Santosh Sapkota: What it takes to be the celebrities’ social media manager in Nepal

Santosh Sapkota
Santosh Sapkota

Santosh Sapkota (24) of Parbat is a digital nomad as his job does not need any specific physical space or office hours. He can do his job from anywhere and at any time.

All he needs is the internet and a computer as he is working as a social media manager for some 25 celebrities in Nepal. His job includes handling the social media platforms of celebrities and organisations.

While unknown to many in Nepal even now, a social media manager is an interesting profession although it is filled with challenges galore. Sapkota says he is happy to have worked a different life from the majority of his friends and families but sometimes feels uncomfortable as they do not understand the nature of his job. Yet, he hopes the situation of social media managers will gradually change with the increase in the use of social media in different fields in Nepal.

The job of a social media manager

Image courtesy: Panos South Asia
Image courtesy: Panos South Asia

It has been four years since Sapkota has begun working as a freelance social media manager (SMM). By now, it has been the major source of his bread and butter. 

The advancement of technology has not just changed the way of living but has also introduced different forms of jobs and social media management is one of them.   

A social media manager is someone who forms or develops the strategy to run the social media accounts of an individual or company. As an SMM, Sapkota manages pages and profiles, solves technical issues, promotes pages, verifies accounts, recovers hacked accounts and reports and removes fake accounts of celebrities he has been working with.    

He claims to have complete control over the social media accounts of the people for whom he works.

The self-taught social media manager currently works for well-known figures like Saigrace Pokharel, Kushal Bhurtel,  Anil Gurung, and Shirish Devkota. Previously, he also worked for Pashupati Sharma, Muskan Khatun, Maheshwar Gahatraj, Devi Gharti Magar, Hemanta Sharma and many others. Some of his clients also include Indian influencers, brands and politicians.  

The unrecognised profession in Nepal

Photo: Pexels/ Kaboompics

But, Sapkota began his life as a social media manager working for folk singer Arjun Sapkota, who is also his cousin.   

Singer Sapkota assigned Santosh Sapkota, who had a diploma in mechanical engineering, to handle his fan page. And, he accepted it.

While the first impression was a fun job, he also found it quite challenging.

The first challenge was about recognition. He complains many people still do not understand what he does. He finds it very hard to make people understand that he is not just scrolling the news. 

“In the starting phase, it was more difficult to make people understand about working as a social media manager, but now, things have changed gradually.”

Challenging job   

instagram posting social media
Photo: Pexels/ ready made

Then come more serious and technical challenges.

“Their pages are hacked with a phishing link and some other issues include copyright and slow performance,” says Sapkota. “Similarly, sometimes the fake accounts of celebrities also create troubles by sharing the posts that are untrue and irrelevant.”

As a social media manager, he has to deal with all of them.

Another particular challenge in social media management in Nepal is monetisation. For example, For instance, one cannot monetise Facebook and Instagram in Nepal. Nepal and the Nepali language are not eligible for monetisation and almost all Nepali banks are ineligible to recharge or pay the bill for social media ads. Such issues pose hurdles in promoting or boosting brands and products.  

Likewise, he is also supposed to be alert 24/7 because at any time any kind of issue can be diagnosed with the assigned social media accounts. 

Despite loads of challenges and hurdles, Sapkota enjoys his job as he sees a great future in this profession. He hence suggests the aspirants need to explore more things related to this sector. The main aspect he likes about his job is he does not have to be restricted by any time limit or space while payments are also more than satisfying.

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Prasun Sangroula is an Onlinekhabar correspondent, mainly covering arts, society and sports.

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