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Social Media Managers: Expectations vs. Reality

Are you admittedly lacking in your social media skills? Do you miss important messages from potential clients? Are you already logging too many hours each week and social media is becoming an afterthought? 

If so, you’ve probably realized that you might need a social media manager.

Social media can often feel like a daunting task that you keep moving to the bottom of your list over and over, thinking that one day you’ll dive into that content calendar you created months ago and start scheduling. 

When you take the step to hire a social media manager to take the reins in order to highlight and help you grow your business, there are a few expectations that need to be set in place.

But first, here’s a quick list of what you can rely on your social media manager to do.

  1. Managing, creating and publishing original, high-quality content
  2. Collaborating with copywriters, designers, marketing, and sales, product, and development teams
  3. Monitoring brand mentions
  4. Developing and managing a monthly content calendar
  5. Running a competitive analysis
  6. Development, implementation and management of social media strategies
  7. Early adoption of social media and technology
  8. Measuring the success of social media campaigns
  9. Designing, managing and organizing brand assets, photography and graphics
  10. Increasing followers and engagement
  11. Creating paid ad placements
  12. Establishing and/or reinforcing brand voice and social media identity
  13. Finding ways to improve on metrics by honing in on content that resonates
  14. Engaging with influencers and initiating conversations with industry leaders on social
  15. Setting and achieving actionable metrics

All of this sounds too good to be true, right? The good news is that it’s not – and your social media manager can do all of this and more.

When we asked one of our resident social media managers for advice on working with a social media manager, she provided us with great insight.

Putting Reasonable Expectations in Place

Expectation: "I want to go viral and triple my following in 90 days."

Reality: It’s going to be different for every company and it will take time.

“It’s going to be different for every company, but work with your client to determine the top-five KPIs – or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). After that, it’s important to research your industry benchmarks. Hubspot has a great list of industry-standard benchmarks for engagement, shares, saves, comments, likes, and even your audience growth.

“[This way,] you can know — based on the industry that your client is in — what the growth should look like. Once you have those numbers in place, you can make adjustments every month and determine how to tweak your content strategy.”

What Their Tasks and Goals Should Be in the Beginning

Expectation: "My social media manager will be able to know exactly what to do in order to reach my goals."

Reality: You should have a conversation with your social media manager to express your social media hopes and wishes, and work together to achieve those goals.

“Ideally, you're having weekly meetings and check-ins to know what kind of news is happening. 

“Knowing what events and big things are happening each week helps your social media manager know how to build out content while also hitting your quarterly goals.

“If we're going to aim for X amount of growth, we're going to aim for X number of posts on each platform and that we want X engagement and shares. 

“Setting those goals is important so you can make sure the strategy you’re using is working. After a few months, you can start to identify the type of content your audience is engaging with and make space to continue to create more of it. That’s when the real growth starts to happen.

“You want to be engaging with the whole of your industry. You want to be following relevant people and sharing their content because the people that are going to come to your profile are going to see who you're following to make sure you belong there.”

What To Do Before Bringing A Social Media Manager Onto Your Team

Expectation: "I’m not worried about having branding and tone established beforehand. That can happen once my social media manager starts."

Reality: Your social media manager should be set up well so they can start working on strategy immediately.

“Make sure you're on every platform. Even if you're not active on them, make sure that you have a profile on every platform with a link to your website to contact you. 

“So that way, no matter where your audience is living, they know how to find you [and] your audience can see that you are legitimate and you exist.

“The second thing that is important to have is a brand guide or a brand kit. This is something that has your mission and vision statement, your colors, color codes and logo. This is a package that your social media manager can pull messaging and graphics from and see what kind of imagery you use so they can build out your social posts. That is always my number-one step with my clients — to build them a brand kit.”

Your social media presence is essential in continuing to build your clientele and grow your business. 

When you understand that your social media takes time and effort to grow, you will be set up for success. Once you and your social media manager start to reach those small goals set in place, those will eventually lead to milestones in your business.

If you’re ready to start working with a social media manager today, we’re here and happy to help. If you need more convincing, we have resources for that, too.