Are you thinking about taking up a social media manager position? Do you want to know what your typical workday will look like? How much time will you have to spend on various social media platforms?
Social media managers are in charge of social media marketing campaigns and managing daily activities across a company’s social media platform(s). They develop targeted and relevant content to engage with existing company followers and attract new ones.
On the surface, a social media manager position sounds fun and interesting. You may feel ready for it because:
Unfortunately, there is more to being a social media manager than racking up engagement from posting funny videos and wisecracks. In this article, we’ll look at what a day in the life of a social media manager looks like, to help you decide if it is a position for you.
Table of Contents
The average social media manager’s day can be summarised as follows:
Social media platforms run round-the-clock, so a manager resuming for work will first and foremost check the interactions tabs on the company’s various social media platforms to find mentions that need a response or a reaction.
The best social media managers have a deep understanding of the company’s products and services. This allows them to respond to mentions and customer inquiries quickly. When they don’t have the answer ready, they have to communicate with the right company personnel to find the best solution in a timely manner.
If there are no queries to deal with, there could be recommendations or comments that need acknowledging. Social media users love it when a company appreciates their positive reviews, so it is the job of the social media manager to create this pleasant feeling where possible.
After handling the interactions tab, the next step for a social media manager is to find all trending news in the company’s niche. They also have to pay attention to social media trends (relevant to their location) to see if there are any entries that are of interest to the brand. After collating these, they proceed to the next stage.
Social media managers have to be super creative. They need to create engaging content that will resonate with the target audience within the confines of the company’s brand language and social media policy. Having a collection of relevant industry news and social media trends that can be used in campaigns can simplify the content creation process.
However, this stage cannot be glossed over. It is the center-piece of everything as the content created is what the audience will engage with. Depending on the number of social media platforms they are managing, a social media manager will typically spend 30% of the workday at this stage.
Interpreting and analyzing campaign data helps social media managers to decide if their campaign strategy is working or not. Engagement metrics including clicks, shares, comments, likes, retweets, website traffic, etc. are analyzed at this stage. Some companies also have analytics dashboards that allow them to track revenues generated from social media campaigns. This is one of the most important aspects of the social media management process as it allows all parties involved to see if the time and resources invested in the management process is worth it.
Social media managers are constantly planning and developing new strategies to generate better results. The data gleaned from the analytics tools help the manager to fine-tune existing strategies, maintain the status quo, or develop new campaigns. This is also the time to map out new content structures if necessary.
Social media managers spend a lot of time attending meetings. In many cases, the outcome of the meetings can influence the planning of new content strategies. The agenda of such meetings will cover details like announcing product launches, and company updates for the target audience. The social media manager also has to work in tandem with other marketing teams to ensure a unified front in terms of communications.
This is what a typical social media manager’s day will look like. There will, of course, be variations depending on the size of the company, company policies, etc.
Most social media managers have a desk in the marketing department. However, it is not uncommon to find social media managers in other departments such as communications, PR, e-commerce and content development. Regardless of the department, the roles of the social media manager will remain the same.
The top skill needed by social media managers is creativity and an eye for detail. The best social media managers can create content on short notice, and they never miss anything. A high level of creativity is necessary to create new content strategies and produce an excellent copy. You also need to be innovative so as to handle strategy changes, find new ways to take advantage of the features of many social media platforms, etc.
The best social media managers are comfortable working alone on projects. Even in bigger companies, the bulk of the collaboration ends at the ideation stage in various team meetings. When designing or executing strategies, you have to go it alone.
Social media managers are also expected to be astute in handling the numbers side of things. As a social media manager, you have to be able to track data and manage your budget. Many businesses are still warming up to the necessity of social media marketing. You should be able to stay within your budget and generate results to prove to them that it works.
Generally, many social media managers are tasked with growing a company’s online following. The goals can be as direct as growing company accounts by a specific number of followers or more general like contributing to company website traffic.
However, more brands have started to give social media managers revenue targets to meet. The ad rates across some social media platforms have gone up in recent times. Businesses are looking for ways to justify the spending, hence the revenue targets set for social media managers.
The best social media managers track everything. Engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc. are important, but it doesn’t end there. A high engagement rate will count for little if it doesn’t spill over into metrics like click-through rates, time on a website, bounce rates, number of pages viewed per click, and most importantly, the revenues generated during and after each social media campaign.
It is at this stage that the social media manager role becomes difficult for unprepared individuals; a point where the number of likes on a picture or video is suddenly not enough.
Social media managers use a wide range of tools. Some of these include the following:
No, you don’t need a university degree to a social media manager role. Many social media managers with university degrees did not study digital marketing or any other related programs. Many brands only want to see a decent portfolio of work to show that you have the capacity to deliver the results they need.
If you don’t have any relevant experience, it may be best to pick up an internship position first and work your way up from there. Don’t forget to put together an online portfolio that you can share quickly with prospective employers.
However, if you have a degree in journalism, marketing or public relations, you may be able to beat the competition if there are many prospective candidates vying for the position.
The focus should be on staying creative and keeping up with new technologies and emerging trends. A social media manager that can do this while consistently creating quality and engaging content will gradually become highly sought-after in the industry. Don’t forget to follow brands you are impressed with. You can learn a thing or two from their digital strategies or draw inspiration for new campaign ideas.
Social media management sounds fun, but it goes beyond posting charming pictures of cats or discussing the company’s products. It is a position for anyone that wants a place in a challenging but consistently dynamic environment. You need to be fully prepared to learn what it takes to handle social media with a focus on business.
In some cases, this will mean a foray into social media platforms you are not comfortable with. The best social media managers are digital Swiss army knives. You may love Twitter and Facebook, but do you have what it takes to crack LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram? Your answer will help you decide if you should continue considering a social media manager position or to look elsewhere.
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