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Hi, I'm Tokelo...

I’m a social media loving, content marketing expert, that enjoys educating others & elevating businesses. I also really like taking road trips, Two Dots & peanut butter ice cream. 

I've turned my love for story-telling into a 6-figure business using marketing strategies that I now get to share with you... and just by the way, I enjoy sharing all I've learnt over a cup of tea.

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As a social media manager, you know what it’s like to juggle multiple priorities all at once.

At any moment, you may need to reply to people online queries, pull social data, craft the next witty post, and keep your audience engaged. With so many responsibilities demanding your attention, it can be challenging to find the time and energy to put your best foot forward every day.

The social media landscape is continually changing in this hyper-connected world. Working in social media requires a mix of numerous skills, creativity, great writing, analytics, and keeping up with various trends.

Given this, there’s a lot on the plate of social media managers. With these rapid changes occurring in social media, it is important to get a handle on maximizing one’s efforts and adopting habits that have proven to work time and time again.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the 7 habits of social media managers who have figured out the keys to long-term success:

1. Focus on connecting with your community

The number one goal for most people and brands on social media is to get as many eyes on their content, to get what they offer as much exposure as possible at the lowest cost. Building a community of people who are both interested and engaged is a sure way to effectively do this.

Our online communities expect more from us these days and this naturally impacts how we show up or present ourselves, especially on a platform like Instagram; and emphasis needs to be on building trust more than anything because authenticity is key.

If your audience knows that you listen to them and you act on what they say, your audience will want to engage more, but also trust you more. If your social media is more about helping the people in your community, rather than sell to them, it will prove effective.

This makes social media more of a two-way street, with content not only being shared, but those in the audience being listened to as well. A successful social media manager knows how to effectively use the social media platforms they are on to listen in on relevant topics and conversations that people in their audience are apart of, and act on the findings. The more you know your audience in 2021, the better the outcome for everyone.

2. Data-informed decisions for the win

It’s important to look at the past content you shared and measure its effectiveness. Then, when you know which content performs the best, continue by reproducing similar content, so that it aligns with our best content.

Measuring your social media progress is the way to go and seasoned social media managers know to check their insights to track their performance, regularly. They stay on top of key metrics (reach, interactions, etc.) and make sure they have what they need to make data-driven decisions.

Too many brands ignore analytics. But by not knowing which content does best, you are simply leaving your strategy to chance.

All the work you put into growing your audience needs to be tracked and measured. This will allow you to see how well your efforts are working to get you the results you want, to help you do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

If you're new to managing social media platforms, then it will be good for you to note that tracking how well your content does speak to more than just likes and your follower count. It means looking at important metrics such as:

  • how many people have seen your content (reach)

  • how many times your post got shared by people

  • how many times people interacted with your post (content interactions)

  • how many people came to your page after seeing that post (profile visits)

  • how many people visited your website after viewing your post (website taps)

  • how many

These can be viewed through your 'insights' which you can access by opening your profile (far right tab), tapping your menu (in the top right corner) and tapping on your Insights option. Or tap on the 'View Insights' button in blue under any post for the data for a specific post. One of my favourite insights to look at in my post insights has to be how many people discovered my content through hashtags

Note: you need to have a business, creator or professional account to see your insights and you will only be able to view data from when you made the switch from a personal account to a business, creator or professional account; and limited data for posts created before.

3. Go easy with the tool

With so many tools popping up every now and then, each with the promise of helping you work better or become more efficient. However, too many tech tools can do the opposite. There are over 7 000 digital marketing tools to choose from and this list is only going to keep on growing!

If you’re switching between too many apps to get basic work done, it may be time to re-evaluate the tools you’re using and consider cutting down and choosing to work with the ones that save you time.

Here are a few tips to help you stick to the tools that matter:

  1. Make a list of the tools you use and number them in order of priority. Those that do more that one task should weight more.

  2. Consolidate and eliminate those that aren't a necessity from your workflow.

  3. Only use tools that integrate with your reporting to avoid scattered data.

  4. Try to come up with your own unique way of simplifying things instead of always seeking out the next tool. You might find that a few little formats on your excel sheet can save you the time of having to add a new tool.

4. Blocking off time will help get more done

It's so easy to get sucked into social media platforms and their endless streams of content while monitoring and managing your daily activities. It’s important to not spend too much time going through social media platforms too regularly throughout the day as this can negatively affect your concentration on other tasks.

Most of us have this habit of multitasking, thinking we can monitor comments, messages and emails while doing other tasks. But in reality, the truth is that it takes longer (up to 30minutes) to regain focus, after you getting distracted.

Time blocking requires the planning out of your work schedule by the hour, taking into account how long each task will take you and schedule in a timed slot for managing your social media platforms and dedicating that time to that sole task.

Blocking off time in your calendar allows you to spend more time being focused and being more effective than if your mind was split on more than one thing at a time.

I believe the trick is in allocating the right amount of time to each task, to ensure you work in a relaxed state, with lessened stress or pressure. This will also help you avoid the illusion that you can get everything done in a day. Please note that you won't get this right the first time and in time you will get to know exactly how long each task takes and plan more effectively going forward. Our Instagram Checklist can also help you stay efficient and make sure you tick all the boxes when posting - click here to get it now.

5. If you’re not using Influencers already…

Now is the time to use Influencers. Influencers have gone through some serious changes recently. However, this has only made them greater to work with; just make sure your eyes are wide open before jumping in. You will need to find them on social media and spend time looking through their content, so you can work out if their content matches your brand image and goals.

If you’re just making your first steps in partnering with Influencers, just remember that they will need to know what they get out of the partnership - gift, stay, pay, etc. and be mindful to match what you would get out to whatever you offer. I believe it always best to be honest and transparent with people and work to end with a win-win situation.

When building your Influencer strategy, I suggest you focus on finding nano or micro Influencers who have an affinity for your product. Those Influencers with a smaller audience may not seem as attractive to you, but they often have strong reach and engagement and have been found to be viewed as being more authentic and trusted. They are worth more to you than the more coveted, mid-tire or macro Influencers because you get more value for your money.

6. Stop chasing perfection

Your social media ‘to-do list’ won't always be completed done and your content won't always be perfectly done or received well every time (numerous factors can affect this). Perfection is unrealistic and unattainable, and will only bring you unhappiness and great stress!

Stop spending hours designing and tweaking a single Instagram post or caption. It will serve you better just putting your best out there to get an initial read and improving on things as you go. Attention to detail is great, but I've seen too many people get bogged down by the detail and let trying to get things perfect stall their progress; and if I'm being completely honest, I've been held back by this too!

Create and share different styles of content (quotes, product shots, content with you in it, etc.) in different formats (photo, video, stories, IGTV, reels, etc.) to test out different types of content and uncover what works best for you and your audience; and replicate that.

Pro Tip: Work smarter by repurposing your content - making a blog post into one or two social media posts, an IGTV and a reel; to share over a week or two. Not sure how? Tune into my Tuesday Talks here and watch my Instagram page.

7. Rest is equally as important

Your content calendars and to-do lists are constantly being added with more content to post and more engagement to monitor. It's easy to find yourself feeling anxious when things aren't as busy as you'd hoped or feel stressed and overwhelmed when your workload gets hectic. And let's not get into those urges to constantly check-in on the progress of a campaign or to see how a new post is being received.

Trying to constantly keep up with or even stay ahead of your plans and lists can lead to you feeling exhausted and 'burnt out'.

I believe it's important to protect your peace and make time for relaxation because it works to restore your body and revitalize your mind and helps keep those creative juices flowing and you performing at your best.

Managing social media platforms will naturally increase your screen times, especially if you're managing multiple platforms. And all that time sitting doesn't help either. Sitting is said to be the new smoking, as it has been discovered to lead to higher chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and experiencing depression and anxiety.

If you want to keep working efficiently, you can’t afford to be thrown off your game by 'burn out' or fall sick. Use these tips to make time for your well-being:

  1. Take a walk break outside for some fresh air.

  2. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water per day.

  3. Walk around the room while taking calls.

  4. Eat healthy meals and snacks that nourish your body

  5. Meditate.

  6. Say no to unplanned and unnecessary tasks.

The social media landscape can be very noisy and busy. If you’re having to overlook your mental or physical health and your relationships, it could be time to take a step back, evaluate your workload and habits as you settle into into the year. You need to prioritize your mental health and the capacity of the work you’re taking on.

All of the above outlines some of the main area in which a social media manager needs to be focused in 2021. Take a good look and use the information to add to what your approach looks like right now.