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Digital Services

  • 23 Mar 2022
  • 5 min read
  • by Elena Macciò

What working in social media really means

What does a social media manager really do? Social media executive, Elena shares her team's views and explains what it really means to work in social media.

In a world where social media has become the driving force behind digital engagement for the masses, you can’t help but wonder: what does a social media manager really do? It can’t be all that hard, right?

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Well, that’s far from the truth. It may not seem that way - but social media isn’t all about likes and follows. Instead, these days brands and agencies aim to keep on top of social trends and navigate constant updates by social media platforms to drive digital engagement, brand awareness, yadda yadda yadda.

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What to Expect in a Social Media Role

But that’s not it - working in social media also involves a wide range of both strategic and executional tasks and responsibilities, including:

  • Keeping up with social media trends and updates

  • Staying on top of trending topics for reactive posts

  • Crafting bespoke strategies that align with the brand’s overarching business goals

  • Creating engaging and high-quality content that resonates with the brand’s audience

  • Ensuring posts go out at the right date and time, as well as making sure that the spend is allocated correctly to ads and sponsored posts

  • Managing the brand’s community on all social platforms, replying to comments and messages and moderating interactions between followers

  • Measuring channel and post performance by tracking metrics and analytics on a monthly or quarterly basis

  • And more…

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Pros and Cons

That said, the question naturally arises - what are the best and most challenging aspects of working in the battlefield that is social media? I’ve decided to have some fun and asked my colleagues in Leith’s social media team to give their views on this, without actually being able to read each other’s answers until… well, now.

Everyone seemed to agree that the best aspect of working in social media is how satisfying it is to come up with exciting ideas, see them go live in a matter of days (or sometimes hours ) and watch people instantly approve of them. Tom, Head of Social at Leith, also adds that social media allows you to get a very clear picture not only of every success, but also every failure and to build hypotheses of how to improve the work for the future.

When it comes to the most challenging aspects of working in social media, the answer is clear. “Platforms, formats, targeting, audience interests, all evolve really quickly in social media” - says Jamie, Head of Social. Matt, content creator at Leith, also adds “The most challenging aspect is ensuring that we still come up with the bright ideas and make them look and sound epic in the tightest timescales.”

Finally, according to Social Media Manager Talor, the best and worst aspects of working in social media are one and the same: the ever changing landscape, whether it's an app update or a switch in algorithm, allows you to be on a constant learning curve, but at the same time… “WHY CAN'T THINGS STAY THE SAME FOR ONCE?”

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Watching how everyone replied to this question was entertaining, but I guess the bottom line is… if you’re a creative person and want to work in an ever-changing area of the digital industry, then social media is a great area to get into.

Social Media Career Advice

And for those of you who are wondering “how do you actually start a career in social media?”, my top advice would be:

  1. Get started with online courses - there are so many free social media courses to help with your online learning, and you could even considering working towards having an official certification to attest your skills

  2. Follow people such as Matt Navarra and news outlets keeping up with all things social such as Social Media Today

  3. Get creative! Make your own social media page about something you like (for example, I have a food page on Instagram) and experiment with social media features and creating engaging content

Sounds interesting? You know what to do.

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Elena Macciò

Elena Macciò

Social Media Manager