How to Become a Social Media Manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager

A social media manager is a person responsible for managing all the social media accounts for an individual, brand, or company (entity). 

People in these roles typically work hand-in-hand with the entity they represent in order to ensure all social media posts and content are on brand for that entity and consistent with their style and tone of voice. 

In this article, we will cover what a social media manager is, the skills needed to fit the role, how much social media managers make, and the steps you can take to become a social media manager. 

What is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager is someone who develops and implements a social media strategy across all social media channels for a given individual, company, or brand. 

Social media managers find the way to use individual, personalized social media platforms as a means to interact with followers in order to drive up sales as a result. They work on building social media presence for brands and businesses by creating engaging content and operating advertisement campaigns through entertainment.

These people post on the entity’s behalf and manage what is displayed on its feed on each social media channel. Social media managers control the tone and voice of an individual or organization on social media by choosing what to post, what channels to post on, and when to do so. 

Maintaining a consistent overall image, message, tone, and voice for those they represent means knowing and understanding their entities on a deep level. For this reason, they tend to work conjointly with the individuals, brands and organizations they post on behalf of. 

Additionally, social media managers are usually tasked with doing audience research in order to put together content and posts designed to resonate with their target audience. 

Being a social media manager typically entails a balance of outlining and executing a social media calendar with pre-planned posts, as well as interacting and communicating with followers on an as-needed basis. 

Social Media Manager Salary

Being a social media manager can be a rewarding profession. 

According to Salary.com, the median pay rate for a salaried social media manager is $50,028 as of March 29, 2021. The average salary range for the position falls between $44,213 and $58,397

While that is an average range, a social media manager’s salary can vary widely depending on several factors such as education, experience, certifications, and additional skills. 

It is possible to get a job as a social media manager without a degree, especially if you have previous experience in a relevant position, but many jobs will require a bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, communication, marketing, or a similar field in order to be considered for the role.

Below we will cover what else you can do to become a social media manager. 

How to Become a Social Media Manager

As we covered above, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (marketing, journalism, communications, etc.) is a great place to start if you want to be a social media manager, but it is far from the only thing you can do if you choose to pursue that career. 

Whether or not you have a degree, those looking to fill social media manager positions will likely be looking for someone with a good understanding of social media marketing techniques, as well as excellent writing, computer, and communication skills.

Aside from that, here are the best steps you can take to earn yourself a role as a social media manager:

Get As Much Education As Possible

We already know that a bachelor’s degree is a great way to get your foot in the door as a social media manager, but if a four-year college degree isn’t an option, focus on getting as much education as you can elsewhere. 

An associate’s degree, high school diploma, and even a GED greatly improve your chance of being hired over someone without any formal education. 

If you have all of the above degrees but don’t want to go back to college, consider pursuing certifications in relevant areas. Some websites like Hubspot even offer free certifications you can use to advance your education.

For more available certifications, check out Hootsuite’s 8 Brand Certifications to Make You a Better Social Media Marketer.

Stay Current with Industry Tools and Technology

If you do get a chance to interview for a social media manager position, you’ll want to make sure you are up-to-date with the latest in industry tools and technology. 

All social media platforms are different and they each have their own best practices. Anyone interested in a job in social media should be familiar with all of the different social media platforms, how they work, and the type of audience that engages with those platforms. 

Which job you get will decide which platforms you will need to use, but the most common platforms outlined in job descriptions tend to be YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Less common but still popular platforms also include Snapchat, Reddit, Tik Tok, Pinterest. 

Because you don’t know which platforms you will need to utilize for work until you accept a job, your best bet is to be familiar with all of them and at least have a loose idea of how each one is used. 

On top of the major platforms, you will also want to know how to use the most popular social media management software. It’s a good idea to become familiar with things like Hootsuite, Sendible, and Sprout Social

For more social media management tools worth knowing how to use, check out our Free Social Media Management Tools.

Jump On Open Opportunities

Obviously, it would be great to get your first gig in social media management with a major company or brand, but don’t be afraid to start small. 

It is hard to get better at social media if you don’t spend time practicing it. Lots of brands, companies, and individuals have a need for a social media presence but don’t have the time to manage one. 

If you don’t have prior social media management experience, consider reaching out to businesses, brands, or individuals who lack a social media presence to offer your services. 

Not only will many entities likely be interested in letting someone establish and manage a social media presence for them, but because they are lacking a pre-existing presence on social, chances are you will have a lot more freedom and say over what is posted and when.  

Build Your Online Portfolio

If someone does call on you for a potential social media manager position, it’s important to be able to show them what you are capable of. 

Whether you decide to pursue a non-paid social media management role or stick to making your own social media presence shine as bright as possible, use the opportunity to do your best work.

Use the highlights of your work to build up your online social media portfolio so that when the opportunity does come knocking, you’ll have something to show hiring managers you’re the right person for the job. 


For those who find they have a passion for social media, being a social media manager might be the perfect career path. 

It is a great way to find an outlet for your creativity while also paying the bills. Plus, while a college degree is usually preferred, advanced education is not required to pursue a career as a social media manager. 

By staying current with industry tools and technology, jumping on open opportunities, and building up your online portfolio, you can put yourself in a good position to be considered for open social media roles. 

If you love social media but would rather work for yourself on your own terms instead of representing someone else, check out How to Become a Social Media Influencer.

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