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How-to 18 min read February 14, 2023

Who Are SMM Specialists, And What Do They Do?

Анастасия Сотула
Jordan Bucknell
Founder & CEO of Upbeat Agency

Social media is fundamental for paid advertising, content distribution, and customer engagement. If businesses want to thrive in a competitive digital landscape, a well-rounded social media strategy is a must.

Unsurprisingly, this also means that Social Media Marketing (SMM) specialists are invaluable for modern businesses.

Social media marketing specialists can help everyone, from punchy start-ups to established corporations, unlock the full potential of social media marketing. Whether you’re looking to nurture customer relationships or capitalise on new revenue opportunities, a social media expert can be a huge asset.

Let’s take a closer look at the core roles and responsibilities of SMM specialists and outline the value they can bring to a company. 

Who Is An SMM Specialist? 

An SMM specialist is responsible for helping businesses to achieve their marketing objectives through social media channels.

However, every client, campaign, and platform is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for SMM specialists, meaning they need a broad range of expertise to handle every aspect of social marketing.

For example, SMM specialists require in-depth knowledge about a number of different social networks. Businesses are often active across multiple social channels, so SMM specialists need to understand the specific audiences, formats, and tools available on various platforms.

SMM specialists are also capable of tackling a range of marketing objectives.

If a business wants to improve customer engagement, for instance, then an SMM specialist will understand how to utilise different tactics (i.e., direct messages, comments, replies) to complete this goal. But if a client also wants to run paid advertising, an SMM specialist will need to employ a completely different skill set to drive effective performance.

A modern SMM specialist needs to be a jack-of-all-trades - but they also need to master every area of social media marketing.

New social media platforms and trends are constantly emerging, and as the landscape continues to expand, the role of SMM specialists becomes increasingly important. 

What Does An SMM Specialist Do? 

SMM specialists can help businesses to achieve a number of key objectives through social media - but what kind of day-to-day tasks are they actually responsible for?

Below are some of the most important roles that SMM specialists play in a wider marketing strategy. 

1. Managing organic & paid social activity

An effective SMM expert will need to handle both organic and paid marketing activity and understand how to leverage these different approaches to maximise performance.

On the organic side of things, SMM specialists will be able to build a loyal social following, grow a brand’s reputation, and engage customers through tactics such as:

  • Uploading high-quality content on social channels
  • Interacting regularly with customers and followers 
  • Engaging with other brands/users to increase visibility 
  • Handling customer support queries 

When it comes to paid social advertising, SMM specialists will focus on attracting new customers and generating cost-efficient sales by:

  • Targeting paid ads toward relevant audiences
  • Producing engaging creative assets
  • Monitoring and analysing performance data 
  • Testing and optimising ads across multiple channels

Organic and paid social media marketing executions are very different, but an experienced SMM specialist will be able to manage both strategies effectively to drive results. 

2. Designing and launching social media accounts

SMM specialists are also responsible for helping clients to set up (and optimise) their social media profiles.

Launching eye-catching and engaging social pages is incredibly important. If businesses want to attract new followers and differentiate themselves from the competition, they need to create profiles that showcase their unique brand personality.

This is where SMM specialists can offer a lot of value.

Social media experts can help to build expertly designed pages that include clear branding and consistent colour palettes, helping companies to strengthen their brand identity across multiple channels.

SMM specialists are also responsible for incorporating key business information into these social profiles. Including website links, phone numbers, and contact details on social pages is crucial for communication with potential customers.

However, SMM specialists aren’t just able to create social accounts that look professional - they can also help to optimise profiles for maximum conversions and engagement.

Every social network is different, and a page design that works on one platform won’t necessarily work on another. A good SMM specialist will be able to produce everything from creative Instagram grid layouts to snappy TikTok bios, helping companies to stand out and adapt to various channels. 

3. Creating and distributing social content 

A solid content strategy is a cornerstone of organic social media marketing. If businesses can regularly share high-quality content, they have a strong chance of growing audience trust, boosting engagement, and increasing website traffic.

SMM specialists can support clients in producing, distributing, and optimising social content to drive maximum engagement.

To begin with, an SMM specialist will set up a detailed content calendar that outlines when (and where) new pieces of content will be posted. They’ll also constantly schedule new posts to maintain activity across multiple platforms and stay ready to upload reactive content based on news stories or current events.

Consistency is key to an effective content strategy, which is why the support of an SMM specialist is so important for businesses.

The average brand posts 11x a day across social media channels, so if companies don’t want to fall behind the competition, they’ll need to stay active.

SMM specialists will also look to rotate different formats across social channels, keeping content fresh and preventing creative fatigue. By mixing up the types of content, they’re uploading (e.g., videos, infographics, articles), SMM specialists can keep audiences engaged. 

Content will also need to be tailored to different social platforms. SMM professionals will tweak content based on the channel it’s appearing on - for example, while long-form text posts can perform well on LinkedIn, short-form videos are ideal for the likes of TikTok.

Finally, SMM specialists will regularly analyse content performance to inform future posts. By monitoring engagement data, social experts will be able to identify what type of content they should be producing and when they should be uploading it. 

4. Running paid social ad campaigns 

While organic social marketing can be highly effective at nurturing customer loyalty, paid advertising is designed to reach new prospects and generate high-value conversions.

This is another area where SMM specialists can shine.

There are many different moving parts involved with paid social marketing, and it’s the job of SMM specialists to handle every aspect of a campaign to achieve optimal performance.

One of the most important aspects of paid social advertising is audience targeting. SMM experts can help advertisers to build relevant and profitable audiences, using different targeting tactics (e.g., demographic, interest) and data sources (e.g,. website pixels) to identify high-performing segments.

It’s also crucial for SMM specialists to test multiple ad formats across different channels to find out what works.

Every social media platform offers a range of unique ad placements, and it’s the role of marketing experts to experiment with new formats and collect performance insights to increase conversions.

Last but certainly not least is campaign optimization. SMM specialists will need to stay close to performance data to understand which audiences, ad formats, and bidding strategies are driving the best ROI for a business.

By monitoring campaign reports and implementing data-driven optimizations, SMM professionals can help brands significantly improve their conversion rate and accelerate business growth.  

5. Reviewing social media analytics 

SMM specialists also play a critical role when it comes to monitoring social media analytics.

Whether a business is looking to track engagements from organic posts or calculate paid social conversions, access to in-depth analytics is key. SMM experts can pull together detailed reports and interpret the data to help clients consistently boost performance.

Once again, there are a few major differences between organic and paid social analytics that SMM specialists will understand. In terms of organic marketing performance, SMM professionals will often monitor metrics such as:

  • Engagement
  • CTR (Click-Through-Rate)
  • Web visitors 
  • Followers

During paid advertising campaigns, SMM specialists will track metrics like: 

  • Impressions/reach
  • Clicks/CTR
  • Conversions 
  • Conversion rate 
  • CPA

However, an experienced social marketer won’t just be able to collate these metrics. They’ll also use them to identify key trends and revenue opportunities, transforming raw data into actionable insights. 

6. Engaging followers and customers on social media

Social marketing experts will help brands to engage their followers and build long-term customer relationships.

Social media is an incredibly valuable tool for customer communication, but many brands struggle to take full advantage of it. By regularly interacting with users, companies can strengthen their brand voice, offer responsive customer support, and nudge prospects through the sales funnel.

However, engaging social media followers also takes time, which is a scarce resource for many businesses. That’s where SMM specialists come into play.

SMM experts can help brands communicate with their audience in many different ways. An obvious quick win is responding to comments and mentions - if customers feel like a company is likely to acknowledge them, they’re more likely to engage with their posts. 

SMM specialists can also respond quickly to direct messages, which is vital for delivering effective customer support.

Social media is now a crucial channel for customer service. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of consumers that preferred using social messaging for customer service increased by 110%, proving the importance of a responsive social presence.

Tech-savvy SMM experts can even help brands to set up advanced chatbots that are capable of handling 69% of consumer queries.

SMM specialists can maintain active communications across multiple social networks, helping brands reach and engage a huge number of prospects and customers. 

What Are The Benefits Of Working With An SMM Specialist?

Now that we’ve covered a few of the basic responsibilities that SMM experts take care of, let’s explore the main benefits they offer to businesses.

Increasing social media reach 

The scale of social media networks is mind-blowing. Facebook alone attracts around 2.9bn monthly active users, enabling companies to access a colossal audience of potential customers.

By hiring an SMM specialist, businesses can build a strong presence across multiple social platforms, rapidly increasing their reach and visibility.

Increasing reach across social media benefits brands in a few different ways. For one thing, it allows them to discover new audiences and identify new customer segments, helping them to ramp up conversions through paid advertising.

The more prospects a brand can reach, the better its chance of generating sales.

SMM specialists can also help companies to boost brand awareness by setting up accounts on different social channels. Through organic and paid strategies, marketing experts can increase high-level awareness and gradually shift customers through the sales funnel. 

Engaging customers directly 

SMM specialists can also help brands to establish more consistent and engaging communications with their target audience.

By interacting with their customers and followers at scale, businesses can develop stronger relationships and encourage brand loyalty. This is also important for a company’s reputation - if a brand is actively responding to followers and engaging with shoppers, then consumers may feel more confident in purchasing from them.

On top of this, social media engagement is also vital for customer service. SMM specialists are capable of setting up fully automated chatbots for customer support, and on average, around 87.58% of users are satisfied with these chatbot exchanges. 

Running cost-efficient ad campaigns 

One of the biggest benefits of working alongside an SMM specialist is the ability to run cost-efficient, conversion-driving ad campaigns.

Paid social advertising can deliver exceptional results for marketers, particularly with an experienced SMM specialist at the helm. A social marketing professional can reach highly targeted audiences on different platforms, enabling businesses to generate incremental conversions and effectively scale up their revenue.

But paid social marketing isn’t just about increasing the volume of conversions, either - it’s also about improving cost efficiency

Through diligent campaign optimizations, SMM specialists will be able to increase product sales while decreasing acquisition costs. This is obviously massively beneficial for advertisers, who can improve their ROI and utilise their marketing budget more efficiently.

Placing an SMM expert in charge of paid advertising is also a great way to gather cross-platform learnings. If a social marketing specialist is managing campaigns across multiple networks, they’ll be able to replicate and adapt high-performing strategies to maximise advertising returns. 

Staying up to date with social media trends 

Partnering with an SMM specialist allows businesses to stay on top of emerging social media trends, positioning them ahead of the competition.

The world of social media moves at eye-watering speed, with new customer behaviours, content types, and platform trends constantly appearing. If companies want to stay ahead of the curve, they need to be ready to embrace these opportunities - and this is one major benefit that social marketing experts provide.

TikTok is a fantastic example of a social platform constantly producing new viral trends and hashtag challenges. SMM specialists can help businesses to keep up with these social crazes and connect with their audiences through trendy creative executions. 

SMM experts also enable brands to stay up-to-date with the latest ad formats and marketing tools.

Social platforms are constantly testing and releasing different advertising features, and working closely with a social marketing professional allows businesses to capitalise on these opportunities.

Saving valuable time and resources 

Finally, one of the biggest benefits of working with an SMM specialist is time saving.

When businesses enlist the help of a social media expert, they can immediately stop focusing on tasks like content creation, post scheduling, and campaign management - this frees up a significant amount of time that can be invested elsewhere.

Social media marketing is an ongoing process, and if you want to achieve optimal results, then you need to remain committed to consistent posting and optimization.

If a brand is struggling to balance social media management with daily business tasks, then an SMM specialist can be extremely useful for improving efficiency. 

How Can You Tell If An SMM Specialist Is Effective? 

Social media marketing experts can be a valuable addition to any business. But how can a company be confident that an SMM specialist is delivering the results they need?

The answer is setting clear and action-oriented objectives that can be easily tracked.

For instance, if a brand needs support with its organic marketing efforts, then an SMM professional should be aiming to improve metrics such as engagements and followers. If a company is hiring a social marketer to manage paid ad campaigns, then metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions will be more relevant.

If brands can establish realistic and specific objectives for their SMM specialist, then it becomes infinitely easier to gauge how effective they are.

Businesses should also be looking to set (and update) benchmarks based on historic performance, enabling them to understand the true impact an SMM expert is having on their social marketing. 

Conclusion

SMM specialists play a critical role in modern businesses, helping them to navigate the social media landscape and unlock the full potential of different channels. The social media world is vast, so having an expert in charge of marketing campaigns can be a lifesaver.

For businesses thinking about hiring an SMM expert, the key is to set clear objectives and identify the biggest opportunities for improvement.

Every brand will have gaps in its social media marketing strategy, so it’s all about choosing specialists with the right skills to fill them. 

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