The differences between a Social Media Manager, Content Creator, and a Social Media Virtual Assistant

The differences between a Social Media Manager, Content Creator, and a Social Media Virtual Assistant

When I was first approached by small business owners looking for help with their Social Media, I thought the only job title to have was a Social Media Manager. And thus that’s what was added to my resume.

However, as I started to research the role (mainly to find out how to answer the question “How much do I charge?”), I discovered that I’m not actually a Social Media Manager. Am I a Content Creator then? Maybe! What about a Social Media Virtual Assistant? That’s getting closer!

What’s the difference between these three job descriptions? Let’s take a look now…

Social Media Manager

A Social Media Manager, or SMM, oversees everything to do with their client or employer’s social media marketing and advertising campaigns. This means not only can they curate and post content, but they delve much deeper into the back-end of a company’s social media marketing by working on brand development, lead magnets, sales optimisation, and using specific strategies and planning.

They are either highly experienced or Diploma qualified at a minimum and have previously worked in marketing and/or sales roles. They set up marketing plans, draft reports, study and translate analytics, and are answerable for any downfall in their client’s social media performance.

SMM’s also create effective ad campaigns for their client that meet an acceptable ROI and get solid results. They understand how to not only create the ad content but also how to analyse the results and adjust as required.

The Social Media Manager role is generally a full-time position, with a salary between $49,500 and $132,051 here in Australia. (source: au.neuvoo.com) Alternatively, freelancers or digital marketing agencies will work with clients to provide a social media management solution that can sometimes cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars per month to tens of thousands of dollars per month.

An in-depth job description can be found on krusecontrolinc.com if you’d like to know more.

Content Creator

As the title suggests, a Content Creator is someone who creates content. This can be in the form of online content such as blog articles, social media posts, email marketing (newsletters), infographics, website copy, and more. Content Creators can also be tasked with general graphic design projects such as creating brochures, flyers, etc.

Rather than setting up advertising or driving immediate sales, the role of a Content Creator is focused on community engagement and delivering information in a way that drives organic traffic via SEO and building a brand relationship with their audience.

A Content Creator might work closely with a Social Media Manager by providing them with the required content for the SMM to deliver strategically online.

Content Creator roles are varied in that often they offer their services as a Freelancer, pricing their services either hourly or per item. An experienced Content Creator in full-time position can expect an average salary of $64,813 in Australia or roughly $33/hour. (source: au.neuvoo.com)

Social Media Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant is someone who helps your business from a remote location, often taking care of a variety of tasks such as data entry, client follow-ups, email marketing, transcription, and more. A Social Media Virtual Assistant is someone who specifically takes care of tasks related to a client’s social media account/s, but may also take on some of the general VA tasks as required.

A SMVA is proficient at setting up and managing social media pages in their own right and often work with small business owners or solopreneurs who just need some help with the time consuming tasks of social media. They can set up accounts on various Social Media platforms and create simple graphics to suit.

They create social media content for their client, but unlike a Social Media Manager, are generally not responsible for following up on engagement or analysing statistics, and may not be qualified in setting up Ad Campaigns. SMVA’s can help grow their client’s Social Media accounts organically by interacting and engaging with other users on the platforms, updating Stories/Posts, and researching relevant hashtags.

As Social Media Virtual Assistants generally offer their services on a Freelance basis, prices and pay rates will vary depending on the role requirements and the experience level of the SMVA. Payscale.com lists the average pay rate for Virtual Assistants in Australia as just under $30 per hour.

Which one does your business require?

This question really depends on how involved you currently are with your Social Media presence and what exactly you’re looking to outsource.

For a completely hands-off approach where you are wanting to outsource everything, a Social Media Manager can handle every aspect of your brand’s Social Media while also growing brand awareness, attracting new leads, and increasing sales via social platforms. The salary required for a great SMM may be out of reach for a small business or solopreneur, however you need to realise that this is generally a full time role, or at minimum 25 – 30 hours of work per week.

For those who are happy running their own social media but are looking for fresh content, a Content Creator is probably your ideal person. They can submit content via email or Google Drive and don’t require Admin access to your social accounts or website. You tell them what’s required, they send the completed work to you, and then it’s up to you what you do with it.

Somewhere in between a Social Media Manager and Content Creator, you’ll find the Social Media Virtual Assistant. The SMVA is for the business owner who might have started off managing their own social media, but are now too busy to continue posting and engaging consistently. This busy business owner loves the idea of still having some input on their own social media but also having someone else who can regularly create branded graphics, write fresh content and post consistently to steadily and organically grow an engaged following.

So which one am I?

Well, it seems that this is yet another area of my life where I don’t quite fit in. But this time, I’m 110% ok with that!

You see, without qualifications or a background in Marketing or Sales I feel inexperienced when it comes to the strategic side of the SMM role, but I’m confident at reading the stats and putting together a report for clients if required, as well as creating basic Ad Campaigns.

I absolutely LOVE creating content! My clients benefit from original branded graphics to use on their social media accounts, and I also help with designing flyers and other content. I’ve worked on a few websites from start to finish where I’ve designed images, added SEO, and written the copy.

And then, for select clients, I also spend time on Instagram & Twitter interacting with other users, leaving comments, and liking photos. I pre-schedule posts on all social media accounts and research industry-relevant content to share weekly.

I’m a Social Media Content Creating Virtual Managing Superstar. Yeah, that sounds pretty cool!

Want to know more?


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