Social media specialists have a lot on their plate. Different social media platforms, creating social media strategy, keeping an eye on brand’s social media content – it’s easy to get...
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Manager’s Working Day?
A social media manager needs to face a lot of challenges and constant updates – and with that many dynamic changes. With all of this, it might be difficult to plan daily activities. However, if tasks are well planned and maintained, a social media manager’s life can be much easier.
Have you ever asked yourself “what does a social media manager do to make money?” Let’s go through their daily pleasures and duties and check how to become an efficient social media manager yourself.
Below, you’ll find some insights, ideas and good practices for social media teams on how to divide their workdays into a few sections and how to keep tasks organized in a special pipeline. No matter if you’re looking for social media marketing jobs or onboarding materials, we’re sure this article will come in handy. Before we start, let’s answer one important question.
Who is a social media manager?
A lot of people are seriously wrong with their answer when asked who a social media manager is. They may think that social media specialists are those people who spend their entire time at work scrolling Facebook, up and down, back and forth.
If you are one of such people, we have to disappoint you – social media managers actually have quite a few eggs in their marketing basket and they need to take care of them on a daily basis.
To become a social media manager (sometimes called also a community manager), you need to introduce a special set of skills and be ready for constant development. Social media specialists may work 9-5, but they very often (depending on arrangements) need to keep an eye on social media out of those hours. You know, Mark Zuckerberg does not turn off Facebook at 5 pm for everyone and turn it back on the next day at 9 am…
Looking for a social media manager seems to be a walk in the park, however, it’s becoming quite difficult to find a perfect fit. There is no one social media manager description and we would rather use a list of tasks to describe what social media specialists are responsible for.
What does a social media manager do?
Being a social media manager means being in charge of the strategy whilst managing and developing profiles from conception to completion. Social media specialists often participate in activities out of said social media. They may be involved in content marketing ideas or influencer marketing as well as advertising across social media platforms. Let’s go into detail on some social media manager’s tasks.
Social media managers are responsible for creating and executing social media strategies. This includes identifying target groups and ways of reaching out to them, but also preparing social media promotional materials on their own or in cooperation with other colleagues, teams or departments. This depends on many factors, but the most important are budget and size of the agency/company.
Another task, often underestimated by many people, but an important part of a bigger picture, is community management. While in many agencies you can encounter community managers, in others a social media marketing manager does all the job. It means that not only do they create content, but they also interact with followers and potential clients. On top of that, they often need to take very great care of advertising efforts and boost relevant posts.
There may be some social media manager schools, but to really excel in marketing strategy, they need to be responsible, passionate, creative and highly involved in content curation and creation.
Well, you now have to admit that social media managers can really be swamped with tasks, and without proper organization, they will sink instead of learning how to swim. Looking at those tasks can either make you excited or quite doubtful, so let’s talk about money.
How much does a social media specialist make? This also depends on the scope of cooperation. Some of them can be hired full-time in one agency, and they can earn more than a part-time social media manager.
If they are involved in configuring paid promotion, they may charge extra for it (usually up to 20% of the advertising budget). Social media managers can earn additional money by creating content and promotional materials, e.g. graphics.
Check out our Social Media Manager’s checklist with all social media managers’ duties and pleasures.
How to evaluate a social media manager’s work?
Three letters: KPI.
Both the employer (agency) and the employee (social media manager) should devise a set of measurable metrics to verify after some period of time and make an evaluation. However, both parties need to know that the results may not depend only on the social media manager’s work.
Getting a high, organic reach may not be the easiest nut to crack, especially if the social media manager can rely on no additional budget to be spent on ads. Social media specialists can do a lot of work to redirect followers to a particular website, but the final conversion and shopping decision needs to meet the clients’ range of criteria and may depend on factors being out of the SMM’s reach and influence. The question of how much do social media managers make may be easier to understand if you take all of those factors into consideration.
For the very beginning of cooperation, it’s wise to set up measurable and achievable KPIs. There is no sense in shooting for the stars from the very beginning. Creating content for social media may result in higher conversion and better interaction, but the effects may only be seen in the long-term (or at least longer than the very first days of cooperation, which may say something but they won’t say it all!)
The skills required for a social media manager
Among the main skills of a social media manager, we can list:
- knowledge of social media trends
- analytical approach
- content creation strategy understanding
- community management knowledge
- (at least basic) project management
- being highly organizational
- ability to work in a team as well as independently
These are only some of the skills that are considered necessary to carry out the role of a social media manager successfully. However, each company or organization might have different requirements and expectations from their social media manager. This list can also serve as a recruitment aid for those looking to hire a new social media manager.
How to become a social media manager
If you’re passionate about social media and think you have what it takes to be a social media manager, then the following steps might be of help.
#1 Identify your strengths
Do you have any of the skills listed above? If yes, then you might already be well on your way to becoming a social media manager. However, even if you don’t have all of the required skills yet, don’t despair. Many of them can be learned with time and practice.
#2 Define what you’d like to do
Do you want to be a social media manager for a specific company or organization, or would you rather work as a freelancer? Social media marketing is a broad term, so it’s important that you narrow down your focus. This will make it easier for you to market yourself and find the right opportunities.
You can either specialize in a specific social media platform or a certain industry. You may want to land yourself a job in a social media agency or go for a position in an in-house marketing team. Depending on your goals and preferences, the options are endless.
#3 Research the different roles and responsibilities of a social media manager
This will give you a better understanding of what the job entails and whether or not it is something that you think you would be interested in doing. With a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities, you will be in a better position to decide if this is the right career path for you. It may turn out that social media management is not for you after all, and that’s perfectly okay.
#4 Find out what education and/or experience is required
Depending on the country you live in, the requirements can vary. In some cases, a university degree might be necessary, while experience will be considered more important in others. It is also worth noting that many companies are now offering social media management training programs, which can be a great way to get started in this field.
#4 Create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience with social media
This is a way to show off your abilities and expertise if you have any, so it will be one of your most important marketing tools when applying for jobs. Your portfolio should include examples of your work, such as case studies, blog posts, and infographics, etc.
If you don’t have any work to showcase yet, then you can create some mock projects or campaigns. The most important aspect is to demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge required in order to become a successful social media manager.
#5 Start applying for jobs and networking with other professionals in the industry
With your portfolio in hand, you’re now ready to start submitting applications for jobs. When doing so, make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific position you’re interested in.
It is also essential to network with other professionals in the industry. This can be done by attending social media marketing events or joining online communities and forums. By networking with other professionals, you will be able to learn from their experiences and gain insights into the industry that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to get.
Salary and career outlook for social media managers
The salary of a social media manager varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and industry. In the United States, the average annual salary for a social media manager is $50,000. However, wages can range from $30,000 to $70,000 per year.
The career outlook for social media managers is positive, as the demand for these professionals is on the rise. With the continued growth of social media, businesses will need to find ways to effectively market themselves online. This means that there will be plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and experience.
Additionally, due to digital transformation, businesses are now relying on social media for customer service, sales, and marketing. This trend is only going to continue, which means that the demand for social media managers will only increase in the years to come.
Social media has become a crucial part of their business strategy for many companies, and good social media managers will always be needed to execute this part well. That’s why, if you think you have what it takes to become one, this career path could be the right choice for you. Who knows, with a little bit of effort you might even become the next social media sensation.
Tips & tools for social media managers
You may know now how to become a social media manager and what it’s all about. But how do you become a smart one? Use tricks and tools! We know that there are (rarely) some dog days in social media managers’ life – and we want to change it! So below, you’ll find some of our insights that you can use in your daily duties.
- don’t stop gaining inspiration – sometimes you can come up with an amazing idea, but the timing is just not right. Remember to gather all of your ideas, notes and even bits of inspiration in one place. You can use Facebook Saved, Evernote, Feedly, Google Keep, Google Drive or inspiration calendars in Kontentino. Remember that each piece of content needs to include a few parts, for example, CTA (how do you want your target audience to react?) and consistent branding.
- choose the best social media management tools. It will take you time and quite a few cups of tea/coffee/yerba mate… Think about what your biggest challenges and pains are. Define your struggles. Do you need a tool to streamline your workflow? Do you need analytics or maybe something for community management? There’s no “one tool fits all” approach here. Think about what you really need and choose wisely.
- plan campaigns ahead of time – if you are also in charge of paid campaigns, you can set up promotion in advance without waiting for an actual publication. This saves a lot of time that you can spend on community management or any other task.
- get clients’ approval in advance – this is a bottleneck for many marketers. They may have amazing content prepared but it often gets stuck in clients’ mailboxes, needing further revision or approval. When it’s finally approved then it’s too late to publish it, (especially if it’s a real-time example or it’s related to some events that had already taken place) and a lot of work is nothing but wasted. This applies in particular to sensitive industries and big corporations, but not only. To avoid the hassle, send them content in advance. You can do this with spreadsheets or presentations, but then you risk exchanging emails… forever. Applying some procedures and using tools like Kontentino can speed this process up. Find out how.
- prepare templates – no matter if you make the most of using graphic designers, Photoshop or Canva (we also suggest giving tools like Easil or Design Wizard a try), you should always know how your graphics are supposed to look like, and they should follow some schemes. A brand book helps to keep it on track, but if you don’t know it or need to take a look at it yourself, then it’s good to prepare a set of fonts, colours and projects. Coolors.co provides some ready colour schemes. Also, be up to date with all sizes and dimensions on social media as they tend to change dynamically. You can find an updated social media image sizes cheatsheet here.
- schedule your content – use native features of social media platforms or make the most of social media management tools to plan your activities ahead. Many marketers mistakenly think that scheduling is only allowed on Facebook or Instagram as drafts, that is why many of them simply don’t do it. Using social media management tools enables planning on many other platforms. As you can share your content easier and quicker, you are encouraged to do it regularly and more often, so none of your social media platforms would be neglected.
- follow insights – social media is dynamically changing and you need to be up to date with the freshest ideas, updates and upgrades. Being away from it for a while may result in constantly applying some obsolete methods when there are a lot of new ways of reaching your target audience.
- set up a test profile – this quick trick can not only save you from mistakes but actually encourage testing out more forms and types of content. Having a test profile enables you to test forms without consequences instead of posting something on the main profiles and praying for it to look good.
We hope that our article will be helpful to you and that you will enjoy the free social media manager’s checklist.