Day in the Life: Zehnder's Social Media Strategist, Dante Nicholas
“Creativity. Collaboration. Execution.”
The above are three keys to success for Social Media Strategist Dante Nicholas. He joined the agency in September 2014, and since that time has worked on a myriad of client accounts, ranging from tourism, live entertainment, and tech to non-profit, food & beverage and even some in-house social content.
To date, his client roster includes multiple business areas of a global telecommunications company, Piccadilly Restaurants, New Orleans & Company (formerly New Orleans CVB), Sazerac Company brands like Chila ‘Orchata and Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur, prebiotic supplement BiomeBliss, among others.
The following is a daylong diary tracking Dante as he moved through an action-packed day in the life of a Social Media Community Manager. In this day and age, social media managers aren’t just posting things to Facebook. They’re shooting photography & video, designing graphics in Photoshop and GIFs in After Effects, developing a brand’s digital voice, strategizing how to achieve optimal post success, analyzing data, and so much more. They are true jacks-of-all trades.
6:50 a.m.: After hitting snooze 2 or 3 times, I fully wake up, grab my iPhone and immediately check for overnight emails and any social media crises. Nothing appears to have happened today (thank goodness!), so I’m in the clear. Time to get ready for work!
7:40 a.m.: I get in the car, and play my favorite album of the moment (Travis Scott’s ‘Astroworld’) in Apple Music. I have 20 minutes before a client call, so it’s Carpool Karaoke time. All my car singers/rappers know what I’m talking about!
8:00 a.m.: Having international clients means having frequent early morning meetings. I take my 8am call via Bluetooth, as I sit in traffic. Thank goodness for the Skype mobile app!
8:30 a.m.: As I pull into our parking garage, we’re still discuss upcoming social media plans and strategy for major events in 2019, so I transfer from car speakers to headphones to finish the call as I walk to the office.
8:45 a.m.: Working in social media means that I have to be social, right? I take a few minutes to catch up with some co-workers in our kitchen (or the Neutral Ground as we call it) while we brew French Truck coffee in our new French press machine. C’est bon!
9:00 a.m.: Alright, time to crank! I take another pass through my emails to start determining what my to-do list for the day will consist of.
I get a Slack reminder from our Sr. Account Executive Christina Maltese that there’s an editorial calendar due today for our restaurant client Piccadilly, so that’s first on my list to finish! For this particular client, I create social media content a full month in advance of it needing to be posted. This way, the client has plenty of time to give feedback and I have plenty of time to create! December’s content is looking amazing (Holiday content is so fun to make)!
10:00 a.m.: So you know that to-do list I created earlier? It’s already out the window. Our telecommunications client currently has a team in Finland, and they’re helping to run one of Europe’s biggest hack-a-thons: Hack Junction. The team in Finland is sending me content (pictures, videos, text) and need me to curate a live Instagram Story for our client’s global Instagram account. Since this is a live event and they’re 8 hours ahead, I have to do this right away!
After some quick strategy and content planning using apps like Unfold and Over, we have a nicely curated Instagram Story up and running!
11:00 a.m.: After taking a few minutes to finalize that Piccadilly editorial calendar, I pack up my things and meet up with Social Media Manager Ellen and Project Manager Nick. We have a meeting at the New Orleans & Company headquarters in 30.
11:30 a.m.: We’ve been working with New Orleans & Company (formerly New Orleans CVB) for a few years and have seen tremendous growth in their social media presence over the years. This meeting is all about planning our 2019 efforts with the client team. What strategies we’ll put in place, what content we’d like to create, what our biggest opportunities and areas for improvement are, etc.
Social media graphic made for New Orleans & Company
1 p.m.: Time to head back to Zehnder headquarters on Canal Street. I have to switch hats and jump into tech mode for more content creation. This time, it’s for our client’s corporate sustainability division. I need to create images and GIFs centered around climate action, access to education, gender equality and more. Through having such a wide range of clients, I get to learn so many interesting things.
3.p.m.: The last couple of hours of the day are used brainstorming with Social Strategist Emily Gass on some new content ideas for our liqueur brands (Chila ‘Orchata and Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur). We prep two recipe video shoots. One is for a Chila-infused root beer float, and the other is for a Gran Mimosa. Cheers!
Social media graphic made for Gran Gala
5 p.m.: I head to the couches in our new office and finalize a few things across the board, before heading home around 6 p.m.
8 p.m.: After eating dinner, I check my email and see an email from a client about a Facebook comment that needs to be addressed. I do that right away. Social media never sleeps, so we’re constantly on the lookout for things that need to be handled in a timely manner!
9 p.m.: Another final run through all of my accounts before turning my brain off for the night. Time to catch up on ‘Ballers’ on HBO and get ready for the next day’s grind!
A day in the life of Social Media Strategist Dante Nicholas seems hectic, but with that schedule full of strategy meetings and content creation comes endless fulfillment. Social media is growing more important for brands by the day, so being the digital voice & creative mind behind many of them is what makes our social media team the rock stars they are!