How to Become a Social Media Manager

Illustration of a man speaking into a megaphone displayed on a large smartphone

If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn, jumping on trending hashtags and following industry influencers, then you should definitely consider a career as a social media manager!

With all social channels at the forefront of any brand strategy, the need for good social media managers is more important than ever before.

So, if you’re interested in following this career path, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to become a social media manager.

Is it the Right Job for Me?

Before you commit to becoming a full-time social media manager (trust me, there are no part-timers in this role), you need to ensure that the job is the right fit for you.

Social media managers need to thrive in a digital conversation, stay up to date with industry trends, have an analytical mind, as well as be good at copywriting – essentially, they need to be a lot of different things at once!

Naturally, many people can cave under the pressure of working in such a niche role – any decision will be a gamble, and there’s never any guarantee that your idea was actually the best one.

Therefore, to be able to succeed in this type of job, you need to be headstrong, confident, proactive and comfortable working on your own as well as part of a team.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

To be considered for a role in social media management, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in either communications, media, marketing or journalism. That said, you’ll also need to prove that you’re aware of the ever-evolving and constantly changing social media trends.

The good thing is that all the information you need is easily available online. So, if you’re serious about becoming a social media manager, you’ll need to read up on everything from SEO and link-building to content writing and keyword analysis.

Meanwhile, there are many tools which have become staples in the world of social media, so before you start applying for roles, you should get familiar with them. Namely:

  • Google Keyword Planner: There are numerous keyword research tools, but the most trusted across the board is Google’s Keyword Planner. To understand how to boost your social posts, you need to be knowledgeable about how keywords work, how to research them, and how to increase your rankings. Indeed, any great strategy needs to start with some simple yet effective keyword research!
  • Google Trends: Like Keyword Planner, Google Trends allows you to analyse the popularity of certain search terms. The difference, however, is that you’re able to filter between the search type to really narrow down your audience. By using both tools in conjunction with each other, you’ll be off to a winning start!
  • Social Management Tools: A fundamental aspect of social media is to always plan ahead and stay organised – to do so, you’ll need a trusted social management tool. There are many great sites around, including Buffer and Hootsuite, so deciding which tool to use is down to personal preference. What’s important is that you have somewhere to view your social calendar and schedule in advance.
  • Google Analytics: As mentioned earlier, analytics is essential to any social media strategy. Luckily, Google Analytics gives you a complete and customisable breakdown of your campaigns and website, which is highly useful for your monthly reporting!
  • BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo also features a keyword tool, as well as a link explorer, that allows you to check backlinks and press to your site, but what’s more, it also suggests trending topics. Separately, the platform also has a wide database of influencers that are easily filtered by industry, perfect for helping you define your partners and grow your network.

What Skills Do I Need?

As this role covers many areas, you’ll need some vital skills to survive and succeed, including:

  • Analytical skills: You will spend a lot of time analysing the data provided on your chosen social platforms to help you identify your user demographics, what’s working and what isn’t – allowing you to make changes based on what the data is telling you.
  • Creative thinking skills: To be successful in a pool of similar businesses, you’ll need to come up with unique and creative ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd.
  • Writing skills: Social media managers do a lot of writing and need to be able to tailor their content to the platform they’re using. For example, posting on Instagram and Twitter can be a lot more playful than LinkedIn, which requires a more professional tone. In other words, you’ll need to be able to adapt your writing style depending on the platform you use.
  • Visual intelligence: Not only do you have to be a good writer, but you also need to have an eye for design! You must understand what type of image or video will work in order to get people connecting with your brand.
  • Communication skills: When working in a creative team, communication is essential – indeed, you need to be able to give clear instructions and have an open line of interaction with your colleagues. In addition, you will also need to report the progress of your implementations to senior management.
  • Adaptability: In a fast-changing industry, you need to be open to change and ready to adapt your thoughts and ideas at a fast speed. If you’re following a new trend, A/B testing (trying different text with different images) can help you discover what is working better for your brand and audience.
  • Customer service: As you’re the voice of the brand, you must be good at delivering customer service, especially since you’ll be engaging with your followers on a daily basis!

How Do I Land a Job?

While there are many social media jobs to fill, there’s also a large pool of candidates fighting for the positions. So, to ensure that you have a good shot, you should consider embarking on an internship or volunteering to boost your chances! Alternatively, you could start your own blog to prove that you have the skills needed to run successful social media accounts.

Once you’ve got the necessary experience to add to your CV, you simply need to search through popular job boards to find roles that are interesting to you. You can also check out the web and LinkedIn pages of your dream companies and see if they have any job openings.

How Can I Advance My Career?

To advance your social media career, you’ll need to continue learning and building your pool of contacts and clients. By doing so, you can get promoted to the head of the creative department, or even branch out and set up your own social media consulting agency.

Throughout your career, you may even find that you prefer working in a certain area of social media and focus on finding niche clients for a single social channel.

So, now that you’re equipped with all the information, you can advance from an amateur social media enthusiast to a paid social media manager in next to no time! You just need the passion, focus and dedication to succeed in this career.

Is this a career that seems attractive to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.