The Life of a Remote Social Media Manager, with Chelsey Luikart

There’s no doubt that you’d have to be an organized person to create efficient systems to stay on top of managing all of a company’s social channels. And it’s safe to say that most companies have realized the benefits of social media marketing and online activities that engage customers, create interest, and boost your reputation.

But knowledgeable, creative social media managers with a passion for customers are not easy to come by. That’s why, here at Groove, we’re lucky to have Chelsey Luikart handling our company’s online presence across socials.

While Chelsey will be the first to say that it’s a fun and creative role, it also requires discipline and motivation to continuously keep your knowledge on best practices for each platform up to date. This includes things like figuring out the post cadence, features, product suite, algorithms, and trends on each individual platform – because none of them are the same.

A challenging feat. Add to that, an overall strong understanding of digital marketing principles. This, and more, is how she successfully manages to grow channels and organic revenue across nine social platforms.

Before the world of traffic, reporting, analytics, link tracking, and click rates, Chelsey actually had a whole other career in Customer Service Quality Assurance. This makes sense, though, as it’s clear that her training in customer service shines through in her role today. She made the decision to move away from customer service, as she longed for a career that would continue to allow her to connect with people but also foster creativity. Enter, social media!

She also puts her extensive customer service training down to the reason why she is able to create content and interact with people online on a more human level. The result? Her ability to execute a social strategy that builds trust and credibility with our awesome Groovesters.

Balance and healthy boundaries between work and home life is something that’s important to her, as she has set times to turn off all devices and step away to spend time with family and work towards other goals. She advocates for these boundaries as a social media manager, as she believes it allows her to be more “on” when at work and put her best foot forward.

Chelsey, what was the first thing that you grabbed this morning – your phone or a cup of coffee?

Oh, definitely coffee! I’m one of those people that can’t hold a conversation until I’ve had my coffee. All electronic devices are out-of-sight, out-of-mind for at least an hour after I’ve woken up, actually.

No devices at all for the first hour of your day, every day?

Yes. I take that time to tend to my ducks and my chickens! And then I’ll take my horse for a 20-minute walk. I figure if I’m going for a walk, I might as well take her with me and it’s just a great way to start the day.

How did you go about organizing your day today?

Well, I try to follow a daily workflow, but it rarely plays out how I planned because, like I said before, things are constantly changing and no two days are the same. But I generally prepare by looking at my tasks and goals, and then monitoring comments and reviewing previous post performance. It’s a good mental transition for getting into the working mindset. It also helps me plan upcoming content.

Any particular plans for your lunch break today?

During the Fast Start Marketing Lab, Donna talked about the “Power Hour.” The purpose of the Power Hour is to take an hour to yourself everyday and do something that revitalizes you. This has been life-changing for me. At lunch, I shut everything down, I run for 30 minutes and only listen to inspirational talks or music, and then I have a nice relaxing and healthy lunch. It’s a great way to reset in the middle of the day and get a boost of energy. So, I’ll be doing that today!

When it comes to WFH balance, it sounds like you’ve got it down!

It’s important to give yourself a break from the devices that have needed your attention all day. That’s why everything gets shut down at 5 p.m. again. They’ll be okay without you and you’ll survive being without them. . . I promise!

Occasionally urgent work issues do come up, naturally, but I’ve learned most of them aren’t as urgent as we make them out to be and they can wait until the next day to be addressed. My private time is important to me. It’s when I get to be fully present with my family and animals, reflect on the day, and pour my attention into my other passions – such as flying.

What do you do as the social media manager at Groove?

I manage all 9 (and growing!) of Groove’s social media accounts, across multiple platforms. My time is spent checking analytics to see what’s performing, interacting with followers, curating and posting new content that’s optimized for each platform, and strategizing the content plan for upcoming promotions. I’ve also recently taken the lead on community management where I help moderate posts, comments, questions, and keep the community free of unwanted spam. It’s been incredible connecting and getting to know our Groove members. It’s one of the most dynamic, talented, and welcoming communities I have ever been involved in.

It’s also not uncommon to find myself stepping in to help moderate one of Groove’s online events or playing the role of production assistant. No two days are the same for me!

Who are the key team members that you work with?

I work closely with Donna Fox, CMO of Groove, as well as the project and production coordinators. I depend on them to keep me updated on upcoming projects and promotions.

The person I rely most heavily on is our copywriter, LeAnn Reyes. Not only am I able to save time by modifying her email copy for social, but she’s my second set of eyes for any copy I put together for big promotions. Teamwork makes Groove work.

What’s the one characteristic that’s essential to succeed in your role? And why?

Flexibility, hands down. Not only is marketing a rapidly changing industry, but all of the social media platform algorithms, features, and even layouts constantly change from a month-to-month (even day-to-day) basis.

It’s also not uncommon for marketing plans to change, so you have to be comfortable with change and be able to adapt quickly.

Is there anything about your job that people are most often surprised to hear?

The reaction I often get when I tell people I’m on social media 8-10 hours per day is priceless. Many people don’t realize that being a social media marketing manager is a full time gig.

Do you feel that social media is overly saturated, for companies just starting out?

That’s a great question. My first instinct is to say yes, because everyone and their neighbor is on social media. But the beautiful thing is we all have a story to share, and there’s always an audience that will connect with that story. Whatever business you’re in, there’s a reason you’re in it. It’s important to express your passion and share your journey including all of the ups and downs that you’ve encountered along the way. People relate to authenticity, so don’t be afraid to get a little vulnerable and share the heart behind your business.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to talk with us, Chelsey. Any advice for all the young women out there who are aspiring to be social media managers?
My advice for young women who want to get into this career is to schedule time every week to keep learning.

Whether that’s reading books on marketing, researching new features, or attending online conferences. Because things change so quickly, you have to put in the work to stay at the top of your game. For the past 7 years, I’ve attended the Social Media Marketing World Conference that’s hosted by Social Media Examiner, and it really helped jumpstart my career and build the confidence I needed to be successful at it.

One of the biggest challenges for social media marketers is they are oftentimes the only ones in the department, so it’s difficult brainstorming and getting new ideas when you don’t have another person to collaborate with. I recommend networking with other social media marketers and setting up a monthly virtual  meeting. Not only will these people be great resources but they may become really great friends.

What I want to tell every young woman, whatever career they want to get into, is to believe in yourself and know that you’re more than capable. To follow what you’re most passionate about and know your voice matters. Whatever it is that calls your heart, there is a place for you. Every challenge you face will build your character, make you stronger, and prepare you for a beautiful career ahead.

Just keep saying “yes” to your dream, one day at a time.

(If you haven’t heard, we’ve launched a groovy magazine – aptly named Groove Magazine – that brings you original, informative content much like these interviews, right to your mailbox each month. Subscribe here.)