What “The Office” Can Teach You About Being A Social Media Manager
Marketing & Advertising

What “The Office” Can Teach You About Being A Social Media Manager

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If you’re familiar with the US series “The Office,” then you probably know Michael Scott. He’s the main character of the show as a paper company’s regional director. The series is shown as a kind of docu-fiction about the daily lives of the employees. In this article, let’s take a look closer at this show and what it can teach you about being a social media manager.

Michael Scott of The Office series - he can be a social media manager

One thing about “The Office” is that if the series has been made in more recent times, there would be another character who is a social media manager. With how things have changed in building networks, advertising, and communication, businesses will find it very difficult to compete without having an online presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s try to imagine that the paper company in “The Office” has an actual social media manager called Jack. We’ll look into some of the best practices that Jack implements to help the company in its digital marketing efforts. For this, the daily objective will be to create strong relationships with the audience so that the company is more visible and credible.

What is a Social Media Manager?

Before we can appreciate the importance of a social media manager, let’s first ask crucial questions such as, “what does a social media manager do?” You see, the job is not simply about posting content on social media platforms. 

The social media manager’s responsibilities include the management of both tasks and people. The person in charge of this role needs to be able to juggle managing tasks at the same time. He or she should also lead a small team or a big team, depending on the company’s size. 

And then when it comes to the media, it’s not enough to be just one of the average users of social networks. The social media manager role requires one to have knowledge and understanding of the subtleties of each platform. It is important so that the company can truly stand out. 

Lastly, the social aspect is most vital of all. Media is no longer about just providing information to people. We have a natural tendency to form groups; that’s what we see in many social media platforms. People of similar interests from all parts of the world interact with each other online.

Why Use Social Media Marketing Strategies?

Social relationships online are just as important as the actual ones. That’s why people still expect that there is just as much sincerity in their interaction with one another. This is one of the crucial facts that the best social media manager has to keep in mind. 

When communicating online, the goal is to create a real bond of trust so that a lasting relationship may be formed and nurtured. Businesses who want to strengthen their social media presence need to get ready to be invested in this because that’s how they can build trust, loyalty, and grow their client base. 

With the information that we now have about what it means to be a social media manager and how valuable this role is for a company, businesses ought to think about making the most of social media marketing strategies.

social media platforms on a smartphone

Companies can start by tapping the right partners who can offer the best solutions. With Sortlist, we can help you in choosing the best social media marketing agencies that will be most suitable for your needs. 

For you to further appreciate the vital role of having a social media manager in your company, let’s jump right to our example, Jack, the new social media manager of the paper company in “The Office.”

Defining the Target Audience

One of the most important social media manager skills to have is the ability to identify the target audience. Before you can even think about what to say, know first who you’re planning to talk to. If you don’t do this, then it would be like speaking in a busy street where no one is paying attention. Your strategy will not be effective when done this way. 

So, the first thing that Jack has to do would be to know his audience as much as possible. Here are the possible questions that Jack can ask:

  • Who are the current customers of the company?
  • Who is most likely going to be future customers?
  • What age group do they belong to?
  • What is their location?
  • How much do they earn and how much do they spend?
  • What is their status?
  • What are their interests?

By asking these questions, Jack is trying to create buyer personas. Each persona will have its own needs, and that’s what Jack wants to fulfill. Jack first has to know such pieces of information first so that he can meet the target audiences’ expectations. 

Since Jack is working for a paper company, the target audiences are those who most likely use paper every day. Here are some of the buyer personas that Jack was able to create:

The Secretary

This buyer persona is the secretary of a small business. The secretary makes it a point that all printers in the office have plenty of papers in them. She uses paper, too, to print her daily reports, invoices, as well as other important documents for the company. She’s going to need A4 paper of medium quality, and she’s going to need a steady supply throughout the year.

social media manager on Facebook

The Supermarket Representative

The second buyer persona that Jack has created is the representative of a big supermarket brand. His role includes restocking the school supplies department. The papers that he will need will be of varying sizes and qualities. The volume of orders will be especially high when school starts, but it will be low for the other times of the year. 

With these two buyer personas that Jack has created, he will need to adapt the content that he will create and publish. Apart from that, Jack also has to think about which communication channels to use, as well as the best tone that will be fitting for the different personas. Jack has to plan well because these two personas are quite different from each other.

Mastering the Different Social Media Platforms

Now that Jack knows his target audience and their needs, the next step is to find out which social network platforms they spend their time on the most. Once Jack knows this, then it will reduce his workload. It means that he doesn’t have to publish content everywhere since he can focus on a couple of platforms that his ideal customers use more often. 

When you ask yourself what to look for in a social media manager, you’d want to hire one who knows how to use all social media platforms. This way, the social media manager can choose which ones are the most appropriate avenues to publish content for the target audience. 

Jack will most likely choose LinkedIn so that he can increase the B2B sales for the paper company. He may also use Facebook so that he can connect with private customers and share informational content that has to do with paper such as recycling.

social media marketing strategies for Facebook

How to Set SMART Goals for the Strategy

SMART goals work really well for most fields, including digital marketing. For this next step, Jack has to set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. In doing this, Jack has to have a precise strategy for each social network. 

He can use LinkedIn to make professional connections. On Facebook and Instagram, he can use it in the private sphere. The objectives and strategies may vary depending on the platform that Jack will use. 

So, Jack now decides to make the customers as brand ambassadors. In order to increase the comments, likes, and mentions, Jack posts content every week. He makes sure that the content is interesting and sometimes, even a bit controversial so as to draw attention. Of course, this is only done sparingly because the content must provide real value to the customers.

Keeping an Eye on Competitors

On social media platforms, Jack can chat with customers and potential customers. However, these people are also being targeted by the competitors of his company. While some businesses are okay without having an active online presence, Jack thinks it’s best to assume that the competition is targeting the same audiences that he’s reaching out to. 

Jack doesn’t take this as bad news because first, the competition is both a benchmark as well as a source of inspiration. By knowing more about the competitors, Jack can keep up with the latest strategies that they are using and whether they’re working well. He then improves on those tactics so that he can create and implement a more effective one. 

Another reason why hire a social media manager like Jack is that he can observe and analyse the company’s competition. These are valuable tools that Jack can use to determine the best practices. Since Jack is a creative and resourceful person, he can recognise good ideas when he sees them.

Scrabble letters representing getting reactions on social media

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Jack saves a lot of time as a social media manager because he looks for the best formula, improves them, and then integrates them into his existing social media marketing strategy. 

Secondly, by knowing more about the competitors, Jack gains insights into what the target audiences think about the competitor brand. Jack can diligently monitor this so that whenever he interacts with the audience, he can quickly react whenever problems arise. He can answer questions and resolve issues. Jack may even seize an opportunity whenever it presents itself.

How to Choose the Tone for Your Content

When you hire a social media manager, you want to make sure that he or she is also great at producing the right content for the target audience. As for Jack, since he works for a company that sells paper products to both businesses and individuals, he has to adjust the tone he will use for the content. 

In general, the tone has to convey the company’s values of efficiency and professionalism. But as Jack learns from his manager, Michael Scott, he also knows that putting a touch of humour in the content will be more appealing to his audience. 

Another thing that Jack has to take into consideration is the geographic location he’s in. Jack works in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Therefore, he has to adjust the tone for that particular location. What works for California, with its cultural and social allusions, may not work as well in Pennsylvania. 

Jack’s objective is to be able to create a genuine bond with the audience as well as nurture it. As an effective social media manager, Jack is attentive and knows how to respond quickly to customers. In his interactions, he makes it a point to maintain kindness and sincerity.

content planning for Instagram marketing

The social media manager also knows that his audiences are going to look for unique and interesting pieces of content. That’s why Jack won’t simply post the same content on various social media platforms. Instead, each content will be made specifically for the audience on a particular social network to get the maximum effect. 

Always keep in mind that social networks are home to virtual communities. The communication that you do is not a one-way street. Internet users know how to speak their minds and can very well decide for themselves. The goal of the social media manager is for the users to react to the posts, share them, and interact with the brand and other customers. 

Dialogue is the key to good communication. Even if the conversations are made in a virtual space, there are still two human beings at the end of each line who are communicating with one another. Online dialogues are just as important as real-life ones, especially that they bring in real results for the company. 

Creating a Content Calendar

For Jack to have these conversations with the target audience, he has to determine the time when most of the users are present on the social media platform. There are two points to doing this. The first one is that by knowing the target audiences, Jack can determine their preferred platform. And second, Jack will know the best time to post content on a particular platform. 

If the social media manager posts too frequently, the audience may become disinterested in what the brand is trying to say. So, posting too much on all social networks can actually backfire. That’s why it’s vital to have strategies and plans for posting content on social networks. 

The posts should appear at the right time regularly. Of course, there should still be some room for spontaneity to spark interest in the audience. If the post is interesting enough, then it could turn viral, which boosts the visibility of the brand. This should be part of the strategy, as well. The posts shouldn’t be monotonous because they certainly wouldn’t compel the audience to react to them.

content calendar for social media marketing

As for Jack, his idea is to post content regularly. The time when these posts are published depends on the social network where he will publish the content. So, for example, LinkedIn is often used during office hours. Facebook, on the other hand, is used during leisure time. 

Each platform has its own statistics and tools for analysis. These will be very useful for social media managers when it comes to knowing what time their target audiences are present as well as how long they stay on the social media platform. If Jack knows this, then he can make adjustments to the content accordingly. 

There are also planning tools that Jack can use for publication such as Hootsuite. By automating tasks, Jack has more free time which he can use to study the latest trends in social media marketing and how to better interact with the target audiences.

How to Analyse the Results

No one becomes an expert in social media marketing instantly. Certainly, there will be plenty of trials and errors along the way. However, if these can be analysed correctly, then they can be taken as experiences gained rather than failures. 

By analysing the results of the strategies used, it will become possible to evaluate important things such as which pieces of content did the audiences reacted to the most? Among the social networks, which ones generated the most interactions? How much time was invested on each social media platform? These are crucial questions to ask. 

When you answer these questions, you can then interpret your ROI correctly. Try to go beyond getting a simple financial analysis of your ROI. You also need to consider the return on expectations. By this, you should go back to your objectives and see if they were achieved. 

Another thing to consider is the return on commitments. This is about the actions that made it possible for you to achieve your objectives. So, what you’ll get would not just be an analysis of your financial investment but also of the visibility and traffic that you’ve gained. 

For Jack to get the various statistics, he uses tools such as Google Analytics. Tools like this are important when it comes to improving the strategies that worked. Jack doesn’t just move forward without carefully planning the next steps and learning from the past strategies. Doing so would be an awful waste of both time and money.

social media marketing analytics

That’s why it’s also advisable to find the right marketing partner who can help you reach your goals. When you choose a communications agency, you will have someone to collaborate with, and the best part is that they’re already experts in social media marketing. You don’t have to start from scratch for you to plan and implement strategies for marketing. 

A reality about selecting an agency is that it can be time-consuming as well as confusing because of the numerous options available. You need to be sure that the agency you choose is the best one to fulfil the needs of your business. That’s why with Sortlist, you don’t have to waste time. We will give you the best selection of agencies that will be most suited for you.


Now, going back to Jack, the social media manager. He has identified two buyer personas for the paper company. One is the secretary of a small business, and the other is a representative or a huge supermarket brand. 

The secretary was able to discover the paper company while she was having her lunch. She’s quite keen on the environment so when she saw the video about paper recycling, which was posted on Friday at 1 PM, it sparked her interest in the company. Such targeted content, when posted at the right time, can definitely bring in a new client to the paper company. 

As for the representative, he got in touch with the paper company through LinkedIn at 10 AM on Monday. Every year, he searches for the best paper suppliers so he can restock the supply for his department. He noticed a visually appealing professional post that offers a wide variety of paper products. 

When the representative contacted the paper company, Jack was quick to respond. This made a good impression on this potential customer. Over the years, Jack is able to nurture the relationship he has with the representative. Jack regularly updates the page of the paper company and carefully adapts to the changes that come with time. 

Now we know why Michael Scott hired Jack to be the social media manager of the company. It’s because Jack understands that social networking has changed, and therefore, the strategies on how to connect and interact with the audience have to change as well. 

When Jack set up his digital communication strategy, he was able to fully realise the words “social” and “network.” Jack was able to use the specifics of each social media platform and make the most of them. He created and nurtured lasting relationships with both current and potential customers. 

Since Jack understands his audiences, he was also able to guess what their expectations were. Doing so allowed him to offer potential clients customised services. It’s not enough to have great products or services; gaining the loyalty of the client base is also very important. It all starts with good communication and nurturing the relationship with your target audiences. 


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