How Large Will Your Social Media Manager’s Department Be?

Has anyone noticed the rash of jobs ads for Social Media Managers lately? It seems that many of the larger companies and corporations are deciding that 100k per year for someone to manage their social media campaign is well worth the investment. Although there has been some discussion as to whether ‘Social Media Manager’ is a misnomer (see – Why the Heck do We Need a Social Media Manager?), it seems to work for those seeking to employ people to manage their social media campaigns, namely individual companies or agencies with client-company campaigns to manage.   So unless someone suggests a better term then ‘Social Media Manager’ it is.

Either way, one can’t help wondering if those individuals are going to be handling all the day-to-day posting, tweeting, commenting and befriending themselves, or whether they will have a team of people under them to do that.  The social media world is an increasing complex and fragmented one.  You may be able to hone down the key influencers and communities that encompass the ‘worlds’ your customers engage in, but that still may include dozens of different networks, blogs and forums.  Not only must you monitor and engage in all that day-to-day chatter (which could be considerable if you have thousands of customers), but you also have to be able to measure the effectiveness of that engagement!  It is doubtful if a lone individual could possibly cope with all that – at least not without going totally insane! Obviously, having a tool like Social Smart, where several people can contribute to the effort of managing a multi-channel campaign through one dashboard portal, is an enormous help. At least all the in-flow comes to one place and much of the out-flow can be built from preset messaging snippets.  But, with or without such a tool, I would be very interested in hearing from Social Media Managers, or prospective Social Media Managers, about their perspective on how many staff it takes to manage different levels of campaign – either through experience or expectation. Obviously there will be considerable variability in terms of campaign size, but that is why the question is worth asking. I think the responses would make for interesting and insightful reading.
We would also like to invite interested parties to join our Social-smart LinkedIn Group and, in particular, our ‘Social Media Managers’ Sub Group where we encourage you to share such insight.

Either way, one can’t help wondering if those individuals are going to be handling all the day-to-day posting, tweeting, commenting and befriending themselves, or whether they will have a team of people under them to do that so they can concentrate on achieving company/client goals.  The social media world is an increasing complex and fragmented one.  You may be able to hone down the key influencers and communities that encompass the ‘worlds’ your customers engage in, but that still may include dozens of different networks, blogs and forums.  Not only must you monitor and engage in all that day-to-day chatter (which could be considerable if you have thousands of customers), but you also have to be able to measure the effectiveness of that engagement!  It is doubtful if a lone individual could possibly cope with all that – at least not without going totally insane!

Obviously, having a tool like Social Smart, where several people can contribute to the effort of managing a multi-channel campaign through one dashboard portal, is an enormous help. At least all the in-flow comes to one place and much of the out-flow can be built from preset messaging snippets.  But, with or without such a tool, I would be very interested in hearing from Social Media Managers, or prospective Social Media Managers, about their perspective on how many staff it takes to manage different levels of campaign – either through experience or expectation.

Obviously there will be considerable variability in terms of campaign size, but that is why the question is worth asking. “Before we can discuss ROI, we first need to understand the proportions of the investment required“, Brian Solis so insightfully wrote in his post for PR 2.0,Unveiling the New Influencers‘ yesterdayI think the responses would make for interesting reading.

We would also like to invite interested parties to join our Social-smart LinkedIn Group and, in particular, our ‘Social Media Managers’ Sub Group where we encourage you to share such insights with fellow professionals and potential employers alike.

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3 Responses to How Large Will Your Social Media Manager’s Department Be?

  1. Just when you think you got something mastered in Social Media it gets more complicated. A social media manager must be flexible and move quicker than the herd.

  2. Cory Huff says:

    We are just getting started the social media realm, and it’s a little bit daunting to think about getting all of our data together, finding out where we currently stand, and then creating a plan for our future. Right now it’s one person. In the near future, it could easily be 2 – 3 people. If we continue our current growth path, it could be double that in a year.

  3. Jasper Blake says:

    Thanks Cory – when you get your plan together let us know how you see that workload divided. A lot about social media is great in theory, and that is what most people hear about. A bit of practical insight would help a lot of people I think.

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