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What Does a Social Media Specialist Do?

By Alex Newth
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A social media specialist is a freelance or full-time worker who maintains and expands a client’s social networking presence. Keeping profiles and all information current, especially for dynamic clients, is a key task of a social media specialist. Social networks thrive on interesting posts, and a specialist must come up with entertaining or at least interesting content to bring in traffic. While posting content on a social network account has its own benefits, the specialist must grow the account by adding followers. Oftentimes, people will comment on updates posted on the social network page, and it is the specialist's job to react to these comments to engage readers.

Stale social networking accounts that rarely change often get little traffic and few followers. It is the specialist’s job to ensure the page is constantly changing and current. This may mean adding posts about a new product or just changing the client's social networking mood. If an account isn't kept up to date, then people will often stop following the page, which decreases the business’s online presence and may sacrifice potential sales. Most clients will have social networking pages on several social networks, and the specialist will usually have to maintain all of them.

A social media specialist can help his or her client simply by posting content, which creates search engine backlinks, but it often is better if people actually read the posted content. This means the specialist must grow the client’s presence by getting people to follow the social networking page. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including asking people to join, joining other accounts and asking that the holders of those accounts reciprocate, and adding content that people find interesting.

People who use social networks commonly look for interesting posts to read. To draw in the most followers and readers, a social media specialist must come up with entertaining content. This also must be done in a timely manner, whether daily, weekly or monthly. Posting on a schedule builds followers’ anticipation, because they will expect to see new content at a certain time.

After content is posted, or if there are any changes to the client’s social networking page, followers will typically comment. While the social media specialist is not expected to answer every comment — this could take days for popular pages — the specialist must make an effort to react to some comments, especially interesting ones. Followers will appreciate receiving a reaction, and this will show that the client’s business is willing to reach out to its customers.

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Discussion Comments

By bythewell — On Jun 20, 2014

@irontoenail - Most of the accounts I follow offer discounts, not entertainment. I think the most important thing is to be a good person and to be consistent and willing to engage with customers, rather than just trying to be edgy.

The people who use social media are fairly savvy about how it works and they are going to see right through anything that isn't quite genuine.

By irontoenail — On Jun 19, 2014

@pleonasm - I think the problem is that with some companies there is a fine line between edgy and stupid. You can't completely shackle your social media people, or you end up with a very boring account that no one wants to follow.

The whole point is to be just controversial or interesting enough to get people listening. I think sometimes people just overshoot the mark.

By pleonasm — On Jun 18, 2014

This can really make or break your company. Because if your social media specialist says the wrong thing on Facebook or Twitter, it can quickly go viral and the average person will see it as a company view.

There have been examples of prominent companies that had an intern say something racist or sexist or whatever as a joke and lost a lot of business over it. Because people will keep that mistake around online forever and it will be referenced over and over until it is associated with the company. Even if the person who makes the comment is fired and the company apologizes, they may never live it down.

So it's vital to make sure your social media specialist really knows what they are doing and aren't going to say anything stupid.

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