How to become a social media manager in West Africa

March 15, 2021 | by: David Kodjani

A social media manager is responsible for managing a company's social networks and the digital communication strategy. A social media manager improves the image of the company on the web and steers the actions taken to ensure good brand visibility in order to attract potential customers or influencers.

A social media manager ensures the e-reputation of a brand, a company on the Internet and on social networks. It defines upstream a social media strategy in coordination with the marketing department to improve the visibility and image of the company: identification of targets and their needs, selection of social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. ), analysis of the company's positioning on the web and social networks, definition of the editorial line.

Based on these strategic axes, he sets up an action plan called social media planning which encompasses SEO optimization, the identification and retention of influential bloggers, the publication of content and customer loyalty. The social media manager follows precisely the evolution and results of these actions using web analytics tools, measuring tools and audience statistics like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Linkfluence...

Eventually, the objective is to better understand the behavior and reactions of Internet users in order to then offer relevant ad campaigns adapted to visitors' expectations. This regular and careful monitoring of social networks also makes it possible to react quickly in the event of negative feedback, criticism, contentious comments or questions. The social media manager is recruited from large companies with a brand strategy or an active marketing strategy, e-commerce sites or social network platforms.

In large companies, the social media manager is a function in its own right which may even include specializations with other online marketing professions: brand manager, social business, content manager. Depending on the issue that the social media manager must manage, he may report to the marketing director (product marketing, customer relations) of the HRD (HR marketing), the communications director or directly to general management (brand image management ).

In small companies, the position of social media manager is sometimes confused with the position of community manager, web referencer, traffic analysis. The social media manager can also work within a communication agency. In this case, he is most often attached to the pole director.

The social media manager must have perfect mastery of the web. His socio-cultural skills allow him to know the brand's targets well. Thus, he must:

  1. Have a capacity for analysis and creativity to improve the image of his company
  2. Be creative: surprise Internet users
  3. Having excellent communication skills is also required, because this professional is in contact with management and the community manager
  4. Knowing how to use different tools and adapt to new developments.
  5. Be a leader who must be responsive to all situations, whether positive or negative.

Moreover, if this professional works internationally, a perfect command of English is mandatory.

The social media manager is accessible with a Bachelor plus 5 or Bachelor plus 3 and at least 3 years of professional experience as a community manager. He comes from a generalist higher education in journalism, marketing, communication or webmarketing.

It is therefore strongly recommended to take training in digital marketing to become a social media manager. The level of education required for this position may vary among recruiters. A Bachelor plus 3 in web marketing is generally recommended even if there is no rule in the matter. One thing is certain: a successful professional experience in the digital world will be greatly appreciated by employers. Thus, an experienced community manager will have every chance of finding a job as a social media manager if he wishes to occupy a position with more responsibilities. You might as well favor periods of professional immersion during your training by opting for courses that allow you to carry out work placements or a year (or even two years) in alternation.

After the baccalaureate, training in marketing or communication makes it possible to obtain a first relevant diploma to exercise this profession: we can in particular mention the BTS Communication. It will then be wise to continue your studies with a Bachelor plus 3 in web marketing. Indeed, a professional license or a Bachelor in digital marketing (or in social media when possible) will allow you to master the main levers of web marketing and to create content adapted to your future customers.

A Master in this branch of activity with a specialization in social media can obviously prove to be a relevant choice for further studies. In addition, a community manager training is also clearly possible to become a social media manager as these two positions are intimately linked and work in closely. Finally, social media managers, and more broadly web marketing professionals, can follow a large number of training courses devoted to social networks and digital communication to improve their skills and update their knowledge throughout their careers.

The social media manager can progress to management positions in the field of web marketing, digital strategy, on-line communication, digital marketing consulting.

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