When people ask what exactly a social media manager does and I explain it to them, one of the most common responses I get is:
"You mean I can hire someone to tweet for me?"
"Yes, you can."
"But how do you know what to say?"
A good social media manager is something of a chameleon. To determine what to tweet on behalf of a business, I soak up all the details of my client and create a custom content strategy. I then develop their voice and tone down to the smallest detail. Are their hashtags practical or whimsical? Would they use periods at the end of sentences or ellipses? Do they use contractions? What about slang? When you only have 140 characters to work with, these tiny elements make a big difference - they're what creates authenticity and prevents tweets from sounding corporate or canned.
Managing a Twitter account for a brand also means curating and developing their online community. Retweets, follows and favorites further express the brand's identity and help it connect with the right customers, partners and prospects. I once took over a local business' Twitter account and discovered that the agency who they'd worked with previously had followed nearly 2,000 Twitter accounts of people all across the country in an effort to build their community. The problem was, the vast majority of those people would never visit the city the business was in, let alone shop there. A good social media manager will develop a Twitter community that is relevant to your business.
One of the most important things that a social media manager provides on Twitter is a high and consistent volume of posts. If you're posting only once a day, no one is seeing your messages. Opinions differ on exactly how many posts per day is effective, but no matter what your goal total is, boosting the volume of posts gives you more opportunities to be heard throughout the day.
Long story short, it's entirely possible, even recommended in many cases, for businesses to find someone to tweet on their behalf instead of trying to do it themselves. Hiring someone to manage your Twitter account will give you a more consistent, engaged, effective presence and free up your time to focus on the day-to-day work of your business.