SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT; it’s not what you think it is.

I am a social media manager and I can tell you that it’s not a bed of roses.

Quite often you are going to land on job adverts for “Social media managers.” You’ll right away think of holding your phone, tweeting and retweeting all day, doing simple things like A, B, C, on Instagram and LinkedIn, saying “Sorry” and “Thank you” to the unsatisfied and satisfied clients on Facebook for the given dollars but, here is what that ad doesn’t tell you.

Being a social media manager, you are expected to do the community management, all EMAIL marketing, offline project management, and of course have an immaculate eye for detail, be a go getter, and have an unlimited creative ideation.
Okay, I’m not saying social media management is as hard as Surgical Ventricular Restoration but there is more to it than just the normal social media hype of a random user and, I don’t know who needs to hear this but, content blogging on social media and community management should be two separate roles.

Anyway, in case you didn’t know, social media management is creating content for it, writing press releases/blogs/articles, updating the websites, promoting weekly events, creating email blasts, marketing merchandise, and writing, copyediting, and designing print publications.

As a content creator, I can’t tell you the number of nights and early mornings I have pulled creating content on the fly for my higher-ups to lose their cool because the content had spelling error or went out at the wrong time.
For a fact, I find myself planning, executing, and finishing every aspect of marketing. Posting content, managing photoshoots, taking/editing photos, website design, SEO/ads, email blasts, etc. And when a role expects all of the skills I’ve listed, they call it “excellent ability to multitask”
Being a content creator requires you to be a copywriter, copy editor, graphics designer, videographer, strategic data analyst, moderator and a community manager where your even lucky to make $50 at an entry level. You have to negotiate your brains out to make even more than that.

Having to create content, oversea content, liaison digital& marketing concepts, execute, stay on top of trends & deal with all the “hey, can you put this up?” texts. Don’t get me started on having to create social plans for specific rollouts with little to no guidelines.
And not to mention the detriment to our mental health as a result of taking the brunt of abuse from trolls. You’re not telling a brand you “hope they die” you’re saying that to the poor social media manager behind the screen.

People never take your role seriously and give you zero budget or personnel to create content because they think it’s as easy as taking a few photos on your phone and calling it a day. Plus, people do not realize how much time it takes to write a good social post. No one takes the role seriously and the starting pay always reflects that.
It is for some brands, but we also know brands barely think social media deserves the budget for it, so this is why most social media managers are photographers, graphic designers, creative directors, marketing managers, etc.
More of the reasons why social media managers are all that is in cases where the roles are too separated so the videographer doesn’t understand social so can’t produce the right content, the copyeditor follows a style intended for published books so the captions come out stiff etc.

If you manage social media on behalf of a company, you’ve probably heard this question;
“How does your social media work help bring in more …….” Social media management requires a very strategic approach because it’s just 1/10 times that you’ll know how a certain post will impact the curves.
And it’s the approach that challenges all the misapprehensions that all we do is “open computers and tweet whatever comes to the brains”. When people be like “Oh my god, what does she even do here all day? She’s just always on her phone…” yes, I’m making sure this dumb photo/link combo is optimized for mobile viewing because it’s a god damn crapshoot.

A lot of people have mastered and continue to master every social media platform so they think it’s not hard to produce content. But you know most of these people on social media have no rules to follow. I think they won’t respect it until there is an elite degree path leading to PHD in Social media science.
If managers wonder why social media management is such a hit-it-and-quit-it role, I just explained it. People are never satisfied and focused on the dumbest shit. People dream up ideas but don’t want to hear the steps necessary to build it.
Boomers plus older gen Xers’ knowledge of social media extends just a little further than your grandparents posting on Facebook. Which means we as Social Media Managers need to do better! We kinda have to if we don’t want to screw over the next generation of Social Media Management professionals.
However, the work is remarkably fulfilling, challenging, and worth all the effort I put into it.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Amanda Patience

Amanda Patience

Creative Writer, Techprenuer and Digital Media Lead at Treepz Uganda.