I received a question on Twitter recently asking about some of the skills that a communications agency looks for in a Digital Strategist candidate. This led me to think it would be a good idea to talk about some digital and social roles and offer some tips on getting these types of job opportunities. Many times job descriptions for these roles are vague which makes it difficult to determine the skills that will make you a top candidate. I hope my notes will help someone in their search!
Let's talk about what a digital strategist does on a day-to-day basis. This person will have a very strong understanding of digital marketing and social media strategies and tools. One thing that will set this person a part from other candidates is having the ability to understand the digital space and complement that with an understanding of traditional PR to create integrated communications campaigns. An understanding of creative capabilities like copy writing and design are helpful as well. A digital strategist should always be working to develop innovative campaigns to achieve client goals. Speaking of clients, it is a MUST to have great client experience and be able to provide high quality work to a diverse set of clients. This includes understanding and anticipating client needs, business objectives and also the ability to communicate well effectively. Being available to your clients and gaining trust is also important. Many times a digital strategist will lead communication with the clients directly, sometimes acting as the main client contact, while working with internal team members to brainstorm and carry out various strategies. Due to the nature of the role, a person would generally have at least 5 years of experience to be a competitive candidate at an agency.
Social Media Strategist
Now, a social strategist typically does not need to have an in-depth understanding of traditional PR and digital marketing. This knowledge helps, but may not be an absolute need. The main responsibilities are to stay ahead of social media and industry trends and identify opportunities to market the client via social channels. The social strategist will be an expert at navigating sites like; Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and many more. Let's look at an example of work. Let's just say an extremely popular YouTuber posts a positive video review about product X by company Y (which happens to be your client). Company Y has just developed a new product, product Z. The social media strategist knows of the happening and will develop a strategy with social content to highlight the opportunity to market the new product. They may even be the person to get in front of the client to present the opportunity and offerings. Now this may not be the most exciting example, but it is definitely something that could happen. The social strategist is normally the one building a full social calendar of content for the client to post within their channels. The planning of the calendar is to optimize business opportunities and gain increased engagement.