How To Become A Social Media Manager

Social media is one of the most popular areas in Digital Marketing, one that happens to be on-demand, as well. Smaller and larger companies hire social media managers to help them manage their social media channels, engage with their followers and design their social media campaigns. It is an exciting time to work in social media!

Suppose you like to spend part of your time scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, watching videos on YouTube or tweeting about everything and anything. In that case, you might have wondered what the career path of a Social Media Manager looks like.

Like any other role, you need to understand the role of social media marketing and the differences between the different social media platforms and tools. Having a social media presence does not automatically qualify you to become a Social Media Manager.

After reading this article, you will learn what social media managers do, what to expect from the role and the primary skills you need to become a successful Social Media Manager.

What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

The first thing you need to know about working in social media is this: no two days in the life of a Social Media Manager are the same. However, these below are the most common tasks in the weekly planner of a social media marketer:

Content Creation

  • Come up with content ideas for your social media posts around relevant topics
  • Write the text of your posts
  • Shoot the images or videos, or select your existing content from the photo or video assets to go with your text. This process often involves using some image or video edition tools.
  • Finally, schedule the content.

Content creation can be highly time-consuming. Sometimes, social media managers prefer to leave some time in their diaries to relax and squeeze their brains looking for new creative content ideas. They must also find time for keyword research, brainstorming, and then think of ways to adapt their content to the latest social media trends.

Learning how to become a social media manager
You will often find yourself having to manage multiple social media pages, mainly if you work for a marketing agency.

There are several social media management tools to keep all your social media pages and groups well organised, plan and schedule your publications in advance. Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Tailwind or Later, to name the best-known ones.

Community Management

If you manage online communities, you will have to learn how to deal with angry customers, negative reviews, complaints, and even rude comments. However, you also get to speak directly with your target audience. If you are an extrovert person, this will probably be the part of your job you enjoy the most.

Social Media Reporting

You will also pay attention to the trends, such as your audience’s evolution and the sentiment in their messages (positive, negative or neutral). Finally, you look at your social media pages’ traffic to your website and any social conversions.

You will need to access the data and insights of Google Analytics, the analytics pages of your social media pages and other digital marketing software solutions.

Paid social media

Graphic design

Photoshop and InDesign are two of the best-known software for image editing. Many social media managers use Canva instead because it is easier to learn. Wave and other video editors are a great alternative to Adobe Premiere video editors and are prevalent among digital marketers.

How To Get Hired As A Social Media Manager

You do not need to have a specific qualification on social media. Any experience in marketing, communication, advertising or public relations will get you closer to getting hired as a Social Media Manager. Still, a degree or a postgraduate qualification will always impress your employers and get you ahead of the competition.

If a college degree is not an option for you, you can follow many online courses. The IDM and the CIM offer industry-recognised qualifications, which you can complete by gaining professional certificates, such as those from Facebook or Hootsuite Academy.

Working In-House Vs In A Digital Agency

When you work in-house, you or your team typically implement your campaigns, organic and paid. Even if you develop your career in the marketing department of a company, you might work with agencies.

Digital Marketing agencies for Social Media
Many companies externalise their digital marketing and hire a digital agency to help them design their social media strategy or paid social advertising.

A digital marketing agency will design its campaigns (organic and paid), do all the copywriting and schedule all the publications. Then, they will report the results to their client. Sometimes, external Social Media Managers coordinate their work with other in-house professionals in the marketing department.

Agencies usually work with larger budgets, but they have to follow a client’s brief and present their results. If you work for a social media agency, you will often have access to a more extensive set of tools, and you will work on a variety of campaigns for several brands. It is a fast-paced environment. Your campaigns need to be approved by your management and the client’s side, therefore you may have less autonomy.

What Skills Do You Need To Become A Successful Social Media Manager

  • Good communication
  • Creativity
  • Image and video edition
  • Copywriting
  • Time management and organisation
  • Data analysis
  • Team working
  • Customer service
  • Project and budget management
  • Flexibility and adaptability

As you can see, social media managers work with various hard and soft skills in their daily lives. It is a fast-paced environment, where you need to be very organised and use your time wisely.

Social media professionals are thought to be creative minds with brilliant copywriting skills. However, you also need to have analytical skills. Paid social media managers have to be excellent analytic tools, though. Analysing results, managing budgets, and reporting is a full-time job.

Social Media often involves a lot of teamwork. Even if you are not part of a large team, you will have to coordinate your social media strategy with the marketing manager and the rest of the marketing team. You might need to get other departments within the business involved, too. It also includes other external stakeholders, such as influencers or other partners (e.g. a campaign with a charity).

Main skills to work as a social media manager
Social media moves quickly. Trends in social media change quickly.

Successful social media professionals stay up to date with the latest digital marketing trends to adapt their posts to the changes and stay ahead of the competitors.

Is Social Media Management A Good Career Choice?

Salary wise, they are not the most well-paid professionals in marketing. According to the latest reports of Indeed and Glassdoor, salaries for social media assistants or junior roles range from £19,000 to £21,000. The wages of social media managers can range from £30,000 to £40,000, although this amount can significantly increase when you get more experience.

Final Thoughts On How To Become A Social Media Manager

There is not a clear path towards becoming a Social Media Manager. Nevertheless, having a passion for social media, an interest in learning and the right skills will help you succeed in this career.

If you found this article helpful for anyone wanting to start a career in social media management, please share it on social media to help others.



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