The titles vary, Digital Media Manager, Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketing Manager . What does a Social Media Manager do ? Please note that Digital Media covers everything under one umbrella. That means TV, Radio, Newspapers plus Social Media, SEO etc. Terms are used very loosely and many people make assumptions. I work in social media, SEO, SEM. What is their average day like. ? This week on June 30th, the world celebrated Social Media Day 2015 . Social Media Day was launched in 2010 by Mashable to celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. I read an excellent and insightful article The Secret Life of a Social Media Manager written by Shanna Cook on the Business 2 Community site. Shanna detailed her daily duties as a Social Media Manager for her company. What does a Social Media Manager actually do ? Do they Tweet all day ? Post Facebook messages every hour ? Shanna works for a company and has a schedule based on her obligations to her employer. What about an independent owner ? A freelancer like me ? What is my day like ? People will not understand or appreciate the service we provide or the costs unless we communicate it in a clear and concise manner. I think people would be surprised. Let’s Go !
5:30 AM – Wake up Time – Depends on the day, it may be exercise or I start with my Facebookfeeds, personal and professional. Twitter is very popular with many social media managers but Facebook is my last and first read every day. I scroll through my feed, looking for articles for my clients for the day ahead. I start saving articles as I read. Digital Managers, Social Managers must be global thinkers in order to provide the best service for their clients. That can only be achieved by reading from different outlets with diverse views in the US and around the World. I read the feeds from Business Insider , We Are Social Media , Search Engine Watch, The Washington Post The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ESPN, LA Times, Fast Company and Huffington Post . I save articles for later review, either for personal research or for my clients. If it is Sunday ( no rest when you are a freelancer, Sunday is not a rest day ) I love the Business section of the NY Times for Adam Bryant My feed is set to post articles in Web Design and Social Media along with news outlets all over the world. I read in English and read some stories in Spanish from Spanish news outlets like to make sure I am not missing anything.
6:30 to 8:30 – Breakfast and during breakfast I read The Skimm on my phone. The Skimm provides an excellent summary of the latest news in the US and the world. That is my daily Fix. I sometimes read Flipboard which provides some additional entertainment news. My husband and daughter are off to work and school.
8:30 AM to 10:00 AM – Freelancers need build clients and a base from scratch, daily. This requires networking, calling, emailing and looking for work online. Not every client is the right fit, sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not. The key to staying ahead, is to cut your losses and move on. In order to ensure I stay on track, I use Track Your Hours an amazing tool shared by my neighbor who is an extremely busy Freelancer in the Digital world. I review several websites for possible client leads including Linkedin , ELance and several other sites for freelancers in web and social media. Some days there are no leads, other days a few leads, economic conditions are still tight especially in Atlanta. I also try local creative agencies like Creative Circle or Creative Group. You need to have dogged persistence with these types of agencies or there will not be much coming your way, out of sight means out of mind. There are many websites but just a few of them produce any credible results. Indeed.com , Monster.com to name a few, produce no call backs or results. Job openings are posted as a courtesy and most are filled by the time they hit the online sites. The best results come from networking and personal referrals, that is how it works. Many people figure out a bit too late that networking is the key to long term employment. You have to have a connection in order to move forward.
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM – I move on around 10:00 to the reading and learning phase of my day. Reading daily in addition to reading through social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram is one of the most important parts of the day. I review and read saved articles which may pertain to clients and read articles with new updates. I decide which articles are good for posting and get to work. I also do a quick daily review of fashion and entertainment online magazines Hola! , Hello Magazine UK , Style.com , The Cut . Some days I meet with my clients and review their sites or review with them via phone. I also work on monthly reports for each client to ensure that they have updated information on their brand and their progress. Content building is Key !
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM – I review all of my client social media sites, past and present. I also review websites I have designed for myself or clients. I make sure they are loading correctly, that the posts are current and that there are no problems with content and posts. For the sites I manage , I check to ensure that there are no questions or comments from readers. Customer Service is the most important aspect of social media, it is an extension of the brand. Questions should be answered immediately, comments acknowledged and responses made. There is no room for poor service to prospective customers.
12:00 PM to 1: 30 PM – I add and schedule content on all of my client sites. I am also the volunteer Communications Chair for my neighborhood association Piedmont Heights and I help to manage all of their social media pages Piedmont Heights Facebook as part of my routine.
1:30 PM to 2:30 PM – If I am not the carpool mom , Content building continues. If I ‘enlightenment” phase of the day. I go back and start to review and read articles relating to the latest news and information from the Web Design and Social Media worlds. I have several favorite sites I review daily . I read all day but one hour of intense reading is great. I read online and off line a selection …Search Engine Watch , Social Media Examiner
2:30 PM to 5:30 PM – My daughter is home from school so it is time for homework. I continue to read as she starts her work for the next several hours. I read on my phone or my tablet. Web, Social and Daily Topics and I continue to save articles as I read.
9:00 PM to 10:30 PM – I watch local news and cable news ( if I am in the car, at any time during the day) , I listen to BBC News. Those intrepid reporters travel to every corner of the earth to report news and information to the world in an unbiased fashion. They bring the world into my car and I appreciate their hard work. I also listen to CNN, Al Jazeera English, NPR and MSBNC while on the road. Social Media Managers have to be global thinkers twenty four seven. While watching the news at night I continue to review my Facebook feed for news and information to save for the day ahead.
What I did not do today.
Work on new websites, that will have to wait until tomorrow. Coming up ? The Day in the life of a Web Designer.
Is this what you imagined the day would be ? Any surprises ? Share your thoughts ! Thank you for reading!
Debra Gibson-Welch is a Freelance Web and Digital Marketing Manager living in Atlanta, GA. Her clients include, Eldorado Technology, Zumba Karen Argrett Richardson , Let’s Talk Wellness and others. Visit her DEEG Consulting