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Social Media Manager vs. Strategist // The Battle for Your Social Media Success

Updated: Apr 14, 2023


Are you confused about the difference between a social media manager and a social media strategist? Don't worry, you're not alone. The two roles are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they have distinct differences. In this article, we'll explore the differences between a social media manager and a social media strategist, and help you determine which role is best for your business.


Firstly, a social media manager is responsible for executing the social media strategy. They create and publish content, engage with followers, and monitor analytics to track performance. On the other hand, a social media strategist is responsible for creating the social media strategy. They conduct research, identify target audiences, and develop a plan for achieving specific goals. While both roles are important, they require different skill sets and levels of expertise.


Another key difference between a social media manager and a social media strategist is their approach to paid advertising. A social media manager is responsible for managing and optimizing paid advertising campaigns on social media platforms. They ensure that ads are targeted to the right audience, and that the budget is being spent effectively. A social media strategist, on the other hand, is responsible for developing the overall paid advertising strategy. They determine which platforms to advertise on, what types of ads to create, and how much budget to allocate to each platform.


Social Media Manager

Responsibilities

A social media manager is responsible for executing social media strategies and managing social media accounts for a company or individual. They work closely with the social media strategist to ensure that the content is consistent with the overall social media strategy. Some of the responsibilities of a social media manager include:

  • Creating and curating content for social media platforms

  • Posting content on social media platforms

  • Engaging with followers and responding to comments and messages

  • Monitoring social media accounts and tracking analytics

  • Managing paid social media campaigns


Skills

A social media manager needs to have a variety of skills to be successful in their role. Some of the key skills include:

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Strong writing skills

  • Ability to create engaging content

  • Knowledge of social media platforms and trends

  • Ability to analyze data and track metrics


Examples of Social Media Manager

Here are a few examples of what a social media manager might do in their role:

  • Create and post daily content on a company's Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts

  • Respond to customer inquiries and complaints on social media platforms

  • Monitor social media accounts for mentions of the company and respond as necessary

  • Create and manage paid social media campaigns to promote a product or service


The Social Media Strategist

Responsibilities

The Social Media Strategist is the mastermind behind the social media campaigns. They are responsible for crafting the overall strategy that will guide the social media team to achieve the company's goals. The strategist is the person who decides what platforms the company should be on, what type of content to produce, and how to measure the success of the campaigns. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Developing and implementing social media strategies that align with the company's goals and objectives

  • Researching and analyzing the company's target audience to better understand their needs and preferences

  • Creating a content calendar that outlines what content will be posted and when

  • Collaborating with the social media manager to ensure that the content is high-quality and aligns with the company's voice and branding

  • Measuring and analyzing the success of the campaigns and making adjustments as necessary


Skills

The Social Media Strategist needs to have a variety of skills to be successful in their role. They need to be creative, analytical, and strategic thinkers. They also need to have excellent communication and collaboration skills, as they will be working with a team of social media professionals. Some of the key skills that a strategist should possess include:

  • Strong analytical skills to measure the success of campaigns and identify areas for improvement

  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with the social media team and other departments

  • Creative thinking to come up with new and innovative ideas for social media campaigns

  • Strategic thinking to develop a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns with the company's goals and objectives

  • Attention to detail to ensure that all content is high-quality and error-free


Examples of Social Media Strategist

Here are a few examples of what a Social Media Strategist might do:

Example

Description

Develop a social media campaign for a new product launch

The strategist would research the target audience, determine what platforms to use, and create a content calendar that aligns with the product launch timeline

Analyze the success of a social media campaign

The strategist would use analytics tools to measure the success of a campaign and identify areas for improvement. They would then make recommendations for future campaigns.

Collaborate with the content team to develop a social media content strategy

The strategist would work with the content team to determine what type of content to produce, what platforms to use, and how to measure the success of the content.

Overall, the Social Media Strategist is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns with the company's goals and objectives. They need to be creative, analytical, and strategic thinkers with excellent communication and collaboration skills.


Key Differences

Focus

A social media manager is like a traffic cop. They are responsible for making sure all of the content is posted on time and that the community is engaged. They are the ones who respond to comments, messages, and tweets. They are also responsible for creating and curating content that is relevant and engaging.


A social media strategist, on the other hand, is like a city planner. They are responsible for creating a long-term plan that will guide the social media team in their efforts. They analyze data and determine what types of content will be most effective. They also determine which platforms are best suited for the brand and how to leverage them for maximum impact.


Strategy

A social media manager is focused on tactics. They are the ones who execute the strategy that has been developed by the social media strategist. They create the content calendar, write the posts, and schedule the updates. They are also responsible for monitoring the community and responding to any issues that arise.


A social media strategist is focused on strategy. They develop the overall plan for the brand's social media presence. They analyze data and determine what types of content will be most effective. They also determine which platforms are best suited for the brand and how to leverage them for maximum impact.


Leadership

A social media manager is a hands-on leader. They are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the social media team. They are the ones who set the tone for the team and ensure that everyone is working together to achieve the brand's goals.

A social media strategist is a visionary leader. They are responsible for setting the direction for the brand's social media presence. They are the ones who determine the overall strategy and guide the team in their efforts.


So, there you have it. While both roles are important, they are very different. A social media manager is focused on tactics, while a social media strategist is focused on strategy. A social media manager is a hands-on leader, while a social media strategist is a visionary leader. By understanding the key differences between these roles, you can make sure that your social media team is set up for success.


Conclusion

So, what's the difference between a Social Media Manager and a Social Media Strategist? After researching and analyzing various sources, here are a few key takeaways:

  • A Social Media Strategist focuses on creating a long-term plan for a brand's social media presence, while a Social Media Manager focuses on executing that plan on a day-to-day basis.

  • A Social Media Strategist is more concerned with analyzing data and metrics to inform their strategy, while a Social Media Manager is more focused on creating content and engaging with followers.

  • A Social Media Strategist may work more closely with other departments, such as marketing or sales, to ensure a cohesive brand message across all channels.

  • A Social Media Manager may have more experience with specific social media platforms and tools, while a Social Media Strategist may have a broader understanding of digital marketing as a whole.

If you have a strategy, but just need help executing it, you might want to hire a Social Media Manager. If you have absolutely no idea of the content you want to put out there, but have the time to execute said strategy, then you'll probably be needing a Social Media Strategist. If you're fuzzy on both, there are plenty of companies out there that specialize in doing both!


Whether you're looking for a Social Media Manager, a Social Media Strategist, or you're somewhere in between, one thing is for sure: social media is constantly evolving, and it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. If you're unsure where to start, schedule a consultation with me, and I can help you talk it out!


Remember: stay curious, keep learning, and don't forget to have a little fun along the way!



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