Manning the Feed: Social Media Managers Now Vital

A job that was once made fun of and relegated to interns or part-time college students is now among the most important and influential at companies across America---social media manager. A recent Wall Street Journal report notes this year marks the 15th year of the social media manager, and it has come a long way.

Kami Huyse, CEO of Houston-based Zoetica Media, was one of those original social media managers 15 years ago, when MySpace was just taking off. "My kids are teenagers, and they'll often ask what should I do for college, or say I don't know what I want to do when I grow up...I say when I was your age, the position I have now didn't even exist," she tells KTRH.

Now, Huyse advises companies on social media strategy, which she believes is one of the most vital jobs at any company. "If you're a business, you need to have a social media manager just like you need someone to answer the telephone," she says. "You need somebody who's paying attention to what people are saying on social media networks, and connecting with them."

In fact, she points out for most companies their social media channels are now equally or more important than their website. "The social media platform you have is the front door for your business, just like your website has been in the past," says Huyse. "On social media, (people) expect you to be there, to connect with them, to interact with them, and to get back to them on a quick basis."

With social media and tech platforms gaining power and influence by the day, the role of social media manager will likely continue to grow in importance. Huyse notes that several major companies have suffered public relations controversies in recent years due simply to ill-advised social media posts. "You need someone there who can be very quick and responsive to the media, to people, to everybody that needs information from the brand during a stressful situation or a crisis situation," she says.

Thus, the days of the social media intern may be over. "This is another channel by which people communicate, and you need someone who is a trained professional communicator to handle it," says Huyse.

Photo: AFP

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