Social Media Manager Career Guide
Ever see a company’s post on social media and think: hey I could do that! If you love writing, have an eye for design, and are looking for a career that challenges your creativity, you may be a good fit for social media careers.
Working in social media lets you blend strategy and creativity on a daily basis. Here’s how to become a social media manager.
A social media manager (SMM) uses social networks like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and more to connect with audiences, tell a brand’s story, and raise brand awareness.
Standing out in digital noise to connect with a brand’s audience is harder than it ever was. As a social media manager, you have the opportunity to represent a brand and help create strategies that connect with audiences. If you’re looking for an exciting career where no two days are the same and you’re able to stretch your creativity muscles, consider a role in social media management.
- Own branded social media channels. Social media managers are well-versed in a variety of different social media channels and are often required to oversee and run each one. Additionally, if new platforms arise, SMMs need to adapt and learn new platforms if relevant to the brand.
- Create social media marketing strategy. From lead generation to customer conversions, marketing aims to meet relevant business goals. Based on these goals, SMMs create a multi-channel marketing strategy to meet customers on various social platforms.
- Develop social and ad campaigns. SMMs working for an eCommerce store may run campaigns as a part of a product launch. SMMs working for a non-profit might run campaigns to drive fundraising or open-house visits. No matter the organization, social media and ad management can work together to meet business goals, and SMMs help make that happen.
- Oversee approval and scheduling for all platforms. SMMs often supervise team members and approve content. Or, they might work with a handful of freelancers to get the job done. Either way, being an SMM means editing and guiding others to meet content expectations.
- Monitoring social and ad performance. Along with overseeing various platforms and a team of content creators, SMMs need to have an understanding of social media analytics. Tracking and reporting performance helps organizations allocate funds and adapt campaign strategies accordingly.
Because social media is such an important part of so many different businesses and organizations, every path to social media management is unique. Some go straight into social media after graduating college. Others discover their love for marketing after working for a year or more in a different role and go on to work in social media in a similar industry.
Here are some of the most common steps to becoming a social media manager:
Step One: Get your bachelor’s degree.
As far as degree requirements go, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree to start. But the good news is: because social media is still a newer field, you have options for what you can study. Typically employers require a degree in journalism, communications, marketing, or public relations.
Step Two: Build your portfolio.
Whether at an internship, through a freelance role, or an entry-level job, you’ll want to start building your portfolio to demonstrate your social media marketing abilities. Grab screenshots, gather analytics, and keep track of your campaigns and progress so you can share with future employers or clients.
Step Three: Become a social media coordinator.
To become an effective social media manager, you need first-hand experience. Employers want to know you have a proven track record and the ability to create engaging social media content.
While many marketing and public relations positions can lead to an entry-level social media role, more often than not you’ll need a year or more of experience before shifting to a managerial role. However, if you have managerial experience in other fields, you may be able to shift sooner with the right portfolio and experience.
Step Four: Advance to social media manager.
Creating and implementing marketing strategies will be a significant part of your role as a social media manager. As long as you can demonstrate your strategy, planning, and content creation abilities, you’ll be on your way in no time.
Marketing – B.S. Business Administration
For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...
For those who want to lead brands and steer...
For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:
- Time: 67% of graduates finish within 36 months.
- Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.
Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Marketing and PR manager
- Director of marketing and communications
- Director of publications
- Customer intelligence manager
- Marketing sales manager
Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.
No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!
From small companies to massive corporations, nonprofits to colleges, social media management is needed across industries. Social media managers help organizations communicate and engage with their audiences (whether customers, donors, students, or clients).
The world of social media moves fast, so acting on your feet and adapting to changing trends are necessary skills for success. Other qualifications for social media managers include:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Comfortable articulating ideas and expressing thoughtful perspectives
- Strong time management and prioritization skills
- Creativity skills for developing unique campaigns, posts, and strategies
- Comfortable with learning how to use different software and technologies
- Strong copy-editing and proofreading abilities
- An eye for design and the ability to carefully consider the aesthetic of images and copy
- Knowledge of digital and traditional marketing fundamentals
- Deep understanding of various social media platforms
- Strong interpersonal skills to build relationships both in-person and online
How Much Does a Social Media Manager Make?
What is the Job Outlook For a Social Media Manager?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects managers in the marketing field to grow by 6% from now through 2029. As organizations expand their social media marketing efforts, the need for social media managers will continue to grow to spread brand awareness online.
Where Do Social Media Managers Work?
Social media managers work in nearly every industry and type of organization. Government organizations, political candidates, large and small companies, non-profits, universities, hospitals, and more all rely on social media to help build their brand, connect with customers, and ultimately make money.