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What Does a Social Media Manager Actually Do?

Social media managers are often misunderstood. Some would say they closely monitor the latest TikTok trends and scroll Instagram for inspiration all day long. Sounds easy enough, right? Not exactly. While some of that may be true—and job descriptions often vary by company—there are a few essential tasks on every social media manager’s list to advance a business’s marketing efforts and ultimately their business goals.

For many social media managers, most of the work revolves around developing strategic campaigns on multiple platforms, consistent and compelling content creation (which can include creating graphics and copywriting), and real-time engagement with followers by monitoring comments and direct messages. Think about it. The content you see from brands when you scroll on your phone late at night doesn’t just magically appear. It was thoughtfully curated with a specific photo, an engaging caption, and most likely had some sort of call to action. That single post probably went through multiple rounds of edits and revisions to ensure it reaches the right target audience, fits the company’s brand guidelines, and aligns with at least one of the company’s marketing efforts and business goals. If you’ve ever had a company re-share your Instagram story or answer your question in direct messages – that probably happened thanks to an attentive social media manager!

social media actions

Let’s start by discussing campaigns. BigCommerce defines a social media campaign as “a coordinated marketing effort to reinforce or assist with a business goal using one or more social media platforms. Campaigns differ from everyday social media efforts because of their increased focus, targeting, and measurability.” Campaigns can revolve around a product launch, upcoming event, holiday sale, etc. Posts created specifically for a certain campaign likely will have consistent key messaging and a call to action. In comparison, everyday social media posts vary from a variety of content highlighting the company’s offerings to interesting insight into how they work, or even calling out company individuals with compelling stories.

Next, let’s talk about the content creation itself. Many posts begin with a strong creative. This could be a graphic made by the company’s graphic designer or in some cases, the social media manager using their own crafty Canva or Adobe skills. A single photograph with no graphic design needed may also work depending on the post. Sometimes less is more! However, in these cases, the social media manager still has the task of copywriting the caption. Captions on social media posts are crucial. This is where followers go for more information and to gain a better understanding of the intention of the post. So, these few sentences are key to engagement. Typically, this is also where a call to action is provided. Some examples include: “comment below your favorite product” or “head on over to the link in our bio to shop.” The caption should support the photo or graphic and encourage the audience to take the next step. Remember, nobody wants to stop and read multiple paragraphs in a caption, so it’s super important that the copy is concise.

Engaging with followers can set a brand’s page apart from its competitors. When brands participate in “active listening” by “liking” and replying back to comments, followers feel seen and heard. It shows them that the brand values their opinion and feedback. Virtual communities can be built through social media pages that establish a strong sense of brand loyalty. This illustrates why it’s important for social media managers to continually monitor their direct messages and comment sections. It truly does make a difference.

There are a multitude of additional social media manager responsibilities including: tracking page analytics, running sponsored posts, facilitating influencer partnerships, etc. Depending on how big a company’s social media team is, sometimes these tasks can vary by position. But, all in all, social media managers do a lot! Their work can entertain, educate, inform, persuade, and sell! If you’re in need of social media management help – contact us today! We’d love to partner with you.

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