What You Don’t Know About Being a Social Media Manager

Social media management. When people hear about this role, many assume that it’s a glamorous, simple and self-explanatory job.

That’s only the surface level of what the job entails. 

“Being a social media manager, you’re basically doing what you’ve already been doing - posting on social media. How hard and complex can it be?” you might ask. 

Social media management requires intricate planning, creativity, time and effort. Social media managers have to constantly come up with various types of content, create a plan and schedule for content. We are always scratching our heads for ideas to make content engaging, fresh and eye-catching; constantly finding ways to give our audience a reason to look at our content and care about what we have to share. 

Simultaneously managing six different social media accounts has taught and shown me the world of social media management -- both the excitement and the struggle. It gave me valuable insight into the core of social media content creation and planning.

It is incredibly important to understand your audience and know what they like or dislike, what they care about, what catches their attention, and more importantly -- what makes them care. And with that information, you can then strategize how to put your organization’s messages into graphics and social media post form to effectively relay those messages to your audience. 

Especially in this social media and content-saturated time period, it is crucial to be creative and stand out among countless other content. Establishing a strong and consistent brand voice and image is now more important than ever. The way to the audience’s heart is through connection. This can be done by forming a friendly, approachable, and personable image for your brand. Humanizing your organization on social media can go a long way and helps form meaningful relationships with your audience. 

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These are all extremely rewarding tasks. There’s no better feeling than interacting with your audience on social media and building those connections. However, social media management is not all fun and games. 

Managing four campus organization social media accounts and supporting two accounts for my internships showed me the dark side of social media management. 

Creating graphics after graphics, writing captions after captions, brainstorming social media strategies after strategies -- it’s so easy to become numb and stuck. It’s as if all your creative juices are gone. 

I am always questioning myself. Does this graphic look too similar to the other one I just made? Are these brand colors for this organization or the other one? Are these graphics too text-heavy? Is the spacing between the texts too little? Too much? Does my caption sound repetitive and annoying? Too serious? Too cheery? 

And I often find myself creating multiple versions of a graphic and having a hard time deciding which one is the best. 

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It can get overwhelming trying to step back and look at your social media content from a third-person point of view -- as your audience. In fact, this is really difficult since you created them and stared at them for so long. It’s almost impossible to look at the content from an objective standpoint. And this is exactly why social media management works so well in teams. 

Getting a second opinion and feedback on social media content helps social media managers stay sane and understand what’s working and what’s not. Collaborating in a team allows you to also brainstorm together and bounce ideas off of each other. 

As Aristotle said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This applies to creativity as well. Coming up with ideas alone is great and can lead to a lot of productive ideas, however, it is very easy to get stuck and experience creator’s block. On the other hand, with a team, there are other forces there to keep the group from slamming against a wall entirely. 

Aside from getting feedback, a great way to combat the “creative block” when working on too much content creation is to take a step back. 

Staring at your half-done graphic for another 30 minutes isn’t going to move you forward. It’ll only make your brain run in circles and get more confused and frustrated. 

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By taking a break from creating content, when you come back to it after your mind has had its break, you’ll have a fresh point of view, a new perspective. From there, it’s only a matter of time before you get your bearings. 

Social media management is an art. And it requires creativity and strategy. It can be tough and overwhelming at times, however, the sense of accomplishment and the rewarding feeling, in the end, will all be worth it.