Here's How to Become a Social Media Manager (Professional Guide)

Here's how to become a social media manager, professionally. Individuals that manage a company's or person's social media presence are known as social media managers. Because many organizations and prominent personalities utilize social media to connect with their audiences, this job has grown increasingly essential. To succeed in this field, you'll need excellent communication skills, a suitable degree, and experience with social media.

how to become a social media manager

Many individuals believe that social networking is "simple." While sharing an image and making a brief remark can appear to be simple, there is a lot of data analytics and planning that goes into it. We'll go over what social media managers do and how to get a job in this field in this post.

how to become a social media manager

What does a social media manager do?

A social media manager is someone who works in a company's communications, marketing, or public relations department who is responsible for monitoring, filtering, contributing to, and guiding a company's, product's, or brand's social media presence.

Because social media platforms are fast-paced and sometimes referred to as "real-time marketing," social media managers must be able to respond quickly and disseminate information as it becomes available. The social media manager for a company, business, product, or service must frequently be well-versed in news cycles and an industry expert.

Companies in a variety of sectors have embraced social media as a means of attracting and keeping consumers, so having someone who can manage their online presence is critical.

how to become a social media manager

Their major responsibilities are as follows:

  • Creating editorial calendars for potential material based on time and distribution.
  • Creating material to distribute on numerous social media platforms. Each business can use a combination of social media platforms to reach its target market.
  • Responding to user comments and suggestions to create a good brand experience that encourages strong engagement.
  • Developing ads with messaging that reflect the brand's personality.
  • Engagement ratings, metrics, and analytics are used to track the performance of content and campaigns.
  • Participating in the development of visual design strategies.
  • Developing promotional and engagement methods, such as influencer marketing, organic traffic generation, and sponsored advertising.
  • presenting findings to top management in order to analyze and influence future strategy
  • Recognize and reevaluate if a platform isn't delivering a satisfactory return on investment.
  • Maintaining brand guidelines across all platforms and collaborating with team members to maintain consistent brand message.
  • Keeping up with the latest trends. Short films, for example, are popular now, yet memes continue to be popular.
  • Contributing to the brand's tone—be serious, responsible, or even humorous when and where appropriate.
  • Creating and displaying a consistent personality for the brand—be very clear on how this person will interact with consumers, partner brands, and/or rivals. For example, several fast-food restaurants engage in lighthearted banter on Twitter and go viral as a result of customer involvement in the form of retweets and comments.

Average salary of a social media manager

A social media manager's average annual income is $44,741. Social media managers can earn anywhere from $14,000 and $105,000 per year.

Experience, degree of education, business or even industry, and geographical location are all factors that might affect a person's compensation in this position.

How to become a social media manager

Here's how to become a social media manager.

Get experience in social media

There is a misconception that since they have grown up with social media and have had cameras on their phones since they were adolescents, all young people can be brilliant at it. While they are excellent at learning new platforms and posting for their own audiences, a brand's social media platform or initiatives require a great deal of planning and thinking.

If you're interested in becoming a social media manager, you can gain experience by contacting a friend or family member who operates a small business. Learn about them and how or why they would wish to publish to social media networks. Learn more about company goals and how social media can help them achieve them, as well as attract new consumers. The benefit of social media is multi-layered—user-generated material, geographically relevant information, and the capacity to target marketing—but no company should upload anything without a plan.

There are some genuine factors in how each company handles social media, and to be fair, they can modify their strategy over time if one channel isn't performing well. Because each platform has its own value and type of material, a company or brand can need to decide which ones are worth their time and money.

The greatest approach to advance in this position is to gain real-world experience so that you can refine the required abilities and offer value to the company.

Earn a degree or gain relevant work

Although a bachelor's degree is not required for all social media manager roles, many companies prefer individuals with one. Business, marketing, advertising, public relations, and general communications degrees are the ideal schools for this career path. Psychology majors excel in this field because they understand human behavior and the customer psyche, as well as why we do what we do and why we buy from particular businesses.

how to become a social media manager

You can also seek educational programs that offer social media management and strategy training and courses. Consider internships, volunteer positions, or entry-level jobs that require you to use social media to put theory and tactics taught in class into reality.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can also be quite beneficial in terms of gaining expertise and knowledge in the areas of analytics and social media campaign strategy. These can be found on websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Google.

Build your own social media following

Generating interaction on your own is one method to demonstrate your capacity to maintain a social media following for a business. Increase the number of likes, comments, and shares on your posts and connect with your followers by posting interesting material and connecting with your fans. To improve this talent, you can create a content plan for your own profile.

Use social media best practices to show that your strategies are effective. Make sure you know your own brand language and that your visuals, such as pictures and graphics, have a consistent appearance and feel. If you use photos that aren't your own, make sure to give credit to the photographers or other content creators.

Learn how to use social media to gain marketing insights

Analytics are used by every social media manager to assess how effective campaigns and content are doing. On social media, analytics can help you determine the success of what you're posting and discover following trends—what they enjoy, don't like, and can not respond to. Followers, page views, clicks, likes, shares, comments, and impressions are the most important metrics to examine.

how to become a social media manager

While impressions are important (how many people read your content), it's also important to know how to turn all of your analytics data into an action plan. Even if the first impressions are positive, if engagement is poor, you know there is room for improvement.

There are several programs available that track these parameters and provide patterns. You can get familiar with these techniques as you gain hands-on experience through your education, internships, and other practical jobs, and utilize these insights to update campaign and content plans. Many small companies and entrepreneurs use Google Analytics, although enterprise-level solutions such as Core Metrics are also available.

Analytical review might feel like sifting through a mountain of data reports, and it can take some time to extract and comprehend key findings. Knowing how to communicate these facts to top leadership also requires a visual vision.

Many people find that using visualization tools can help them communicate their findings more effectively.

how to become a social media manager

Get training

You can profit from attending social media management training courses through many online platforms and providers in addition to earning a degree. These courses will teach you how to build the research, analytical, and communication skills you'll need to manage social media for a business or organization, as well as how to handle the obstacles you'll face.

You can also enroll in classes to master new tools such as trending tools, content-sharing tools, publishing tools, and listening tools for social media platforms. Because of the fast-paced nature of social media and "real-time marketing," it's important to recognize that many businesses use social media listening software to stay on top of what customers are saying about them at all times.

Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social are among examples. Although you can not need to be an expert at utilizing social media listening tools to get a job, it is beneficial to know how this software works and how it can help you improve your marketing efforts. You can also enroll in one of these training courses.

how to become a social media manager

Build an online portfolio

You can be requested to demonstrate your portfolio of past social media work during an interview for a social media management role. Keeping a portfolio of top posts, engagement statistics, and other important data will guarantee you have proof of your skills to display during interviews, whether you're picking up freelancing clients, managing your personal accounts, or volunteering to construct a page for a non-profit organization.

Pro Tip: You can create a personal website utilizing hosting services like WordPress or Squarespace, which allow you to incorporate more information about yourself as a person, but they do require a monthly hosting cost investment.

You can also share your work by uploading files to free sites like Behance or Coroflot. If you can include work examples beneath your job experiences, LinkedIn is also a wonderful free alternative.

If you decide to utilize LinkedIn, make sure your LinkedIn URL is customized by following these steps:

  • Select your photo icon from the dropdown menu.
  • Click on View Profile.
  • Select Edit Public Profile and URL from the drop-down menu.
  • Remove the random digits and replace them with your name in the URL.

Follow companies you admire

Follow the best companies in your sector, as well as those in other industries, to learn what works and what they're doing well when it comes to engaging with their fans. Remember to look for them on all social media sites, since they can have different purposes or messages on each platform.

Common questions

Common questions related to the social media manager role.

Do social media managers run the social media platforms for their clients?

Some social media managers work for many customers on a freelance basis, creating campaigns and material to distribute.

how to become a social media manager

They usually upload this content on behalf of the customer, however, this varies depending on the client's preferences. Some people choose to keep control of their profiles and hire a freelance manager to handle the campaign creation.

What skills does a social media manager need?

Using social media channels, managing social media accounts, and setting a social media strategy all require specific skills.

how to become a social media manager

The following are some of the most prevalent abilities required by social media managers:

  • Spelling and grammar: It's critical to have great spelling and grammar so that the business you're promoting on social media appears polished and professional.
  • Time-management: Social media managers, particularly those who work freelance for several customers, must be able to efficiently manage their time. This ability guarantees that material is published at the best possible moment and that the pages they administer are actively interacting with their viewers.
  • Customer service: This ability allows social media administrators to respond appropriately to good and negative comments. These experts can best represent the brand by providing excellent customer service.
  • Creative eye: Many social media administrators hire graphic designers to generate material, while some do it themselves. Having a visual sense for your client's or company's brand is crucial.

In addition to social media skills, graphic design skills are particularly advantageous because you can be required to produce visuals for social media posts, especially if you work for a small business.

What industries do social media manager work in?

Social media managers work in a variety of sectors.

Because social media is widespread across many businesses, managers in a variety of fields are tasked with creating and distributing content. You might work in business, food service, hospitality, transportation and travel, healthcare, construction, or virtually any other area as a social media manager.

You can also work as part of an in-house creative team or for an outside company that specializes in social media marketing. You can report to a digital marketing manager, or if you work for a smaller company, you can be in charge of other aspects of their marketing in addition to social media.

Who is successful at being a social media manager?

Someone who is successful as a social media manager possesses a variety of traits.

Among these characteristics are:

  • You're enthralled with data and analytics.
  • You enjoy figuring out what a/b testing can produce.

What social media management tools do I need to know?

The following social media channels are important to know:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

Using:

  • Hootsuite
  • Hubspot

What is a social media marketing strategy?

A social media plan is a thorough blueprint that explains what, when, how, and why you post on your company's social media accounts.

A social media marketing plan, like any other strategy, should be developed before you begin generating. It's a strategy, a collection of ideas, a goal, and the road to achieving that objective.

In social media marketing, a plan is essential. It necessitates knowledge of your target audience, what they're searching for, how their requirements connect with your objectives, and, finally, how you can entice them to join your company with an offer.

How can I create a social media management business?

The best social media managers are those that can grow the engagement of accounts.

Experience is more important than education when it comes to being a social media manager. There are social media management courses accessible, but you should also conduct some own research and study.

Social media should be viewed as a marketing tool. It's one thing to attract a bunch of people to watch a "cat tricks" YouTube channel, but it's quite another to grow a business's following. Many businesses struggle with social media marketing because it differs from traditional marketing. It's all about having an engaging, educational, and/or amusing discussion with your target market on social media.

how to become a social media manager

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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