Five Parts of the Social Media Pro’s Job

Are you interested in working in social media at some point in your career? With new channels like Snapchat and Periscope popping up all the time, you can be sure that there will always be new things to learn and master.

Below are five aspects of a social media practitioner’s job – some of which you may have never considered. They’re split into proactive and reactive tasks, because – just like traditional public relations – it’s impossible to anticipate and plan for everything!


Community Management

This is a social media practitioner’s bread and butter, and it’s where he or she truly gets to have fun. Planning and organizing content calendars, drafting copy for tweets and posts, responding to fans and followers and engaging with influencers all comprises community management.

Certain software platforms make these actions more efficient for brands. Hootsuite is a great place to start, but more enterprise-level solutions like Spredfast or Sprout Social allow teams to collaborate and maintain many accounts simultaneously.

Paid Social

Social media may have used to be a “free” marketing tool, but certainly no more. Facebook may use the most pay-to-play model, but other platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram are getting bigger and bigger pieces of marketing budgets’ pies

Running paid campaigns on social media can drive amazing results – from engagement, to website traffic to video views. And the targeting options brands have today are incredibly advanced. Paid social media is making it much easier for social media practitioners to show the value or ROI of their work.

Employee Advocacy

More and more, social media is less about what a brand publishes themselves and more about what others publish about them. And employees are one of the biggest groups of people brands are beginning to tap to share messages and content on their behalf.

Especially in the case of larger companies with massive employee-bases, tools like LinkedIn Elevate or Dynamic Signal can help brands with this employee advocacy effort. But training employees on how to use social media effectively and appropriately is an equally important piece of this puzzle.


Real-Time Marketing

Ever since “The Oreo Moment,” brands everywhere have tried to find the most popular, trending conversations and share their own unique perspective. Sometimes, it’s easy to see these conversations coming – especially in the case of big events like the Grammy’s or the Superbowl. But other times, viral trends like #TheDress sweep the socialsphere without any advanced warning.

Designing a social team with the skills and autonomy to develop content in real time and publish their perspectives within minutes is difficult, but often pays off. Read more about how brands do it in Trendology by Chris Kerns.

Social Listening

Last, but certainly not least, social media practitioners need to listen to the online conversation. And that’s not as easy as running a few Twitter searches each day; with the incredible amount of chatter happening on social platforms every single day, we need smart software to help us find the most relevant discussions.

Tools like Synthesio or Sysomos are able to identify trending conversations that brands need to be aware of. Many times, crisis communications efforts begin when a single tweet is flagged. Then, brands need to monitor the volume of the conversation, injecting their own messaging when appropriate to influence its sentiment.

The work of a social media practitioner is exciting and always evolving. Which of these aspects of the job are the most appealing to you?

Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is an Account Executive at Text100 and a College at Brockport alum. He is currently serving as PRSA Rochester’s President and also volunteers with the Young PR Professionals group. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or learn more about him in PRSA Rochester’s Advisory Network.

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