Rising relevance of social media managers in digital landscape

Social media managers are taking the route of storytelling & coming up with compelling narratives

Rising relevance of social media managers in digital landscape

The digital era has seen a meteoric rise in social media and the role of social media managers has evolved in tandem with this explosion. The landscape has experienced seismic shifts, with social media platforms becoming the new town square. As of 2023, a staggering 4.89 billion people worldwide are using social media, a growth of 6.5 percent over the last year. For the next five years, the average annual growth rate is predicted to be at five percent. Today, social media is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives. Smartphones and mobile devices are the driving force with 91 percent of social media users using mobile devices to access social networks.

Changing behaviour of consumers

The result of this is a change in consumer behaviour with social media influencing, and in some cases, dictating, not just what they buy but also when and where they can make purchases. A study indicates that the top eight social networks drove more than 31% of overall traffic to sites. A certain segment of the population, especially the younger demographic often relies on influencers, with around 49% of consumers following influencer advice and recommendations for their purchasing decisions.

Growing relevance of storytelling

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to research products, read reviews, and engage with brands before making a purchase. There’s an interesting uptick in consumers learning about the brand’s foundation and its journey along with its outlook towards sustainability, which in turn is influencing their decision-making. Such evolving circumstances present an opportunity for businesses to use brand storytelling combined with social media to build brand awareness, establish credibility and trust, and drive sales. Usually, storytelling as a role belongs to the CMOs or brand managers, but these days, social media managers are also getting more aware of brand visibility and brand storytelling and play an important role in building an emotional connection with the consumer. Social media managers are taking the route of storytelling and coming up with compelling narratives.

Role of social media managers

The role of a social media manager is multilayered, combining strategy, content creation, brand representation, and customer interaction. They are charged with keeping a pulse on trends, managing brand reputation, and facilitating meaningful interactions with consumers. The effectiveness of a company’s social media strategy is, in many ways, as good as its social media managers.

Social media managers are responsible for creating and executing social media strategies, monitoring social media accounts, analysing data, and managing social media campaigns. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the social media presence of a business is consistent, engaging, and aligned with its overall goals. During the pandemic, social media managers played an instrumental role in helping businesses navigate the turbulent digital waters, redefining strategies, and ensuring continued engagement with consumers.

Social media platforms must constantly evolve to keep pace with new features and trends that are emerging all the time. Businesses must stay up-to-date on the latest developments and adjust their social media strategies accordingly to remain effective. This reminds me of a very inspiring quote: “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories” (Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal). In a nutshell, comprehensive social media strategies backed by compelling storytelling are the only way to drive effective engagement and growth for brands in an era that is so heavily dominated by technology and digitisation, making a proficient social media manager not just a valuable asset but an absolute necessity.

The author is the head of marketing, upGrad

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