One of the questions I get asked the most is “what is a social media manager actually doing”. How does a typical day look like in the life of a social media manager and what kind of tasks is a social media manager doing on a daily basis?
So let’s dive straight in. A social media manager is posting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter on behalf of the client. That means you are literally logged into your client’s Instagram accounts and you post and create content on their behalf.
These are the 7 tasks you should be doing as a social media manager
Creating a social media strategy
The first step when working with a new client is to create a social media strategy. A strategy is like a plan. The strategy is created after talking to the client and knowing his exact marketing goals.
So let’s say your client tells you that they want to generate sales very quickly. You would have to consider paid marketing in your social media strategy.
After the initial consult, the social media manager puts together a strategy that involves what kind of platforms will be used (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.), and from there what kind of content is needed from the client for example videos, blog posts or photos.
Before you even dive into the creative part of your job as a social media manager, you want to plan the content for each client ahead of time. You can do that in an excel spreadsheet. You map out each month with the type of content you want to post and you’ll also add specific holidays or days that are important to your client (for example if they have a sale).
Content Creation & Curation
Once the strategy is set and approved by the client, the social media manager creates the actual content for the client.
As a social media manager taking photos is not a part of your job tasks. This means your clients will need to send you the raw original photos or videos. And they need to be high-quality photos.
Your job as a social media manager is to advise your client on the types of content that is needed to match the strategy you’ve created for their business. So for example, if you have a Restaurant as a client you would advise the client that you need pictures of the different dishes on the menu but also behind the scenes videos from the kitchen to create Instagram stories and make the content more alive. You want to be able to tell a story with those photos and videos.
Sometimes you’ll find that your clients don’t have enough pictures or not all of them can be used. It’s your job as the social media manager to check online for free stock images to use (content curation) and / or create graphics and quotes.
A big part of the content creating is to write copy. This includes captions for Instagram or Facebook or shorter form text for Twitter. The easiest way to do this is to use a google doc and write all the captions in there. You don’t want to post the exact same text on different platforms but the core message can be the same.
Think of all the social media accounts like different countries. You can send the same message to all the different countries but they all speak different languages so you need to translate your message for each country.
Extra tip: I always create the content at least two weeks in advance for all clients and I do the content creation and curation for all clients at the same time rather than jumping from one task to the next.
Once all the content is created the social media manager uses different tools and systems to schedule the content to each platform. As a social media manager, you don’t want to post every day for different clients on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc. Now that you’ve already created the content for two weeks in advance you upload the different pictures and videos together with the captions in scheduling tools and tell the tool what time it should automatically post.
Each day I set around 30 minutes to 1 hour aside to do social media engagement. This means that you login to your client’s Instagram and Facebook accounts and check if there are any comments on the posts that went online and reply to them. You also answer direct messages and if you can’t answer the question you can forward that to your client.
The goal is to answer as many comments and direct messages by yourself without having to ask your client. This is because the number one reason why people hire a social media manager is because they don’t have time to it themselves.
The engagement part is a crucial task that you are doing as a social media manager – that’s where relationships are built. Even though you are looking at a screen there is still a human on the other side of the screen.
Learning & Market Research
Every week I block out time in my calendar to do some market research and grow my knowledge. Social media marketing is constantly changing. Either new platforms are popping up or new trends emerge that you as a social media manager should be aware of.
Most importantly the Algorithm changes constantly which means a social media manager might have to change the content and strategy based on what has changed. Therefore this task should never be neglected.
Even if you are a fully booked social media manager, you always want to spend some time on lead generation and be on the lookout for new clients. This means either posting on your own social media channels or actively reaching out to potential clients via email or LinkedIn. The idea is to always have a full “pipeline” with potential clients because usually, a client stays on average 3-6 months.