Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Roles of a Social Media Specialist In Kenya.

Why am a #SocialPro!
In recent times I have been having serious issues and challenges when introducing myself to people. When issuing my business cards people always ask me what I do as social media specialist. I always claim to be a #SocialPro and am sure you also have a few questions for me. I have attended a few interviews on social media jobs where the interviewers are drawn from the HR, PR and Marketing departments but know nothing about social media and after the interview is done I always suggest to work for the company as a consultant. You really can't report to a boss who doesn't understand what you are doing!
I wrote this article not to advertise what I offer or do for brands but to explain what I do, to clarify the misconception. Most people think that all I do is updates on behalf of people but it involves much more. I feel Kenyans don’t really appreciate what I do because this profession is new in Kenya; only a handful of guys clearly understand the social networks. Nobody has gone to school to be taught anything on social media so all I know is self taught through extensive research, reading corporate case studies & blogs and learning on the job.
Most people confuse popularity for influence on social media for example, a celebrity who has 150,000 followers could be popular and famous but not influential. Secondly just to probe you a bit, do you understand why certain updates have more likes, few or no comments and why certain photos have more shares while others just have likes and comments on them? Do you just do updates or tweet any time of the day? If you do so at the wrong time then you are likely not going to engage your audience on social media effectively. Do you understand that there's a thin line between creating hype and push marketing>Spamming people isn't building buzz and talk-ability of your brand, event, service or product so don't do it!
Do you understand social media etiquette? The Do’s and Dont's? Have you managed to be consistent without being boring? How well do you understand personal branding on social media? Have you maintained a similar voice on twitter, Facebook and Linked in? Finally how do you measure your ROI on social media? How do you tell if you are influential or not? At these modern times when time is a very scarce resource then you’ve got to ensure that the time you spend on social networks adds value to your business, life and to you as a personal brand.
So here’s what I do as a social media specialist.
Adapt global digital media & social media strategy to country specific business agenda. Most multinationals carry out similar campaigns in different markets and thus as a marketer who understands social media I ensure their presence online to suits the different local markets without losing the brand voice and guidelines. 

I also partner with country level business to synergize and develop marketing strategy and execution on social media. I manage to handle this with my knowledge & understanding of PR and brand management.

Engage & manage day to day execution on all social media platforms. This involves coming up with a digital/social media plan to engage fans & followers daily by the hour on social networks. 

Develop strategies, tactics and content to drive traffic to a brand’s social media channels and website. I have done this for Coca-Cola and thus can handle your brand too. 

Draft, edit and post content across all online channels (including writing blog posts)- Since I write my personal blog this is something that I can handle with much ease.

Create relationships with key influencers in the social media space- I have established virtual connections with the key influencers online and thus can create social buzz because I can engage the right people to push forward your brand’s agenda.

Integrate online communications in support of our overall communications objectives- Before I handle a brand I have to read through a brand communications manual or guideline, I spend time with the companies’ PR and  corporate communications department to understand the brand’s voice. I also don’t bring my personal beliefs or emotions when representing the brand on social media platforms. I always talk like the brand!!!

Monitoring Role

Monitor a brand’s country level presence in social media space- I manage to do this by using certain social media tools that show how, where and when the brand has been mentioned on these platforms, filter the data and present a report to the client.

Compile, produce and disseminate meaningful reports and vital information to various departments and business units. This is part of reporting also to ensure the information I come across on social media makes business sense to the client to help in decision making.

Support related business on product development, and campaigns monitoring, and trend spotting-Being very active on social media I easily spot new trends online, by having a QA on a page I can engage fans or followers to give feedback that is vital to the client during product development.

Monitor competition in Kenya by conducting competitive intelligence to review the competitions participation in social media and  be aware of market changes and development.

Manage online brand reputation- This is very crucial for brand management, I help brands respond almost in real time to negative issues and better still I can be hired to post behind the scenes to diffuse tension on social media this time not as a brand but as a person based on my influence online. Am at 64 points on Klout measure of influence thus play a key role in crisis communication by posting real time responses on all Social Media platforms.

I also review new social media tools, trends and applications and recommend client for participation. As a blogger and an avid reader I have subscribed to leading and authoritative blogs and websites that feature the latest on technology and social media so I know what's rocking where; by following the global experts on Twitter I get to read what's happening worldwide!

At this point you now have an understanding of just what I do; so the question is, can you trust me to handle your brand on social media? I know this is not convincing enough but just give me a chance to be part of your social media team for your brand. Give me a chance to review your social media presence and I will tell you what’s lacking and what you need to stop doing!
Follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer and be a #SocialPro

Am sure you already know this but if this is your first time here this is for you>
I came up with two hashtags to help the world learn from each other on a few aspects of Social Media to increase our effectiveness and realize the full benefits from these platforms. Start using #BEaSocialPro on guys and companies messing, doing things the wrong way hence annoying people on twitter. Use it for brands that don't respond to your inquiries and those with inactive twitter handles etc. 
On the contrary give #SocialPro for those doing a good job. Guys who clearly understand social etiquette, personal branding, those who respond in real time and brands that give you amazing customer experience on twitter! Do so for those who share useful links with others and people that share useful information on what's happening!

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