What is a Social Media Manager?

 If you’re passionate about media trends and spend most of your time on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, you may be thinking about turning your love for social media into a career. The good news is that social media is one of the fastest-growing industries around and there are plenty of career opportunities available for those who are passionate about working in this field. A few of the most popular social media jobs include being a digital strategist, a community manager or a social media manager. Although these roles have several things in common, such as understanding how to engage an audience and create positive buzz around a company, if you’re interested in fully developing and managing the voice of a brand, then becoming a social media manager is the role for you.

We recently sat down with Juliette Dallas-Feeney, Senior Social Media Manager at Birchbox, to learn more about what it means to be a social manager and to get some tips on how to do it right.

What does a social media manager do?

A social media manager develops a company’s social media strategy and manages their social channels. This often includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. In addition to being the voice of a brand, social media managers analyze the results of their campaigns by tracking engagement metrics such as likes, clicks and shares.

What are some of the responsibilities of a social media manager?

The primary responsibilities of social media managers include crafting engaging posts, analyzing campaign performance and communicating with people via the company’s social channels. For example, Juliette’s day-to-day responsibilities include making sure that the company voice is always consistent and that there is a strong community feel across all Birchbox’s social platforms. “I’m leading our entire social media strategy and figuring out how we can combine our marketing messages and make our community fall in love with us,” she explains. Working on those two things in tandem means always being aware of what users are looking for in a brand and being able to deliver that on all channels simultaneously.

What are some of the challenges social media managers face?

Since social media relies heavily on timely, relevant content, staying on top trends can be challenging. It’s what Juliette describes as a “24/7” job because it requires you to know what’s trending on your channels (and in your industry) at all times. One of the other challenges social media managers face is understanding how to use metrics effectively and how to optimize campaigns based on those metrics. But if you’re afraid that these challenges make social media management overwhelming or boring, don’t be. Juliette’s favorite part of her work at Birchbox? “Playing and experimenting all the time,” she says.

As a rapidly growing and changing field, social media is a great career path for those who are excited to uncover new trends and capitalize on them. If this sounds like a job you’d be interesting in taking on, then becoming a social media manager might just be for you.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look for In an Internship and find answers to common interview questions such as Why Do You Want to Work Here?

How to Become a Social Media Manager

 If you spend hours crafting your Snapchat story and have an interest in capitalizing on media trends, becoming a social media manager might be the job for you. What is a social media manager? It’s a role that allows you to be the voice of a company on social media, building the brand and the personality of the organization. Sound good? Before you start looking for a social media internship or entry-level job, here’s what you need to know about working in this industry.

What is a social media manager?

A social media manager manages social media accounts for a company. This can include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. They are responsible for growing and maintaining engagement by posting on different channels, analyzing metrics and optimizing media strategies.

According to Juliette Dallas-Feeney, Senior Social Media Manager at Birchbox, the role is “the perfect combination of storytelling and analytics.” Social media managers are all about engagement, which means that their primary focus is to create social posts that will resonate with audiences across multiple platforms. Day-to-day, this involves staying on top of media trends and making sure that marketing messages are consistent across all channels. Another key part of the role is building a community around a brand.

What skills do you need in order to become a social media manager?

Social media management requires creativity and an analytical brain. The type of person who does best in this role possesses the following skills.


Crafting engaging posts is a key part of this role. This means writing copy that resonates in the brand voice and adapting that copy to fit different platforms. Whether it’s a tweet or a Facebook post, your writing should appeal to as many users as possible.


Being creative and taking chances is also important. “There is a ton of room for experimentation in social media. The key to being successful is trying anything and everything and understanding what sticks,” Juliette explains. This means brainstorming new strategies and testing them out to find the ones with the highest impact.


Social media managers also have to be analytical. “You have to understand metrics and be able to see what’s working and what’s not,” Juliette says. This is because social media relies heavily on analytics in order to test different ideas and find the best ways of communicating with users. You’ll also need to have experience with programs like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets to record and analyze the metrics provided by each of the channels you manage.

Customer Service

Last but not least, social media managers have to be well-versed in customer service. Social media platforms are often the first point of contact for many customers of big brands like Birchbox, so finding ways to address problems and highlight successes is one of the key parts of this role.

Pro Tip: Graphic design is another key skill for social media managers and knowing your way around Photoshop and Canva will make you stand out from the pack. If your design skills could use some help, try taking a free online class at places like Khan Academy or Open Learning.

How do you get started in the industry?

One of the key steps to landing a job in social media is to build your own social media brand. “Having your own social media presence is really important,” Juliette explains. This is something she looks for when hiring new members of her team at Birchbox. Your social accounts will serve as your digital portfolio, showcasing your creativity and communication skills for potential employers. To build your social media brand effectively, make your accounts public and make your voice a mix of professional and fun. Above all, be authentic. This is one of the key tenets of social media and something that companies strive to do when developing and maintaining their brand voice.

Once you’ve established a social media presence, offer to help businesses with their social media accounts. Start small and focus on building a portfolio and tracking success by measuring engagement and growth across platforms. After you have some experience under your belt (and some impressive numbers to share) apply for paid and unpaid internships or freelance projects within the field. These roles will give you the hands-on experience you need to land your first entry-level job, and will help you determine whether a social media job is a good fit for you.


Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Answer Top Interview Questions and find answers to common interview questions such as What Gets You Up in the Morning?.

What Does a Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager Look Like?

If you’re thinking of becoming a social media manager, you might be wondering what your daily schedule will look like. Will you be spending all day posting on Facebook and Instagram? How much time will you need to dedicate to analytics and reporting? To help you understand the day-to-day experience of working in social media, we decided to break down the tasks social media managers tackle each day, focusing on both the more popular parts of the job and some you might not know too much about.

Here’s what the schedule of a social media manager looks like:

Morning: Checking Channels, Scanning News Sites, Creating Social Posts

Since social media runs on a 24-hour cycle, it’s important for social media managers to be aware of what’s going on with their channels at all times and to be on top of current news trends. “A lot of people think I’m just painting my nails and Snapchatting all day, but there’s so much more to it than that,” explains Juliette Dallas-Feeney, Senior Social Media Manager at Birchbox.

Checking channels

For most social media managers, the day begins with a quick check on what’s going on with all of the company’s social channels. If there are any questions or comments that require immediate responses, these are typically taken care of first thing in the morning.

Scanning news sites

Once all of the company’s channels have been checked and questions answered, social media managers normally scan news sites for breaking news stories or trending topics related to the specific industry the company is a part of.

Creating social posts

Having a handle on the day’s news is especially useful for crafting engaging posts, which is the next item on the agenda and usually wraps up a social media manager’s morning. Although this part of the day usually only takes 2-3 hours it’s one of the most important because this is the part that the brand’s community actually sees.

Afternoon: Analyzing Campaign Performance, Planning, Meetings

With social posts out of the way, social media managers generally spend the afternoon analyzing campaign performance and developing new strategies and campaigns.

Analyzing campaign performance

Tracking campaign performance is one of the keys to ensuring successful outcomes. In order to get a sense of how these campaigns are performing, social media managers use a mix of different analytics tools designed to measure engagement such as likes, shares and clicks. In turn, these factors correlate to website traffic and customer acquisition which directly affect a company’s revenue.


Strategizing and planning are two of the key areas of any social media job and something that social media managers always focus on. This part of the day generally includes creating content for current social media campaigns or planning out new strategies to test on both existing and emerging platforms.


Another key part of a social media manager’s day, and one that often goes hand in hand with planning, is attending meetings. These meetings are generally focused on ensuring that the company’s messages are consistent across all of its channels and that the social media strategy takes into account things like new product launches and company news.

As an innovative and fast-growing industry, social media offers great opportunities to represent a brand. In order to do that well, “It’s important to be able to wear many different hats and be really scrappy,” Juliette explains. By having a clear idea of what to expect in the role, you’ll be able to position yourself to land a job at a great brand like Birchbox. And when you’re ready to prepare for the interview, we have some great interview advice to help you put your best foot forward.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 5 Things You Must Do to Prepare for Your Video Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as Are You Willing to Relocate?

Common Tools for Social Media Managers

If you’ve already found out tips on how to become a social media manager from Birchbox’s Juliette Dallas-Feeney, you know that working with social media involves more than just a knack for posting funny memes. It also requires an understanding of the social media landscape and an analytical mind. Whether you’re applying for a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, there are several tools that can help you measure stats accurately and consistently in the fast-moving world of social media. These tools can also help you maximize engagement across different channels and get the best results for your campaigns.

If you’re thinking about applying for a social media role, familiarizing yourself with these tools will help you demonstrate knowledge of the field during the interview.

Here are some of the most common tools you’ll need when entering this field.

1. Google Analytics

One of the best and easiest ways to track the performance of your social campaigns is Google Analytics. This free analytics service is easy to integrate into any website and offers comprehensive reporting for website traffic, including audience insights and geographic breakdowns of where your traffic is coming from.

Why it’s important: Social media managers use Google Analytics to keep track of which pieces of content are performing well on various social channels and how those channels are driving traffic to their websites. The service (which has a paid component with even more in-depth insights) is one the best ways to stay up-to-date on how your site and social media accounts are performing, making it easy to test different strategies and track results.

2. Hootsuite

One of the most established tools for social media management, Hootsuite makes it easy to create, schedule and track social posts across different platforms. Hootsuite is most commonly used with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn although it has the ability to connect with a total of 35 social networks. This makes it a one-stop shop for social media management, letting you manage all of your accounts in one place.

Why it’s important: Hootsuite allows you to schedule and analyze your social posts as well as create custom reports that you can use to track campaign performance. In addition to making it easy to see all of your social accounts in one place, the tool also acts a social-listening device, offering you real-time information on trending topics that you can leverage to boost engagement.

3. Facebook Insights

A great tool for any social media manager, Facebook Insights makes it easy to measure things like reach, engagement, clicks and shares. The interface also lets you generate reports for individual time periods so that you can get an accurate idea of trends for a specific month or quarter. As an added bonus, Insights shows you pages similar to yours, making it easy to capitalize on new social trends in your specific field.

Why it’s important: Since Facebook is the single-highest traffic driver for websites across almost every industry, social media managers rely on Facebook insights to understand how audiences are engaging with their content and create strategies for maximizing the impact of their campaigns.

4. Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager is one of the most important tools in any social media manager’s toolbox. This service makes it easy to create, run and track ads on Facebook, ensuring maximum engagement with your target audience.

Why it’s important: Social media managers use Facebook Ads Manager to increase engagement and boost traffic to the company’s website. This can be done by boosting existing posts or creating sponsored ones to engage new users and increase visibility. Best of all, Facebook offers tools to manage spending and track ad performance.

4. Buffer

Like Hootsuite, Buffer is a social media tool that allows you to schedule, publish and analyze posts on multiple social platforms at once. Another freemium service (that offers additional services for a premium fee), this is a wonderful alternative to Hootsuite, offering increased flexibility with scheduling and the ability to manage your social channels from one place. Buffer also has an innovative creative tool that lets you turn quotes into images, driving more engagement to your posts.

Why it’s important: Every expert has their preferred tools and some social media managers prefer Buffer’s interface and analytics tracking platform to the one offered by Hootsuite. The only way to know which one is right for you is to try both and see what fits your needs.

Pro Tip: Since different companies use different scheduling and tracking tools, having in-depth knowledge of several social media management services is likely to impress hiring managers and get you noticed as a serious candidate.

5. TweetDeck

While Hootsuite and Buffer offer a multi-channel solution for social media management, TweetDeck offers a specialist solution specifically for Twitter. This is an awesome tool if you’re focused on your brand’s Twitter presence since it allows you track trends, measure engagement and post from multiple Twitter accounts at once.

Why it’s important: Owned directly by Twitter, TweetDeck offers a seamless way to manage Twitter accounts on a large scale while also providing the most accurate analytics for this channel.

6. Canva

Over the course of the past two years, images have become increasingly important on social media. Posts with images currently drive 94% more traffic than posts without images. As a result, many social media managers are finding themselves learning graphic design with services like Canva.

Why it’s important: Canva takes the guesswork out of creating great graphics by offering templates that are easy to customize and share. It’s also a wonderful first step to learning more complicated design programs like Photoshop and InDesign. Added bonus: Knowing the basics of design will give you an edge over other candidates.

Working in social media involves a unique blend creativity and metrics-driven strategy. In order to maximize the impact of your campaigns, and land a job of your own, it helps to have the best tools at your disposal.


Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Take an Exit Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Weaknesses?

How to Be a Successful Social Media Manager

Working in social media requires a mix of creativity, analysis and knowledge of media trends. In fact, according to Birchbox’s Senior Social Media Manager, Juliette Dallas-Feeney, combining these three things effectively is the key to a successful career in social media. “You have to be creative and thoughtful and be able to adapt quickly because it’s such a fast-moving industry,” she explains. The best way to do this is by having in-depth knowledge of your channels and maximizing their potential through the effective use of testing and analytics.

Here are some things to focus on if you want to maximize success.

1. Be an expert on your social channels

Being successful as a social media manager starts with knowing your channels. This means understanding the most effective use of each channel and setting goals that are specific to each one. For example, if Facebook is the biggest traffic driver for your website, knowing what drives engagement on this channel (and how to capitalize on that) should be your main priority.

Pro Tip: Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does work so be sure to keep a close eye on your campaigns and optimize your results by testing.

2. Know what your competitors are doing

As well as being an expert on your own channels, being successful means knowing what others in the space are doing. Are they designing campaigns based on trending news stories or using paid ads in a specific way? Those are both great things to be aware of. Although you don’t need to imitate your competitors, it’s important to understand what they’re doing and why. This will give you a sense of how to streamline your own campaigns and what you should be testing on your channels.

3. Set aggressive but realistic goals

Once you have a full understanding of your channels and your competitors, the next step is setting goals that are aggressive but achievable. In order to do that, it’s important to understand how your channels are performing and to develop goals based on previous performance. For Juliette and the Birchbox team, this means focusing on engagement as their primary goal. “Our main goal is to be engaging as many people as possible every single day,” she explains, emphasizing Birchbox’s interaction their community. Doing so will not only improve your relationship with your existing community but will also help the continued growth of the brand.

4. Use analytics effectively

Few things are as important for optimizing social campaigns as understanding what’s working and why. “There’s a ton of room for experimentation in social media and that’s really key to being successful,” Juliette says. The best way to experiment effectively is by tracking every test you run and using metrics from analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to optimize your campaigns as needed.

5. Learn the basics of graphic design

Although graphic design skills aren’t a “must-have” for a position in social media, having them will definitely help you do your job more effectively, particularly since graphics are becoming increasingly important for engagement. This means using tools like Canva or Buffer to design graphics that can be used across all of your social channels and creating unique memes and gifs to show off your brand’s unique personality.

Although there’s no magic formula for being a successful social media manager, by following these steps you’ll be sure to maximize engagement and increase awareness for your brand.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 5 Things You Must Do to Prepare for Your Video Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as Are You Willing to Relocate?

Top Interview Questions for Social Media Jobs

Social media is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting fields around. From posting stories on Snapchat to creating engaging posts for Facebook, there’s a lot you can do as a social media manager to increase brand visibility and connect with customers. Whether you’re trying to land your first social media internship or an entry-level job as a social media manager, one of the keys to doing well in an interview is showing that you’re just as analytical as you are creative.

We sat down with Juliette Dallas-Feeney, Senior Social Media Manager at Birchbox, to get the inside scoop on what to expect during your interview.

Here are some questions you should prepare to answer in an interview for a social media job:

What is the future of social media?

“This is a really essential question because it shows that you’re thinking ahead and you understand that social media is a fast-moving industry,” Juliette explains. When she asks this question during an interview, she wants to know that candidates are thinking several steps ahead and that they’re able to anticipate new trends before they happen. “I want to know that you’re thoughtful and creative and are thinking more than just ‘in the now’,” she says.

To nail this answer, do some research on new platforms and trend forecasts for the upcoming year. Come prepared with at least two examples to discuss. One of these should focus on a trend for an existing channel while the other should mention an emerging platform that could be the next big thing.

How would you describe Facebook vs Snapchat vs Instagram vs any other social channel?

This is another key question that tests your knowledge of the industry and of the differences between platforms. “Not all channels are created equal,” Juliette explains. “You can’t just post something across all channels and have it be the same,” she adds. When she asks this question while interviewing potential candidates at Birchbox, it’s because she wants to know that candidates have a detailed understanding of each platform and can develop strategies that are specific to each one. “I really want to get an understanding from you that you have done your research on these channels, that you are a practitioner on these channels and you know what works and what doesn’t work on each one.”

To answer this question, give an example of a post that you think would perform well on a company’s Facebook page and another post that would do well on Instagram. Then explain why they would be successful on their specific channels.

Pro Tip: Looking at the company’s past activity and finding trends among channels is a great place to start. This will give you important insights into the brand voice and help you understand what types of posts perform well for them.

Who is your favorite brand/personality on social media and why?

This question is a great chance for you to give the interviewer an inside look at your personality and to talk about what media brands and personalities inspire you. When preparing your answer, be honest but don’t pick the most obvious choice. “Don’t say that it’s Birchbox because that’s cheating,” Juliette jokes. Instead, show that you know the social media space and that you’re familiar with brands and influencers who are making a difference. Mention the name of your favorite account, approximately how many followers they have and give a specific reason for why you like them such as the fact that they post funny memes on Instagram. This will show that you understand what goes into making a successful brand or personality on social media.

Tell me about your own social presence.

This is a chance for you to show off your own social media presence and talk about how the insights you’ve gained will help you increase engagement for the company’s brand. “I want to see that you have your own following,” Juliette says. She’s also interested in how you’re able to maintain a cohesive voice across different platforms while ensuring that you’re posting content that works best for each one. “I want to see something that shows me that you really understand social media so that you can bring that experience into working for a brand.”

When talking about your social presence, frame your experience in terms of goals. If you’re aiming to a thought leader in a specific area (like entertainment or politics), mention that. Then talk about the strategies you’ve used to increase engagement and reach your goals.

Pro Tip: Make sure to clean up your social media channels before the interview. This will ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward with the hiring manager and spotlighting the things that make your work unique.

In a fast-moving industry like social media, landing a great job is all about showing that you’re up-to-date with the latest industry trends and that you’re able to leverage them to build your personal brand and the brand of the company you want to work for. By preparing your answers to these questions, you’ll impress your interviewer and to get one step closer to your dream job at a great brand like Birchbox.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look For In An Internship and find answers to common interview questions such as Why Do You Want to Work Here?