What Does A Social Media Manager Actually Do?
If you are a small business owner struggling to keep up with social media marketing while still running all the day-to-day tasks, you might have considered hiring some help. A social media manager can certainly help especially if you find a good one.
The problem can often be knowing where to start or knowing exactly what a good social media manager is/ does.
There isn’t a set social media manager job description used globally but what I thought would be useful for you is to break down the key tasks I have been responsible for as a social media manager over the last few years. This way, if you are considering outsourcing or hiring a social media manager, at minimum, you have a baseline to work from.
The Role of a Social Media Manager
Audit / Analysis
One of the biggest tasks a Social Media Manager undertakes is putting together your social media strategy. Before that is even possible, as soon as you start working with your social media manager, they are going to have to do an audit / analysis of a) your current social media presence and b) how social media fits into your overall business strategy.
This is a big task but the more information with detail you can provide your social media manager, the better and more accurate your social media strategy will be.
Social Media Strategy
The next job of your social media manager is to pull all the findings from the audit/analysis and using the information you’ve provided in the client intake process, they will form a social media strategy. This strategy will cover key aspects like social media goals and objectives, your target audience, branding, social platforms, community strategy, content strategy and conversion strategy. It will also look at logistics, the specific tasks that will be carried out on execution and how your social media manager is going to track and measure the success in strategy implementation.
Social Media Set Up
Next up is set up. At this stage, your social media manager is doing all the preparation work for the execution of your strategy. This includes everything from setting up your social media profiles correctly, ensuring their optimised, putting together consistent branding and messaging and preparing a content bank for seamless implementation. Depending on your business, this may also entail staff training for offline integration, print materials and any other requirements up front.
The day to day management of your social media accounts really covers monitoring news feeds, responding to any and all notifications, pushing important information through to you, the business owner and of course, the removal/reporting of spam. There will be an element of brand monitoring and the social media manager will be taking time to engage in important relationships with customers, prospects and non-competitive agents.
Part of your social media strategy is community growth. Not everyone is going to buy from you, only a small percentage will. That means you have to have a large enough, targeted community that even if that percentage is small, it generates a profitable return on investment. Each platform offers different growth strategies - organic and paid. It’s the responsibility of your social media manager to grow your community ensuring that the people within your community meet the geographic, demographic and psychographic makeup of your audience.
Engagement is the lifeblood of social media. It’s about building relationships with your customers. It’s about being there for your customer and showing they genuinely care. Your social media manager will be engaging with your community on a daily basis. They will be present, engaged and respond to notifications within a couple of hours. Think of this as an extension of your customer service.
Content Creation and Curation
Content plays an important role in any business’ social media strategy. Your social media manager will likely use a combination of content creation (your stuff) and content curation (other people’s stuff with a relevant twist). Depending on the platforms you have requested help with, this can be any or all of the following content mediums: Blog posts, images, videos, short posts, gifs etc. There is a lot of work that goes into this area.
It is important to note here that your social media manager isn’t an expert in your field. You are so it is part of your responsibility as the business owner, to point them in the right direction re. quality sources of information they can rely on. Your sm manager also can’t be in your business 24/7 to capture all that’s going on so another responsibility you have is to provide this information on a daily or weekly basis. This would be things like company updates, promotions, behind the scenes stuff and photos/ videos. This doesn’t have to be a huge task but it is an essential one. Your social media manager will typically provide training on how to do this in the initial setup.
Before I get into conversion tactics, it’s important to keep in mind that your social media manager is not a sales person. They cannot guarantee sales for your business.
What a social media manager can do is put tactics in place to help drive conversions. For example, ensuring they are driving traffic to your sales pages through links. It could be encouraging people to sign up to your newsletter via contests, posts, ads and third party applications. It also included putting out clear call-to-actions and monitoring the response from your community.
This entire process absolutely adds value and generates sales for your business. However it is important to know and understand the role your social media manager plays within this process.
Social media advertising is probably the most targeted advertising platform in the world. This is great because it does mean if you intend to pay for advertising, you are going to reach your ideal customers. When you share your message, it is far more likely to resonate with these people and you are far more likely to generate sales conversions as a result.
Social media advertising can be pretty complex and it does take a lot of time to generate results. This is when you are going to thank your social media manager who can take care of the whole process for you and maximise your ROI potential.
Everything should be tracked and measured to ensure you are moving forward and heading towards your social media goals. Your social media manager will constantly monitoring and measuring every activity they are executing on your behalf. They will test, tweak and adapt to ensure your social media accounts are being managed in the best way possible.
Depending on your agreement, you may get sent a social media report on a monthly basis that really outlines all these changes so that you can be kept in the loop and understand what’s going on with your social media management. The real benefit here is you will be able to respond to these changes too and test,tweak and adapt your customer’s experience offline too. This synergy can have a big impact on the success of your social media strategy so as the business owner, you do want to be involved in this process.
If your social media manager doesn’t currently send you a social media report, it’s likely because they don’t feel like you will read it or respond to it. In this situation, the social media manager often feels that creating a formalised report isn’t the best use of their time and will instead just implement changes automatically. It’s important that you have a discussion with your social media manager on this topic so you can figure out what works best for you.
I mention research last because there is just so much research that goes into a social media manager’s role. Everything from your audience to your industry to your specific company all requires a huge amount of research. Your social media manager is an expert in their role which is different from your role. In order to really harness your company’s voice, a lot of research is required. Just being able to create relevant, valuable content and engage in full conversations takes a lot of work. Again, the more support you can provide your social media manager, the better the experience will be for both parties.
As you can see, a lot of work goes into social media management. The thing is there is a huge difference between operating on a post by post social media strategy hoping for the best and actually putting a solid strategic plan in place. More importantly, a plan that offers consistency in the execution. This difference is seen in the results and really, that’s what it comes down too. You want social media to add value to your business. You want to see a return on your investment of time, money and any other resource input.
For this reason, if you’re struggling with any of these areas, it may be time to hire a social media manager. If you have any questions or would like me to expand on some of the points made, feel free to leave a comment below and let’s chat about it.
Much love from my heart to yours.