5 things you need to know before you fill in for your Social Media Manager

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Your Social Media Manager is going on vacation for a week and before she leaves, asks if you can fill in for her. “Sure, no problem” you say, but do you really know what filling in entails? Honestly, I didn’t – until I volunteered to fill in for Yvette Pistorio, our Social Media Manager, for the first time a few weeks ago.

Before Yvette left, we sat down for a short meeting to make sure I was aware of what the expectations were while she was away. During our meeting, we drafted instructions that she can use going forward whenever anyone fills in for her. Based on changes to her social media routine, she can modify the instructions as needed  

I’m guessing there are many of you out there who handle Social Media for your company, or who fill in for your Social Media Manager on occasion, who could benefit from a document that outlines your Social Media Manager’s duties. Here are some things you should ask before you agree to cover Social Media for your company:

Which social media sites/tools need to be covered?

Depending on how long your Social Media Manager is out or how many sites she engages on, she may only want you to cover one social network and assign someone else to monitor other sites. If she’s only out for one day, she might have you cover all social media. Also, make sure you are trained on all social media monitoring tools that she uses.

How many times a day do you post on each site?

No matter how many followers your brand has, all of them have come to expect a certain amount of engagement from your Social Media Manager. Whether she just says “hello” and goodbye” every day or posts something every hour – make sure you stick to a similar schedule.

What types of content do you share? What is off limits?

Most Social Media Managers have a list of “go to” places for good content. See if she has a list that she can share with you so if all else fails, you have reliable sources for content that your followers will be interested in. If she always posts your company’s blog posts on your Facebook page on Tuesdays, make sure you are aware of regularly scheduled content and when it needs to be posted.

Will certain posts be scheduled or do I need to post everything manually?

While it’s not something you want to do on a regular basis, some sites allow you to schedule posts. See if your Social Media Manager plans to schedule any posts so you can plan around them accordingly.

How much time do you spend on each site per day?

And last, but not least, the most important thing to know is whether you have enough time to dedicate to focus on Social Media in addition to your everyday responsibilities at work. Make sure you have the time to dedicate before you agree to cover for her. It can take some time to find relevant content that your company’s fans and followers will be interested in. I, for one, had no idea how time consuming it can be to fill in for Yvette and I only covered 2 of the sites that Yvette is active on. There is a reason it’s a full time job at many companies.


About Laurie Mahoney

Laurie Mahoney is the Director of Product Marketing at Cision. She is a regular contributor to Cision Blog mainly focusing on topics like content marketing, social media and SEO. Laurie is a Chicagoan now, but spent her earlier days in the South where she attended the University of Georgia. She has a weakness for good TV, sushi and anything that mentions “salted caramel” in the name. You can find her on Twitter @channermahoney.

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