Rewinding just a few years ago, social media marketing was largely viewed as the latest buzzword in business, with just larger organisations with budget dipping their toes into the waters, hiring a specialised external marketing agency to see what all the fuss was about.
Fast-forward to today and it’s fair to say that social media marketing is being taken a lot more seriously, with businesses big and small from mom-and-pop stores and fledging start-ups to global conglomerates benefitting from the value it provides. Previously, business CEOs and even CMOs might have been reluctant to invest in someone who focused solely on this little thing called ‘social media’. Today, the demand for social media experts and skills is increasing at its highest rate.
Just last year, LinkedIn reported a 63 percent increase in marketing jobs over a 6 month period, showcasing that even despite a global pandemic, marketing roles have been increasingly in-demand. The perceived value of social media by today’s businesses is further exemplified looking at the hard numbers on social media and ad spend. In 2022, the total social media advertising spending by US companies is expected at just under a whopping $63 billion.
As ad spend, consumer time spent on social, and the value of social media increases, as does the demand for highly skilled social media managers.
Why the demand for highly skilled social media managers?
As businesses across all industries — from blockchain to bakeries — discover the value of social media as a tool to increase brand awareness, connect with customers, increase brand loyalty and more, it’s no wonder that the need for social media managers has skyrocketed. Let’s dig a little deeper into the reasons behind the growing demand.
#1 — Social media marketing skills are diverse
In the past, social media marketing was typically relegated to interns and junior employees. It was a business area that was eventually considered a necessity but certainly not a strategic, highly-regarded function.
Many were (and still are) quick to dismiss social media as self-obsessed silliness. A place to share memes, selfies, and images of our beloved ‘doggos’. And of course, those who worked in the social media department just sat around all day snapping pictures and posting them. The truth is, the social media manager of today is required to be a deep generalist. Someone who is skilled in a variety of multiple areas. They are copywriters, photographers, graphic designers, video editors, data analysts and customer service reps. In fact today, social media managers are often heralded as the next-generation of CMOs.
With these skills leading to increased website traffic, lead generation, and ultimately, sales, why wouldn’t the demand for social media experts with diverse skills be at an all-time high?
#2 — The skills needed for social media marketing is in demand right now
We’ve mentioned that the demand for social media managers is today at an all-time high, but why exactly is this?
One reason social media services are so sought after can be attributed to the Coronavirus pandemic. When Covid-19 hit, businesses across the world had no option but to digitally transform – with research finding that the pandemic sped up the adoption of digital technologies by several years.
Local brick and mortar stores that had never before felt the need for a digital presence suddenly had to whip up a website and provide an online service in order to survive. Adding to this was the large number of new businesses that popped up in a response to the pandemic. And so entered the increasing need for social media managers and experts to help these businesses navigate new roads and find success in the digital world.
#3 — Social media marketing skills are needed now and in the future
Today’s forward-thinking brands have realised the need for social media as a valuable tool, with the diverse skill set involved in the profession absolutely essential in today’s competitive business landscape. Quite frankly, those businesses that aren’t putting effort into a social media strategy will struggle to grow.
The brands of today are also under constant pressure when it comes to content creation. They are witnessing their strongest competitors regularly putting out powerful, high-quality social media content that connects with their target audience. They are having to deal with changing algorithms that are making it harder than ever for brands to increase reach — not to mention the constant trends, updates and new social platforms being added into the mix. Just mastered your Instagram strategy? Great! But you’re already behind if you aren’t on TikTok.
This constant output needed by brands of course falls onto the marketing team, and largely the social media manager who is expected to navigate the digital world that never sleeps. Adding to this is the fact that technology and digital experiences will only increase, not decrease. We only have to take a peek at the Metaverse and the huge opportunities for the digital realm pending to understand that. And so demand for those with social media and digital skills will continue to rise — no longer an afterthought, but rather an invaluable role necessary for success.
Combatting the pressure that comes with the increased demand
As demand for social media and content creation skills increases, so too does the mounting pressure on social media managers. To help combat the stress that can come with the demand, we recommend the following tips and tricks:
Take advantage of all-in-one content creation platforms: Unless you have a dedicated designer and video editor, a large part of a social media manager’s role is to create highly engaging content across a wide variety of formats, from Facebook posts and Instagram stories to TikTok videos and GIFs. This can be an important but highly time-consuming task. Fortunately, there are many powerful content creation editors available today such as Slate, that provide a super seamless platform in which to create this content all in one place. Create impressive content better than your competitors while saving heaps of time? Um, yes please!
Outsource tasks: With today’s social media managers having such a diverse skill set, they can often feel under pressure to deal with a boatload of marketing tasks. But in reality, this isn’t sustainable. While not every business can afford to build out a large marketing team, we’re seeing an increase in marketing managers enlisting the help of freelance marketers and creatives to help ease the workload and drive the vision of the business. This offers a low-risk, cost-effective and flexible solution to dealing with the demand, with social media managers having the option to scale up and scale down on outsourcing depending on business needs.
Automate where possible: If outsourcing or a dedicated social media marketing team isn’t an option, then automation may just become your bestest buddy. The vast list of tasks to get through on a daily basis can become daunting. Fortunately, in recent years the marketing Gods have listened and served up some fantastic social media marketing solutions to help us tired folk out. From social media scheduling tools that automate posting to using RSS to share relevant industry content — when used correctly, automation can truly increase your reach without putting an extra burden on the marketing team.
Interested in learning more about how Slate can help transform your social media content workflow? Here’s how our content creation platform works – tried, tested and loved by some of the biggest brands in sports & entertainment!