About three years ago, I decided that being a content writer was simply not enough for me. I also wanted to be a social media manager. A couple of months ago, after working closely with over twenty clients, I’m about to retire as a social media manager and transition into a social media consultant. But before that transition is complete, I’d like to share a few tips for those of your that are looking to start or switch to a career in social media management.
What are the Duties of a Social Media Manager?
Simply put, a social media manager is someone who is in charge of managing the online marketing/social media activities of a business, brand or organisation.
It is important to note that sometimes the phrases ‘Social Media Manager’ and ‘Community Manager’ are used interchangeably. The only major difference being the ‘community management’ aspect of the job. Some brands don’t have online and/or offline communities and some do. The established brands with established communities usually have two different people for the roles. The smaller brands on the other hand, with growing communities, just merge the roles together.
So what exactly does a social media manager do?
To be honest, our job ranges from the smallest responsibility of responding to a brand’s comments or answering DMs to creating quarterly reports and running million-dollar campaigns.
To avoid boring you with too many details, here are six core aspects of social media management:
- Social Media Strategy
- Content Creation & Curation
- Community Management
- Reporting & Analytics
- Customer Service
- Social Advertising
No social media manager has the same day-to-day schedule even if they work in the same company. For instance, some social media managers create content daily, while others are able to create all the content they need for a week in one day. Also, some social media managers write daily reports while others write monthly reports. It all depends on the size of the brand you’re working with.
So before you take the plunge into social media management, you need to decide the amount of pressure you can handle.
Now, after doing all your research beyond this article and you still aren’t convinced, here are some pros and cons of the job.
The Pros of Being A Social Media Manager
- Gives you Creative Freedom: Probably the biggest thing I will miss is enjoying the creative freedom to work on brands without the interference of their founders. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum where brands have given me complete creative freedom to work on their brands. I’ve also worked with clients that have literally stifled my creativity. I promise you, it is not sexy at all. Being able to allow your creativity to wonder while still being on-brand is one of the great things about being a social media manager.
- Helps you improve your skills: As a social media manager, you get to learn and juggle multiple skills on your feet. Most especially content creation skills. You get to work on your copywriting, graphic design or photography and video editing skills on a regular basis. Creating content on a daily basis also helps you improve your skills daily. I remember when I started, my graphics skills wasn’t all that and I depended a lot of on templates. These days I barely use templates except I’m absolutely pressed for time. Even when I do, I’ve been able to learn how to manipulate templates to look exactly like what I want in my head. I’ve also been able to replicate professional designs by manipulating templates. That’s how much my skills have improved.
- Helps you make a difference by being part of a brand’s story: When working with a brand, there’s one thing that should always be at the back of your mind. You’re telling a brand story with your work so make a difference. Being a Social Media Manager helps you to make an impact on your work. You need to be so good that when you leave the role, there’s a stack difference between your work and the new person coming especially if he/she isn’t that great. You also have the chance to market the brand in the best possible way. While the results of your job can increase revenue for the brand you’re working with, you’re in charge of portraying the best version of the brand so make the most of it and leave a mark.
The Cons of Being A Social Media Manager
- It can be very stressful. Probably the worst part about being a social media manager is the pressure that comes from the business owners to deliver. If you happen to work with someone who doesn’t understand the intricacies of online marketing and how it works, you’re in for a ride. If you also happen to work with someone that isn’t willing to do what it takes and provide all the resources required to make the work a bit easier, you’re also in for a ride.
- You have to contend with the ever-changing platforms. Scratch that, the worst part of being a social media manager is contending with the platforms that change literally every month. Combined with how tasking the day to day activities of your job is, you also have to deal with the platforms. God help you if the business owners don’t understand the Instagram algorithm in 2019.
- It can be a thankless job. Being a social media manager almost always feels like the work never stops and you’re never well compensated for it. The bigger brands want to squeeze as many duties as they can into the roles. The smaller brands don’t want to pay enough or supply the resources. The never-ending battles end up in a thankless charade leaving you listless and unfulfilled.
Regardless of the pros and cons I’ve listed above, I think the ultimate benefit of being a social media manager is helping you develop your skills for your future brand. While I may be transitioning into a social media consultant, I now have the time to build my Lifestyle & Travel Blog. I like to think that all of the skills I’ve learnt since the beginning of my career up until now have prepared me for this moment. I now have more confidence to blog full-time and start a YouTube channel.
In conclusion, I would say give it a shot. Social Media Management is not exactly something you want to do for a long time. It is more or less a learning ground to pick up all the necessary skills you would need to build a solid personal brand in whatever niche you choose. While you’re at it learn how to use LinkedIn to build a solid personal brand.