Do You Need a Social Media Manager?

by | Nov 22, 2013

by Kate Tilton (@K8Tilton)

Kate is the social media manager for and has been doing an incredible job running our month-long NaNoWriMo promotion this month. Today Kate takes on the question of what exactly a “social media manager” does, and whether hiring one might be good for you. Her last article here was Are You Stressed Out? Overwhelmed? Maybe You Need an Author Assistant.

In today’s world people expect companies and brands to be present and active on social media. You know you’ve seen it:  restaurants adding social media logos to their menus, ads telling you to connect online, and numerous contests and discounts from your local Bath & Body Works.

It is a changing world for marketers and the businesses they work for. New jobs are popping up all over the place to accommodate this new online reality; community managers, brand managers, social media managers, and more.

But why do companies hire personnel solely to work with social media?

Because running social media accounts properly and on a large enough scale to make a difference requires a huge time commitment. Thus the social media manager positions are created.

What makes a good social media manager?

Take a moment to think about what things you like to see on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Did you make up a list? Good. Now let me guess what you have on it. I’m guessing it has something to do with value and entertainment, right?

On social media, we users look for people and companies who offer us value:

  • Give us discounts on products we love.
  • Share the latest news (we actually care about).
  • Provide tips and tricks we can use and need.

We also look for those who entertain:

  • Share funny stories about life.
  • Show us beautiful pictures from around the world.
  • Fill up our home feeds with interesting facts and content.

Looking For a Social Media Manager

So when seeking a social media manager, what traits do you look for? What type of person creates great content to reach your audience?

Personality. So many companies forget this. Real people like real people. And what makes people real? Personality.

Find someone who you can trust, who enjoys life and sharing, and who is social media savvy. If you can find that great personality and let them morph that into a great company personality, you’ll do fine.

Dove: A Real World Example

Earlier this year Dove launched the “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign. Dove launched this social experiment with the mission of showing women “You are more beautiful than you think.”

Dove hired an FBI-trained forensic artist who sketched each women based on their description of themselves alone. Then Dove asked each woman to meet with a stranger and get to know them.

The forensic artist then sketched each woman again based solely on the description these strangers gave of each woman. The sketches were then placed side-by-side in a gallery where each woman got to see the difference between how they see themselves and how the world sees them.

This was a powerful message that spread virally across the Internet.

The original YouTube video has over 50 million views with equally impressive shares all over social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. The “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign is still being shared today, months after its original launch.

What is the takeaway from this campaign?

  • The importance of developing a REAL message.
  • The importance of having a VALUABLE message.
  • The importance of a great presentation (e.g. no typos, weird formatting).
  • The value of having a social media manager who can create or find content that matters and share it in a way that speaks to people.

The Average Day of a Social Media Manager

Social media managers are all about content. We create content, curate content, and share content. The average day for my social media endeavors goes something like this:

  • Wake up and immediately check phone for any messages that my company or I received on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Check work emails on my cell phone as I turn on my computer and go to get my contacts on. (I’d be blind without them!)
  • Scan my list of valuable content creators on Twitter for great content to retweet (share).
  • Browse online news outlets and blogs for great articles to share on each social media platform.
  • Shoo the new kitten away from eating my laptop charger (as she likes to do every ten minutes).
  • Google search for interesting pictures to add to Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
  • Remember I forgot to eat breakfast and hurry over to microwave a breakfast sandwich while checking in on Twitter again.
  • Come up with interesting content to share that doesn’t involve links. (We have to keep up with those Twitter rules you know.)
  • Spend some more time thinking about engaging updates our users will enjoy while trying to mix in facts, tips, pictures, articles, videos, and everything in between.
  • Take a break to work on my other jobs.
  • Check in again at the end of the day to see what’s happening on each platform and to make sure I didn’t miss anyone’s comment, like, retweet, or favorite.
  • Go to bed so I can be up and ready to start all over again in the morning.

It is a busy job that requires a lot of constant connection and serious organization and sorting skills. But at the end of the day I love what I do and that is what makes me valuable to my team.

We want to know. What companies have the best social media presence? What do you like about them?

Kate-TiltonKate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10 pm Eastern. You can connect with her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn.


tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. beverly

    I’m new to the social media job but I really want to take the company I manage to hire heights, what should I do to get there,is it all about posting and sharing? When it comes to creating content do I need an application to do that? (blonde question). HELP thanks for the article though

    • Kate Tilton

      Hi Beverly,

      I will soon be adding tips to my website on social media. There are also lots of great resources out there where you can learn the ropes and how to better your use of each platform.

      I suggest following companies like @BadRedHeadMedia and @BufferApp. Both offer great advice on social media that I’m sure you will find helpful!

  2. Debby Gies (D.G.Kaye)

    Great post! My question is, if we use a media manager, how are they responding to comments on our feeds if it is not us directly, the replies are more generic than natural, as the manager is not the intended person the comments are going to?

    • Kate Tilton

      Great question Debby!

      I agree with you. If you have someone else manage your social media when responding to comments it can be generic. Personally as a reader I’d be very sad to find out an author I thought I was having a conversation with was actually an assistant or social media manager. This is why I only offer my social media management services to companies like Joel’s Book Design Templates.

      As a company people know that they are not just contacting a singular person but a group of people (and anyone in that company could be responding).

      For some having someone else learn their voice and replicate it works. But for me I value those real connections (which is one reason I’m also very open about who I do work for and what jobs I do and don’t do).

      I hope this helps give a little insight. Do let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Debby Gies

        Thanks for replying and for your honesty Kate! :)

        • Kate Tilton

          It is my pleasure Debby! I’m glad we could connect. :)

    • Kate Tilton

      Thank you Katina! I’m glad this post was helpful!

  3. Greg Strandberg

    Wow, I didn’t know social media managers had such busy days.

    I agree that social is really important, and especially content curation, but I wonder if things are just being shared too much a lot of the time, and I’m concerned this leads to the same message being regurgitated over and over again at the expense of new and original content, which it often replaces, or attempts to become.

    After all, if you’re always listening to others, how can you find the time to think for yourself?

    • Kate Tilton

      Yes! Being a social media manager is a very busy job!

      I wouldn’t say things are shared too much if they are done right. Good, original content is put out into the world and social media managers find and share it so it can reach new audiences.

      The idea is not to lose yourself in the stream of things but to find new content that matters to you (or your company) and share it along with your own content. This allows you to give your audience great content they are looking for (while also having time to be able to make your own content) and gives a thank you back to the minds behind the content you share.



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