The fact that social media is not an entry-level role seems to have finally penetrated the business world. However, while the market for digital and social media professionals is growing, the majority of companies are still struggling to find skilled talent.
We're obviously biased here at Digital Mums, but we think social media is a dynamic, naturally flexible job which mothers are naturals at - here's four reasons why.
1. They nail the customer services aspects of social media
Social media is now inextricably linked to customer services. It will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
To this end customers expect to be able to speak to brands instantaneously via their social media channels. For online businesses, this is often the only point of contact customers have with their company. Getting their communications on these right is important, because when it goes wrong it can go very, very wrong.
To do customer services well, you need a high level of emotional intelligence, the ability to stay calm in stressful situations and excellent communication skills. Sound familiar?
There's evidence that women get a big boost in emotional intelligence when they have kids, and obviously on a logical level, having children improves your ability to see the world through somebody else's eyes.
Strong emotional intelligence comes in very handy when dealing directly with customers. Being able to communicate clearly and calmly in the face of frustration or anger is the very essence of customer services, and something that mums are adept at.
2. They often want flexible work
When you’re a small business, cash flow is king. Hiring full-time employees can be a significant investment and often too much for a small business. Flexible, part-time roles mean that businesses can save serious money on hiring full-time employees, which when you’re a small business can make all the difference.
Social media management is an obvious choice as a flexible role. You can do it from anywhere and the range of scheduling tools available means it's possible to spread a lot of the work load out. This is especially good if you’re a small business, you don’t necessarily want, or need, somebody to be full-time.
Women with children want flexibility more than any other demographic. Flexible non-full time roles are often exactly what they’re looking for, and the lack of them is what makes finding a good work / life balance so difficult. Businesses that make the effort to offer these roles to women with families will more not only attract them in the first place, but they will also retain them over the long-term.
3. They're disproportionately capable for the job.
We've spoken about this previously, but the sad truth is that women are discriminated against in the modern workplace. The lack of flexible options and expectation that everyone adheres to a traditional 9-5 office-based work means that mothers are forced to sacrifice one side of their work / life balance.
The lack of options elsewhere means that companies that do offer flexible roles that appeal to women with families can get disproportionately qualified applicants.
Personally, it never ceases to amaze us how high the calibre of applicants we get at Digital Mums is. And this is because for many women we seem to be one of the few options out there actively promoting genuinely flexible work. Hopefully in the future these imbalances will be rectified, but for now it means that businesses who do make the effort to evolve can get amazing professionals they otherwise would never have access to.
4. They're organised
A lot of jobs need strong organisational skills and social media management is no exception.
Being able to manage requests from multiple people internally - not to mention the organisation of curated and created content, the ongoing engagement with customers, and managing multiple channels - takes the idea of multitasking to a whole new level.
Professional women who have children tend to have an innate ability to multitask, both in life and in the workplace, and it is this natural skill that will become invaluable as they progress through their careers as social media managers.
Over the next couple months we're going to be focusing on the cause of Mum-to-Mum marketing and championing it on our social media channels.