Professional profile of social media manager: Can't anyone do that !?

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Everyone can do social media - right? That is a common prejudice. But what exactly does a successful social media manager need? Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Katharina A. Heder Best of HR –®Katharina Heder is Digital Media Manager and Consultant.


The risk of a trend career and its impact

Having become aware of some discussions on the topic, I will take a closer look at the job description of the social media manager. Is it really “just” about using social networks or is there something more to the term social media manager? Who the current tendencies of Company would like to assess the job description of the social media manager, it is difficult to bring different developments to a common denominator.

On the one hand, more and more digital specialists are emerging for even the smallest of tasks. On the other hand, many well-known names pour into companies and permanent positions. So where are the many social media managers heading? When I did my first post for Best of HR –® wrote, I referred to the inflationary number of social media managers who are being fired from various further training courses in batches. In the past year, a large part of my contributions dealt with the differentiation of the job description and the specialization as an expert. These are now receiving attention because the job description is currently changing. It's time to act:

The end of digitization is the return to the state before

Vincent Stuhlen, Global Head of Digital at L'Oreal, said in an interview with CMO that there are two developments that are conditional. On the one hand, he is quoted, data and its strategic evaluation and use require new experts who are familiar with it. On the other hand, he sees a backward integration: digital experts become part of classic corporate areas.

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If you take this idea further, it will mark an end point of digitization that many experts have not seen in recent years. Accordingly, the corporate structure would continue to exist. The integration of experts for digital processes in these structures would bring the associated knowledge into the departments. The advantages of social business are thus reduced to the use of social software. The dream of flexible work forces would have burst - from the point of view of idealists in the new working world.

What will remain of the idea of ​​the digital enterprise

If you continue this thought, the first signs of such a development can already be seen. Many social media managers, who were considered pioneers in specialist circles, are giving up their independence to work in companies. There they take on responsibility for digitization, which is essentially characterized by the explanation of online and the derivation of strategies for companies to respond to. A radical rethink in the sense of a break with existing structures has not yet arrived in Germany.

At the same time, the integration of digital knowledge into existing business processes also means that the economy starts with a new way of thinking. The backward integration of expertise into existing departments can be seen as an opportunity for change on its own. For example, one of the biggest problems facing corporations is that measures taken so far to implement a digital strategy are only supported by part of the staff. The merger of thought leaders and avoiders could trigger a significant boost in innovation. In fact - and this is shown by many conjunctive portrayals - this seems to be the pious hope of the social media manager.

Content is not equal to content

The social media manager is responsible for the content and use of the various company appearances: Whether at Facebook, on the blog or on Google Plus, the social media manager is the company's first point of contact. In order for the first impression to succeed, it is important to offer content that appeals to the target group.

Social media is nothing more than a digital business card and it needs appropriate content in addition to information about the company: Whether it is about an introduction of the employees or a competition or facts about the company is not decisive. It is important that the company's communication strategy is also applied there.

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Further training is different and occupations are the same

Anyone who now thinks that a further education qualifies him or herself to deal with these complex fields of activity, is said to be the most knowledge gained from practical activity. In this respect, it does not help to show a certificate, which shows a degree as Social Media Manager.

Whether references can solve this problem can also be questioned: In the core, only the work on a project can not be read by a reference, but the content competence for certain areas of activity can be read.

Social media deserves respect

Anyone who thinks about whether social media can really do anybody and whether this is a simple job has to admit to themselves that one thing should be clear on the basis of the tasks and fields of activity outlined: Everyone can not do that. It takes a lot of experience and tact to manage a social media channel wisely and seemingly easy.

At the core, you ultimately grow in practice and your own mistakes. In this respect, you should start your own project as a part of the training: this may not have to be an own company appearance, but a loving hobby or interest. The advantage of this is that one always speaks of the same perspective - and who says that this does not even lead to a job?

What is left for Social Media Manager?

In the end, a change of mindset remains for the social media managers:

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  1. Specialize yourself! This can only be the active debate with apps and data this year. It is about acquiring strategic skills that go beyond pure social media management.
  2. Be prepared! Change requires a certain openness to the things that change itself. Therefore, a certain amount of waiting and patience is indispensable for the working social networks.
  3. Away from the computer - to life! The Internet offers a whole range of ideas possibilities. The fewest social media managers have tried to strategically capture the market in recent years. A first step towards this can be a visit to newly opened shops in order to meet their needs first hand. Making is the new online.

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  1. My reply to the current discussion about the role of social media managers: The battle is not yet over! | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES

    [...] was once again heavily disputed about the job description of the social media manager: First I wrote about it here in the blog. Then you have BERUFEBILDER. DE - author Johannes Lenz emphasizes the importance of enthusiasm [...]

  2. sush2002

    RT @SimoneJanson: Social media can everyone? Exciting discusion. #SocialMediaManager

  3. SimoneJanson

    Everyone can do social media? Exciting discussion about #SocialMediaManager between @danielsonfly & @ handball2Null

  4. Katharina Daniels

    Dear Mrs. Heder,

    Thank you again for your quick response. I am pleased about your so decided to respond to my comment.

    It is always such a thing with terms, especially when a very complex variety of interpretations is hidden behind them - such as the concept of willingness to learn.
    My considerations were aimed at showing a willingness to get involved in new manners that result from the very specific combination of this (compared to our evolutionary development) very new communication medium with archetypal behavioral patterns. I find that much more comprehensive than observing your own community. This is where the tremendous speed of message transmission meets with an actually intangible “resonance” amount (who is actually reading everything?) And even less tangible moods.

    Manners are then a branch that grows out of this constellation with enormous explosive power (we have all already experienced what Twitter storms can trigger) - and thus of course part of communication.

    The decency seems to me to be an important factor here: the decency, for example, not to hide behind fake profiles in order to gain advantages for yourself. The decency to set keywords that really have to do with the matter, the decency to avoid electronic "post-pushing", for example crosslinks appropriately, in order to set more than the pure ranking sake.

    That's what I meant by this strange amalgamation of technique and decency that produces a new intelligence. In the meantime, search engines are increasingly registering “cunning”, even reacting a little “over”, for example, when posts with identical words placed several times are identified as robots, even if they are not.

    Here I am learning really incessantly, since I have ventured into the world of blogs, forums, high-speed news channels :-) And since I have been editorial editor for almost half a year now the blog

    What the “social” actually means in social media can certainly be discussed excellently. Basically, it's really quite simple that the social-interpersonal component comes into play here. For me it also means the entire environment, of which I have just named some components, as I understand them

    Yes, and the demarcation between benefits and advertising goes m. E. deeply into the entire self-image of a self-expression - the electronic platform is really only the "sound carrier" here. What of what I have to communicate (be it as an individual, as a company, etc.) is of benefit to the other in the broadest sense? Isn't there, in the deepest, almost atavistic, understanding of each showing a kind of advertising for yourself, your thoughts, your possible concerns etc .. ???

    Greetings to you, Katharina Daniels

    • Katharina Heder

      Dear Ms. Daniels,

      thank you also for your great response. I just want to say one thing or two.

      1. You write yourself that practice leads you to learn. That was exactly the main point in my article: An apprenticeship alone is not enough. It is the daily, recurring - if not to say permanent - routine that keeps us plunging into new shallows. As of today I know what Gzip is and why my blog doesn't have that or it doesn't even work - these learning experiences, which require a willingness to learn, always take us into new worlds - for me that of SEO.

      Ironically, I am actively and observing others that these are not even burdened with setbacks and frustration, but seemingly learning is much easier.

      2. To be honest, I still miss the decency of the internet in some people. I see social networks as a concentration of the most diverse communities, which (can) overlap. In this respect, there is also an (unwanted / unplanned) exclusion of the “others”, own norms, values ​​and behavior patterns. If I move in the company of my closest friends, one would certainly hear one or the other statement from me that I would not place in everyday professional life.

      That's why I'm currently thinking about the interpretation of social in social media: If you look in the Duden, there are three approaches, which, however, emphasize different aspects. In my eyes - based on the current state of knowledge - the social is a shortening of what was actually meant: communication / exchange. It's about friends, it's about people and it's about conversations - that's how I look at things right now. In this respect, I think that it's about more than just decency - understanding social media means for me to merge technical functionalities with human characteristics supplemented by informal rules. A big undertaking in which something always goes wrong.

      Best Regards

      • Katharina Daniels

        Dear Mrs. Heder,

        we are getting closer to each other in great strides. As a result, I have the impression that we are very close in terms of views and insights, etc. Interesting now at the example of our little exchange here I find once again the so diverse, indeed countless, current thresholds in communication.

        A slightly different weighting, a thought in a different context, a slightly different term connotation - and the flow of communication branches off a bit - or branches off.

        A communication scientist who really impressed me, Franco Rest from the University of Dortmund, is doing research specifically on communication and its cultural and historical roots. Communication is derived from the Latin communicare - from doing something together (communis) to discussing - but there is probably also the word component “moenia” in it, entrenchments, walls: By exchanging ideas, we ensure that we belong together behind the protective walls that we put up to protect ourselves from potential adversaries. When one form of communication (no matter how minor the differences) meets another, it is hardly surprising that there are often translation difficulties even in a common mother tongue.

        And then we extrapolate the whole thing to the communication universe on the net ...... the challenges are practically growing at a rate that overtakes itself, and what we call social media today may be assessed completely differently tomorrow, who knows?

        With cordial greetings (and maybe our meeting will continue sometimes) Katharina Daniels

  5. scheidtweilerpr

    Berufsbild #SocialMedia Manager: Social Media can anybody !? via @SimoneJanson

  6. Katharina Daniels

    In the end, the success of social media management is also a question of empathy (which is interesting for the potential recipient of a message?), The flexibility (adapt the viewpoints to the needs) and the willingness to learn (which rules and the self-growing laws out?). The technique itself is no more and no less than the pure hand tool.

    Especially in terms of willingness to learn or Newly growing laws seem to me to “give birth” to the whole virtual world in a kind of emergent process (a new property develops out of the middle), whose parents feel decency (how do we deal with each other?) and technology are.

    I find it fascinating how new manners are established on the Internet, when crosslinks are a real benefit, or the suspicion of pure advertising, in which form content is used several times, etc.

    • Katharina Heder

      Dear Ms. Daniels,

      thank you first for your interesting thoughts which I would like to answer:

      It was first and foremost important for me to work out that references and certificates can not replace the practice or, without concrete practice with self-responsibility, are not really helpful for the decision about the occupation of a position.

      In this respect, I agree with your statement of the tool social media basically. I would however just understand the point of learning willingness differently: Learning-willing in the sense of constant further education, a functioning monitoring in the daily noise and the exchange with colleagues appear to me on this point more important than the observing attention of the own community, which I understand rather empathy.

      Furthermore, I find it a little hard to limit social media to the new laws and evolving forms of dealing. I understand social media as communication and, as in any other conversation, they form rules and patterns through the exchange. At the same time, I see less the feeling for decency than in the foreground. In fact, it seems to me as if the question of what this social in social media is at all is still unanswered.

      At the same time, one should actively pursue and take into account these situations (empathy). I find the point of utility and advertising very interesting: I've been thinking about it several times, but I have not seen any regularity. Do you have an idea?


  7. Martin Bludau

    “Experience and fingertip feeling” RT “@simonejanson Job description Social Media Manager: Everyone can do social media !? "

  8. ChrisArnecke

    RT @SimoneJanson: Job Profile Social Media Manager: Social Media Anyone Can !?

  9. communications9

    RT @SimoneJanson: Job Profile Social Media Manager: Social Media Anyone Can !?

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