How to Become a Social Media Manager in 2024 – A Complete Guide

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With 4.88 billion social media users worldwide, the demand for social media managers is at an all-time high. Social media management involves creating, ideating, and implementing an organization’s social media strategy to ensure the brand consistently engages with its audience.

The job allows you to infuse creativity, collaborate with people, and work flexibly on your own schedule- provided you’re working as an independent social media manager. So, if you want to pursue a career as a social media manager, this guide is all you need.

But before you get started, check out Social Champ — the ultimate library for social media managers. The platform includes guides on the latest strategies and trends to help you perfect social media management.

Working as a social media manager requires deliberate planning, relevant experience in the field, and a dynamic persona capable of handling immense pressure and new trends. Due to this, brands search for professionals who can manage their workload and develop ingenious ideas for their digital campaigns.

If you think you have the talent and creativity to pursue a career in this industry, continue reading! We’ll share detailed tips to help you excel in this profession.

What is a Social Media Manager?

Have you ever been mesmerized by a brand’s social profile? Have you ever found content that is so relatable that you couldn’t help but share it? Have you ever stopped scrolling to check out a brand’s social profile?

As a social media account manager, your job is to make users do the same. Social media managers are experts in representing a brand’s online presence. They are responsible for planning, crafting, and curating an attractive content strategy that conveys the brand’s ideology. They also publish the content regularly after careful scrutiny to make sure the posts align with the brand’s persona. Proficient managers also interact effectively with the community through messages and emails and engage with the audience by assisting them regularly. Social media managers also monitor and analyze the content performance and alter the plans accordingly.

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What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

The role and responsibilities of a social media marketing manager are vast and challenging. They require in-depth attention to detail. So be prepared to juggle a lot of different duties. However, you shouldn’t be intimidated by the job, as you can easily perform well by planning and staying ahead of the game.

A typical social media manager job includes the following responsibilities:

  1. Social Media Content Planning and Strategy

    Aligning with the employer’s business and marketing goals, a social media account manager creates engaging content like text, images, and videos that showcase the brand’s awareness and tone.

  2. Engagement with the Community

    A social media manager’s job demands promptly responding to comments, mentions, and messages. Actively engaging with the audience and maintaining an overall positive outlook of the company are critical aspects of social media management.

  3. Analyzing Data and Making Reports

    Experts in social media management also have to analyze and monitor the performances of posts and campaigns using relevant tools and data. For instance, many managers use Social Champ’s Analytics tool to generate reports and track weekly/monthly performances.

  4. Stay Up-To-Date with the Latest Trends

    Social media managers keep a keen eye on all the latest trends in the industry. They implement the latest trends for better engagement opportunities and friendly public outreach.

  5. Managing Crises and Disputes

    A social media marketing manager also communicates with customers. They professionally respond to negative feedback and critiques calmly and promptly.

  6. SEO Practices

    Although social media managers primarily work on social media platforms, they must also be well-versed in SEO practices. This way, they can boost the posts’ organic reach, as well as their search engine visibility.

  7. Budget Management

    A social media marketing manager helps manage the budget allocated for social media advertising and marketing channels. They make sure to deliver positive results in ad campaigns and engagements.

  8. Leading the Team

    Some companies hire a team for social media handling. They may comprise internees or intermediate-level colleagues. As a professional, it is mandatory for a social media manager to train, manage, and lead team members with the best leadership skills.

Related Article: Mastering the Art of Content Creation and Marketing with Fey Arberk Bozoglu

Top Social Media Manager Skills

A snapshot of Olive and Milo’s social media management services.
A snapshot of Olive and Milo’s social media management services.

If you are ready to take your social media account manager journey to the top, now is the time to act! By mastering these skills, you can polish yourself with the required expertise to set yourself apart from your competition. Here are the top skills required for this role:

  • Excellent Content Creation

    Content is the key to engagement. Therefore, a powerful online presence relies on captivating and compelling content. Exceptional writing skills, visual understanding to produce quality graphics, and video editing abilities are mandatory. The type of content may include catchy texts, visuals, images, and other multimedia mediums. Additionally, thanks to free tools like Canva, graphic designing expertise may not be an issue anymore.

  • Social Media Algorithm Awareness

    If you’re pursuing a career as a social media manager, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the platforms’ algorithms. Every platform has different regulations about the posts it boosts. For instance, the ranking factors for Instagram include relationship, interest, timelessness, frequency, following, and session time. Having an understanding of the algorithm can help you create content that is promoted by the platform.

    In addition, you’ll need complete proficiency in using various social media networks. Every forum requires a different approach and tone. For example, LinkedIn uses a more formal manner compared to Meta’s light and happy style. Similarly, the tone and content for Snapchat, X, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest vary from platform to platform.

  • Data Evaluation

    The social media landscape keeps evolving. To stay relevant with the times, you must be able to evaluate and interpret data to track your post’s performance. This way, you can make informed decisions regarding your marketing strategies and make modifications when necessary.

  • Communication

    Communication is another essential skill for social media managers. The job requires you to interact with the online community to build emotional bonds between the audience and the brand. Considering this, you must be proficient in written and verbal communication. This can help you respond empathetically to negative reviews and accurately convey the brand’s mission and voice.

  • Adaptability

    The attention span of social media users is decreasing daily due to the availability of a large content volume. Keeping this in mind, continuous learning, adapting, and adjusting strategies are essential social media manager skills. Therefore, you must also be willing to make changes to your plan if the current strategy is not working.

  • Thinking Outside the Box

    The most successful social media account managers think outside the box and bring innovative ideas. They are creative thinkers who don’t rely on traditional methods and style. Instead, they go for uniqueness, develop original content, and set examples to follow. This creativity allows the target audience to resonate with the brand ideology more openly.

  • SEO Knowledge

    As stated earlier, using SEO tactics is essential for successful social media managers. You must have sound knowledge of bringing in organic traffic and increasing the brand’s search engine visibility. This is why educating yourself on SEO principles and techniques works wonders for your career development in the long run.

  • Budget Management

    Social media managers also have to manage the budget for paid campaigns and marketing strategies. They also have to track ROI (Return On Investment) for all paid campaigns to show the success of their marketing efforts. A manager is further responsible for compiling reports on the revenue generated through the ad campaigns.

  • Leadership Qualities

    Building a strong social presence requires collaboration with a team of experts. As a manager, you’ll deal with designers, influencers, and partners, among others. Therefore, you must have the required leadership skills to effectively mentor, train, and communicate with these experts. You must also be able to effectively delegate tasks to ensure all posts are created and published on schedule.

  • Time Management

    Punctuality and discipline are the most important aspects of any job. Efficient time management, along with following schedules to keep the brand in the limelight, guarantees a positive result from the masses.

How to Become a Social Media Manager in 2024 – [Quick Tips]

Successful social media management requires a combination of skills, a knack for creativity, relevant knowledge about consumer behavior, and expertise in using social platforms. However, this dynamic profession does not have a fixed set of rules. Instead, you can create your own path for finding digital success.

That being said, we have compiled some powerful tips on how to become a social media manager.

  1. Educate Yourself

    Work on gathering knowledge about social media management by reading industry articles and blogs, watching tutorials, and gaining information from professionals.

  2. Practice Content Creation

    Use your social media handles and pages to share engaging content creation. Make your content attractive and make your accounts public. Your social platforms can also work as your portfolio, showcasing the creativity in your ideas and posts.

  3. Learn about Basic Designing and Editing

    Designing posts and videos is a great skill to have a social media manager. You can leverage user-friendly tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to ideate and design your own posts and ad copies. That said, you can also outsource the designing tasks or hire an in-house freelance designer to help you bring your ideas to life.

  4. Build an Attractive Portfolio

    Show the world what you are capable of! Build a strong portfolio showcasing your best project, ad campaigns, and successful results. A robust portfolio increases the chances of getting hired and lands you on good jobs.

  5. Work on Your Soft Skills

    Master skills like communication, critical thinking, time management, stress management, creativity, and problem-solving. These skills are the basic foundation for landing a social media management job.

  6. Work on Your Online Presence

    Build your online presence by creating your own website. Make yourself discoverable across different search engines, including the like of Google and YouTube. You must also respond to messages and comments promptly to improve customer service.

  7. Create Your Network

    Social media management is all about networking and sharing relatable, insightful, and engaging content to build connections. You can grow your network by attending conferences and webinars and meeting industry professionals. This way, you can gain insights from their experiences and apply them to your own career.

  8. Get Certifications

    A professional marketing or public relations degree can help you land more clients and provide a better quality of service. These degrees are designed to help you understand consumer behavior and brand management. You can also search for paid online courses in digital marketing and social media strategy. Coursera, Exam-Labs, Udemy, and Google Skillshop are great places to start!

  9. Work on Attaining Experience

    Learn to walk before you can run! Getting hands-on experience or working under a professional helps you better understand the job role and requirements. You can apply to internships, entry-level, and freelance positions to gain relevant experience in the field.

  10. Build a Database of Clients

    Pursuing a successful career as a social media manager is all about having a steady flow of clients. If you’re just starting off, you’ll need to put in time and effort to build partnerships. Here are a few steps that you can take to bring in business:

  11. Start Freelancing

    If you’re a beginner, freelancing is the way to go. You can build your profiles on freelancing platforms like Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr, and start searching for projects that best suit your skills.

  12. Create Lead Magnets

    Lead magnets are a great way to get clients. You can create resources your target clients may be interested in and feature them on your website. This way, when a client downloads the resource, they can provide you with an email address. You can then add the client’s email address to your email list and provide amazing deals they cannot resist.

  13. Attend Local Events

    Local events are a great way to socialize with businesses and search for potential clients. When attending events, learn the pain points of customers and make sure to hand out your business cards.

  14. Personal Branding

    Use social media channels to showcase yourself as a brand by posting consistently. Share tips and tricks, helpful insights, and expert ideas through vlogs, blogs, YouTube videos, and social media posts. Leave a lasting impact on your audience to emerge as a renowned name in the industry.

  15. Stay Up-To-Date

    Stay updated with the current and latest industry news and trends. Subscribe to the newsletter of the professionals, and follow marketing and social media blogs. Keep yourself open to new ideas as the industry evolves.

  16. Use Content Management Tools

    Learn to work with social media management tools. Look for tools that aid in publishing and scheduling content to ease your workload. Social Champ is a great option!

  17. Testimonials

    Ask for testimonials from your past clients and publish them on your social platforms. The positive feedback from a client attracts new customers and highlights the quality of your services. It makes you a visible prospect in front of recruitment departments.

  18. Respect Ethical Guidelines

    Always follow ethical guidelines. Respect copywriting and privacy laws when making content for social media. Make sure your content doesn’t hurt the sentiment of any race, group, or audience.

Related Article: How to Craft a Compelling Social Media Marketing Strategy: 10 Easy Steps

How Much Does a Social Media Manager Make?

 snapshot of Glassdoor’s pay trajectory for a social media manager’s career path
A snapshot of Glassdoor’s pay trajectory for a social media manager’s career path

The income of a social media manager can vary, depending on several factors like location, the brand’s budget, the industry, your experience and certifications, the nature of the job, and your responsibilities. However, on average, a social media manager can make up to $50,000 to $82,000 per year.

Let’s take a detailed look at how these factors influence your income:

  • Location

    Geographical location plays an important role in determining the salary cap. Metropolitan areas offer higher salaries than rural or less populated locations. However, the location may not be an issue if you’re working remotely. You can simply select projects that pay within your desired range.

  • Company Size

    The size of the company matters as well. Big corporations with huge social media budgets offer relatively higher payments than small businesses or non-profit organizations.

  • Experience

    The income may vary depending on the experience level of social media managers. Usually, beginners earn entry-level incomes, while professionals with several years of experience demand a higher pay rate for their service.

  • Certifications

    Certification in the marketing and social media strategy field boosts the earning potential of a certificate holder.

  • Job Responsibilities

    An extensive role that requires planning, strategy, and running paid campaigns have a higher pay rate than those with basic job requirements that only center around posting and interacting with the audience.

  • For Freelancers

    Freelancers usually get paid by the hour, or they can charge on a monthly basis. It depends on your experience and skills in the digital marketing industry. Beginners usually charge $25 to $30, whereas experienced freelance social media managers with extensive knowledge demand a higher pay rate, like $125 to $140 per hour.

Related Article: Social Media Manager Salary Guide 2024: What You Should Know

Strategies for Securing Your Ideal Role as a Social Media Manager

It takes a combination of different actions to present yourself as the strongest candidate against your competition. Here are simple tips and strategies to help you land your dream job.

  • Be a Brand

    Start by consistently building your online presence. Market yourself as a brand and create content related to your niche. Try to keep the spotlight on your services and expertise.

  • Follow Social Media News and Trends

    Stay well aware of upcoming trends and news in the social media industry. Stay updated about current trends and changes launched by social media platforms. Familiarize yourself with all kinds of social media platforms.

  • Stay Focused

    Stay focused on your goals. Plan what you’re trying to achieve in the long run, and strategize ways to meet your goals.

  • Portfolio

    Make an attractive portfolio that highlights your best work.

  • Optimize Your Resume

    Tailor your resume according to the job requirements. Make a customized cover letter that shows how you can be a good fit.

  • Be a Learner

    Be a lifelong learner! This ever-evolving field demands your undivided attention and willingness to learn and adapt continuously.

Wrapping Up

The digital landscape continues to evolve, and so do the responsibilities of a social media manager. Due to the vast number of social media users, the demand for skilled professionals is rising, thereby increasing the demand for social media managers.

The role requires diverse skills, including communication, content creation, strategy and development, empathy, leadership, data analysis, time and budget management, and more.

Additionally, the social media manager’s journey is not a one-size-fits-all. It requires a strong educational background, network, certification, practice and experience, and an attractive portfolio to succeed. Moreover, social media managers can expect competitive salaries based on their geographic location, company size, job responsibilities, and experience.

 FAQs

1. Is It Hard to Be a Social Media Manager?

The role demands diverse skills, including content creation, content strategy, communication with the audience, and data analysis. This job requires flexibility and adaptability since social media forums are continuously evolving. Due to this changing nature, it might be challenging for some individuals.

2. Are Social Media Managers Paid Well?

Social media managers are paid well. The salary ranges may vary according to the manager’s years of experience. That said, the median salary of a social media manager ranges from $28K to $170K in the US.

3. What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Social Media Manager?

To become a social media manager, it is not mandatory to have a degree. However, people with bachelor’s degrees in marketing, PR, and communications are preferred. You must also have the necessary skills, such as communication, data analysis, and content creation. Relevant experience as an internee, entry-level, and past jobs can also be valuable.
Picture of Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark

Daniel is a guru of B2B marketing and professional networking. His in-depth knowledge of LinkedIn's unique environment has paved the way for business success.

How to Become a Social Media Manager in 2024 – A Complete Guide

Picture of Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark

Daniel is a guru of B2B marketing and professional networking. His in-depth knowledge of LinkedIn's unique environment has paved the way for business success.

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