You might imagine that being a social media manager is exciting, glamorous and fabulous. But here’s what a typical day actually looks like…
7am: Morning alarm goes off. Reach for iPhone and attempt to read mention feed of company’s Twitter stream with sleep in your eyes, glasses off and no coffee. Manage to make out a couple of blurry tweets that need responding to. Decide (wisely) they are best responded to when you can actually see. And have had coffee.
7.10am: Lie in bed trying to picture that awesome piece of content you posted on the Facebook page in your dream last night. It was gold – hundreds of likes, loads of comments and shares galore!
7.15am: Give up trying to remember dream. You’re on your own.
7.20am: First coffee of the day. Good morning!
7.30am: Mentally run through your day. Remember that you still haven’t updated the social media guidelines, reconciled your credit card, or worked out what content you will be posting to support major marketing campaign. Feel mildly deflated.
8.30am: Catch train to work and respond to company’s Twitter mentions. Check email, Twitter, Linked In and Instagram news feeds. Try to check Facebook page but the app is so slow you give up. Post good morning shout-outs to favourite tweeps instead.
9am: Get to work. Second coffee of the day. You’re going to need it.
9.10am: Log on. Open Hootsuite, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, the company website, campaign website and editorial calendar in different tabs.
9.15am: Check your official Facebook page. Notice the Talking about This (TAT) figure has dropped overnight. Feel wave of panic. Immediately decide to boost today’s post.
9.20: Write to-do list to regain sense of control. Delegate as much as possible to junior staff member. Left with customer service, check what content we need for next week, source awesome boost-able image for today’s post, present on your social media strategy at a meeting, update budgeting doc, get Facebook competition site set-up, develop campaign schedule, edit Tumlbr post, overflowing inbox … start to feel slightly overwhelmed.
10am: Customer service time. Get sense of impending doom – then remember you can assign customer service to other teams now. Happily assign what you can. Think about what a smart, savvy, time-saving system you’ve set up.
10.05am: Spend 20 minutes drafting perfect social responses to the unassigned comments – corporate but authentic, friendly but polite, informal but professional, intelligent but not patronising. Post. Time is ticking.
10.25am: Reply to one of your favourite tweeps and include #YOLO. Think about how young, cool and hip you sound. Get distracted by an angry tweet in your monitoring streams.
10.40am: Spot a great post by a competitor in your Facebook news feed. Ain’t nobody got time for that… Feel another wave of panic.
10.41am: Go through editorial calendar to see what’s coming up and what needs doing. Try to spot the social media gold. Decide that funny Friday meme is the one to lift the TAT. Adrenaline kicks in.
10.50: Check in with junior staff member who is working on the meme. Have a good laugh and then start providing feedback. Realise you’ve opened with ‘this meme has to go really well, it’s really important’ and have a vague idea that you might be putting the kid under pressure. Start providing high-level strategic feedback like ‘make the grass greener’ and ‘the sky needs to more blue.’
11am: Go into a meeting. Try to resist the urge to refresh Twitter mention feed 20 times during the one hour meeting. Fail.
12noon: Need fresh air. Brisk walk to sushi shop and back. Stop and get coffee number three. Instagram it.
12.20pm: Wade through your inbox full of requests for content to go on Facebook and Twitter. Reply to emails and schedule posts in editorial calendar. Spend too long drafting diplomatic email saying no to a request for a Facebook post promoting the new chairs in meeting room 101.
1pm: Wonder if your boss would support you abandoning email and having staff tweet you content ideas instead. Realise your business is probably not quite social enough for that yet.
2pm: Realise you’ve forgotten (again) to update Pinterest and Google+. Hastily post content on both before anyone notices.
2.15pm: Someone tweets that a room has been evacuated and there’s a fire engine. Call Security to find out what’s going on and tweet back.
2.17pm. Someone tweets asking where they can access power boards. Track down answer via four phone calls and tweet. Get shirty response back about there not being enough power boards around the place.
2.30m: Check Facebook page and respond to random comments and one rant on the Wall. Refresh page to see if any new likes appear on today’s post. Feel momentarily smug to see five new notifications. Realise four of them are posts by others on your Wall. Feel deflated again.
3pm: Remember that you still haven’t updated the social media guidelines. Put it on your to-do list.
4pm: Find out the new company videos you want to post on social have copyright issues and can’t go on YouTube. Start trying to solve the issue.
4.15pm: Junior staff member tells you the grass is greener and the sky is bluer. He races off to take a photo of a visiting wombat at the Library. Social media gold – run!
4.30pm: Spot Vine video of wombat in Twitter feed. Watch it and have a laugh. Wonder why there is a wombat at the Library today.
4.31pm: Someone tweets asking why there is a wombat at the Library today.
5pm: Everyone else leaves the office. You get into a conversation on Twitter about the wombat that’s still going at 5.30pm. Someone emails you with questions about the videos that can’t go on YouTube. Leave office at 6pm and continue Twitter and email conversations on phone on train.
7pm: Check company’s Twitter and Facebook. Realise you haven’t thought about your own social media and personal brand. Tweet some links from LinkedIn.
8pm: Think you really should update your own blog. Start writing humorous piece without your glasses on.
11pm: Post it. Tweet it. Realise your *humorous* post may not actually be that great for your personal brand. Get distracted by sharing other people’s stuff. Eyes are blurry. Feels like 7am again.
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