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WTF does a social media manager actually do?

Think social media is just about posting pretty pictures + penning witty prose? Then think again [and read on]…

Recently, a biz contacted me about wanting me to do their social media. They didn’t want to pay much [they also only wanted one post per week but that's another blog post!]. Clearly they didn’t see the value in social media OR hiring a social media manager.

Sure I have an itemised quote laying out what I do and all the services I offer but it got me thinking of alllll the work [blood, sweat and tears inc.] that actually goes in to managing a social media account.

So here is my list of all the tasks a [good] social media manger does:


Okay, so you’ve heard this a billion times before and I’ma say it again - content is the Kim Kardashian of reality TV [king]. Content creation is what takes up most of a social media manager's time. Cue: sourcing images. Taking photos. Filming quick videos. GIFS. Creating memes [see also basic design]. Ephemeral content... Basically creating content that is worth reading, engaging and interacting with!

See also 'curating' - discovering, sifting through and reading content from other sources [think articles, facts, recipes, how to’s etc], then assessing it it's right for you / your client's channels [and posting your findings].

Social hack: 'batch' your content for the week.


A good social media manager will make sure all posts are in sync with their/your bizzo goals. Why, there's even hashtag strategies now - you know, just to add to the work load!

Social hack: Are you posting to gain authority in your field? Or posting to increase online sales? Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with a solid social media strategy.


Comment. Reply. Follow. Repeat. It takes time for a social media manager to grow and engage a community of loyal followers. Post stuff that is engaging. Then, er, engage. Which obvs all takes time.

Social hack: Set aside around 10 - 30 minutes per day to engage on you / your client's socials.


Time is also channeled into creating a content calendar - to plan and work out when is the best time to post. Then it's time to schedule said post [or post in real time].

Social hack: Work out which platform you / your client's fans and followers are hanging out. And when. This will determine the best time to post.


A social media manager also measures. Once posts are well, posted, it takes time to peep their performance. What was the engagement like? The impressions? Likes/comments/shares? These stats are analysed to determine future posts!

Social hack: Facebook and Instagram provide great insights into posting performance so set aside some time to gain insight into the insights.


Whether it’s a blogger or social media influencer, micro or mega, another time well spent tactic is building relationships with the aforementioned. Emailing / collaborating / inviting / meeting or connecting with bloggers / influencers to discuss content partnerships!

Social hack: Collaborate. Invite bloggers to try a product. Email PR companies alerting them to you / your client's latest news.


If you don't listen, are you really a social media manager? A good social media manager listens to what is going on in their industry. What’s big in news and how can it relate to you / your brand?

Social hack: Read blogs. Go on Facebook. Follow news sites. Subscribe to various sites.


While people are turning to social networks to book reservations, ask questions [do you have that in a size 10? Do you have gluten free pizza?]. or leave a comment, concern or complain, it's a social media manager's job to reply as soon as possible. Social media manager or virtual switchboard?

Social hack: There is a sweet semi-new feature on Facebook that allows automated replies! Turn on 'instant replies' to save time.


A good social schedule should include time for 'keeping abreast all stuff social media'. Especially when social media is ever evolving and platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are always dropping bombs [announcements] on the latest and greatest in terms of shiny new features.

Social hack: Follow news sites. Subscribe to blogs. Join Facebook groups.


This just in - social media isn't really a free platform anymore. Sure, it's good to post and hope for organic reach but to REALLY get a post noticed and in front of everyone's feed [eyes], some kitty cash is required for sponsored or paid posts. Oh and Facebook ads can be time consuming! #fact.

Social hack: There are loads of [free] facebook tutorials and workshops online, so register for one and get a'learning!


Experimenting is also time well spent on social media. Go beyond the norm of posting. Have some fun trying out all the features [like video etc] different social media platforms has to offer.

Social hack: Go live on instagram or facebook. Create a poll. Experiment with IG stories and its latest features.


Oh yeah. Apart from being a wordsmith, planner, analyst, relationship expert - and more! - a good social media manager also does design. And curates a profile [Instagram] so it looks aesthetically pleasing on the ol' peppers.

Social hack: Use a basic design app like Canva.

See? It's not just posting pics and captions! Now if only allllllll of the aforementioned could go on a quote! [side note: I politely declined that job.]

In conclusion, I'll leave you with a fun fact: around 40% of small businesses spend about 6 hours per week on social media.

How much time do YOU spend on your socials?

social media tasks

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