No, social media managers do not just “sit around on Facebook for an hour” – they actually do it all day!
When you think of a social media manager, you imagine a bubbly mid-20s girl with a Starbucks on one hand and her phone on the other, tapping away on Twitter with a Kim Kardashian meme to embody her current mood. But the truth is, you couldn’t be farther from the reality of everyday dealings for social media specialists.
Do they really spend all that time just browsing through various social media platforms? How much time do they loan for analytics and reporting? Is it really part of their job to know colloquial lingo and whether the latest KUWTK episodes is going to turn into a meme-filled gold mine? The answer to all of that is yes.
As a social media manager, they are expected to be on beck and call to constantly track the latest happenings all over the world. They are rarely disconnected from the internet, as is the job requirement, and are always buzzing with ideas on how to create more engaging content and grow their followers.
It’s a job that lends itself to some high-strung moments, what with everyone on their phones and putting out various contents in multiple social channels thereby creating a hyper-digital and interconnected digital space. But it can also be rewarding.
No single day is the same for any social media manager, it all boils down to their respective industries and the goals their individual companies have put in place that they need to achieve. In the end, all social accounts function as a piece of a brand’s unified voice.
To help you understand the day-to-day experience of working in social media, we decided to break down the tasks social media managers tackle each day, focusing on both the more popular parts of the job and some you might not know too much about.
Rest assured, if you are a social media manager or looking to be one in the near future, here’s what you can expect to happen on a daily basis.
- Checking social channels and responding to queries. For several social media managers, their day usually begins with a cup of coffee on hand and their phone in the other, tapping away at yesterday’s social outputs. This is the time they briefly scan through their brand’s social channels and respond to any questions or comments that require immediate feedback. These types of tasks are the ones usually done first thing in the morning.
- Reading up on the day’s trends. Once the initial load of social responses has been carried out, the next most important thing to do is read up on the trending events of that day. This is crucial to do first thing, to gauge the direction of your social media plans for the day. If your company caters towards more liberal use of colloquialism, you might even factor in a Lady Gaga quote for that day. It’s always better to know the lay of the land beforehand, so you can apply any necessary changes to your strategy as early as possible.
- Creating and scheduling social posts. Now that you’ve told Paul from Texas that you understand his concern and will be handling it with urgency and that climate change has yet to end the world for the nth time, you can now go ahead and plan for the day. Because you’ve granted yourself knowledge of the daily trends, you can even tweak which posts or which manner of posting would be best for that day. This part usually takes 2-3 hours depending on the brand, but is easily the most important one as this is one of the biggest social presences people will actually see and engage with.
- Monitoring analytics. This would be when you track the success of promotions either manually or in a marketing automation tool. The process of tracking campaign performance is vital to ensure the successful outcome of your strategies, and also lets you check in on whether there are certain areas you can improve on or omit altogether. Social media managers make use of different analytics tools to gauge the performance and get a sense of how the campaign is going, with a focus on engagement tics such as likes, shares, and clicks.
- Meetings with clients. Some companies have morning meetings first thing in the morning, some do it at the end of the day for a more rounded out discussion. But keeping in touch with your clients, vendors, or stakeholders is integral so that your initiatives for the brand are always in centre focus. Communication between both parties is encouraged, so you can both bounce ideas off each other and really feel the growth of your plans as they come to.
- Planning and strategizing. This is the part of the day you can dedicate to thinking of creative ways to promote content, events, and engage fans. Most social media managers have perfected the balance between looking at the small details, and still planning for big-picture social strategies. Strategising and planning are two key areas of any social media-centred job, as they pour out most of their time understanding the different social media algorithms to find out how to best optimize their efforts.
- A little bit of everything. Not all social media managers do work in the evenings, but since social media runs on a 24-hour cycle, it’s important for them to be aware of what’s going on with their channels at all times. This requires them to almost always be on top of current news trends. Whether it is responding to inquiries in real-time or chatting with a client about which Taylor Swift lyric would be best to quote, social media managers are always putting in the work.
A social media manager is constantly changing to keep up with the changing times. They are an integral part of the marketing team as they manage the brand’s online community, and split their time between balancing a multitude of channels with its own specific workarounds.
Contrary to popular belief, it cannot be chalked up to simply “being online 24/7”. These people are integral to any company’s reputation, growth, and brand image. It can be daunting to always stay connected and in the loop, but social media managers who have their eyes and ears attuned to consumer conversations are what makes or breaks a company’s online presence.