Day in the life: What a publisher social media manager does

This is part of a new “Day in the life” series that chronicles the daily work of those on the front lines of media. To kick things off, we visit with 25-year-old Hayley Saltzman, a social media manager at women’s publication Bustle. If you’d like to participate in “Day in the life,” get in touch.

Hayley Saltzman wants to get one thing straight: She doesn’t “just tweet” all day.

“Since social media is still a relatively new career, people think all I do is write a tweet or Facebook all day,” she told Digiday about the biggest misconception of her job at the female-aimed publisher. “It’s not true though.”

Beginning her job even before she gets out of bed every morning a little after 6 a.m., the 25-year-old’s typical day includes planning what gets posted on Bustle’s Facebook page, tweaking headlines, forming publisher partnerships, collaborating with other social media editors about what should be posted onto its Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

And, yes, there’s some tweeting and Facebook posting, too.

“There’s a lot of strategy involved,” Saltzman said about the variety of social media accounts she runs, which reach more than 1.6 million combined followers. “It’s looking at traffic numbers, thinking of social headlines and figuring out why something is getting traffic.”

Her biggest task is maintaining Bustle’s chatty Facebook presence, her preferred platform because of its superior analytic tools. “My job is to get people to Bustle and get excited about the content and to read it,” she said.

One of those people that she got most excited about seeing her share Bustle content was Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. “That was exciting for us since we’re big fans,” she said about Clinton’s retweet.

Digiday asked Saltzman to share a diary of what she does on a typical day. Here’s what she does, slightly edited for clarity.

6:30 a.m.:  Wake up and check the Bustle’s Instagram, Facebook, and my email from my phone until I’m awake enough to actually stumble out of bed and up to the gym.

8:30 a.m.: The big news of the morning includes a One Direction baby name reveal and the Rihanna album release, so I post both articles to Facebook before leaving my apartment. I wind up running late because of the morning news — and because I spend way too much time attempting to pull off a dark lip.

10 a.m.: We’re testing out more original photography on the Bustle’s Instagram account, so I force our senior fashion editor and our director of video to help with an impromptu Snapchat and Instagram shoot involving “Gilmore Girls” tees. I also pat myself on the back for finding yet another way to incorporate “Gilmore Girls” into my work on a daily basis.

12 p.m.: It’s our weekly check-in with the social team, which consists of myself and two associate social editors, to review our Facebook strategy and discuss some new memes we want to try out. Things that we are currently working on social today: anything “Making a Murderer” and the awesome body positive Barbie makeover.

2 p.m.: Part of my role at Bustle also includes initiating and heading up social partnerships. Today I spend some time emailing our social partners (other publishers who work on weekly post swaps with Bustle) and checking in on the daily news cycle to ensure we are staying on top of the latest conversations across Bustle social platforms. I send partners social pitches every day of the week, but my Thursday partner emails include exchanges with Huffington Post, People’s Choice and Daily Dot.

4 p.m.: Highlight of the day! Valentine’s Day meme brainstorm with the social team, lifestyle editor, and Bustle’s awesome designers who know how to take anything related to coffee, pizza, or feminism, and make it beautiful and perfectly Bustle. Our teams will all get together on a semi-regular basis to create new memes and social ideas around important dates or holidays (previous brainstorms have centered on the Super Bowl, Thanksgiving, and “Making a Murderer”). Our favorite way to brainstorm is to fill a bunch of Post-it notes with ideas, then stick them on the wall.

5:45 p.m.: Today we are wrapping the work day with a very special occasion: a group outing for tattoos/piercings/karaoke in honor of editor-in-chief Kate Ward’s birthday. This is definitely not a regular occurrence, but we started this tradition last year. In total, four people get tattoos (most of them say “TK” because we are editor nerds) and seven people get piercings. Success!

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