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Social Media Manager  Vs. Social Media Strategist:

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Which One Do You Need? The social media industry has grown massively in the past few years, and as of 2023, the global social media market was valued at $23.5 BILLION USD. When I read that, my jaw had a little “drop to the floor” moment! Social Media Manager or Social Media Strategist: Who should you hire?

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Since the pandemic, I know the industry has grown with people needing flexible WFH options, but this stat was a whole other level. This increase explains why so many different social media roles exist now, like social media manager, social media strategist, community manager, content creator, and more. But there is still confusion about management vs. strategy, so I’m here to clarify it for you!

I am a social media strategist, but the team at my boutique agency, Social and Stuff, supports me in providing full social media management services. That means I can provide both daily and big-picture services for clients. 

You’re probably reading this and thinking:

  • What’s the difference between a social media manager and a social media strategist?
  • What support does each role offer for me? 
  • Do I need a social media strategist, a social media manager, or both?
  • What budget should I have for these social media services for my small business?

Let’s get into it!

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Differences in Social Media Management and Strategy

The simple difference between a social media manager and a strategist is the level at which they operate in your business. A social media manager handles the day-to-day admin tasks related to your social media accounts and strategy. Basically, they follow the plan created by the strategist.

Okay, so you now know that a social media strategist creates the plan for your social media rather than the actual execution of it. What does that actually mean? It means they are overseeing the bigger picture with your social media rather than daily tasks on a social to-do list. Their plan aligns with your overall business or brand goals and outlines the content to get you there.

Now you know the difference between a social media manager and a social media strategist, let’s tackle the support they can give you and your business.

Social Media Manager Tasks

This person handles all your social media-related admin tasks. Think scheduling and posting through your scheduling software (we like and use Metricool at Social and Stuff) or natively through each platform. They typically also provide content creation services, including writing social media captions, simple graphic design, photo editing, and video editing for those reels and TikToks. (If you’re interested, we use Canva, Tezza, and CapCut for our client’s content creation.) 

Additional daily social media tasks can include inbound and outbound engagement, DM management, removing bot followers, and community management for your social media accounts. All of these tasks collectively support your visibility, growth, and potential sales from social media. Isn’t that why we’re all on these apps anyway!?😉 

I always recommend management services for businesses and brands that have established their branding, have been on social for a minute, and have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish. If you want to scope out the management services (which include strategy) from Social and Stuff, CLICK HERE!

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Social Media Strategist Tasks

Cue the visionary person for your accounts: your social media strategist. They’re the brains and research behind your entire social media plan. Support from a strategist can (and should) include:

  • Creating social media goals that align with your overall business goals
  • Building out your content plan that supports your goals
  • Getting your ideal client, their desires, problems, and solutions on lockdown
  • Monitoring analytics and performance of your content to tweak or edit where needed
  • Stay on top of trends and industry news to apply to your social media plan

Once I have had an in-depth strategy session with a client, I put together a comprehensive PDF roadmap document detailing the research, strategies, and 30-day implementation plan for your accounts. This provides a solid foundation for building an effective, sustainable social media presence. 

Strategy services are ideal for newer businesses and brands that don’t have an ongoing budget, don’t have their branding sorted yet, and want to be hands-on in the execution part of the social plan. If a Content Strategy Intensive sounds like the answer to your social media woes, check out the deets here!

Now, you have come to the decision-making part of the whole thing! How do you know which service is right for you at this point in your business? I’ll help you out. Go through the following short questionnaire, and you’ll get your answer at then end.

Do you have your visual branding sorted?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Do you have an ongoing budget?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Is your business/brand established (1 year +)?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Do you have someone in-house to help manage your socials?

  1. No
  2. Yes

Do you want to be involved in daily social media tasks?

  1. No
  2. Yes

See, it wasn’t too hard! If you answered mostly A’s, you could probably benefit from social media management services. If you answered mostly B’s, social media strategy support is probably a better fit for where you are now with your business.

No matter what stage you’re at in your business when it comes to social media, you can count on me for honest, straight-up facts and experience! After all, I’m your…

Your Social BFF,


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