Social media matters. In a world in which everyone—and soon enough everything — is connected by wireless technology, it is easier than ever for people to shop, work and socialise online. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have become places to share information, and hence are integral to business development, marketing and outreach. However, successfully utilising social media calls for a wide array of skills including PR.
In order to navigate and manipulate social media, professionals have to be able to analyse and assess the impact that their communication and marketing efforts are having. This is where data analytics comes into the picture. Individuals-- data analysts who also understand social media strategy—are referred to as social media analysts. A quick look at a social media analyst’s job description speaks volumes. A typical job profile calls for the following array of skills:
a) Knowledge of and proficiency in social media monitoring tools like Google, Radian 6, Twitter Search, Social Mention, Traackr and social media management tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite.
b) Familiarity with key metrics or quantifiable indicators of content consumption/reach and the impact of messaging.
c) The ability to analyze and interpret data from FB, TWT API, Youtube, Google Analytics, and others.
d) Develop[ing] and deliver[ing] reports that express marketing value for social media programs and major brands.
e) An understanding of aesthetics and graphic design. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s famous observation comes to mind here: ‘the medium is the message’.
Social media management is a balancing act, and combines mathematical, literary, and design skills in a truly unique and satisfying way.
Sarita Digumarti is COO and Co-Founder, Jigsaw Academy, The Online School of Analytics