Social media marketing has the power to drive leads, build brand awareness, and supports your overall marketing strategy.
The driving force? Social media managers.
But in 2024, many social media managers feel underpaid, overworked, and undervalued — especially when they're mockingly called "interns."
Good morning, except to peopl who still think interns run large brand accounts on social media.— Later (@latermedia) May 31, 2023
Using insights like location and industry, we’re sharing how much social media managers make in 2024 — plus, why your company should invest in social media professionals.
Table of Contents
What Is the Average Social Media Manager Salary?
According to Built In, the average social media manager salary in the US is $72K USD.
This indicates a massive range in how much social media managers can earn — making it difficult for those new to the industry or advocating for a promotion.
Normalize giving social media managers decent salaries, paid time off (without the expectation to check in), and mental heath benefits.— Jon-Stephen Stansel (@jsstansel) August 14, 2020
"Honestly, these numbers are frustratingly low," says Later's Social Lead, Lindsay Ashcraft.
"Because social media marketing is still fairly new, many companies undervalue the strategy, execution, and analysis required to effectively build on social."
However, she has noticed a growing shift:
"Between social media managers being more vocal about burnout and pay, and brands navigating backlash online, the importance of social marketers is slowly becoming more clear.
Plus, senior social jobs are starting to list much higher salaries than the average — pointing to a step in the right direction."
FYI: Later is trusted by over 7M social media managers, brands, & creators to organize, publish, and analyze their social media content — saving them tons of time. Sign up for free today:
How Does a Social Media Manager Salary Compare To Other Marketing Roles?
While there are a variety of factors at play, social media managers earn less (on average) compared to other marketing roles.
And the proof is in the pudding: email marketing manager salaries average at $78K USD, SEO managers at $80K USD, content marketing managers at $85K USD, and product marketing managers at $117K USD per year.
Just listen to TikTok creator and social media manager Amanda reenact a client experience where her role was undervalued:
FYI mystery client: social media marketing can make or break your overall marketing strategy (more on that, later).
How Much Do Social Media Managers Make By Location?
Does a trip around the globe = $$$ for social media managers? Not exactly.
Here’s how social media manager salaries measure up in Canada, the US, and the UK:
Average Social Media Manager Salary in Canada
The consensus? Pay is typically higher in major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary.
Average Social Media Manager Salary in the USA
As we mentioned above, the average social media manager salary in the US ranges between $49K-72K USD.
However, social media managers who flee to the big city (i.e. New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) can expect compensation up to 50% higher than other parts of the US.
Average Social Media Manager Salary in the United Kingdom
And while Londoners can reach as high £43K, beware of the lowest salaries residing in Manchester and Bristol.
How Much Do Social Media Managers Make By Industry?
Like other professions, social media salaries vary industry to industry.
Data from Zippia shows that roles in tech (avg. $82K USD), finance (avg. $74K USD), and professional industries (avg. $71K USD) offer higher salaries for social media managers.
The lowest? Media, retail, and hospitality.
With responses from over 1K social media marketers, Rachel concluded:
Tech, healthcare, and entertainment were the top paying industries
Non-profit, education, and food & beverage were the lowest paying industries
The takeaway? Larger organizations like tech typically = bigger teams and larger salary budgets for social media managers. 💸
How Much Do Social Media Managers Make as Freelancers?
There’s no one-size-fits all salary when it comes to being a freelance social media manager.
And while the choice offers great earning potential, location flexibility, and full autonomy, it does come with its downsides — like no workplace benefits, inconsistent pay, and more business-related responsibilities.
Our advice? If you’re interested in freelancing, try it as a side hustle first.
This can be a great way to earn additional income and test the waters to see if you enjoy the freelance lifestyle — before jumping right in.
How Much Do Social Media Managers Make By Experience?
Round of applause: Social media jobs have officially been around long enough to observe long-term career growth!
Zippia's 2023 data shows:
Entry-level social media managers make an average salary of $52K USD
Mid-level social media managers make an average salary of $55K USD
Senior-level social media managers make an average salary of $127K USD
The Takeaway? Brands Need To Place Higher Value on Social Media Managers
Since social media is a newer stream of marketing, many companies are still trying to figure out its fit into their overall marketing strategy.
However, with more than 4B people projected to use social media in 2025, the time to invest in social media professionals is now.
In 2024, your brand’s social media presence should no longer be an afterthought — it’s a pivotal piece of your lead generation, brand awareness, and relationship with your audience.
Hiring a social media manager gives you the inside scoop on how your target audience thinks, the platforms they use, and how they use them.
‘Social media manager’ is one of the most underpaid, undervalued positions in the job force today.— emily o'hearn (@em_ohearn) June 23, 2020
Not only do they tell your story in a different medium, they know when to join trending conversations, and how to reach younger audiences like Gen Z — allowing you to collect valuable insights in real-time.
But remember, one person can’t do it all.
A social media manager is not a graphic designer, a PR professional, or a copywriter — and they sure aren’t (you guessed it) an intern.
Most importantly, it’s not enough to hire a social media manager and call it a day.
Your company needs to invest in social media managers with the proper resources, budget, and pay to help them succeed. That way, you can truly take your socials to the next level.