With over 68% of brand-side marketers having or planning to have internal resources dedicated to social media, the need for social media consultants is rising.
Whether you are managing social media for a brand as a one-man-show or have a more robust internal team of resources – we’ve seen a tangible and measurable benefit to consulting with brands on their social media execution and strategy.
Before we dive into the different types of social media consultants, let’s start with answering the most obvious but important question – Why do you need one in the first place?
We’ve heard from many brand-side marketers that having a third-party perspective on their social media strategy and execution is tremendously helpful.
Here are just a few of the areas that we commonly hear are valuable for brand-side marketers to have a consultant help with:
Ensuring social media execution ladders up to tangible business results and KPI’s that can be understood by senior managementProviding an audit of current activities and identifying key areas of optimization and opportunityGaining cross-industry insight on how to take current social efforts to the next levelWhat Type of Social Media Consultants Do I Need?
We know there are a lot of “social media experts” out there and it can be difficult to determine the type of consultant or team of consultants you need.
Since social media can be complex and have multiple facets – we typically recommend a combination of consultants when tackling an audit or developing a holistic social media strategy. This variety of skillsets and expertise helps ensure that the consulting is valuable from both a high-level directional standpoint and can be carried out from an execution, resourcing, and budget standpoint.
Social Media Strategist
A social media strategist is responsible for looking at how the entire social media strategy ladders up to business objectives and generates KPI’s that matter for the brand.
This person may have a background in a specialty area such as community management, content creation, or even paid media, but their role as a social media consultant is to consider how all the pieces fit together and contribute to metrics that matter to the brand.
A community manager is typically responsible for reactive and proactive engagement within social channels, in addition to publishing content, editorial planning, and working to build customer advocacy on a day-in-day-out basis.
Because experts in this role stay particularly close to new channel updates and are grounded in the realities of customer conversations, platform nuances, and realities of execution – this role is helpful to understand how a strategy may be executed and what roadblocks, tools, or resources may need to be leveraged to carry it out.
With the increased importance of high-quality content on social channels, a content producer can help consult on the best way to bring a brand to life visually and through the brand’s social voice.
This role can help audit areas of improvement and opportunity for a brand’s content and creative approach. By developing and identifying a visual identity, social voice, and content strategy for a brand’s content on social, a brand can better cut through the clutter in a busy newsfeed and ensure increased engagement, click-throughs, and results.
Paid Media Strategist
With the increased importance of high quality, content development comes the importance of a paid media strategy designed to best support it.
Having a paid media strategist who is actively buying and optimizing across a variety of social media channels helps to inform the amount of social media budget needed to reach particular goals and objectives, refine audience targeting, and plan budget across a variety of social platforms. These strategists are also helpful to keep a pulse on the latest ad unit opportunities and priorities of the platforms to help inform a brand’s content strategy.
Social Media Analyst
Last but certainly not least, a social media analyst is helpful to help consult on measurable goals and KPI’s for success for a brand in social.
This is a critical area where third-party perspective is extremely helpful. By working with a social media analyst that understands the impact of algorithms, paid media, content types, and platform changes, measurable goals can be set that help optimize and showcase the value of social media activities. This insight can be critical to highlight a much-needed strategic shift, help decide which activities are worth continuing or showcase an area of opportunity.
We hope this helps clarify what gaps you might need to fill in order to take your social media to the next level.