A decade ago, the job “social media strategist” didn’t even exist. Today, close to 80 percent of all businesses use social media, and a lot more opportunities exist within the 20 percent that are slowly adapting to the new internet order.

A social media strategist is in charge of a company’s social media accounts. They create posts, schedules, interact with the audience and create marketing campaigns. A social media strategist is the face of a brand on social media. If you are new to social media marketing or you are an expert looking for fresh ideas behind the job, you are in the right place. We get to discuss all the nitty-gritty details involved with being a social media strategist.

What do you need to be a great social media strategist?

  • Dedication and Discipline.

The job requires great discipline and dedication to start with. In addition to all other marketing skills, discipline and dedication come first. You have to be up when the time for creating posts comes. Also, you have to always be online to ensure you respond to comments and messages in time. Ultimately, you have to follow routines in order to successfully meet the organization’s

  • Organized and efficient. 

Great social media strategists need to be goal-oriented and organized in order to complete the tasks required successfully. Social media strategists are constantly bombarded with questions such as: Am I meeting the daily goals of improving interaction? or Have I set aside enough time to schedule posts?

  • Being a social media strategist will always require that you be on your phone, tablet or laptop.

 You will need reliable internet connection available 24/7. Social media strategists need to have the right tools and applications to assist with content creation and posting. One of my personal favorites is Canva, which enables the creation of customized templates and images.

  • Research-oriented and trendy.

Not only will you be required to respond in time, you will need to know trends when they start. You always have to keep up with trends and be aware of what the competitors are up to on their social media pages. Sometimes, your company’s brand might trend for all the wrong reasons and you may need to save it in the nick of time. It requires the constant following of hashtags, updates and trends pages.

  • Customer service and communication skills. 

Being a social media strategist requires strong communication skills. Social media strategists are required to communicate effectively with different types of people from different locations. Know exactly what to say and when to bring out the humor. I won’t lie, this is by far the hardest task as you will interact with individuals of different temperaments.

  • As a social media strategist, you need to interact with audiences in a playful yet engaging way, unless the brand requires otherwise. 

Effective communication is necessary to successfully convey your brand’s message to its followers. Social media strategists can’t communicate to all types of audiences in a similar manner, so you need to know how to handle different categories of people. Emotional intelligence, clarity, forthrightness, compassion and the ability to stand up and back your company are great soft skills you need to develop.

  • Creativity. 

Social media strategists eat, breathe, and drink creativity. They need to be very creative to produce attractive and relatable content. We often have to think out of the box and step out of our comfort zone in order to create. Be ready to address questions such as: Should this be an infographic? Is it better as a slideshow presentation? Content created should not only attract the attention of the audience but also keep it there. It should be consistent to follow a particular theme that the brand can be identified with.

Average Wage Rate

New York is the highest paying city for social media strategists. The average yearly pay rate is around $66,000. In the US, the average rate is $44,000 yearly and the hourly wage rate is $30.5. In the UK the average salary for a social media strategist is £24,425.

Pros of Being a Social media Strategist

  • Great Exposure. 

    Most social media strategists get to travel and attend high-end corporate events to cover stories and take the required footage. As a result, they get to interact with many people from different industries and form strong networks.

  • Freedom to work from anywhere. 

    You can get your work done from anywhere as long as you have a gadget and great internet access. You can be as mobile as you want as long as you meet the deadlines and time-based schedules.

  • Opportunities. 

    The growth of social media as a great channel for brands to connect with the audience has boosted the increase in jobs and careers within the industry. This assures job security for all social media strategists as their job will be relevant in the coming years.

Cons of Being a Social Media Strategist

  • Conformity To The Brand. 

    As a social media strategist, you will have to always conform to the brand’s opinions, image and mission regardless of your personal opinion. You have to set aside your personal view on issues and support that of the brand you are working for. Mixing them up brings about conflicts of interest.

  • Working Overtime. 

    This may not be your intention or part of your employer’s plan; however, you may often find yourself working overtime with no additional pay. The brand’s audience doesn’t necessarily have a timeframe for making queries, comments or sending messages so you might need to respond at odd, out of office hours.

  • Constantly Changing Job Requirements. 

    You will constantly need to brush up your current set of skills. The different social media platforms, e.g. Facebook and Instagram, are constantly changing their algorithms, which affects ad sets and campaign results. As a result, you will have to constantly take new courses to learn new skills and techniques.

Conclusion

For most people, especially millennials, working in social media sounds like a dream come true. However, being a social media strategist doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get to spend your days goofing around with different filters on Snapchat. You need to work hard to earn your pay. As much as the career may seem lucrative and easy, it comes with a great many responsibilities, as well as the skills discussed above.

If you make the career choice to be a social media strategist then you are going to want to prove that your time isn’t wasted. Show your upper management the ROI from social media efforts by using a stellar social media report! Also stay up-to-date with the latest in social media marketing by subscribing to our weekly newsletter on the right side of this page. #SMSsummit also puts together events 3 times a year – check them out here and join 300+ social media marketing professionals.