What does your day look like, when it comes to social media?
A social media pro's schedule and priorities likely differ greatly from brand to brand. Given that the role of social media manager didn't exist before the early aughts, there's no standard set of rules that determines the daily routine of the person charged with leading your social channels.
Knowing how other brands approach the role can be helpful in deciding what should or should not be part of your social media manager's responsibilities, whether you're looking for a new social guru or evolving the role as it currently exists in your company.
Another question worth investigating is whether you're asking too much of your social media person. Is it sustainable, for instance, for them to keep an eye on social channels well into the evening? Or is your brand willing to risk shelving social media issues that arise overnight until the next morning? Of course, these answers will vary greatly depending on if you're working for a household name, an international brand or a small B2B startup.
We checked in with three social media leaders at three very different organizations and asked about their daily goals, tasks and schedule—and how they stay sane, given the rapid and constant stream of content on social. Here's what they had to say:
Kelly Stone, Senior Director, Global Social Media, CompTIA (a professional association and certification provider for IT professionals):
"I work out daily, and usually in the morning, to wake my mind up. I get my best ideas while running and trying to think about anything except the fact that I’m running. In my cool down, I check the notifications on my phone for the major sites and see if anything urgent happened overnight."
Amanda Nelson, Director, Community Marketing, Salesforce:
"The first thing I do in the morning most days is go for a run. Running clears my head, giving me the energy and focus for the day ahead. I work from home, so leaving the house and coming back inside is a good transition into the workday, and running enables me to do that."
GETTING CAUGHT UP (A TYPICAL MORNING AT THE OFFICE)
"Once I’m ready to tackle the day, my first stop is reviewing how my paid social ads performed overnight and tweaking our spend and approach based on the feedback. After triage and strategy, I focus on meeting with my team and stakeholders to shift our focus to what’s ahead."
Kristin Griffie, Senior Social Media Specialist, AAA Northeast:
"The first thing I do is manually log in to all our social channels (IG,FB, LI, Twitter). I make sure all content was published seamlessly overnight and that there aren’t any outstanding member care requests/comments. It gives me peace of mind that I can start the day without any immediate issues to address. I usually refill my water and do a few stretches to get my blood moving and then it’s go time."
PLANNING THE DAY (MORNING TO AFTERNOON)
"I spend about 20 minutes going through my emails and to-do list to see what’s upcoming on today’s agenda. I’ll respond accordingly and update my to-do list pending any urgent requests or project needs."
SCHEDULED MEETINGS (AFTERNOON)
"I’m fortunate in that meetings only comprise about one-third of my day. Most of the meetings are forward-facing, meaning we’re looking at launches and events rather than checking in. Brainstorming and problem-solving are a huge part of meetings that I attend."
"Meetings vary, but we are constantly pulled in all directions, since everyone knows how valuable social can be if done right. Most of my meetings are around reporting and analytics (at an executive level—monthly), upcoming live events, team meeting (content curation, calendar and strategy—weekly). I also have creative meetings with graphic designers on upcoming needs, as well as get-togethers on special projects and customer service on social. Then there are department-wide check ins (monthly), and meetings on editorial and paid social. Social marketers usually tend to interact with every department within an organization."
ASSESSING CHALLENGES (LATE AFTERNOON)
"There’s never enough time to get everything done, but it’s all about prioritizing and focusing on the quality of the content that’s being published versus quantity."
"My biggest challenge in any given day is getting all the components needed for campaigns together at the same time, then reporting back results in a way that’s universally meaningful."
"My evening time is dedicated to my six-year-old son. We play together, eat dinner together and talk about our day. Once he's in bed, I get back online for a bit, but I think it's important to unplug and focus on those you love each day."
"I would love to be the kind of person that leaves their phone on the counter and is fully present, but I’m not there yet. Work generally bleeds a bit into my evening as I transition from Career Kelly to Home Kelly, and then I check my notifications before turning in at night."
"One of my 2019 resolutions was to be more disconnected after work hours, but I just can’t help myself. I usually do check our sites once before bed on weekdays and then on Saturday or Sunday mornings. I will only act on something if it’s urgent. I’m hoping to improve on this."
Amanda Nelson, Kelly Stone and Kristin Griffie will both be speaking as part of The Social Shake-Up, May 6-8 in Atlanta. Trade notes with them and a bevy of other social marketers—but tickets are going fast, so get yours today.