What Is A Social Media Strategist?

There are a lot of titles out there these days to define those of us who manage Social Media Marketing. We’ve heard everything from Social Media Evangelist, SM Guru and SM Ninja to SM Manager, SM Coordinator and SM Strategist. Just as the titles vary, so do the job descriptions. Since this is such a relatively young industry, everyone is still trying to determine and define the role of a Social Media Strategist.

Not only is it difficult to define our job descriptions, but it’s even harder to convince others that we provide a valuable service. We are often scoffed at, dismissed, or looked over when we announce our job titles. Why is this? Well, people don’t understand what we do… We’ve all seen the memes online that compare how different people define a certain job title. There are even a few out there for Social Media Strategists. But I decided to create my own:

What Is a Social Media Strategist Infographic

You may think this is a little extreme or you may completely agree with me. Either way, these are the impressions that I’ve dealt with on numerous occasions and thought it was worth addressing.

All I Do is Play On Facebook

It’s almost a running joke now and I’m surprised people still react this way. And yet it’s still a popular response when I tell friends and family what I do for a living. For the record, NO, I do not spend my day trolling Facebook! Do I use Facebook regularly throughout the day, YES. But I do so much more… we’ll get to that soon.

I’m Ripping People Off

There’s a very common misconception that just because the Social Media platforms are “free” to use, that companies don’t need to spend money to effectively manage them. Those of us who work in this business are looked upon as unnecessary. Therefore, I must be scamming innocent people out of their money by offering Social Media management services. Whether it’s a salary, a consultant fee, or a monthly maintenance fee, Social Media is not free – you need to pay someone to manage the sites properly, engage your audience, and handle your customer service issues online; you need to pay someone to analyze your ROI and determine the value of your platforms; you need to pay someone to create content to share across all your sites; and you need to pay someone who understands online and digital marketing who can make all of these platforms successful.

I’m a Magician

Well, thank you! I’m flattered that you think so highly of me. I wish I could simply wave a wand or snap my fingers or crinkle my nose. But the reality is, this is not magic. It’s hard work, determination, and a lot of time. It’s research, analysis, data interpretation, and evaluation. It’s creative, subjective, and fickle. It’s a real JOB. Again, we’ll get to these details soon.

I Sit Around All Day Chatting

Yes, when you walk by my desk, I’m on Facebook or Twitter, I’m reading a blog posting, I’m making a pretty picture, I’m gossiping with others about some random news fact. I can see how this looks to you. But you know that post you shared on Facebook yesterday – someone just like me spent time researching the topic, creating a visual post, and generated viable and shareable content for you and the rest of the world to share. To reiterate, this is not magic, this doesn’t “just happen”. It takes people like me who sit around all day, scouring sites for useful information, and talking about them with our support staff to create that diamond-in-the-rough post that you take credit for finding and sharing.

There is No One Better Than Me

Ok, obviously, that’s not true. But us bloggers believe that our content is awesome. Of course we do, why else would we post it out there for the world to see? We like to believe that our contributions to websites and Social Media are what make them (and the business they represent) successful. Yes, I know that my contributions are really just one part of the whole of a business. But I’m writing this post and you’re reading it, so I must be at least a little bit awesome…

I’m a Multi-Tasking, Scavenging, Content-Creating, Data-Analyzing Crazy Person

How’s that for a new job title? Too long? Well, that’s how I define a Social Media Strategist. I spend hours a day working multiple projects at once. I have so many tabs open in my browser, I actually open more browsers. I have to use every aspect of my skill set, from the creative to the analytical.

I’m searching sites for great topics to write about, meanwhile finding a great post that must be shared. I’m engaging with followers on Twitter in live-time conversations while scheduling this weekend’s Facebook posts. I’m writing blogs for the upcoming however many days while looking for potential new clients. I’m reading post responses and gauging interest while reviewing every site’s analytics for confirmation of where traffic is coming from. I’m testing and implementing various techniques to create the highest rates of engagement and conversion. I’m constantly researching every topic related to Social Media while implementing best practices to ensure my sites are ahead of the curve. I’m forever learning in an industry that is still in its juvenile stage and trying to adapt to the ongoing changes. I don’t stop working at “the end of the day” – just because I left the office, doesn’t mean I’m not still learning, researching, responding, and making you money.

So yes, you take all this and put it all together – you get a crazy person. But I love crazy and I love my job. I am so lucky to be able to do this every day and I am so grateful to the people I interact with every day who are just as crazy as I am!


Do you have any other descriptions of a Social Media Strategist? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

4 thoughts on “What Is A Social Media Strategist?

  1. You are so right, especially the ‘Digital Marketing should be free’ bit – I get it ALL the time.

    Reminds me of back in about 1995 when I was a computer games developer and people thought that I just played computer games all day long!

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