Through social media you can now forge a very lucrative career, particularly as it becomes a unique arm of a company’s communications department.

They are many companies that will now pay six figures for the right social media person, but how do you build and maximise your expertise? 
The definition of a social media expert

That's tweeting enormous!

Becoming a social media expert isn’t just about posting to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it is about utilising each of those mediums and others to build a large and loyal audience, as well as creating brand and personal recognition. Social media is not just a numbers game; it is dedicating your time to an audience and establishing a rapport through ongoing and consistent messaging. It is about building engaging content through transmedia platforms.

Once you have developed a clear and concise message, the sky is the limit; your Tweets are shared and favourited; your LinkedIn posts drive you to become an influencer, while Facebook and Instagram steer business in a way you never thought imaginable.

So now you know it’s a numbers game, but how do you generate an audience beyond just sharing and posting content?

1.     Automatic for the people

Automate social media tasks where possible (within reason and without losing your humanity). This includes following back, finding new prospects and sending direct messages. Being automatic will make your life easier in the process.

2.     The direct approach

Setting up direct messages can be a powerful tool. Thanking someone for following you, shows that you are interested in who they are and the relationship you may have with them. It also enables you to send them to other social media outlets to follow you there and notify them of any subscriptions or offers you may have.

3.     Let’s talk about…

There is no value in posting at irregular intervals. We’re not telling you to use up your 250 twitter posts a day, but there is value in regular posting across all social media. And the posts need to be about you, your industry or related to the products and services you are selling. For instance if you are a marketing company you may decide to post regularly about automation or social media use.

4.     Headlines

If you want people to read what you are posting, make them read the headline. Your headline on blogs and LinkedIn announcements needs to stand out. It needs to evoke emotion or interest. Make it snappy. Make it like click bait, without the associated stigma because the content under your headline is, let’s face it, awesome.

5. No retweet, no surrender

When it comes to retweeting, never retreat. Retweeting allows you to give your audience a larger industry picture and information that is useful to them. By retweeting you can complete the story you are trying to tell or message you want to convey.

5.     The chain

Posts that display links to other media including statistics, infographics and related content will always work well. People want to read things that interest them, this includes your own past posts as well. Internal linking can be a powerful tool to drive new readers to old articles, so guide them through the research you have done. They’ll appreciate it.

6.  The Following

If you want to be a cult leader, you need a following. Find people who are relevant to your industry or field and follow them. Then follow those who are following you (to a degree of course, you don’t want to follow back a Nigerian prince or Russian bride, you do need to be a little bit discerning). Make sure you keep your growing list of followers legitimate, numbers are great but credibility is at stake as well.

8. For every season, sell, sell, sell

You are not only social media savvy, you are a marketing specialist and marketing specialists sell. Through social media you are selling you, you are selling your products, you are selling your services. How you go about this – with subtlety or not – is up to you, just understand that you are a salesperson. In fact, we are all salespeople, even if we don’t know it.

What defines a social media expert?

Perhaps expert is the wrong word. There are certainly practitioners with exceptional expertise, but even they will tell you that using them effectively as a business and marketing tool is an evolutionary process. What sets the great apart from the good is that they are willing to learn on a daily basis because the most powerful thing they know is that there is an enormous amount they don’t know.

So what defines a social media expert is their ability to learn and evolve as changes occur.

Editor’s note

The path to social media excellence

I am not going to write about pathways to a particular career here, (and for our Aussie audience it is a little US focused) but Jeff Bullas who has 34,111 likes for jeffbullas.com has a brilliant infographic about How to Become a Social Media Marketing Specialist. Have a read, it’s a comprehensive look at what social media marketers do, how much they earn, its influence and education pathways.

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Jonathan Jackson

Jonathan Jackson is an experienced editor and writer who has worked in print and digital media for almost 20 years.

Jonathan has edited titles across a range of industries including sports and lifestyle, health, trade and business and finance. Among these titles are Soccer International, Women’s Fitness and Health, Wealth Creator, Think & Grow Rich, Your Trading Edge and Business First of which he is currently the managing editor.

Jonathan has also written two books: Offside - The Wild Side of Soccer and Australia's Wealth Creators.

He is the Media and Content Manager for Marketing Eye.

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