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How-to 9 min read October 16, 2019

Who is an SMM specialist and what do they do

Author of Serpstat Advanced Tools
Ekaterina Krasina
SMM Specialist at Govitall
In this article, we will explain why the SMM activity is now relevant, describe the existing directions, list the necessary skills for working in this profession and gaining experience.
If you are reading this article, you are probably going to become a specialist in social media marketing. You will surely have new employment prospects if you master the skills of an SMM specialist:

  • you can become an SMM specialist in a large company;
  • you can be hired by a digital agency;
  • you can run freelance projects.

Let's figure out what the work of an SMM specialist is, what their responsibilities and skills can be.

Why working in SMM is the hottest new trend

Today, the scale of social media penetration in people's lives is comparable to the use of mobile communications in the 2000s. It seemed before that you could do without it (there were landlines!), but now you can't imagine how people manage to socialize outside of Facebook.

The primary goal of social media is to be a platform for communication and association of people, but not a place for online trading. Therefore, when we started to notice the first advertising on Instagram, it seemed something outstanding. Dozens of stores that massively started to follow us looked very funny. It would seem that this was nonsense because we use social media for the sake of relaxation and communication.

However, marketing innovations have turned social media into a huge platform for selling goods and providing services.
Business owners began to massively search for SMM specialists, plainly not even knowing what to entrust to them: "Everything is somehow promoted in social networks, and you come on. So that people buy the product. And get 50k subscribers".
Against the business pages made on the knee, accounts with thoughtful communication strategies that did not look ridiculous began to grow. They did not repel users by the fact that they sell something on the Internet where people share selfies and personal photos with moments of their lives.

These brands attracted users by product photos in their original appearance with natural captions. Such profiles have become trendsetters in terms of the principles of advertising through social media. More and more business owners have appreciated that SMM cannot be ignored for marketing purposes, one must either take it on their own or hire a specially trained person. But no one taught this at the university.

So there appeared hundreds of online and offline courses that in a couple of months will help you master the contemporary profession. It seemed to one part of the people that this profession was too simple to master, and they would be right.

They would be right if they themselves were active users of social media.
If you regularly write critical posts on Facebook, if you pour your heart out on your Twitter microblog, if you post photos on Instagram in the same color tone and put relevant hashtags there. Entering SMM under such conditions is actually easier.
Nevertheless, though SMM is a synthetic profession that requires a mixture of many skills, this sphere has overgrown with its own laws. What do you need to know and master in order to confidently apply for an SMM job?

The list of business tasks that SMM solves will help us to figure this out:

  • increasing brand awareness;
  • acquiring the target audience and lead generation;
  • informational customer support, processing negative feedback;
  • supporting customer loyalty towards the brand.

These global tasks have identified key areas in the work of the SMM specialists.

Focus areas of an SMM specialist

SММ specialists can do various things:
1
Manage brand pages on social media. Usually, they are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you operate in the Western market, there are Pinterest and Reddit.
2
Manage an Instagram online store. To do this, you need to take a lot of photos, making more stress on Instagram. At the same time, the store may have pages on other social media.
3
Promote a brand via paid advertising. Independent production of creative materials (text and pictures) can be delegated to contractors. The goal is to launch advertising and acquire customers who will make the target action.
4
Be an SMM outreacher. Establish and maintain relationships with opinion leaders on all possible platforms to integrate your brand into their content.
5
Work with messengers and configure chatbots. Design and optimize sales funnels through Telegram, Viber, Facebook Messenger, etc.
Separating SMM by direction is, of course, conditional. SMM specialists of different companies can be engaged in either one direction or combine all of the above in their activities.

Now let's go through each of the SMM areas in detail and find out which set of skills is required for this position and how to gain experience in this niche.
#1

SMM of brand social media

What is required: competent writing skills. Copywriting skills (an ability to write interesting and exciting content). Skillful use of graphic editors (at least an ability to create decent creative materials to fill pages and advertising banners).
#2

SММ in an online store

What is required: own DSLR camera. Skillful use of Photoshop or another graphic editor. An ability to create catchy product descriptions. Expertise in marketing tools. Carrying out promotional events, giveaways.
#3

SММ targeted advertising specialist

What is required: to be familiar with Ads Manager to run campaigns on Facebook and Instagram; Twitter Ads Manager, Snapchat.
#4

SММ outreacher

What is required: good communication skills. Competent writing skills. Experience using platforms for finding opinion leaders. Knowledge of foreign languages.
#5

SММ expert specializing in chatbots

What is required: knowledge of chat automation principles. Experience in creating and configuring bots. Copywriting and marketing skills (for prescribing bot scenarios to communicate with a user).

What an SMM specialist should be able to do

The current set of knowledge and skills for an SMM specialist includes:

  • knowledge of the features of social media, their audiences, and technologies;
  • an ability to create interesting and creative content that will appeal to the target audience;
  • the ability to use advertising tools offered by social media;
  • knowledge of automation tools in social media and messengers;
  • knowledge of special instruments that allow you to analyze the effectiveness of advertising campaigns;
  • experience in managing groups and pages on different social media.

How to quickly gain the first experience in the profession of SMM

In many contemporary professions, lack of experience is not a stumbling block in building a career. If you look at SMM, you can start gaining experience right here and now: start a thematic Instagram blog, Telegram channel, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and start filling with content and promoting it.
Thus, you can try various automation tools and bots and choose the best tools for your work. You can also try running ads on small budgets.
If you think that you personally have nothing to promote, think about your friends who are engaged in a small business. You can sell not only sneakers and cosmetics on social media, but also drum lessons, travel tours, and psychotherapy sessions.

With the help of advertising, you will be able to help people to learn about the goods and services they are interested in, help your friends to promote their personal businesses and gain valuable experience.

It is also important for employment in SMM that you keep your personal social media profiles in order. Especially if you are applying for the job of a specialist who will manage the brand's social media pages. Like it or not, you have to start with yourself.

Conclusion

It is quite simple to start developing in the industry of SMM, and the first experience can be obtained at a minimal cost.

The most important advice: do not tackle everything at once; decide which SMM specialist you would like to become.

Even if you want to eventually become a universal SMM Jedi, in the beginning it is better to choose one niche and develop in it and then acquire new skills.

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