How To
6 min read

How to Become a Social Media Manager

Chris Lu

June 2, 2022

If you're thinking about pursuing a career in social media management, there’s no need to be intimidated. Yes, it's still an emerging career path, and you may have a lot of questions about the daily responsibilities you’ll have as a social media manager, but the barrier to entry is surprisingly low. With the right combination of social skills, tech savvy and professional training, anyone can break into this rewarding field of work. So what exactly does a social media manager do, and how can you get started?

What does a social media manager do?

Image Source: Firmbee.com

Social media managers utilize various social media platforms to help companies market their products or services. Social media managers can work with companies of any size in any industry—it’s their job to develop and schedule educational or entertaining content that will persuade social media users to support the company.

Social media managers promote the company brand on various social media platforms, including everything from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok and LinkedIn. They may use the social media network to share educational or entertaining materials, highlight company news, or respond to questions and comments that users have about the company. Though many people think of social media managers as simply regular users of social media sites, they play a much more important and behind-the-scenes role in promoting their employer’s brand.

Social media managers are tasked with finding creative ways to bring greater awareness to the brands they support; the end goal is to get more customers for the company by making people aware of what the company does and why consumers should care.

Depending on the brand, effective social posts can cover anything from how pineapples are grown to what kind of activities are going on at a nearby museum. It’s an intuitive career that blends research, copywriting, customer engagement, and more.

To increase customer awareness, social media managers prioritize creating content that they feel will appeal most to their target audience. This can be done through live streaming events, sharing information about new product releases, or posting photos and videos of the products being used in the real world.

How do I become a social media manager?

To become a social media manager, you have a few different options: You can freelance and find your own clients, work on multiple accounts at a digital marketing agency, or work in-house for a single company. Having your own clients is great because you have more freedom to choose which jobs you want to take, but working with an agency or company means steady work and the benefits (healthcare, paid time off, etc.) that often accompany full-time employment.

If you want to work for a large company, such as Google or Microsoft, you’ll have to build up a bit of experience first. Freelancing for a small business or startup is much less competitive, but even then you’ll need to impress the people there and show them that you know what you’re doing.

The best way to do this? Just start doing it! Here’s how to get started as a social media manager:

Find your first clients

First thing’s first—you’ll need clients. The easiest way to find them is by offering work to friends and family, who may need social media help with their own companies. Not only will this help them grow their business, but it will also give you hands-on experience managing business accounts on various social media platforms.

Your friends and family might not be able to afford market rates for your services, though, so in the meantime, you can also start building your own brand as a social media manager by creating content about yourself and your services.

This will help you build up a portfolio of professional-quality work that future clients can see.

Another good way to start is by posting your resume on Upwork or Fiverr, where you may find other opportunities for social media work. Get creative! Some social media managers even offer their services for cheap to local small businesses and charities!

Define your clients’ projects and goals

The first step of effective social media management is understanding your clients’ goals and objectives. This means creating an in-depth analysis of what each client wants social media to accomplish for them, and then communicating a set of priorities that will help them achieve those goals.

You should also seek to understand the client’s objectives for each social network they use. For example, some may want to build brand awareness, while others may be interested in driving traffic to their website. These objectives will provide the basis for your strategy and execution efforts moving forward.

It’s also important to figure out which social media network is best suited to your company’s target audience. Brands with an older target demographic may prioritize Facebook or LinkedIn, while Gen Z-focused brands will typically gravitate toward TikTok and Instagram. By helping the business figure out which social media networks are best for their business goals, they’re more likely to get the best return on their social media investment.

Create a plan

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Start by creating a content strategy for your posts. Decide which times of day will work best for you, as well as your followers.

Creating a schedule allows your client to plan for any events or holidays and ensures that the right messages are being conveyed to the right audience at the right times.

The key is publishing consistently and finding what works best for your brand, from post frequency to the best brand voice to maximize audience engagement. Follow best practices via our guide on how to write Instagram captions. If you struggle, you can use AI powered tools such as Copy.ai's free Instagram caption generator or hashtag generator!

Engage with followers

The best social media managers will take the time to understand what their clients want and how they engage with their followers.

Go through your followers’ profiles and check out the things they post, like, and comment on. This will give you a better idea of what kind of content they respond to. Once you have an idea of who they are based on their profiles and past posts, try engaging with them in a more personal way. This will help you build a stronger relationship with your followers, which can build brand loyalty and establish your credibility!

Social media management is no longer just writing updates, posting pictures, and hoping for the best. It’s about being knowledgeable about your audience and engaging with them strategically. The days of shoving products down the audience’s throat are over—today, it’s all about knowing your audience and having a meaningful conversation with them.

Communicate with your clients

A huge part of social media services, as you can probably imagine, is communicating with your clients.

When you’re working on a campaign, you need to make sure that the client is aware of what’s happening and staying involved in the process.

This builds a strong relationship between the client and your company, which will ensure long-lasting client relationships and cement your reputation as a trustworthy social media manager. 

Grow your client base

Maintaining a successful business is hard work—you need to put effort and time into growing your customer base, maintaining those customers, and continuing to hone your skills.

You can also help yourself by building and maintaining your own personal brand, which will help you stand out from the crowd and attract clients who are interested in what you have to say.

With these tips under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to expanding your business with more clients.

Conclusion

Social media managers work in strategic and creative ways to gain the attention of social media users on a variety of platforms. 

Social media has become an increasingly powerful way for businesses to reach and engage with their audiences—that makes it a valuable skill to have in your career toolbox. So what are you waiting for? It may take some effort and determination, but with a little training and dedication, you can make social media management a lucrative side hustle or even your full-time job.


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