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Social Media Manager Career Guide

Do you enjoy parsing the data of integrated marketing campaigns? Are you fluent in Hootsuite, Google Analytics, emojis, and memes? A position as a social media manager might be the engaging, creative role perfect for you.

Social media managers create strategies to achieve business objectives like increasing brand awareness, consumer relationship management (CRM), or increasing sales, as well as engaging a brand’s target demographics on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Once a social media strategy is in place, the social media manager will implement it by posting via the brand’s social accounts.

A social media manager works closely with the marketing and creative teams to create a social campaign calendar, curating and posting content that aligns with the campaign’s business goals. Due to the evolving nature of social media, these goals are frequently assessed, and the success of the campaign is analyzed. The social media manager then creates a new social campaign to implement.

Social media managers’ day-to-day responsibilities include engaging directly with fans and customers online. Great social media managers are continually learning how best to connect with their brands’ target demographics.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is in search of a talented social media manager. This candidate will be responsible for overseeing the company interactions with the public through implementing content strategies on social media platforms, analyzing engagement data, identifying trends in consumer interactions, and planning digital campaigns to build an online community, using social media marketing tools to create and maintain the brand of the company, and interacting with company clientele via company social media accounts. Duties include analyzing the digital marketing plan of the company, identifying social media strategy and algorithm for improvements in content engagement, and setting key performance indicators to measure social media campaign performance. The ideal candidate will be able to work well with a team, multitask, be organized, self-motivated, and a critical thinker. Attention to detail is a must, and knowledge of social media trends, algorithms, and design elements is essential. This candidate must have one or more years of experience as a social media manager.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Plan, implement and analyze social media strategy
  • Collaborate with marketing and creative teams to create engaging, relevant content
  • Supervise design of visual elements for social posts
  • Measure social media campaign key performance indicators (KPI)
  • Analyze user engagement and adjust strategy to meet SEO best practices
  • Catalog and report results for client review

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing, mass communications, public relations, or a similar field.

Required skills and qualifications

  • n-depth knowledge of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok
  • Passion for and expertise in social media culture
  • Strong understanding of content marketing principles
  • Expertise in social media analytics and content management systems
  • Superior time management and organizational skills
  • Working knowledge of visual design principles
  • Solid analytical, strategic and creative thinking
  • Impeccable writing and communication skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or related field
  • 5-8 years of experience in paid social or digital marketing
  • Excellent understanding of social platforms, content performance, audiences, paid tactics, and digital trends

Typical work environment

Social media managers typically work at an office desk with a computer and/or tablet. They will spend the majority of their time online, interacting with customers, planning campaigns, checking in on posts and ads, and managing the different social accounts. They may also work with an intern or social media coordinator to ensure that the social media accounts are running smoothly. They typically work traditional work hours, but may need to work overtime during a busy season, like the holidays.

Typical hours

The work hours for a social media manager are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Available certifications

Social media managers require extensive social media experience, certification, and several years of experience before being eligible and considered for this creative and competitive position. Here are some of the top certifications to receive that can help further a social media manager career:

  • Social Media Management Certification. Coursera offers a beginner level course and certificate in social media management where you will learn how to create effective social media posts, and build a strong brand to help with your social media presence. You will have flexible deadlines, and the course is completely online, making it easy to complete anytime, anywhere.
  • Certified Social Marketing Associate (CSMA). The Certified Social Marketing Associate examination tests your knowledge of concepts and specifics in social marketing. This examination provides you with a certificate via the eMarketing Association and is popular among marketing associates, social media managers, social media strategists, marketing directors, and social media specialists.

Career path

The path to becoming a social media manager often begins by earning a bachelor’s degree in a mass communications field such as public relations or digital marketing.

Many candidates will build their own social media following to demonstrate their expertise and passion for the industry. Employers hiring for social media manager roles may request links to candidates’ profiles to serve as de facto “creative portfolios.” Demonstrating impressive social media and traditional marketing know-how can get exceptional candidates hired without a degree. However, these cases are the exception, not the rule.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-2021

2020 Employment293,700
Projected Employment in 2030323,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 10% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift29,400 increase

To stay relevant in the fast-paced world of the internet, social media managers will need to keep on top of emerging trends and platforms, including monitoring industry trends and staying immersed in their target demographic’s interests, habits, and overall culture.

Social media managers must continue to become more versatile to produce engaging content more and more quickly. Learning skills like copywriting and graphic design will give social media managers the tools to adjust their strategy on the fly when a campaign needs to shift.