Social Media Managers have been around for a long time now. However, what makes a great social media manager? Regardless of the role when we work under a corporation we get limited to the vision of what they think they want. And yes, this even happens in agencies revolved around social media. They think they know best but the are blinded by tunnel vision and bias to what they think is the full truth of marketing. However, a big part of effective marketing is to have an outside perspective that is not restricted to the influence of internal company decision making. Here is a direct quote of a fellow misused social media manager.
“Social Media Manager” is an excuse for upper management to dump the workload of 10 or more people on to one individual person, then expect miracle-like growth results (which albeit does happen but it is extremely rare), then blame that individuals for inevitable failure.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: WHAT IT IS REALLY ABOUT
To answer this question it is important to realize what social media is. Social media is customer service, influencer marketing, content, seo, advertiser, analytics, insight, and building a brand.
Now all these things are important to consider when you consult with a social media manager, however, do not confuse a social media manager with 10 social media specialists. Do not confuse a social media manager with a social media strategist.
A social media specialist may also do tasks in social accounts;however, they tend to focus on small tasks.
Social media managers do tasks like executing strategy, managing other specialists to stay on deadlines and creating a innovate and motivated work enviornment for the social media team.
A social media strategist does exactly that. They create strategy and commit most of their time into innovating new ideas. They are the backbone of the entire team but the manager is the muscles and ligaments that help things move while specialists are simply the smaller joints that are important in moving smaller tasks.
A spine to a arm to a finger; is as a strategist to a manager to the fingers. They are all important in their own roles. You can lose a couple fingers and still be fine though less effective, you can lose an arm but be ineffective or you can lose a spine where you may now become useless.
So we’ve gone through the basic mindset of the importance of each role and how a social media manager may fit into any workforce. Keep in mind, a social media specialists job may just be publishing posts on time. This can be automated. Although you can also automate other things, they are often against TOS.
Now what makes a good social media manager?
I manage a team of 8 managing around 20-25 social media accounts (Instagram and Facebook primarily). My focus is to oversee everything and ensure that we’re meeting the clients priorities and also our own.
Larger corporations will have managers who are specialized in different things. Now let’s take a relationship manager for one. The number one thing I tell my team is to manage the accounts as if it was your own business. Basically asking yourself constantly how would I make this succeed? Their day to day involves a little bit of everything…
content creation (writing captions, finding images, creating designs)
audience segment building (identifying audiences that match our target demographic)
engagement with consumers by actively responding and answering questions
post optimization (testing out different times/days/types of content)
creating strategies (posting is one thing, engaging with your consumer is another)
client communication. Etc..
That being said. What you will do as a social media manager will differ business to business. At our agency, we have managers specialize in each category. We also have specialists who help them do the hourly tasks that take up time from the larger picture.