Thanks to its ability to attract and engage in customers while gaining deeper insight into their wants, demands, and frustrations, social media has emerged as a crucial marketing channel. Additionally, it’s pervasive across industries—corporations, companies, non-profits, politicians, celebrities, and more all have accounts to interact with followers—so working as a social media manager can open up a number of career options.
What is a Social Media Manager?
A community manager and a social media manager are similar in many respects. They are the one in charge of managing the social media strategy, from planning posts to tracking results. They oversee the quality of each post and make sure it complies with the company’s social media policy. They are frequently in charge of leading a team.
They are uniquely skilled at managing the online community, promoting engagement and clicks, and at handling the social media aspect of marketing campaigns.
The reputation, development, and brand image of a company are all directly affected by the work of a social media marketing manager. They not only keep an eye and ear out for consumer conversations taking place in your online community, but they also produce and optimize content that strengthens the bond between the consumer and the brand.
A social media manager is in charge of making sure the appropriate information is distributed to your business’s online network at the appropriate time.
It should be mentioned that social media marketing managers typically focus on organic social, whereas paid social is frequently handled by another individual or department.
What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
A social media manager’s daily tasks include reviewing the planned posts for the day, making any necessary changes, editing copy, and meeting with other members of the marketing team to discuss upcoming campaigns, product launches, or other promotional opportunities, such as a CEO interview or a new partnership that you’d like to publicly announce. Then, you must include each of these in your roadmap for social media planning.
The nature of your specific responsibilities as a social media manager will depend on the size of the company. For instance, social media managers at smaller businesses frequently create more material than their counterparts at larger enterprises, who frequently approve copy or videos instead of producing them.
NOTE: If you work in B2B or B2C, the function of social media varies slightly. You will need to provide business-based solutions and act as an industry expert when engaging in B2B social media marketing. B2C social media management entails communicating directly with your customer base, so you may expect more conversational interactions with your followers.
The work is fast-paced and varied, necessitating a day filled with many different duties! Among other things, a social media manager might perform the following tasks:
- Increasing followers and fostering engagement: Promote a business’s presence on all active social media platforms by raising its follower count and encouraging more interaction (likes, comments, and shares). To accomplish both goals, you can be asked to create textual or visual posts.
- Developing content and campaign strategies: In order to increase engagement, you’ll be in charge of coming up with (and occasionally carrying out) social media campaigns that complement a company’s overall marketing plans. Additionally, you can repurpose user-generated material or come up with concepts for topical and timeless content.
- Analyzing data: In addition to doing creative work, you’ll also spend time evaluating data to make assessments regarding the effectiveness of a company’s postings and content. This may involve using social media to monitor what people are saying about a brand or rivals.
- Reporting metrics to important stakeholders: Businesses want to know the impact of the work you perform, so you’ll probably be asked to report your successes—or any issues that come up—to your marketing team’s and maybe the company’s stakeholders. They’ll undoubtedly be checking to see, among other metrics, how you gain more followers, boost engagement, and create engaging content and campaigns.
- Posting and monitoring social media platforms: Depending on the size of your team, you can be in charge of maintaining all social media accounts. In that instance, you might have to plan posts and monitor followers’ reactions. Additionally, you could be in charge of responding to communications and comments from followers.
What Skills Does a Social Media Manager Need?
Social media marketing managers need to be able to mix big picture social strategy with small picture details, engaging often with the full marketing team. If you’re interested in working as a social media manager, it would be wise to enhance your skills in the following areas:
Social media managers write a lot—up to a dozen pieces every day, on average. Additionally, each social network demands a slightly different writing style. For instance, LinkedIn calls for a more formal tone, whereas Facebook is lighter and more entertaining. Understanding SEO copywriting is also highly beneficial.
You must be able to develop messages that your brand’s audience can readily understand and that encourage friendly perceptions. In essence, the social media manager should establish themselves as the company’s “voice” and strengthen their brand through writing.
Social media managers need to stay ahead of the curve with the rapidly evolving social and digital media landscape. This includes new measurement/analytics technologies, industry and globe trends, and following what your competitors are doing, even on a daily basis.
Excellent social media managers set up Google Alerts on trending subjects and monitor trending content using Feedly, Ahrefs, and BuzzSumo. The TikTok ‘Discover’ tab and the Twitter Trends sidebar are helpful, and hashtag research is also beneficial.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Knowledge
Although SEO is sometimes seen as having its own department within firms, this way of thinking is fading as SEO has merged with content marketing and social media to form an integral element.
In fact, SEO may significantly affect the material you post on social media. Knowing this, a skilled social media manager works to produce material on social media that is optimized for search engines. When you include SEO in your approach, you can draw in a wider audience who is interested in your goods or services, which will result in more potential clients.
- Social Media Expertise
The requirement for excellent social media skills in a social media manager may seem evident. Even while you can pick things up over time by research and experimenting, if you want to work for a big corporation, you’ll need to have a few years of experience.
- Customer Services
Customers frequently turn to social media accounts for assistance with queries regarding goods and services, so if no one is available to respond to those questions (even on the weekends and after hours! ), their impressions of that company are likely to suffer. An effective social media manager is aware that the brand’s social media presence serves as its online voice and face. As a result, whatever they post or do on social media represents the brand.
- Visual Intelligence
Even though you’ll post a lot of textual information on social media, visual content is equally important. The right video or picture can be shared hundreds or even thousands of times, so you need to know how to make social media material that is appropriate for each site.
The ability to design graphics that compliment your postings and are aesthetically appealing is crucial for social media managers. Keep up with the everyday emergence of new memes by researching and ‘knowing your meme’ (if appropriate for your company).
Learning how to use video will be very beneficial because it is a crucial part of your social media strategy.
- Be Adaptable
In any marketing position, flexibility is essential, but managing social media requires it even more. Being adaptive is an important necessity given how quickly the social media world changes.
The ability to schedule postings is insufficient. You must be able to experiment with new features and alter your approach in response to trends, ongoing testing, and analytics that you ought to be performing on your posts.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a Social Media Manager
It might sound like a dream come true to get paid to be on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, and other well-known social media platforms. And it is for many.
Additionally, the job is ranked number 42 on CNNMoney/list PayScale’s of the Top 100 Careers with Fast Growth, Great Pay, and Satisfying Work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social media jobs are expected to grow by 8% by 2028 , which is faster than the average expected rate for all occupations.
The following are some advantages and disadvantages of working as a social media manager:
1. You’ll get paid to spend time on your favorite social media platforms.
The typical person uses social media for one hour and fourteen minutes per day. You might spend a significant chunk of your usual eight-hour workday online if you work full-time in social media.
Your routine daily tasks may include tasks that will make your peers jealous, like monitoring popular influencers and companies to see what material is hot and how fans react to it. Writing amusing comments for pictures or making shareable films for a business or brand are other ways to lend your voice and originality to social media posts.
2. Your work has the potential to go viral or have a positive impact.
Knowing that anything you’re working on has the potential to become viral or have an impact is exciting, whether you get a private message complimenting a post or see your work included among the “Best Brands in Social Media.”
3. You’ll get real-time feedback about how you’re doing.
Extrinsic reward, which includes things like earning praise, has been shown in research to help improve performance. When you work in social media, you get to see engagement with your content and insights from analytics tools in real-time, which is instant gratification. You can keep tabs on your accounts’ follower counts, follower gains over time, brand mentions on social media (both good and bad), and much more.
4. In terms of your employer, you’ll always be in-the-know.
The unique role of social media managers places them on the front lines of customer service and potential PR problems in addition to being in charge of developing the digital identity of the brands they represent.
5. The work can be very creative.
Successful social media managers use the best elements of community building and storytelling to do more than just promote goods and services; they have the ability to humanize businesses.
1. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Studies have connected excess social media use to reduced self-esteem, social isolation, loss of sleep and focus, unhappiness, and mental health concerns like anxiety and depression.
What then do you do if social media is your line of work? It might not be possible to take a break from social media, as is advised to prevent burnout, if your livelihood depends on your use of these platforms. A suggestion to deal with it is to use your phone as little as possible when you’re not working. It lessens the sense of having to “be on” at all times.
2. Mistakes can go viral, too.
While becoming one of the top brands on social media may be the goal, the very visible work of social media might have unexpected results. Your work can be labeled as one of the “greatest social media fails” due to one sloppy or insensitive post.
3. You have to constantly evolve to keep your performance up.
Except for death and taxes, nothing in life is certain. Okay, so the same holds true for modifications to social media interfaces, functions, and algorithms—the software that determines how (and how frequently) content from your brand appears in the feeds of your followers. The big social media players should release fresh upgrades at least once a year, if not more regularly. You’ll undoubtedly need to adjust your content approach when these changes take place, and engagement among your followers will probably initially decline.
4. Big news or emergencies can add a mountain of work on your plate.
In addition to producing a plan and content for day-to-day social media updates, your work may also include parts of social media customer service (sometimes called social care) and crisis management. As these unanticipated concerns develop, you’ll still have your regular obligations to take care of, but now you’ll also have to fit in jobs like resolving complaints, making sure they’re remedied, and monitoring issues and reporting back to leadership.
Is a career in social media right for you?
Only you will be able to determine whether the potential benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks. If you’re looking for a creative position where quick thinking is highly regarded and in demand, this is a job that might be worth looking into further.
Although there isn’t a single, easy route to becoming a social media manager, companies frequently favor candidates who have degrees in journalism, communications, marketing, media studies, public relations, advertising, or a related area.