We recently talked of how the approach of a social media agency should be: let’s see now what competences are required for someone who works in this field: the Digital Strategist.
It’s clear that there is not a definitive definition for this profile and we don’t want to give it right now, but we believe it’s opportune to delineate some boundaries.
First of all: the digital strategist is not necessarily a geek or a technician! Doing and knowing how to do things helps a lot to complete this figure, but this is not his role in the agency.
The Digital Strategist is a strategist, not a technician. So it doesn’t necessarily have to realize Facebook applications or manage a daily Google Adwords or Facebook Ads campaign, or to program in PHP or plan and implement a SEO strategy from A to Z.
However, he must know what these things are, how they work and what the pro and cons are in realizing them in this or that way. His role is, given precise targets and budgets, to individuate what’s the most adapt and efficient mix of actions. It must understand, for example, when it’s better to invest in SEO and when on Facebook applications.
Sometimes this knowledge seems to be technical, but it’s not. How can someone who doesn’t know what a CPC or a CPM is decide how to best allocate an advertising budget? And at the same time, how can someone too involved in the applications development and in the optimization of Adwords campaigns, know all the opportunities the Web can offer?
The digital marketing is made of many branches, each one very complex. In definitive, the digital strategist must know them all, so to combine them at the fullest and to create projects and strategies coherent with the communication demands and the customers business, but also with what effectively can be done and obtained.
For example, many people think to know Facebook and Twitter very well because they use them every day, but then they make banal mistakes, because they don’t know how the companies could exploit these social networks and don’t recognized their limits. Knowledge must not necessarily be too technical but neither too superficial.
Last aspects of the digital strategist: the updating and the network.
The updating is indispensable, because in this area everything change in a short time.
The network is indispensable for the same reason: only through the knowledge and the relations with many people connected with the same job we can confront ourselves, know ideas and news, find answers in the phase of the projects planning.
And you, what do you say? How should a digital strategist be?
Vincenzo Risi e Michele Polico
Translation by Luigi Tarini
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