Social Media Management is one of the newest career roles in Ghana in comparison to other fields. A huge number of individuals who find themselves in this role either chanced on it or developed interest in it along the line after committing themselves to other careers.
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Several companies in Ghana work with Social Media Managers and many more are yet to join.
Being a 'trotro' driver was such a prestigious profession in the little village of Edward Asare. It is no surprise that at one point, his greatest desire in life as a child was to one day become a commercial driver.
His father, having seen it all, pitched the idea of becoming a medical doctor to him knowing how a career like that would afford him a better future.
Just after getting convinced by his father, he had another change of mind, this time, a chartered accountant.
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He missed an opportunity to read accounting at the University of Ghana and the new dream was to become a banker.
Edward's life would soon take a drastic turn after moving to the university and will soon be introduced into the world of social media management.
Edward Asare's first experience with social media
At the age of 15, Edward was introduced to social media platforms such as Eskimi, Facebook, Hi5 and from there, his interest grew higher and higher which was accompanied by a desire to learn more.
"I experimented a lot with these platforms and the interest kept growing", Edward told YEN.com.gh.
He spent a lot of time on the platform with no idea that it can potentially become a means of making money or a powerful marketing tool.
Getting Employed by Media General
In the year 2011, companies in Ghana started paying attention to their social media presence and came to appreciate it as a potential tool for growth.
By 2016, the works of Edward on social media were noticed by the personal assistant to a manager at Media General he interned for and after returning to school, he got a call one day from her.
"She informed me about noticing my social media prowess and invited me to the office to interview for the role of Social Media Manager. I took the interview same day and got the job", Edward revealed.
The career growth of Edward Asare
After landing his first social media job at Media Ghana, Edward moved on to take up a number of roles in that field at various companies.
"Since my first full-time role, I have mastered blogging, writing, SEO and I can now call myself a full digital marketer.
So far, I've worked with Peduase valley resort, Glofert Ghana, Redpear, BTL Africa, Ankobra Beach Resort, Genesis International Limited, YEN.com.gh, and currently UBA Ghana Limited"
George Bright-Abu's journey to Becoming a Content Strategist at Betway Ghana
Like Edward, George Bright-Abu grew up having a completely different career path in mind.
He had prepared himself mentally to live out his father's dream for him which was, to become a medical doctor. He however decided to become a computer engineer but ended up pursuing Agriculture mechanization in school instead.
"Growing up i was told i will be a doctor and i told myself that too for years. After High school i wanted to be a computer engineer but i ended up studying Agriculture mechanization."
It was not until he helped a friend use social media to promote a show that he developed a passion for using social media to drive traffic.
"Those days we will assemble on Twitter and just push a hashtag until it trended. After a while i realized maybe i can do this part-time."
With his new found passion, George set out to learn all there was to know in the field and even got noticed by Facebook itself.
"I started studying and reading about copywriting, learnt how to do ads on Facebook and one day, Facebook reached out to me and taught me how to properly go about it."
The role of a Social Media Manager
Coursera defines a Social Media Manager as one who develops strategies to increase followers, create and oversee social campaigns, produce content, review analytics, and communicate with key stakeholders in a company.
As the current Digital Marker for one of the well-known financial firms in Ghana, UBA Bank, Edward spends a lot of his work days undertaking a variety of tasks.
"I am in charge of handling the social media presence of the company and individuals through content creation and distribution. I engage with audience to create online awareness and reputation for the company which could transform into revenue or public goodwill", he told YEN.com.gh.
At Betway Ghana, George is a Content Strategist and works with the global Betway Team. He also leads the social marketing team in Ghana,
"My role is basically to translate the marketing efforts of the brand online but making it fun, relatable, insightful and educative" he told YEN.com.gh.
Social media management as a course in universities in Ghana
While most universities in Ghana offer programmes in marketing, very few of them capture social media or digital marketing in their course structure.
The University of Ghana Business school is one of the few schools which have electronic and social marketing captured in their masters of business Administration program.
"I did not get to learn what working as a social media manager entails in any school. I had to learn how to do this by using the platforms. Some schools however offer short courses for people who are interested in that field", Edward shared with YEN.com.gh.
Qualities of a Social Media Manager
Edward pointed out that for an individual to excel as social media manager, it is important to build up or possess some qualities in order to thrive in the field.
"Social media prowess does not really depend on what course one reads. These skills however can be of great help in becoming a good social media manager; great writing skills, good communication skill, emotional intelligence, presentation skills, curiosity and constant learning."
Effective use of social media as a marketing tool by companies in Ghana
George Bright-Abu, content Strategist for Betway Ghana expressed his concern when it comes to the reluctance of firms in Ghana to effectively invest in their social social media teams.
"I believe companies in Ghana do not fully understand the positive influence social media can have on their businesses. This is reflected in the attitude and disregard by certain executives towards social media roles."
He explained that most companies think hiring just an individual to manage everything social media related is all it takes to build a social presence and push the firm out there but it really goes beyond that.
"Any brand that fully understands how powerful social media is will heavily invest human resource and money into creating a fully functional department. But that is not the case unfortunately. Most brands use social media at best as a customer query point and just throw in a few content here and there."
Salary range of a Social Media Manager
According to data available, the earnings of a social media manager is based on his rank in the field.
"An entry level takes between Ghc2,000 - Ghc2500. A Specialist (Ads, Copywriter, analysts) takes Ghc3,000 to Ghc4,000. Social Coordinator or Community Managers earn Ghc4,000 - Ghc5,000.
A Social Media manger will earn Ghc5,000 - Ghc6,000 and a Senior Social Media Manager takes Ghc6,000 - Ghc8,000. A Social Lead makes above Ghc10,000", he revealed to YEN.com.gh.
Social media usage is fast growing in Ghana and Edward and George believe that it is high time companies make intentional efforts to invest and build social platforms that will take their brands to the next level and help them benefit from all the good things social media brings.
For individuals who are considering a career switch or a venture into digital marketing space, Edward, the digital Marker for UBA Bank Ghana, advises that such persons learn all they can about the industry and try and reach out to the necessary people who can impact the technical knowledge they need to them.
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