What the Heck is a Social Media Producer?

becoming a social media producer

Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a way of life and a growing career field

Say the word Producer in the entertainment world and you generally assume it’s a power position in the television or film industry. But when you take a wider angle view, a Producer is a general term for anyone who creates and manages a form of content.

In television a line producer manages the production of a news, sports or entertainment show, doing everything from putting stories in order to writing, researching and adding directoral cues. In film we often think of producers as the final decision makers on budget, script, locations and operational management.

But Producers exist in just about every industry, with varying roles and responsibilities. Usually the term is waiting for an adjective to define what type of producer, so in this case throw social media at the front and you have your form of content that needs managing.

What the Heck is a Social Media Producer? Click To Tweet

Which brings us to the question…

Is Social Media Really a Job?

It’s no longer fair to consider social media a new phenomenon.

It was 2004 when Facebook launched, 2003 for LinkedIn and Twitter, trailing the early pack, burst onto our smartphones in 2006. In industrial history a decade plus of existence isn’t all that long, but in the .com world we currently reside in a decade is far beyond the norm.

Social media is a part of us all. If you are out about town and never think “I should share this moment on social” I don’t know whether to give you a high five or call you a liar. That is how present and engaged we all are with the medium.

A current search (July 11th, 2016) on WorkinEntertainment.com will result in 7,774 open jobs in the TV, Radio, Film, and Music industries. Of those 7,774 jobs, 1,984 of them have the phrase “social media” either in the job title or description – a whopping 26% of the open jobs in the entertainment industry.

This statistical overview helps paint the picture that social media isn’t just a time-waster, it’s the most consistently used form of communication for brands, news outlets, friends, families, organizations, charities, you name it. Even still, there was a time just a few years ago when people would say “social media isn’t a job, it’s a function of an already existing job” – meaning, just slap that twitter expectation on someone already in house and call it done.

That has changed, because social media expectations have matured.

As 3rd party companies have established ways of measuring social media impact, and business analysts have proven the connection between brand recognition and social media prominence, social media is no longer just a function, it has become free standing role.

 So What the Heck is a Social Media Producer?

Any brand seeking a social media producer is looking for an able bodied communicator who can express, promote and explain their business via Twitter, Facebook and other relevant social media channels.

That’s the broad statement – let’s break down what it really means:

  1. Develop and execute social campaigns: A social media producer doesn’t just tweet when something strikes them, or post to Facebook in a reactionary mode based on something else they have seen. They communicate cross-functionally with the sales team to recognize promotions, they work with graphics to create imagery, they create an editorial calendar to plan out communication in advance. This is a proactive role, and while there are times of in-the-moment replies and posts, overall it is not a reactive one.
  2. Translate marketing goals into communication: Brands communicate their objectives and promotions on social media, and often do the same for advertisers or clients. A good social media producer will be able to contribute to sales meetings and provide ideas for how social media can enhance a pitch.
  3. Technical expertise: Most social media teams are small and reside within the confines of a marketing department. With limited resources, you have to be your own technical advocate. You need to know how to run a Facebook ad campaign, promote a Tweet and solve technical issues as they arise.
  4. Measure results: As is the case with all marketing, the only way to know if a social campaign has been successful in attaining it’s goals is to track and measure results. You will be asked to prove how a campaign did, if you can’t provide metrics and instead rely on phrases like “it went great!” you will be driven out of the businesses.
  5. Stay ahead: You are the social media maven for your organization, which means every new social media channel that erupts, you will be the person looked to in order to identify if this is an opportunity for your brand. When Snapchat launched in 2011, it was the job of every social media department across the globe to determine if it was a viable place for their business to be. In addition to new channels, you’ll also be tasked with understanding new apps to measure engagement, new ways of producing content, trends and standards.

Becoming a Social Media Producer

social media producer jobs

If you want to be a social media producer, you should pin this to your wall as a reference guide

There is an obvious expectation that anyone applying for a job as a social media producer will have a deep understanding of all social media channels. It’s not an exaggeration to say you are expected to be an expert in the finer details of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat and others.

It is essential that your resume uses metrics of your previous social media impact, like:

  • Increased Twitter users by 234% year-over-year by implementing a high touch response system and organized editorial calendar.
  • Developed multiple Facebook campaigns which resulted in an average 43% increase in leads to the sales team

See how convincing statistics are?

As for education, a journalism degree is highly relevant as it will teach you how to communicate efficiently and effectively. Learning the art of journalism helps you identify the most important messages that need conveying, and how to write convincing statements.

It would also be a great benefit to learn video production and Photoshop skills.

Social media is becoming a visual medium, with video and graphics stealing the stage. The more you can produce yourself, the more valuable you are as a prospective employee. Learn Final Cut Pro, learn the basics of cinematography and videography, learn Photoshop essentials – each of these will make you powerful in the job arena.

Bottom line – be curious about the social world. If you are curious you will always dig, try, learn, explore and experiment, which is the way to uncover the next big thing.

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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.

Comments

  1. Diana Orozco says:

    I’m a Hispanic born in the United States. Struggling to get the education for a better job. Now in my senior years i’m determined to become successful. I’m overcoming some barriers and exploring the jobs out in the real world and looking for my passion while i stumbled into this work field that fills my desires and not the knowledge i so desperately wish i had. I have done photo shots in a portrait studio, advertised, and have the outstanding customer service. Now if it’s possible i would love to hear from you as to what and where i may fit in this line of work. which i feel would be a blast to pursue my dreams in the media field. I have done my share of Care Giving and it’s time to move on.

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