What Does a Social Media Manager Do?  (Full Job Description)
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What Does a Social Media Manager Do? (Full Job Description)

Anda Radulescu
Anda Radulescu

Table of Contents

Have you ever browsed for marketing jobs and came across terminology like "social media manager" or "digital media manager" that you didn't quite understand?

You certainly did!

The field of social media management is still relatively new. As a result, everything about a digital manager's duties can be a little blurry.

If you're an aspiring social media manager but are unsure of what a social media manager does or where to start, this article will help you out.

The responsibilities of a social media manager


  1. The main differences between community, content, and social media manager

  2. What does a social media marketing manager do exactly?
    2.1. Monitor social analytics
    2.2. Create a social media strategy
    2.3. Design content for numerous platforms
    2.4. Schedule social media content
    2.5. Engage with specific audiences
    2.6. Report on brand performance
    2.7. Collaborate with other departments

  3. How to become a social media manager?
    3.1. Must-have social media manager skills

  4. What does a day in the life of a social media manager look like?

  5. Where to start as a social media manager?
    5.1. Relevant online communities
    5.2. E-books and online courses
    5.3. Resources from Socialinsider

1. The main differences between community, content, and social media manager

We know. Marketing jargon is often puzzling.

While you may come across job descriptions with the same responsibilities but are referred to differently, there are significant differences between a community manager, a digital content manager, and a social media manager.

So let's start with the basics.

As there are many branches of digital marketing, like content marketing, social media marketing, paid media, and so on, every field comes with a naming and job description of the person exercising the task.

A content manager is responsible mainly for the content created on a company's website, focusing primarily on creating a short-term and long-term content strategy for the company's blog.

For this position, the main tasks include content planning, creation, editing, and publication.

On the other hand, a social media manager usually manages a brand's social accounts and the overall social media strategy.

This includes creating the visuals, writing the captions for the upcoming posts, and often reporting on the campaign's results.

This is a graphic showing what are social media managers' primary tasks.

And while the content and social media managers focus on the brand's content and presentation, a community manager is more concerned with the brand's digital community.

A community manager portrays an average user to stimulate audience participation and provide support.

Most social media managers either take on the community position themselves, employ an outside professional, or supervise their community and content managers.

2. So what does a social media marketing manager do exactly?

It may seem like all social media managers do is scroll through Instagram all day and have fun by creating TikToks.

But is it all rainbows and sunshine?

We are here to clarify all that.

Here are 7 responsibilities of a social media community manager:

2.1. Monitor social analytics

Everything starts with getting the right information from the right place. Every social media manager wants to make sure that their time and dedicated budget are going to the right place and will deliver results.

As a social media manager, you'll need to research competitors, keep up with the latest trends, look into industry benchmarks on social media, determine a specific target audience for your brand, and keep track of campaign performance across different channels.

If you are looking for an analytics tool that saves you a lot of time, the Socialinsider app may be worth a try.

Infographic on Reasons for Using Social Media Analytics Toolsโ€”Extract from The Life of a Social Media Manager Report 2022

2.2. Create a social media strategy

After analyzing all the data, a social media manager will need to determine the brand's message on each social media platform. The message needs to be relevant to the main company goal.

As new trends emerge, a social media manager's job is to stay relevant to the brand's audience.

If the plan doesn't appear to be working, they may need to adjust or update the social media strategy.

But keep in mind that the primary objectives must be realistic and measurable.

2.3. Design content for numerous platforms

As a social media manager, you will need to determine which kind of information will work best for each mediumโ€”photo, video, gifs, infographics, blogs, etc.

Remember to adapt your message depending on the platform you are sharing it on.

What works on LinkedIn and Twitter might not work on Instagram or TikTok.

In one of our "Insider Insights" podcasts, Vanina Harelโ€”social media manager at National Geographicโ€”says that understanding how to communicate different messages to different audiences is an important skill in this job.

nationalgeographicsocialmediamanager

To ensure good content performance, some of the social media posts should be on current affairs or global news that are important to the brand's target audience.

So make sure you research and create or distribute relevant and up-to-date content.

2.4. Schedule social media content

To stay on top of things, social media managers build a content calendar for days or even weeks ahead of time.

Scheduling ahead of time reduces workloads and ensures that content is published whenever you want, even when you're sleeping.

This is especially beneficial when your clients are in a different time zone than you.

nestlesocialmediamanager

However, in today's fast-paced industry, things change quickly, and trends can emerge in a matter of seconds.

Thus, you must be prepared to make changes to the calendar on the fly.

2.5. Engage with specific audiences

Understanding why people are on a specific platform, why they are interacting with others, and why they are engaging with some pieces of content and not others is a major aspect of a social media strategy.

The goal of social media is to create a sense of community. Therefore, a social media manager should react to all comments and client inquiries.

canvasocialmediamanager

2.6. Report on brand performance

A social media report implies extracting and reading valuable metrics (such as follows, likes, comments, etc.) from different social networks over specific time frames.

While it might not be the most thrilling task for a social media manager, it is undoubtedly one of the most important.

Why?

The only way to properly understand what you're accomplishing through your social activities is to report on it.

You can prove the worth of your social media strategy: if your content was successful, if your budget was used wisely, and, most importantly, if the investment in your plan was worthwhile.

This is a graphic showing what are social media managers' primary goals.

You can demonstrate the value of your social marketing activities to your team, supervisor, or client. You may also learn from your mistakes and get back on track if things aren't going well.

If you're searching for a way to track your brand's success and collect data more efficiently, Socialinsider could be quite useful.

Not only will social media reporting help you track your progress, but it will also offer you with a wealth of data that will help you generate leads, cultivate long-term client relationships, and create shareable content that will boost your brand's exposure.

2.7. Collaborate with other departments

Social media managers will often need to collaborate with different teams and company departments to ensure all social media efforts support digital marketing goals and the companyโ€™s unique message.

grammarlysocialmediamanager

3. How to become a social media manager?

According to our latest reportโ€”"The Life of a Social Media Manager"โ€”studying marketing-related subjects like journalism, communication, English, creative writing, or graphic design can help you start as a social media manager.

Experts also agree that the most important thing a prospective social media manager can do is devote time to mastering specific skills, learning about various tools and platforms, and staying updated with the latest social media trends.

3.1. Must-have social media manager skills

With the right skills and proper training, anyone can become a social media manager.

It's all about being creative and keeping up with new technology and trends, as well as staying curious and willing to try new things.

As a social media manager, you should be able to come up with engaging, well-written content on the go, and you should be leveraging the next big tool or channel in social media to do so.

๐Ÿ“Œ Here are some of the most important social media skills that you NEED on your resume:

  • Organizational skills
  • High attention to details
  • Good knowledge & understanding of social media platforms
  • Market research & multitasking
  • Excellent copywriting and storytelling skills
  • Ability to create and deliver original content (text, image, video)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Familiarity with graphic design and creative tools
  • Degree in Marketing or a related discipline
  • Project management

4. What does a day in the life of a social media manager look like?

In our "Insider Insights" podcast, we talked with multiple social media managers from well-known brands worldwide about their day-to-day activities.

So what does a social media manager do everyday?

Grammarly's social media manager says that she gets to do a lot of interesting things and that no day is the same.

I start by checking our Slack [...] and seeing if thereโ€™s anything that I need to address right away. I check all our channels [...] and then check in with my team to see if they need anything. I make sure I have some time for myself to work on strategy and planning.โ€” Parisa Pourhabib, social media manager @Grammarly

Zoom's former social media manager tells us that she focuses her marketing efforts towards engaging and celebrating their community.

A day-to-day is very hard to define when you're a social media manager. [...] We want to create content that will be helpful and educational for our customers. โ€” Melissa Francois, former social media manager @Zoom

National Geographic's social media managers also reveals what her job is all about.

I work very closely with sales on figuring out what we can stomp on that our editorial teams are planning already. Iโ€™m always looking for innovation, new products, new ways that we can monetize our social media accounts, so I work very closely with our insights teams. โ€” Vanina Harel, social media manager @National Geographic

5. Where to start as a social media manager?

Don't worry if you don't have any prior experience.

Working with social media is an important part of becoming a qualified industry expert. You may look for an entry-level job that will teach you the principles of social media marketing before seeking to climb to a managerial position.

Here's what you need to pay attention to at the beginning:

5.1. Relevant online communities

Joining an online professional group can help you stay updated with local, regional, and worldwide news and practices.

This is why getting to know and engaging with other social media managers is essential for your progress in the industry.

๐Ÿ“Œ You might find it useful to join these three social media management groups:

5.2. E-books and online courses

While formal education can provide a strong theoretical foundation, furthering your interest in training and developing a practical foundation are equally necessary for becoming a skilled social media manager.

This is why we have carefully selected three useful and interesting e-books you might enjoy exploring.

๐Ÿ“Œ Three e-books for aspiring social media managers:

And, if you are passionate about marketing and want to have a more flexible learning path, you might want to consider taking an online course.

๐Ÿ“Œ Three online courses you need to have a look at:

5.3. Resources from Socialinsider

Keeping up with news and trends, sharpening your social media manager skills, and getting informed are as important as experience itself.

This is why we want to make sure you have access to all of the tools you'll need to get started with social media management in the most user-friendly way possible.

Infographic on Resources Social Media Managers Needโ€”Extract from The Life of a Social Media Manager Report 2022

The Insider Insights podcast

You may want to start by understanding the benefits and pitfalls of being a social media manager.

Social media managers from some of today's biggest and most popular worldwide brands reveal all their secrets in our "Insider Insights" podcast. Find out more about social media training, industry experiences, and career objectives.

๐Ÿ“Œ Here is a selection of podcast episodes you might enjoy listening to:

Social media studies

Social media reports can provide unique industry and job-related insights.

And while social media studies are an excellent method to spot and research trends, they can also help you enhance how consumers connect with your brand.

If you fancy the idea of getting easier and more convenient access to information, then you might enjoy our monthly studies.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, a social media manager is in charge of being the voice of the company on social media.

Among many other responsibilities, they develop content, keep up with trends, write copy for postings, respond to comments, and report on performance.

What do you think? Do you have what it takes to be a good social media manager?

Related articles:

Anda Radulescu

Anda Radulescu

I am exploring with headlines that cut through the noise & content that naturally flows as you scroll. Contact me at [email protected]

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