Be a Social Media Manager


5 Aug 2011
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If writing a blog comes naturally to you, if your Facebook profile is the center of activity, if you have a huge following on Twitter, if you have more videos on YouTube than your peers, then social media management is just the right career for you.
You will find that almost every brand today has a presence on one of the many social networking sites. And it’s not just a happy coincidence or some brand aficionado who is doing it for them. Social networking today forms a crucial part of companies' marketing and communication strategies. Having a social media manager is no longer a fad, given that over 50 percent of the world’s population is under 30 years-old and spends the better half of their day on social networking sites. Increasingly, companies are looking for dynamic young people who know their way across the various social platforms and have the ability to communicate well to manage their virtual image.

According to Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO WATMedia Pvt Ltd, social media in India has taken a serious turn over the years. It’s still at a very nascent stage but more and more companies have started investing their money on social media. He says, “There are 71 million Internet users in India according to the IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) report in 2009. Approximately 22 million people are active on social media. Looking at these numbers, it’s important to understand that these users would be sharing information about various brands, which could be positive or negative experiences.”

He states further, “These users create pages of their favorite brands and start conversations which can be harmful as these won’t be the official presence. Thus, it’s important to have a social media manager who will look into these pages/conversations, will manage them and create official presence of their brands on social media. A social media manager is required also because social media is two–way communication platform, thus enabling users to communicate their feelings about the brand. A crisis situation can be well handled on social media with the presence of a social media manger.”

“Anyone from a communications background with a fair knowledge of the Internet can become a social media manager. Apart from that, and from personal experience, anyone with street smarts and common sense can become one. And hard work of course! The starting salary can be between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000. The growth prospects are huge since the social media concept has taken everyone by storm, especially all the marketing and advertising agencies in the world. Every such agency has an in-house team, and if they don’t have one, they outsource it to smaller agencies. In the past 12 months, my own startup company has seen a 600% growth, with an addition of two members to the team every month.”
- Aditya Rao, Co-founder and Director,
Social Business Strategy, Superchooha

“Experience in this field as a social media executive is necessary to graduate to the level of a social media manager. The ideal candidate should be proficient with Microsoft Office products, must have a deep knowledge of online marketing, must possess excellent communication and writing skills. He should also have the ability to manage multiple priorities in a limited timeframe. He should be able to identify threats and opportunities, and make quick decisions. Of course, he should have a deep knowledge and understanding of all social media platforms. Social media is an upcoming field and therefore the career growth of an individual depends on his/her capability and interest in this field. The salary model is based mostly on the PR model.”
- Rajiv Dingra, Founder and
CEO WATMedia Pvt Ltd.
“Anyone who's passionate about the web and understands the flow of conversations between people can become a social media manager. The industry is a fast evolving one and a lot of PR/advertising/digital and specialist social media agencies, along with many brands, are looking at having social media specialists. Growth is totally dependant on you. You could go ahead and become digital heads in agencies, become entrepreneurs employing social media in your activities, become consultants, community managers to brands, etc. Salaries are typically based on experience. I wouldn't advice joining a formal training program at this stage. Get on the job and explore your interests in social media. It's the best training module available.”
- Robin Jacob Abraham,
Solutions Architect, Drizzlin Media

“Social media is a specialized subject and one needs to have a good understanding of the medium in terms of technology as well as in terms of understanding how social media communications need to be created. Thinking of social media like mass media, communication is the biggest hurdle. One has to unlearn some of the mass media communication principles in order to be successful in social media. On the personal front, if one is an introvert, then pursuing a career as a social media practitioner is not easy; you have to be "sociable". Also, one does not need to be tech savvy, but must have the ability to learn new things and keep oneself abreast with what is happening. It is sun rise industry and growth prospects are very bright.”
- Hareesh Tibrewala,
Joint CEO, Social Wavelength

What constitutes social media?

When we think of social media, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube come to mind, but social media goes beyond these platforms. As Robin Jacob Abraham, Solutions Architect, Drizzlin Media, says “How do you create meaningful dialogue and establish communities? This could involve going offline to generate conversations online, creating a branded community itself, creating videos, presentations, blogs, other forms of content, or engaging in already active communities across the web.” The most challenging aspect, according to him, is to engage the community. He says, “You need to understand what conversations and content works in generating engagement and buzz, maintaining engagement as well as reacting to negative and sometimes abusive comments.”

What does the job entail?

Broadly speaking, the job of a social media manager is to communicate with the customers and clients. It’s all about talking with people rather than talking to people. What sets it apart from PR is that while PR is one-way communication, social media facilitates two-way communication. It is the job of the social media manager to identify the proper channels of communication for the brand and come up with meaningful strategies. It is also his/her job to ensure that all the communication flowing from the organization, be it PR, advertisement, marketing or social networking is in sync and conveys the same message. A part of the job is also to pass on the communication across the various platforms to the relevant department in the organization, so that a suggestion can be implemented or a query resolved. Another important aspect of the job is keeping an eye on the activities of the competitors and always being prepared to combat bad publicity.

Required skill set

If you are looking at taking up social media as a career, then firstly, you need to be a social and outgoing person. Analytical as well as out-of-box thinking abilities can come in handy. Most importantly, you should have thorough knowledge of all the social networking sites and you must keep yourself abreast with the latest trends and newer sites. You should not only be able to identify and develop communication strategies for the brand, but it’s also important that you execute them with efficiency. “It is not an easy task to handle communities with thousands of people in them. You have to say the right things at the right time. A good psychology and common sense are plus points. Basically, you have to be street smart and internet smart,” says Aditya Rao, Co-founder and Director, Social Business Strategy, Superchooha.

Courses available

Looking at the increasing demand for social media managers, IAMAI (Internet & Mobile Association of India) together with WATMedia Pvt Ltd, recently launched India’s first social media course. The four week program is designed to aid the corporate as well as the student communities to demystify social media and its practices. For further information on this program, you can log on to You can also join the Social Media Club, Mumbai, which is the local chapter of the International Social Media Club Group. You can attend workshops that are held there, listen to the experts in the field, meet new people, share case studies, learn about industry trends and even develop business leads. To know more about Social Media Club, visit

Source : Chip magazine
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