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April 23, 2024

Social Media Management Versus Consulting: Should You Offer Both?

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This post in a nutshell:

  • The difference between social media management and consulting
  • How to combine social media management and consulting
  • Deciding whether to do social media management, consulting, both - or a little-known third option

Are you a social media marketing professional trying to navigate your career path?

In the world of social media, two prominent roles emerge: social media management (whether freelance or with an agency) and social media consulting. Understanding the differences between these roles and deciding which to offer can be challenging.

In this article, we'll explore the key responsibilities, benefits, and skill sets required for each role, as well as whether you should pick one, try to do both -- or if a little-known "secret third thing" might be the best choice for you.

Social Media Management

Social media management involves the day-to-day operation and execution of social media marketing strategies for businesses. Social media managers play a fundamental role in maintaining a brand's online and social presence, audience engagement, and driving results. They're the driving force behind successful social media campaigns, ensuring that businesses are effectively using these platforms to reach their target audience.

One of the key responsibilities of a social media manager is content creation. This involves developing engaging and shareable content for various social media networks. They are skilled in crafting compelling captions, creating eye-catching visuals, and producing informative and entertaining videos. By understanding the preferences and interests of their target audience, social media managers are able to create social media content that resonates and increases engagement.

Another crucial aspect of social media management is community management. Social media managers are responsible for monitoring comments, messages, and feedback from followers. They promptly respond to user inquiries, address concerns, and engage in meaningful conversations. This level of interaction not only helps build trust and credibility but also fosters a sense of community among followers.

Analytics and reporting are also integral to social media management. Social media managers analyze social media metrics to gain insights into the performance of their campaigns. They track key metrics such as reach, engagement rates, and conversion rates to understand what strategies are working and what needs improvement. This data-driven approach allows them to make informed decisions and optimize a social strategy to achieve social media goals and business goals.

Benefits of Social Media Management

Social media management services offer numerous benefits for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence and connect with their target audience.

One of the primary benefits is brand building. By consistently and strategically managing social channels, businesses can establish a strong brand presence. This attracts new customers and fosters brand loyalty among existing ones. Social media managers ensure that the brand's values, messaging, and visual identity are consistently reflected across all social media channels.

In addition to brand building, social media management can significantly increase website traffic. Well-executed social media strategies can drive traffic to a company's website, resulting in increased visibility and potential sales. Social media managers leverage various tactics such as sharing blog posts, promoting products or services, and running targeted ad campaigns to direct users to the company's website. By optimizing website traffic, businesses can increase their chances of converting visitors into prospective clients.

Customer engagement is another key benefit of social media management. By actively engaging with followers, social media managers can build relationships and create a loyal customer base. They respond to comments, address concerns, and participate in discussions, making followers feel valued and heard. This level of engagement fosters a sense of trust and loyalty, encouraging customers to become brand advocates and recommend the business to others.

Social Media Consulting

While social media managers focus on implementation and execution, social media marketing consultants take a more strategic approach. Social media consultants provide expert guidance to businesses, helping them optimize their social media efforts.

Here's what you need to know about the role of a social media consultant:

When it comes to social media consulting, the role of a consultant goes beyond simply managing social media accounts. These professionals collaborate with businesses to create comprehensive social media strategies aligned with their goals and target audience. Strategy development is a crucial aspect of their work, as it sets the foundation for successful social media campaigns.

One of the key responsibilities of a social media consultant is conducting industry analysis. By conducting thorough market research, consultants are able to identify industry news and trends, and competition. This knowledge is then leveraged to develop effective digital strategies that can help businesses stand out on social media. With their expertise, consultants can guide businesses on the best social platforms to use, the types of content to create, and the tactics to employ.

Training and education are also important components of the role of a social media consultant. These professionals not only provide guidance and advice, but they also train and give advice to businesses on best practices. By equipping them with the skills and knowledge to manage their social media effectively, consultants empower businesses to take control of their online presence.

Related: What Is A Social Media Strategist? (Social Media Strategist Job Description)

Advantages of Social Media Consulting

There are several advantages to enlisting the help of a social media consultant. These professionals bring specialized knowledge and experience to the table, offering valuable insights to improve performance and achieve business objectives. With their professional experience and insight, consultants can help businesses stay ahead of the competition.

One of the main advantages of social media consulting is the ability to develop optimized strategies. By conducting in-depth analysis, they can determine which platforms will yield the best results for a particular business and which tactics will resonate with their target audience. This ensures that businesses invest their resources in the right places, maximizing their chances of running successful campaigns.

Efficient resource allocation is another benefit of social media consulting. Consultants help businesses allocate their resources effectively, whether it's budget, time, or manpower. By understanding the specific needs and goals of a business, consultants can ensure that resources are allocated in a way that maximizes return on investment and drives growth.

Differences Between Social Media Management and Consulting

Now that we understand the distinct roles of social media management and consulting, let's explore the key differences between the two.

Skill Sets Required for Each Role

Social media managers need exceptional organizational skills, creativity, and the ability to adapt to rapid changes. They are the ones responsible for executing day-to-day tasks, such as creating and scheduling content, engaging with followers, and monitoring analytics. In addition to these skills, they must possess strong communication skills and stay up-to-date with emerging trends and platforms.

On the other hand, social media consultants require a deeper understanding of strategic planning, market analysis, and business development. They are responsible for providing expert advice and guidance to businesses on how to effectively leverage social media to achieve their goals. They must be skilled in project management, consulting methodologies, and have the ability to diagnose issues and develop effective solutions.

While both roles require a solid understanding of social media platforms and trends, the skill sets required for each role are unique and cater to different aspects of social media management.

Impact on Business Growth

With execution and engagement tactics, social media management contributes tobrand awareness, customer satisfaction, and website traffic.

On the other hand, social media consulting helps businesses develop long-term strategies that drive growth, foster customer loyalty, and maximize return on investment.

By combining both approaches, businesses can achieve a holistic social media presence that generates immediate results and long-term success.

Combining Social Media Management and Consulting

Is it possible to offer both social media management and consulting services? The answer is yes, and it can be a powerful combination. However, there are considerations and challenges to address:

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Managing concurrent roles and social media services can be demanding. It requires careful planning, time management, and teamwork. However, with the right strategies in place, you can overcome these challenges and deliver exceptional results to your current clients.

One potential challenge is the sheer workload that comes with juggling both social media management and consulting responsibilities. To address this, you can consider delegating and outsourcing certain tasks. Hiring a social media team or partnering with freelancers who specialize in specific areas can help alleviate the workload and ensure efficient delivery of services.

Another solution is effective prioritization. By setting clear priorities and establishing realistic timelines, you can manage client expectations and ensure quality work. This involves understanding the unique needs of each client and allocating resources accordingly.

Continuous learning is also crucial when combining social media management and consulting. Staying updated with industry trends and investing in professional development can enhance your skill sets and offer added value to clients. This can include attending conferences, participating in webinars, and engaging in online courses to expand your knowledge and stay ahead of the curve.

Related: The Future of Social Media Agencies: Predictions and Trends to Watch

Profitability and Business Expansion

Offering both social media management and consulting can open doors to new revenue streams. By diversifying your services, you can attract a broader client base and secure long-term contracts. This can lead to increased profitability and business growth.

However, expanding your business requires careful financial planning, marketing strategy, and excellent customer service to maintain a positive reputation. Assess the market demand for your services and develop a pricing structure that reflects the value you provide.

Additionally, implementing effective marketing strategies, such as targeted advertising and content creation, can help you reach and attract potential clients.

Related: How To Increase Recurring Revenue for Your Agency

Making the Decision: Management, Consulting, or Both?

When deciding whether to offer social media management, consulting, or both, consider the following factors:

Assessing Your Business Needs

Examine your existing client base, their requirements, and whether they would benefit from additional consulting services. Are your clients seeking guidance and strategic advice on their social media presence? Conduct market research to identify potential demand and evaluate your competition's offerings.

Furthermore, consider the specific industries your clients operate in. Some industries may require more hands-on management, while others may benefit greatly from consulting services that provide insights and recommendations for growth.

Evaluating Your Resources and Capabilities

Honestly assess your skill sets, available time, and team's capacity.

Do you have a team with diverse expertise in social media management and consulting?Are they well-versed in the latest social media trends and strategies? Can they effectively analyze data and provide actionable insights? If your team lacks the necessary skills, you may need to invest in training or hire individuals with expertise in social media consulting.

Also, evaluate the time and resources you can allocate to each service. Social media management requires continuous monitoring, content creation, and engagement with the audience. On the other hand, consulting services typically involve shorter term in-depth analysis, strategy development, and client meetings.

Long-Term Implications and Opportunities

Consider the long-term vision for your business. How do you want to position yourself in the market? The combination of management and consulting can provide a comprehensive solution to clients' needs, positioning you as a trusted partner and increasing your business's long-term sustainability.

By offering both services, you can establish yourself as a one-stop-shop for social media solutions. This can lead to increased client loyalty and retention. Moreover, the insights gained from consulting can inform and enhance your management strategies, creating a feedback loop that continuously improves your services.

Furthermore, offering consulting services opens up additional revenue streams. Consulting engagements often involve higher fees and can provide a steady income alongside your management services.

The Secret Third Thing: White Label Social Media Management

In the social media space, professionals often start out as freelancers and then as they gain experience and a client base, they either start an agency and/or focus more on consulting - stopping the content execution part because it's such a grind.

Sound like you?

Here's the thing. You can be an agency owner and/or a consultant and outsource the grunt work - all while making a tidy profit for your business.


With the Secret Third Thing 😉: MixBloom's white label social media services.

Our dedicated team of social media managers (all native English speakers dotted around the US, Canada and the UK) can produce high-quality content creation, at scale, so you can focus on other areas of your empire - like consulting, strategizing, and nurturing client relationships.

The best part? You'll still be paid by your clients for the work. It's completely white label so they don't even have to know it's us doing it!

Trust MixBloom's dedicated team to provide top-notch white label social media management services for your marketing agency.

Begin your 7-day free trial today!


Both social media management and consulting have their unique benefits and challenges. By evaluating your business needs, skills, resources, and long-term goals, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your expertise and maximizes your client's success. Consider the market demand, your team's capabilities, and the long-term implications of offering both services.

And remember, if you do decide that you want to add both social media management and consulting to your list of services, consider outsourcing content creation to a white label agency to take the headache out of producing quality content at scale.

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