Are you a social media marketing professional trying to navigate your career path?
In the world of social media, two prominent roles emerge: social media management (whether freelance or with an agency) and social media consulting. Understanding the differences between these roles and deciding which to offer can be challenging.
In this article, we'll explore the key responsibilities, benefits, and skill sets required for each role, as well as whether you should pick one, try to do both -- or if a little-known "secret third thing" might be the best choice for you.
What is Social Media Management?
If you're deciding which career path you want to take, we'll look at the key roles of both social media management and consulting, to see which is most suited to you!
Let's start with social media management.
One of your key responsibilities as a social media manager is content creation. This involves developing engaging and shareable content for various social media networks. It's your job to be skilled in crafting compelling captions, creating eye-catching visuals and producing informative and entertaining videos to create social media content that resonates and sparks engagement.
Another crucial aspect of social media management is community management.
You're responsible for monitoring comments, messages, and feedback from followers. You promptly respond to user inquiries, address concerns, and engage in meaningful conversations. This level of interaction not only helps build trust and credibility but also fosters a sense of community among followers.
Analytics and reporting are also integral to social media management.
A big part of your role as a social manager is to analyze social media metrics such as engagement rates, and conversion rates to gain insights into the performance of campaigns. This data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions and optimize a social strategy to achieve social media goals and business goals.
Benefits of Offering Social Media Management Services
Offering social media management services can bring you many benefits.
One of the main benefits is that social media management is a sought-after skill. It's so crucial for businesses to be on social media and to have an online presence to improve brand awareness, provide another channel for customer support, and to boost sales. This means that there is a large pool of potential clients.
Social media management can also be a highly profitable service to offer. As a social media manager, especially if you work remotely, there isn't much overhead. Sure, you have to think about the tools you use like a social media scheduler, or design tools like Canva Pro, but if you factor these costs into your social media packages, you should be able to cover these to make a tidy profit.
What is Social Media Consulting?
While social media management focuses on day-to-day implementation and execution, social media consulting services take a more strategic approach. As a social media consultant, you provide expert guidance to businesses, helping them optimize their social media efforts, and the role is typically short term rather than requiring daily involvement.
Strategy development is a crucial aspect of the work, as it sets the foundation for successful social media campaigns. You collaborate with businesses to create comprehensive social media strategies aligned with their goals and target audience.
Another key responsibility is conducting industry analysis. By conducting thorough market research, you are able to identify industry news and trends, and competition. This knowledge is then leveraged to develop effective digital strategies that can help businesses stand out in the crowded social media landscape. With your expertise, you can guide businesses on the best social platforms to use, the types of content to create, and the tactics to employ.
Training and education are also important components of the role of a social media consultant. You not only provide guidance and advice, but you also train and give advice to businesses on best practices. By equipping them with the skills and knowledge to manage their social media effectively, you empower businesses to take control of their online presence.
Benefits of Offering Social Media Consulting Services
Just like social media management, consulting also provides many benefits.
One of the key benefits is establishing yourself as an industry thought leader. As a consultant, you can share your expertise and knowledge to businesses. If you build up a good portfolio and network with a range of businesses, you can boost your reputation as a consultant and become a leader in the social media industry.
Another benefit is independence and flexibility. As a social media consultant, the ball is in your court when it comes to onboarding clients - you have the flexibility to take on clients that you want to work with and the industries you want to serve.
If you have enough social media experience to be able to help others and are a natural problem-solver, this could be the role for you! Social media consulting gives you the chance to strategically think about, and solve challenges that your clients face. This can be intellectually stimulating and rewarding.
Differences Between Social Media Management and Consulting
Now that we understand the distinct roles of social media management and consulting, let's explore the key differences between the two:
Skill Sets Required for Each Role
As a social media manager, you will need exceptional organizational skills, creativity, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to rapid changes. You are the one responsible for executing day-to-day tasks, such as creating and scheduling content, engaging with followers, and monitoring analytics. In addition to these skills, you must possess strong communication skills and stay up-to-date with emerging trends and platforms.
On the other hand, as a social media consultant, you will need a deeper understanding of strategic planning, market analysis, and business development. You're responsible for providing expert advice and guidance to businesses on how to effectively leverage social media to achieve their goals. You should be skilled in project management, and consulting methodologies, and have the ability to diagnose issues and develop effective solutions.
While both roles require a solid understanding of social media platforms and trends, the skill sets required for each role are unique and cater to different aspects of social media management.
Impact on Business Growth
With execution and engagement tactics, social media management contributes to brand awareness, customer satisfaction, and website traffic.
On the other hand, social media consulting helps businesses develop long-term strategies that drive growth, foster customer loyalty, and maximize return on investment.
Combining Social Media Management and Consulting
Is it possible to offer both social media management and consulting services? The answer is yes, and it can be a powerful combination. However, there are considerations and challenges to address:
Profitability and Business Expansion
Offering both social media management and consulting can open doors to new revenue streams. By diversifying your services, you can attract a broader client base and secure long-term contracts. This can lead to increased profitability and business growth.
However, expanding your business requires careful financial planning, marketing strategy, and excellent customer service to maintain a positive reputation. Assess the market demand for your services and develop a pricing structure that reflects the value you provide. Often, the services you provide will be based simply on what your clients are asking for.
Furthermore, consider the specific industries your clients operate in. Some industries may require more hands-on management, while others may benefit greatly from consulting services that provide insights and recommendations for growth.
For example, a service business client might not need too much strategic input and mostly just want help with the basic social media management grind: posting regularly and establishing their online presence. But a personal brand client might prefer to handle posting themselves, and require more strategic guidance.
By understanding your clients' needs and the demands of their industries, you can make an informed decision about the services you should offer.
Potential Challenges and Solutions
Continuous learning is always necessary for career growth, but especially crucial when combining social media management and consulting so you can fulfill your various roles effectively and efficiently.
Staying updated with industry trends and investing in professional development can enhance your skill sets and offer added value to clients. This can include attending conferences, participating in webinars, and engaging in online courses to expand your knowledge and stay ahead of the curve.
Managing concurrent roles and social media services can be demanding. It requires careful planning, time management, and teamwork. However, with the right strategies in place, you can overcome these challenges and deliver exceptional results to your current clients.
And of course the main challenge of offering both management and consulting services is the sheer workload. To address this, you can consider delegating and outsourcing certain tasks. Hiring a social media team or partnering with freelancers who specialize in specific areas can help alleviate the workload and ensure efficient delivery of services.
And there's another option, the secret third thing which we'll explore in depth in the next section.
The Secret Third Thing: White Label Social Media Management
In the social media space, people often start out as freelancers and then as they gain experience and a client base, they either start an agency and/or focus more on consulting - stopping the content execution part because it's such a grind.
Sound like you?
Here's the thing. You can be an agency owner or a consultant AND still keep all your management clients - without burning yourself trying to juggle it all, hiring unreliable freelancers, or training and managing actual employees.
With MixBloom's white label social media services.
Our dedicated team of social media managers (all native English speakers from the US, Canada and the UK) can produce high-quality social media content, at scale, so you can focus on other areas of your empire - like consulting, strategizing, and building client relationships.
The best part about it? You'll still be paid by your clients for the work. It's completely white label so they don't even have to know it's us doing it!
So how does it work?
Our process involves 4 basic steps:
First you’ll meet with our Lead Content Manager, who will walk you through the process, give you a tour of the dashboard and how you can customize it to your agency’s brand. Together you’ll agree on a strategy to make sure we craft content that aligns with your client’s voice, aesthetic, and goals. Then she’ll handpick one of our Social Media Managers (SMM) that she feels will be the best match for you.
#2. We get to work
With a strategy in place, your dedicated SMM will create your first batch of social media content, including images (or video) and copy adapted to each social media network.
Your SMM will work on as many of your accounts as possible, so they can really get to know your taste and needs and evolve with you over time. And in case your SMM is ever unavailable for some reason, we'll immediately assign another one to step in so your posts never skip a beat.
#3. Feedback & approval
Our white label dashboard has two modes: your agency view, which allows you to see all your clients data and posts in one place, and your client’s view, which is branded with your agency’s logo and colors and allows them to simply review posts.
Your client’s view allows them to access everything from a secure link, without requiring passwords or user accounts.
We'll send you an email twice a month to let you know about new content in your dashboard. Then you can message your client their white label URL to ask them to review the content.
You or your client can send feedback on each post right inside the dashboard, ask for changes or approve what we created. Within 72 hours, we’ll take care of the feedback and revise all content.
#4. Scheduling and publishing
We don’t just create the content – we make sure it’s published on an agreed schedule, always on time, on all social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Business).
You can contact Jessica anytime to keep your strategy up-to-date and discuss how MixBloom can further support you as you continue to add new clients – and scale your agency!
You get unlimited revisions with all plans, so your content is perfect, every time.
Being realistic about the differences between social media management and consulting is a vital part of deciding whether your business should offer both services.
Each role brings unique benefits and challenges. By evaluating your business needs, resources, and long-term goals, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your expertise and maximizes your client's success. Consider the market demand, your team's capabilities, and the long-term implications of offering both services.
And if you do decide that you want to add both social media management and consulting to your list of services, consider outsourcing content creation to a white label agency like MixBloom to take the headache out of producing quality content at scale.
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