to attribute social activity to B2B sales results, there are social media metrics that can demonstrate how social media is contributing to lead generation. Your social media specialist should be able to evaluate these metrics and use them to adapt your social goals and strategy as well as demonstrate social media ROI.
- Process for converting social conversations into sales leads. It isn’t enough to engage in a conversation. Social media specialists must come prepared with approaches to convert engagement into conversations, then first appointments with a closed-loop lead passing process.
- Ability to inspire cross-functional social media involvement. Great social media specialists get everyone on your staff involved in the social media strategy by educating them and giving them instructions on what (and what not) to do. Best of all, they show your staff how to leverage their networks for broader company visibility.
- Live “tweeting” experience. If you host webinars or live events frequently, hosting a Twitter chat during digital events keeps participants engaged and expands your reach to followers who aren’t attending. Your social media specialist should know how to live tweet and use hashtags, participant ids to be visible to the channel at large.
- Social advertising and paid promotions experience. While the primary goal of social media is organic engagement, the reality is that paid social advertising and promotion play an important role in expanding your reach and generating leads. Your social media specialist should be able to develop and implement a plan for incorporating social ads into your strategy when appropriate.
So, that’s my list from years of experience working with companies to develop and execute social media lead generation strategies. Are there other skills that you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts below. Then connect with me on Twitter @KendraLeeKLA, LinkedIn at Kendra Lee, and Facebook at KLA Group.
If we should be working together to have KLA Group manage your social media more effectively, give me a shout at [email protected] or call us at 303-741-6636 and let’s discuss your vision.