Social media/Marketing and Community Roles

I see a lot of job roles advertised along the lines of “Social Media Management” that then encompasses Community Management and elements of Marketing.

As someone who has never managed Social Media professionally or has any background in Marketing, where would I start to learn these skills? Are they easy to pick up? Are there any courses you would recommend?

Interested to hear your thoughts on the subject!

Thanks :smiling_face:

(P.S. For the record, incase my employer reads this, I’m not looking for a new role - I love it very much where I am, but I’m just curious about the other opportunities out there!)

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Great question!

Community people are often dismayed at the idea of marketing and social as part of their job, and partly rightly so, but also, we need those skills to market our communities.

As an indie type founder I’ve always rolled my sleeves up and love doing my own marketing/social, even if it’s rough around the edges.

I think it’s easy to get sucked into the need to do courses, but I tend to focus on what needs to be done and figure out who to do it.

Often it comes under buckets of:

  • tweeting and social media in general
  • blog posts
  • email marketing

Usually I look to see who is doing it well and ask myself how I could turn that into a ‘community’ way of doing it. Or how can I do that in a way that is authentic to me. There’s so many influencer-y type accounts that people try to copy that just doesn’t work well for community.

e.g. tweets often uplift the creators themselves, but in community you probably want to focus on uplifting the members.

I followed Seth Godin from the early days, I recommend reading his stuff, Tribes, This Is Marketing.

Marketing Examples is also great for tactical inspiration.

When I was at Indie Hackers I also did their Twitter and took it from 20kish to 65k followers within 18 months or so. I wrote a thing on it:

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Thanks @rosiesherry for your detailed answer! So many helpful resources that I’ve just spent some time looking through :smiling_face:

I hear you on your point about getting sucked in doing courses - I know I’m capable of anything I put my mind to - sure it might take me a while to figure it out/find my feet but I know I’ll get there in the end. It’s just trying to prove that to employers!

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Retweet what @rosiesherry said here - I think the best way to learn is by watching and doing. Find a couple examples of brands you’d like to emulate and use their content as a roadmap for your own. Steal like an Artist and repackage it in a way that makes sense for your own brand. You’ll learn LOADS more by trying it out right away than by gathering all the knowledge from a course.

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Thanks @brileever!

That looks like a great book to read :smiley:

Usually I look to see who is doing it well and ask myself how I could turn that into a ‘community’ way of doing it. Or how can I do that in a way that is authentic to me. There’s so many influencer-y type accounts that people try to copy that just doesn’t work well for community.

Amen to that. :smiling_face_with_tear:

I like thinking of community as a kinder cousin to traditional marketing.

Marketing has the funnel, right? Awareness, consideration, conversion. You nudge people down the funnel through persuasion and influence.

Flip that funnel over and you have the membership pyramid (or mountain…)

Visitors are at the bottom, leaders are at the top. We help people work their way up through facilitation and guidance.

Both paths lead potential customers to take action.

Super tangible example:

I sit on our marketing team. When there’s a new product launch, the folks leading the marketing campaign will draft a community announcement. I’ll go through and make it less “marketing-y”, but the key points will be the same.

Some well-known marketers I look to for inspiration:

TL;DR = Focus on the communication part of marketing communications. :wink:

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I also found that some Community Managers roles really refer to Social Media Managers roles. In order to apply for those more confidently I decided to take a course. I am taking the Social Media Marketing professional certificate by Meta within the Coursera platform. Even those are things we know, it is a good refresher while searching for another opportunity.

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This is a really good idea. I didn’t know Meta did courses! Will take a look. Thanks.

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