In case you missed the memo, social media managers are not interns. And if you've ever wondered how to become a social media manager, then keep watching because we're breaking down some tips and industry insights to help you get into the line of work.
What is a social media manager?
First off, let's cover what a social media manager is and what they do. At a high level, social media managers lead the marketing strategy for our brands' social media channels.
As for what a social media manager does, no two social media manager roles are alike, which is kind of what makes the job exciting. Day-to-day work varies greatly, depending on your role, seniority and if you're a freelancer, working at an agency or for one employer. If you want to see what a day in the life of a social media manager at Later looks like, you can watch my video right over here.
One thing that is always true, however: social media managers usually wear many different hats, from content creation to community management to analyzing data and even paid social advertising. If you're considering a career in marketing and you're someone who likes to dabble in a little bit of everything, both creative and analytical, then social media might be a great fit. On the flip side, if you're someone who doesn't enjoy constant change, social media marketing may not be the right career for you.
What skills do you need to become a social media manager?
If you want to bump your resume up to the top of an employer's list, here are just a few of the skills you should begin putting into practice.
First up, copywriting. From an Instagram caption to campaign assets for a product launch, copywriting is a highly-used skill for social media managers.
Next, public speaking. Not every role will require on-camera skills, but being comfortable on camera can give you an edge, especially because video is so essential across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Another important skill worth mentioning is graphic design. While graphic design, video editing and social media managing are very different, having basic design and editing skills can be helpful for creating quick turnaround assets, especially if you are a team of one, which most social media managers have unfortunately been at some point in their careers.
How to get started as a social media manager
According to LinkedIn, social media management is the third most in-demand profession by volume of job postings. But how do you actually land a job?
A great way to start is by building a digital portfolio. You can do this by treating your personal social media profile as a portfolio for content creation, showing your photography, video and copy skills. Or you can also create a fake brand account to create content for or even offer to support a local brand social account.
But having a portfolio to show off some of your social skills is vital to standing out. Plus, when you're applying for positions or trying to attract your own freelance clients, it will be helpful to have work samples ready to go so you can land that gig.
We have a blog post with some more ideas to help you get started if you're in the career-building stage of becoming a social media manager, so we'll link that below for you as well.
Use Later for social media management
One quick tip we have to add it does help to familiarize yourself with scheduling platforms like Later, and you can sign up for a free account. And we also have a short course to help you become a Certified Later Pro and it is all totally free. We'll be sure to link those below for you.
Where to find social media management jobs
When it comes to where to apply, LinkedIn Jobs can be a great place to start, and you can even research and connect with employees and hiring managers of the companies you're looking to apply to, just so you can get a better sense of the company ahead of any interviews.
You can also check out job boards at Create and Cultivate, Girlboss, Link In Bio Newsletter Job Board and more. We'll be sure to link a few of those in the description so that you can bookmark them yourself.
How much do social media managers make?
Okay, so now that you've got an idea of what a social media manager does and how to get started, another common question is how much do social media managers make? And while there are a variety of factors that affect social media salaries, including your years of experience in the field, the industry you work in and your location, on average, the most common social media manager salary in the United States is between $70,000 and $80,000.
We are seeing the salary trend higher than the average in recent years though, especially as social media managers grow in demand and the role becomes more specialized within teams.
Social media managers who freelance also tend to have higher salaries, so that would be something to consider. Many social media managers often take on freelance work as a side hustle at first. This can be a really great way to earn additional income and test the waters to see if you actually enjoy freelancing before jumping right in.
Career growth for social media managers
Last, let's talk about career growth opportunities. So we mentioned that this career is high in demand within the marketing field, but there are also a ton of different titles and the ability to seamlessly move into other marketing worlds, like becoming a more general content marketer or even working your way up to CMO or Chief Marketing Officer.
Social media is still a developing field, so there are a lot of variables when it comes to role titles, but typically you'll see junior to mid-level roles using the title of Social Media Coordinator or Specialist, but again, that might not always be the case. You'll likely also see the role of Community Manager pop up in job postings, which is a role that more broadly focuses on managing online and sometimes even offline communities and events.
The title of Social Media Manager is probably the most common title though, and because of this, the responsibilities can be broad. If you're at an agency, you might be responsible for managing multiple social media accounts and overseeing both strategy and execution. If you're working for a larger brand, however, you might lead the social strategy and a team of social media coordinators. Some higher-level titles might be Manager or Senior Manager of Social Media. Social Strategist or Director of Social Media.
And there you have it. Hopefully, this video was helpful in gaining a little bit of insight into the growing field of social media management. If you have any additional questions, we are a social team of three here at Later, so we have a variety of experience and we'll be happy to help answer any questions you might have below. That's it for now, but in the meantime, do not forget to subscribe to our channel for new videos on trending social topics every single week. I'll see you later.