How To
20 min read

Social Media Management Without Experience: How to Get Started

Reem Abouemera
November 20, 2022

What you'll learn

What you'll need

With over 26,725 social media managers in the U.S. alone, the field is one of millennials' most popular career choices. Many people hesitate to explore social media management because they lack prior experience, but getting started is easier than you might think. Even if you’ve only ever run your own social media accounts, you’re already prepared to apply the same skills to social accounts for brands. 

Contrary to popular belief, not all social media managers have years of experience. In fact, many successful social media managers have little to no experience and have learned most of what they know through on-the-job training.

So, if you've ever wanted to be a social media manager but thought you weren't qualified because of a lack of experience, think again. Here's how you can become a social media manager with no experience.

What does a social media manager do?

First and foremost, let's first go over the main responsibilities of a social media manager.

Social media influencing

Social media managers are responsible for establishing the authority of their brand across different social media channels. This is done by creating and curating engaging content that speaks to the brand’s target audience and can take the form of blog posts, photos, videos, infographics, and more.

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The "influencing" part of social media management comes into play when trying to get other users to share this content. To do this, social media managers must be adept at building relationships with both potential and current customers. They also need to be experts at promoting their brand in a way that doesn't come across as too sales-y.

Social listening

Social media managers don't just post whatever they want on their brand's social media channels. They also spend a lot of time listening to what people say about their brand online. This is important because it allows social media managers to quickly nip any negative sentiment in the bud and manage the brand's reputation.

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Additionally, listening to what people are saying online can give social media managers insight into customer needs and wants, which can be used to inform future content strategies. When the audience's pain points and interests are addressed in social media content, this helps to build trust and credibility and encourages customers to keep coming back for more.

Lastly, social listening also lets social media managers keep their finger on the pulse of what people say about the brand's competitors. This way, they can stay one step ahead and ensure that their brand is always top-of-mind for their target audience.

Pro Tip: While social listening can be done manually, there are also numerous social media listening tools available that can make the process easier, faster, and more efficient.

Social networking

Another important responsibility of social media managers is networking with other professionals in their field. This can mean joining relevant social media groups, participating in online forums, and attending industry-related events.

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Social media managers can get their brand's name out by networking with others and learning about the latest trends and best practices in their field. Networking can also lead to business opportunities, such as partnerships and collaborations.

While the goal is to connect with influential and authoritative figures and brands in their target market, networking also requires social media managers to be active and engaged with their own followers. After all, social media is all about building relationships.

Social selling

You're probably wondering where social media and sales intersect. The answer is social selling.

Social selling is using social media to connect with potential customers, build relationships, and eventually drive sales. It's a skill that every social media manager should keep in mind, since it ultimately turns interest into leads and leads into customers.

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The great thing about social selling is that it can be done at any sales funnel stage, from awareness to conversion. Plus, social selling doesn't have to be overly sales-y or pushy. It can be helpful and informative when done right, which is exactly what potential customers are looking for.

To succeed at social selling, social media managers must quickly build rapport with potential customers. They also need to be able to identify sales opportunities and know when—and how—to close the deal.

Daily tasks of a social media manager

Now that we’ve gone over the high-level overview of what social media managers do, let's take a more in-depth look at the day-to-day tasks of social media management. Here's what you can expect to do as a social media manager:

  • Schedule posts: This includes creating content calendars and scheduling posts in advance using a social media management tool such as Hootsuite.

  • Set up profiles: This includes creating and optimizing social media profiles for your brand, as well as claiming any relevant social media handles.

  • Create graphics: This includes creating engaging images and videos to accompany your social media posts. Canva is a great tool for creating visuals, and Adobe Spark or Animoto are great for creating videos.

  • Respond to customer service inquiries: This includes monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand and quickly responding to any customer service inquiries.

  • Find relevant content to share: This includes staying up to date on the latest industry news and finding relevant content to share with your followers.

  • Report reach, traffic, and other important metrics: This includes using social media analytics tools to track the performance of your social media posts and reporting the results to relevant parties.

What are businesses looking for in a social media manager?

For such an important role, businesses are looking for social media managers with certain skills and qualities. Here are the can't-miss traits that will help you stand out from the rest:

1. Creative thinking skills

To succeed in social media management, you need to think outside the box and come up with creative content ideas that will capture your audience's attention.

This doesn't necessarily mean you need to come up with the next viral meme (although that wouldn't hurt), but you should be able to generate creative ideas for content out of existing topics and trends.

And if you think you don't have a creative bone in your body, think again. Creativity is a skill that can be learned and cultivated—you just need to tap into your inner creativity and let it out.

2. Strong copywriting skills

Copywriting is the art of persuasion, and social media managers must be persuasive to succeed. After all, the whole point of social media is to get people to take action, whether clicking on a link, sharing a post, or making a purchase.

Copywriting skills are handy when crafting headlines, creating calls-to-action, and writing social media posts that convert (think storytelling, emotion, and benefit-driven copy). So if you're not a strong writer, now's the time to start honing your copywriting skills.

Pro Tip: A good place to start would be to make use of copywriting frameworks that help take the guesswork out of writing. can help you try them out—they're embedded right into the AI-powered content creation tools.

3. Efficient time management skills

Social media never sleeps, so it can be easy to get sucked into a black hole of social media land and lose track of time. That's why time management skills are essential for social media managers. They need to be able to effectively manage their time so they can complete all their tasks while still having a life outside of work.

Time management skills also come in handy when creating content calendars and scheduling posts in advance. Effectively managing your time will help you stay on top of your social media game and prevent you from feeling burnt out.

This is especially true during peak seasons like holidays and product launches when social media activity is usually at its highest in terms of the volume of content produced and the incoming customer inquiries. Without a proper time management plan in place, things can quickly get out of hand, and the next thing you know, you're working around the clock just to keep up.

4. Strategic money management skills

While social media marketing is relatively inexpensive, some costs are still involved—especially if you're running paid social media ads. And as the person in charge of social media, it will be your job to manage the budget and make sure the money is being spent wisely.

This means having strategic money management skills so you can plan ahead and allocate your marketing budget to maximize results. For example, you might want to allocate a larger portion of the budget for paid ads during product launches or holidays when social media activity is typically higher.

Similarly, suppose you're running a social media contest or giveaway. In that case, you'll need to factor in the cost of the prizes and any associated promotion costs (e.g., boosted posts on Facebook). So it's important to have a good handle on the budget and be able to plan ahead so you can make the most of your social media marketing spend without blowing the budget.

5. Proficient multi-tasking skills

As you can see, a social media manager's tasks are quite varied. From content creation and networking to community management and tracking analytics, a lot goes into the job.

For that precise reason, proficient multi-tasking skills are essential for social media managers. They need to be able to juggle numerous different tasks and balls in the air without dropping any of them.

Of course, no one is perfect, and there will be times when things do fall through the cracks. But the ability to multi-task will go a long way in helping you succeed as a social media manager.

Pro Tip: If you're struggling with multi-tasking, try using a project management tool like Trello to help you stay organized and on top of all your tasks.

6. Basic design skills

Gone are the days when social media was all text-based. Nowadays, visuals are king on social media, and people are more likely to engage with aesthetically pleasing content.

While you definitely don't need to be a professional graphic designer, you should at least know your way around design basics. This will come in handy when creating social media visuals, whether a simple image with some text overlay or a more complex graphic.

Ideally, you'll have a graphic designer on your team who can help with the design heavy lifting, but as a social media manager, it's still helpful to have some basic design skills so you can create visuals yourself when required. It's never a bad thing to have more design skills in your toolkit!

7. Customer service skills

Last but not least, social media managers need to have strong customer service skills. After all, one of the main purposes of social media is to provide a platform for customers to connect with brands and offer feedback.

As the person in charge of social media, it'll be your job to monitor incoming messages and comments and respond accordingly. This means handling customer complaints professionally and tactfully, diffusing negative situations before they escalate.

It also means being proactive and going above and beyond to help customers, even if their inquiry isn't directly related to your brand. For example, if you see someone struggling to find a product they're looking for on your website, you might help them out or direct them to the right place—even if it's not something you're specifically responsible for.

Simply put, social media managers need customer service skills to address customer inquiries and turn unhappy customers into brand advocates.

How to become a social media manager with no experience

Did everything we described above sound perfect for you? It’s never too late to start a career in social media management, even if you have zero experience. Wondering how to get your foot in the door? Here's how to break into social media management without prior experience.

Build your own online community

Practice makes perfect, doesn't it? If you want to be a social media manager, the best way to start is by building your own online community. This could be a Facebook page, Instagram profile, TikTok account, or anything else—as long as it's across the major social media platforms


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The important thing is that you're in charge of creating content, engaging with followers, and growing the community. This will give you a taste of what it's like to be a social media manager and help you hone your skills. Plus, it's a great way to show potential employers that you already have what it takes to be a social media manager.

Take an online social media marketing course

If your education wasn't in marketing, that’s okay! There are plenty of online courses you can take to learn social media marketing, many of which are free.

An online course is a great way to stay updated on the latest social media trends and best practices. It's also an impressive addition to your resume, which can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for social media manager jobs—especially if a certification is included.

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Alternatively, if online courses aren't your thing, you can always find in-person social media marketing courses in your area. These can also be a great way to network with other professionals and learn from industry experts. Who knows, you might even make some valuable connections that can help you land your first social media manager job!

Learn how to use social media management tools

Not too long ago, social media management was time-consuming and required a lot of manual work. Thankfully, things have changed! Nowadays, many social media management tools make it easy to post content, track analytics, engage with followers, listen to customers, and more.

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If you want to be a social media manager, it's important that you learn how to use these tools effectively. This will make your job easier and show potential employers that you're tech-savvy and have experience using the latest social media management tools.

Below are some of the most popular social media management tools to familiarize yourself with:

  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a powerful social media management platform that lets you manage all your social media in one place. You can use it to schedule posts, track analytics, engage with followers, and more.

  • Buffer: Buffer is a great tool for managing social media on a budget. It has most of the same features as Hootsuite, but it's a bit cheaper. It's also mostly used for scheduling posts to have a consistent social media presence without having to be glued to your phone or computer 24/7.

  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social is another all-in-one social media management platform that's packed with features, but it truly shines in its ability to help you listen to and engage with customers.

  • BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo is a content marketing tool that helps you quickly brainstorm and create content for your social media platforms by scouring the internet for the latest trends. BuzzSumo will give you plenty of ideas if you're stuck on what to post.

Build your soft skills

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Many people think that being a social media manager is about posting pretty pictures and creating clever captions. But there's so much more to it than that! Along with the skills we've already mentioned, here are some other skills to work on:

Communication skills

Other than customer service, you'll also need to be able to communicate effectively with your team. After all, you're the one who needs to come up with the social media strategy and make sure everyone is on the same page, so you have to be able to articulate this strategy clearly to ensure your team understands it and can execute it properly.

Speaking of execution, you'll also need to communicate the tactics you'll use to reach your social media goals. Your team needs to know what you expect from them, so it's important that you're clear and concise when giving instructions.

For instance, instead of just saying, "post more on Instagram," you might say, "post 3-4 times per day on Instagram, and make sure to use a mix of images, videos, and carousels."

Analytical skills

Of course, social media is all about engagement and driving results. And to do that, you need to be able to analyze data and use it to inform your decisions.

For example, let's say you're managing a Facebook page. You'll need to be able to look at the page's analytics to see how well it's performing. Then, you can use that data to determine what's working and what isn't.

Maybe you'll notice that your page's engagement is going down. In that case, you might try changing up the content you're posting or the time of day you're posting it. Or maybe you'll see that a certain type of post is getting a lot of engagement. In that case, you can post more content like that to get even more engagement.

In short, analyzing data and using it to inform your decisions is essential if you want to be a successful social media manager.

Pro Tip: To analyze social media data, you need to know which metrics to track. Having the right KPIs (key performance indicators) will help you track your progress and see whether or not you're meeting your goals. KPIs are tracked in every digital marketing discipline, from social media to SEO, and even encompassing social media influencers, ads, and much more.


One last skill you need to have as a social media manager is the ability to be flexible and agile. That's because social media is always changing, so you need to be able to change with it.

For example, let's say you're managing a Twitter account. You might be using a certain hashtag to reach your target audience, but suddenly, that hashtag stops working. To continue engaging your target audience, you need to be able to quickly switch to a new hashtag.

Or let's say you're managing an Instagram account. You might be using a certain content type (let's say IGTV), and it's working well. But then Instagram introduces a new feature (like Reels), and you need to be able to quickly adapt your strategy to make use of that new feature. (This actually happened, and Instagram discontinued IGTV.)

In short, things change quickly in the world of social media, so you need to be able to change with them. If you're not flexible and agile, you'll quickly fall behind.

Network in person or online

Networking is a great way to connect with and learn from other social media professionals. It can also help you find new opportunities like speaking engagements or job openings.

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You can network in person at events or online in groups or forums. There are even networking events specifically for social media professionals. There, you'll be able to meet and learn from other people who work in your field.

Plus, networking before you land the job is a win-win situation. It can help you get your foot in the door and come in handy when you're actually working as a social media manager.

Pro Tip: Don't forget to add value when you're networking. For example, if you see someone struggling with a social media issue, offer to help them out. Or if you know of a great resource that would be helpful to someone, share it with them. When you add value to the conversation, people will be more likely to help you.

Take any opportunity you can get, no matter how small

Everyone wants to start big and work at a well-known company with an impressive budget. But the truth is, it's often easier to get your foot in the door at a smaller company. And once you're in the door, you can start working your way up.

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Smaller companies are often more willing to take a chance on someone with no experience, and they're also usually more flexible and open to trying new things. This makes them a golden opportunity for someone who's just starting out.

Accordingly, don't be afraid to take any opportunity you can get, no matter how small it may be. Every little bit counts and will help you build the experience you need to reach where you want to be.

Pro Tip: Don't just focus on the job description when you're applying for jobs. Instead, focus on what you can bring to the table. If a company is looking for someone with three years of experience but you only have one, that's okay. Just highlight what valuable skills and experience you do have.

Volunteer to manage social media for a nonprofit or small business

In the beginning, if opportunities just aren't coming your way, you can always create your own. One great way to do this is by volunteering to manage social media for a nonprofit or small business.

This is a great way to get started because it's low-pressure and you can learn a lot. At the same time, you'll also be able to add some experience to your resume.

You never know who you might meet while working on these projects. For example, the company's owner may need someone to help with their personal social media accounts, or you may end up meeting someone who knows of a great opportunity for you.

Either way, it's a win-win situation. So if you're having trouble getting started, consider volunteering.

Pro Tip: When looking for volunteer opportunities, focus on organizations or businesses in your field of interest. That way, you'll gain valuable experience and build your network in the industry you want to be in.

Start in a related entry-level position

Finally, you may find yourself in a situation where you just can't seem to get your foot in the door. In that case, you may want to start in a related entry-level position and work your way up.

For example, if you're interested in becoming a social media manager for a fashion brand, you could start out as a sales associate or customer service representative. Then, you could begin managing the brand's social media accounts on the side.

Or, if you're interested in becoming a social media manager for a news organization, you could start out as a reporter or editor. Then, you would have a great foundation of knowledge to help you excel in your role as a social media manager.

Of course, this isn't the only way to become a social media manager. But if you're finding it difficult to get started, this may be a good option for you.

Pro Tip: When starting in a related entry-level position, focus on building relationships with the people already in the role you want. For example, if you're a sales associate and you want to be a social media manager, get to know the people who are already managing the brand's social media accounts. Ask them for advice and guidance.


With a little hard work, anyone can become a social media manager—even if they’re starting from zero. If you're considering starting a career in social media management, make sure you have the skills listed above. Then, just start networking and building your experience. Before you know it, you'll be on your way to a new and exciting career.

One important piece of the social media management puzzle is caption writing, and you can start practicing whenever you want. Imagine you're writing for a company in your chosen field, and try writing some sample captions with the help of's Social Media Content Generator tool. By trying different approaches and experimenting with word choice, you can develop your own style that will make your content stand out.

And remember, even if you don't have experience, there are still plenty of ways to get started in the field of social media management. So don't be discouraged—keep learning and growing, and you'll be managing social media accounts for your favorite brands in no time.

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