Fundamentals of a social media strategist

Wednesday March 18 2020

A social media strategist must be on the lookout for signs of customer dissatisfaction and address brooding concerns before they boil over and sully the brand. ILLUSTRATION | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The fast-expanding field of social media has become a “tour de force” of today’s business and social lives. Social media is an incredible tool. It helps us discover new ideas and trends, connect with existing and new audiences in more profound ways, funnelling attention and traffic to our work.

In business, social media enables us to build and enhance our brand.

Owing to these promises, the number of professionals who use social media as their primary workspace is on the rise. These professionals are in one way or another, social medial strategists— a catch-all phrase that ropes in digital marketers, online copywriters, analysts, customer service representatives and many others. These are big shoes to fit. To execute these roles successfully, one needs to hone a slew of skills.

Ploughing through piles of job ads gives a good grasp of sought-after skills for social media mavens.

A social media strategist uses social media as a channel for content distribution, building a community of brand enthusiasts, and increasing the overall client experience. The strategist must spur excitement on the social media platforms in order to create a magnetic pull of people to the site.

One of the chief roles of a social media strategist is to interact with different audiences on different platforms. Defying the deafening din of social media, he must stay focused on the agenda, and respond to clients’ questions and concerns.

Depending on the type of work and the audience, social media interactions may require the use of emojis, videos, GIFs, pictures, stickers, and anything else at one’s disposal. One must study the audience and be skillful at using these modern-day communication enhancers.

Brevity is the social media mantra. Surrounded by information from every side, netizens have little patience for long text or video clips. Yet, compared to lengthy content, shorter ones are harder to create. Social media also feeds on exciting, buzz-worthy and visually appealing content, often fuelled by multimedia.

To catch and keep the attention of netizens, a social media tactician should charm the platform with pithy, persuasive and captivating content.

Social media gives its users a voice and a megaphone to complain or compliment a service or a product. A social media strategist must, therefore, be on the lookout for signs of customer dissatisfaction and address brooding concerns before they boil over and sully the brand.

To handle them effectively, he needs public relations skills, including customer service, content strategy, and press releases.

Social media is dynamic. Its driver needs an analytical mind— a preeminent social media professional enchanted with the numbers. He must use them to advance the organization’s online agenda. The days of counting the number of “likes” or the number of followers as an indicator for strong social media presence are fast fading in favour of advanced social media monitoring tools.

Wambugu is an informatician. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @samwmabugu2