I am a social media specialist. Everyone understands the social media part, but not why I am a specialist. Usually, people's reaction to this is that I get paid to scroll on Facebook all day, like posts, and share stories. To a certain extent, that's true, but there's a lot more to it than watching funny videos and stalking different online profiles. When I'm not editing and timing posts, I'm either working on Facebook ads or talking to clients, meeting with clients, planning new campaigns, designing, etc. The list is never-ending, there's always something to do, so I'm never bored.
From the outside, it may seem like I spend most of my time with my laptop and phone in my hand all day, scrolling social media platforms and having fun. It's true, but as a social media specialist, a few extra steps come into play. Now I'll try to tell you how an average day goes (fun fact: there is no such thing as an average day).
The (never ordinary) day of a social media specialist
Every morning depends on the previous day, but what they all have in common is that while I'm getting ready in the morning, I check my own social accounts to see what's new, if any clients messaged me after 9 pm. Because after 9 pm, the do not disturb function on my phone turns on, and from then on I try to relax. So, I browse my phone for about 10 minutes in the morning. I have breakfast, followed by an activity that wakes my brain up slowly: going to the gym for an hour or reading two chapters of a book that suits my mood. When my mind is sufficiently alert, I head to the office around 9-10 am.
And that's actually where the day starts. At this hour I am no longer alone in the room, several of my colleagues are already completing their morning tasks. I already have mine from the previous day, organized in order of priority. If there are no fires to put out, I'll get on with the more urgent ones. Then the ones that need to be done today, but are not so urgent. Pro tip: sometimes it's good to put those deferrable tasks in the urgent category, otherwise they'll always just get deferred.
A few hours pass here. Most of it is spent working, but we do discuss the news of the day, who we've been with lately, plan team-building activities, have coffee and a meal together. In the meantime, I plan my next day, what my tasks will be tomorrow, then I go home and spend my day doing what I want from now on. There are exceptions, of course, when an urgent matter comes up, to fix something, or suddenly the client wants to talk to me.
What does a social media specialist do?
Manage platforms, obviously, but beyond that? Research, continuous development, client relationship management, project understanding, long-term thinking, continuous planning. Delegates tasks as necessary, has a plan B, can solve sudden problems, is always available. Knows everything in time, feels where content is needed. Spelling is basic, not only in posts but also in communication. He thinks in campaigns, schedules, tests and I could go on.
The list above may seem long, but to help others understand what I can do for hours in front of my laptop with my phone in my hand, I should explain what happens from the start to the end of a project. Every project starts with a meeting. Either in person or online according to preference. We discuss with the client what they need, what ideas they have, what their goals are. After the conversation with the client, I really dig into the work: I start researching. The main purpose of my research is to better understand the concept of the client's company, to think with the client's head, to get to know the target group and what they need. It's a process that takes a few days and is probably the most important. If you don't understand the concept of the brand, you can't identify with it, you can't produce content for them. Once the research is done, it's time to produce content. It depends on the project, but it's worth thinking not just a month ahead, but up to 2-3 months ahead, depending on what the goal is. If you want to become better known, build a community, maybe be top of mind in the market, it's not a two-week process. Now I could give you a crash course in social media campaign planning, but I'll leave that for a future blog post.
So, let's not change the subject, you have to plan by objectives. Communication plan, for each month, for each platform in detail. It is important to make these plans not just for yourself, but in a way that the client can understand. So the clearer the better. This plan should include specific posts with descriptions, if there was a photoshoot you can include specific pictures. What is not included now will be done after consultation (I am thinking here of design work). It is also worth writing down what the post will be used for: advertising, sensitization, brand awareness, etc. Once you have a clear plan and have colored the table to your taste, you can send it to the client. Once we understand the company's concept and objectives, there is usually no problem, there may be minimal changes, but we will keep modifying and tweaking it until it is accepted. Once accepted, work can begin on social media platforms. We schedule, edit, design, cut, and adjust. Everything that needs to be done. And what happens when we've scheduled everything? Do we wait for them to go out? That's exactly what will happen. In the weeks to come, we don't have to spend very much time on the project, just checking periodically that everything is in place, or standing by if the client comes to us with some more pressing problem or new idea. But while we are waiting, it's good to take time to look at the project and ask the question: what next? After all, we're not planning to work with the client for a month, and we need to do what we can to help them improve their business. You could say that there is no rest if you want your client to be successful.
So that's what I'd be doing here on a day-to-day basis. This was a description of a project and a day, and it's not even an average one. Each project is different, I have to attribute different skills to them and I have to be constantly alert to what strategies I need to apply. In a nutshell, this is what life would have been like for a social media specialist at Bloomberry. I think I've managed to explain that I don't just scroll on Facebook during my working hours.