How to Become a Great Social Media Manager
The people in charge of a brand’s or an individual’s social media presence are known as social media managers. The position has gained popularity over the past ten years, and more and more companies are realizing the value of hiring social media managers to manage their online reputation in a professional manner.
A social media manager must possess a wide range of abilities. While posting a picture of a product to Facebook and Instagram may be simple, developing and implementing a social media strategy involves much more, including content creation, image/video editing, PR, data analytics, audience research, and more.
In this article, we discuss the duties that social media managers have to deal with as well as the qualifications you must have to work in this field.
What does a social media manager do?
Depending on the size of the company where a social media manager works, their duties can vary greatly.
A social media manager may work as a one-person content creation team for smaller businesses, handling tasks like copywriting, graphic design, and photo and video editing. Social media managers may collaborate with other people who possess those skills in larger companies.
Social media marketing managers, however, have a lot of duties regardless of the size of the team and the quantity of resources at their disposal. Some of them are listed below:
• Making content calendars and publishing (or scheduling) content are some of these duties.
• Creating creative briefs (to guide internal copywriters, designers, and editors as well as agencies).
• Managing all social media profiles as the channel owner (including selecting the content that is published on each account and being familiar with each channel’s best practices).
• Developing campaigns for the company (e.g. awareness campaigns, product launches, contests, rebrands, etc.).
• Developing content (taking photos, editing videos, writing copy, designing graphics, finding user-generated content, and contributing to editorial content).
• Upholding brand standards across all social media platforms and collaborating with the team to ensure that brand messaging is uniform.
• Community leadership (i.e. responding to comments and feedback).
• Social interaction (including identifying marketing opportunities in real-time, monitoring social media hashtags and branded keywords, managing social media crises, and detecting brand safety issues).
• Monitoring the effectiveness of campaigns and content using analytics and engagement metrics.
• Producing ad-hoc reports, as well as weekly or monthly reports, for marketing initiatives and sponsorships.
• Developing marketing tactics for promotion, such as influencer marketing, paid advertising, and organic traffic.
• Tracking influencer marketing initiatives (including locating and choosing influencers, commenting on their posts, and reposting content).
• Determining whether a particular platform isn’t generating a good return on investment.
What happens during a social media manager’s typical day?
As you may have read in the preceding section, social media managers are responsible for developing and overseeing a variety of campaigns, content, and social media accounts.
A typical day in the life of a social media manager looks like this, despite the fact that social media is ever-changing and no two days are ever the same:
• 9–10 am: Check emails, respond to messages, and respond to mentions (or delegating them to other team members)
• 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Doing working intently
• 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Lunch break; go for a walk, sit outside, practice meditation, etc.
• 1 to 3 p.m.: Meetings with other teams (social media marketers often need to manage approvals from multiple stakeholders).
• 3:00–3:30:00 PM: Examine outcomes and produce reports
• 3:30 to 4:00 pm, read blogs and newsletters and attend webinars.
• 4:30–5 p.m.: Responding to remarks and direct messages on all social media platforms
• 5 to 5:30 pm, plan the next day’s content.
10 crucial abilities that a social media manager should possess
The ten abilities listed below are essential for a successful social media manager:
All social media managers should be proficient writers because captions are required for almost all social media posts.
Each social network has a different character limit and writing requirements. For instance, Twitter can be lighthearted and fun, whereas LinkedIn calls for a professional tone.
For a social media manager, being able to adapt your writing style and produce interesting, concise copy that sums up a brand’s message and calls to action in under 280 characters is a crucial skill.
In the eyes of its target audience, a brand’s reputation and credibility can be damaged by poor grammar and frequent typos. Therefore, before clicking the “send” button on a post, a social media manager needs to be able to pay close attention to detail and identify grammar and spelling mistakes.
3. Visual design
In social media marketing, especially if you use Instagram, visuals are crucial. Therefore, social media managers need to be able to spot graphics that are appealing to the eye.
They don’t necessarily need to hire graphic designers, but they should be able to tell good images from bad ones. To make it simpler to work with and provide designers with helpful feedback, they should also be familiar with current trends in photo editing.
4. Organizational skills
A social media content calendar must be managed if you want to be a social media manager.
Many components of content calendars are subject to change at any time. Daily content posting requires you to work quickly and keep track of a lot of things, which is why social media pros schedule posts.
Social media managers need to be very organized to guarantee that assets are delivered on time, consistent with the brand message and voice, and approved by all stakeholders.
To keep track of all the moving parts, they must implement systems, tools, and processes for their social media presence.
5. A powerful business acumen
Business degrees are not necessary for social media managers to excel in their positions. But it’s critical to comprehend how business operations operate.
A social media manager’s primary responsibility is to make sure that the social media marketing strategy perfectly complements the overarching goals of the company.
Good social media managers consider how each post can support bigger business objectives and keep the big picture in the back of their minds at all times.
6. Keeping up with pop culture and current events
Everything on social media, especially on sites like Twitter and TikTok, is centered around pop culture, from the funniest memes to the most recent trends or events.
Because of this, social media managers need to keep up with current events. This enables them to seize brand-related opportunities as they arise and to post less frequently during significant global events.
Social media managers can better understand discriminatory ideologies and avoid making offensive jokes that could damage a company’s reputation by keeping up with current events on a global scale.
7. The capacity for pressured work
Being in charge of a company’s social media accounts requires you to speak for the brand. Regardless of the size of the company, this is a huge responsibility.
The fact that fans will carefully examine everything a social media manager posts online doesn’t help. A social media manager might become upset by this.
But becoming agitated raises their risk of making grave errors. A social media manager must be able to work under pressure in order to produce quality work.
8. Data analysis
There is a lot of discussion about how creative social media managers must be. Yes, they do, but they also need to understand how to work with numbers.
A social media manager needs to know how to sort through all of that data to find the most important information because most, if not all, social media platforms have analytics tools that provide tons of data (including vanity data).
Social media experts can extract and modify data without assistance if they have a basic understanding of how spreadsheets function. When they need to analyze a very specific topic, such as per post performance, this is fantastic.
A powerful social media analytics tool like Hootsuite can make it simple for social media professionals to find and extract insights if spreadsheets are a hassle.
As was previously mentioned, social media users carefully comb through a brand’s social media posts, and some of them may leave critical comments (some of which are wholly uncalled for) that are directed at the company or even the social media managers themselves.
The mental health of a social media manager may be impacted by this negativity. Social media experts should constantly remind themselves to keep their personal values separate from those of the brand, and if necessary, to stop reading the comments altogether.
Note: Having a boss who respects work-life balance, is aware of how damaging social media can be, and cares about your mental health is helpful.
10. The capacity to draw boundaries
Continuing from the last post, social media managers must be able to establish boundaries. Social media professionals should develop routines that prevent burnout, whether it be taking screen breaks, turning off notifications, or booking a trip to a cabin in the woods.
It can be tempting to check mentions even when on vacation. Because of this, it’s crucial to develop thoroughly documented policies, such as style manuals, tone of voice manuals, and platform playbooks, so that someone else can manage the social media accounts while the original author is away from the office or on vacation.
Steps to become a social media manager
The knowledge and abilities required to become a competent social media manager can be acquired in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
1. Online training
Online courses allow you to study the fundamentals of social media marketing at your own pace. These programs can be general (such as social media marketing fundamentals) or focused (e.g. How to do SEO for Facebook).
Although it is not necessary to have a certificate to manage social media, certificate-based courses go deeper into social media marketing than standard online courses. To make sure you’re prepared to take on a social media marketing job, you can test your social media proficiency as well.
Bootcamps are captivating versions of online and in-person courses that expedite your training to become a social media manager. They typically last 6 to 9 weeks.
As a beginning social media manager, internships are a fantastic way to gain practical experience. You can pursue internships in areas other than social media, such as digital marketing, public relations, communications, and advertising firms, all of which will expose you to social media tasks.
5. Mentoring and observing If you already work for a company or know a seasoned social media expert, see if you can observe them in action. This gives you the chance to observe their procedures and discover the typical duties of a social media manager. Additionally, you’ll be able to determine whether a career in social media is a good fit for you.