The Secret Life of a Social Media Manager



Posted: June 30, 2015 | Social Media Marketing

Have you “liked” all of your Social Media Manager’s posts today? If you haven’t, then you should. Why? Because today is officially Social Media Day! June 30, 2015 marks the 6th annual global celebration of social media’s impact on global communications and the contributions that social has made to our lives.

We all know how social looks on the outside—hashtags, sponsored Facebook ads, viral videos, and selfies on selfies. But what do Social Media Managers really do all day? Hint: we do a lot more than just getting paid to tweet (yes, I get that question a lot!) In celebration of Social Media Day, I’m pulling back the curtain to give you a sneak peek into a day in the life of a Social Media Manager, alongside some easily actionable tips on how to incorporate social into your daily routine.


BUZZZZ! First alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Wake up to second alarm five minutes later (an important five minutes, I may add) and immediately open Twitter app to scroll through my feed and check in on what happened overnight around the world. I’ll favorite and engage with posts on both my personal and corporate Twitter accounts and send a note to my teammates if there’s anything of PR interest or any product-related questions. I’ll also send myself articles to read on my walk to the gym or when I get a break later in the day. I’ll then work out, respond to emails, and then drive in to the office.

Tip: Use social media as a way to quickly find out what started trending worldwide or learn about breaking news. Gone are the days where we had to tune in to the local television news broadcast while making breakfast to find out what’s happening in our communities. Use this morning time to read press releases and check in on what new things your competitors have announced. Reading quick, 140 character social posts in the very early morning before checking my email inbox allows some of my creative juices to start flowing and gives me some things to ponder while I’m sprinting on the treadmill (OK, maybe not actually sprinting…)

10AM – 12:30PM:

Meetings, meetings, meetings! As marketers, we all know the tune to that song. This is when I attend the planning meetings for other teams within the marketing department to find out what’s happening in their unique worlds and determine how we can best work together. I get briefed on their plans and I present the social plan that I have created for each event, definitive guide, product announcement, sponsorship, webinar, customer testimonials, and so much more. I also meet with a teammate to schedule upcoming social posts on every platform.

Tip: As a marketer, working one-on-one with your Social Media Manager helps you both figure out the best plan of attack to amplify your individual programs, giving them the right understanding of the audience, the project timelines, and how it all fits in to the company’s larger set of priorities.

12:30PM – 1:30PM:

While I check in on our corporate Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts to see how promoted and organic posts are performing, respond to any comments that we may have received, and pull metrics, my teammates and I have lunch and chat over our favorite drink (Can you say Kombucha?!) I also tend to discover some pretty funny slash crazy posts that are being shared on social around this time (what are you guys drinking during lunch?! Because it sure ain’t Kombucha!) and share them with my teammates. These jokes coupled with my team’s catch-up sessions have actually inspired some real social campaigns that I have developed! #JokesOnJokes

Tip: Ideas and inspiration are everywhere—not just at your desk. Go ahead and engage in water cooler talk and see what’s on your colleagues’ minds. You never know when a light bulb will go off simply based on something said to you in passing!

Also, know that you don’t always have to be so serious on social media—even in the corporate world. While social is known as an amazing place to build your professional brand, I also more than encourage my colleagues to be human. It’s OK to share something witty and funny. My simplified golden rule for social media is “Be nice. Be smart. Don’t be mean”. So if you really like that cat video, go ahead and share it!

1:30PM – 6:30PM:

If the first half of my day is Community Management, then the second half is Social Strategy and partnerships. This is the time when I work with my creative team to get artwork created, develop storyboards for social videos, and brainstorm new brand awareness campaigns. I also use this time to meet with our external partners—the platforms we use, like Hootsuite, Track Maven, GaggleAMP, and Twitter, to learn about new beta tests and product optimization strategies. I also meet with the Social Media Managers at other companies to explore cross-promotion strategies.

Tip: Social strategy is key to marketing at any company. Your Social Media Manager does WAY more than just play around on Facebook all day. There is a fine art and science to social, just like any other marketing strategy, and it should be baked in to any program from the start. As Marketo’s CMO likes to say—“Social should be an ingredient in the cake, not the icing on the cake”.

6:30PM – 11:30PM:

Drive home, grab dinner with my boyfriend, and engage in some pub trivia with our friends (side note: I’m the resident pop culture expert, and the answer is always Carly Rae Jepsen). While I might not be in the office, it doesn’t mean that I’m not working (in fact, tonight’s work is writing this blog post!) I’ll also check in on our corporate social accounts one more time before going to sleep. I almost always have posts automatically go live in the evening, and I like to make sure that they’re performing properly.

Tip: Don’t assume that your Social Media Manager isn’t working if she’s not at her desk. This week I am remote-live covering an event that Marketo is at in Cannes, France. Social media management can and does happen everywhere. Similarly, you can do social while waiting in line at the grocery store!

Social doesn’t need to be as engrained into your life as it is mine—after all, it’s my bread and butter…and my job! However, storing one or two of these tips in your mind will help you become more comfortable using social media, enabling you to build your online brand, which is definitely a must in our digital marketing-dominant world!

Shanna Cook is the Social Media Manager at Marketo. Prior to Marketo, Shanna worked at Intel as their Digital Media Strategist. She holds Bachelors of Arts in International Relations, Italian and Spanish from Stanford University.

Read Shanna's Blogs

What’s a day in the life of a Social Media Manager look like? Find out on #SMday #WhatWeDo

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