Steps to Becoming a Successful Social Media Manager
The role of social media managers has become increasingly significant in the past decade because more and more businesses use social media to connect with their target audience.
Many people think that being a social media manager is an easy job, but it’s actually complex and it takes a long time to master.
While it might seem like a piece of cake to post photos and add a small amount of text to it, it actually takes time to develop a social media strategy that’s going to bring results. You also need to master data analytics to understand how your posts or campaigns are performing.
We’re going to break down the steps to becoming a stellar social media manager and how to grow your business from zero.
HOW TO BECOME A GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
1. Learn the Basics
Before getting started with your social media management journey, you’ll need to learn the basics of this marketing skill. Chances are that you’re already using social media channels in your personal life, so you’re probably familiar with how Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter work.
However, there’s more to social media management than simply knowing how these apps work. While each of these apps is important, they’re used for different purposes. Twitter is an easy way to connect with your audience, especially if you’re based in the US.
Facebook is probably the biggest name among social media platforms and has been around for more than 15 years. However, recent algorithm changes made it difficult for businesses to grow and gain a significant following. This app is perfect for businesses wishing to target local customers.
On the other hand, Instagram is completely centered around visual content. It’s a huge place for eCommerce shops, influencers, and brick-and-mortar businesses. This app is all about finding the most creative and unique way of showing off what you’re selling.
It’s important to know what each of these apps is used for in order to represent your brand in the best way possible. Rather than trying to dominate all social media apps at once, you should focus on the ones that make the most sense for your audience and industry.
Aside from learning what to use each app for, you should also learn the best times to post on each of these platforms in order to gain the most traction.
Other social media platforms you should be familiar with are LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even YouTube.
2. Get A Certification Or A Degree
Since certain employers require their social media managers to have a degree in a related field, you should consider advertising, marketing, media and communications, or public relations as your field of study.
If you’ve already graduated, and you’d still like to become a social media manager, you should consider getting a few certifications before applying for a new job.
By earning a certificate in social media marketing, or even a degree in digital marketing, you’ll set yourself up for success in a future job and you’ll be able to efficiently perform your daily duties even without much work experience.
There are many online websites where you can get a certificate, including Coursera, where you can find a course dedicated to all things Facebook, created exclusively by Meta.
Another website where you can find a free social media strategy course is Skillshare. They also offer courses on social media advertising, social media monitoring, and social media ethics.
A certificate or a degree in social media marketing is definitely worth getting since it’ll be easier to keep up with social media trends, which are always changing. You’ll also learn how to measure the ROI (return on investment) of your social media campaigns and other important knowledge that will make you stand out from other candidates.
3. Build Your Own Following
Building a huge social media following is no easy task. Choosing the right social media platform and analyzing your competition are only some of the steps you’ll need to take.
Building your own following is important because it will provide you with the necessary experience you’ll be able to utilize in your future job, and it will also show your employer or client that you’re capable of doing it, which will be a major plus.
Many successful social media managers are also digital creators who share their knowledge, thoughts, and ideas through their social media platforms. They are often promoting their brand and image through posts, stories, comments, and more.
In order to build your follower count, it’s important to first establish yourself and your brand on social media and come up with the type of content you want to share. You’ll need to have a complete profile and be consistent with your brand.
By connecting with industry leaders and influencers, you can network and build a massive following on platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. You’ll get a sense of what it’s like managing a page and how much thought and effort it takes to produce quality content that people will enjoy.
All of this will pay off when you start searching for a new job since you’ll have experience and a portfolio that you’ll be able to share with potential clients or employers.
4. Learn How To Write Copies and Create Visuals
One of the most important aspects of being a successful social media manager is learning how to keep your content engaging. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to learn how to create a great visual that will attract the eye of the reader, along with a captivating copy that will be memorable and easy to digest.
Learn To Write A Great Social Media Copy
Writing a unique, crisp, and engaging social media copy might be one of the most difficult parts of the job. In today’s world, almost anything we read online has already been already used or seen by millions. It’s becoming more and more difficult to be unique and stand out from the competition.
Before writing your copy, it’s important to do some research. You’ll want to make your post highly relevant to your target group. The more relevant your copy is to your audience, the more successful it will be.
Other great tips are to develop a unique voice for your brand and be positive. The voice you choose needs to be infused with the same emotion throughout all your social media platforms and activities.
Additionally, you should avoid large amounts of text. Instead, keep your copy short and sweet. If you want to use paragraphs, consider keeping them down to only two or three sentences and always be concise. It’s also a great idea to use lists, bullets, and headings where appropriate.
Making your content easy to read and understand is the key to success. You want to provide your audience with valuable information that will grab their attention and keep them entertained.
Learn To Create Beautiful Social Media Visuals
You don’t need to be a master of photoshop to create stunning social media visuals. However, knowing how to use photoshop and other similar tools will definitely be a plus when searching for a social media management job.
One of the most popular apps that digital marketers tend to use is Canva. It has a free version, which is great for beginners and those who wish to learn how to create a simple design using premade templates and design elements.
The design of your social media layout is going to play a significant role in how your brand message is conveyed to your target audience. It’s a great idea to have a set of colors, like a color palette or a brand book, decided upon before you begin creating visuals.
This will help you be consistent throughout your posts and it will help establish a clear brand image your audience will be able to connect with and recognize.
5. Learn About Social Media Metrics and KPIs
In order to closely monitor how your social media strategy is doing and whether you need to make any adjustments, you’ll need to learn the basic social media metrics and KPIs.
Aside from the obvious ones, which are followers and likes, you’ll also want to monitor your page’s volume, reach, and engagement. You’ll also want to closely monitor your page’s audience growth rate.
For each social media post, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the post reach since this will help you determine what type of post your audience engages with the most.
This will help you develop a better social media strategy in the future, which will ultimately increase your total reach, audience, and therefore revenue.
Other important metrics you should closely monitor include Instagram story views, tags, mentions, and clicks to your website or web store.
By closely following your page analytics, you can determine the age group, gender, location, and other useful bits of information, which means you’ll be able to cater to your audience by creating relevant posts.
6. Learn How to Use Social Media Tools
Knowing how to use social media management tools is almost always a bonus when applying for a new job. And these apps certainly make your day-to-day job easier and more efficient.
Most often, social media managers will use a set of apps, including an app for designing visuals, a scheduling app, and a social media analytics app. Popular examples include Canva for design, Buffer for both design and post scheduling, and Sprout Social for full access to post scheduling, engagement, messages, and more.
The majority of these apps offer a simple-to-use user interface that can be mastered in a short period of time. Additionally, they typically offer a free trial, which is perfect if you’re looking to learn how to use an app and test out its features before paying.
Nowadays, there are countless apps that can significantly help you in terms of social media management.
Clients and employers will typically require you to use a tool they’re already paying for, so it’s smart to learn the basics of each app so that you can be ready once you start working. There are also tons of helpful tutorials online to help you get started.
7. Create A Professional Portfolio
One of the best ways to showcase your expertise and skills is to create a beautiful social media portfolio. If you’re not as experienced, you can still show off your creativity to potential employers and clients in a few easy steps.
First of all, start with a short introduction about yourself, but don’t include too much text. A portfolio should be a visual representation of your previous projects or abilities.
You can also include the social media platforms you’re proficient in. If you had previous clients, don’t forget to ask them if you can include work you’ve done for them.
Secondly, you should include results you’ve managed to achieve with your work. This includes growing a page’s following, designing an Instagram layout, or any other skill your future employer might be looking for in a social media manager.
Don’t forget to also include social media copies you’ve written and demonstrate how those copies helped you achieve success in your strategy.
If you don’t have any relevant work experience, or you haven’t worked with any clients, don’t worry. Instead of presenting your previous work, you can focus on the brand you’re applying to work for and demonstrate what you would do to help their social media strategy.
Include any changes you would make, and create a simple visual presentation of how you would handle their social media accounts in terms of content, visuals, and copies.
8. Find A Job or Get Clients
Now that you’ve gone over all the steps necessary to set yourself up as a successful digital marketer, it’s time to build your social media manager resume and start looking for jobs.
There are a ton of options when it comes to finding a job and places to look for. One of the most popular platforms people use to network and find new job opportunities is LinkedIn, so make sure your LinkedIn profile is discoverable by recruiters.
Have your CV and portfolio prepared before you start your search. Social media manager or social media specialist positions are commonly offered by marketing agencies, where you’ll have the chance to work for several clients.
Additionally, many businesses hire one person to manage all of their brand’s social media platforms, which is another opportunity to get hired, depending on your preference. You can easily search for open job listings on online job boards such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Cleverism, and more.
What does a social media manager do?
A social media manager is a person within a company or a freelancer who is in charge of all communication and marketing through social media channels. Their main goal is to attract more customers, communicate new products, and connect with existing customers.
They must be able to quickly present new information about a business or a public person since social media platforms are fast-paced. Generally, social media managers will be in charge of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, with the possibility of handling more platforms.
Their daily duties consist of creating editorial calendars and content plans, scheduling and publishing content, writing copies, and creating visuals. If you’re also in charge of community management, you’ll also be in charge of answering DMs, replying to comments, and engaging with your audience in any other way.
Aside from the obvious, you’ll also be in charge of closely monitoring available data to understand how your social media strategy is working. You’ll also be the person who is going to develop and represent the brand message and communicate that through social media.
You’ll also need to keep up with current social media trends in order to stay relevant and bring in more traffic to your pages.
How much can you earn as a social media manager?
How much you earn from social media management will depend on a few factors. First of all, your average monthly earnings will be different depending on whether you decide to work full-time in a company, or you decide to become a freelancer.
The average salary for a full-time job will depend on your location, experience, and other factors. According to BuiltIn, the average salary for a social media manager in the US is $71,220.
On average, social media managers who choose to freelance can earn from $1000 all the way up to $5000 a month. It also depends on the number of clients you have and your pricing. Your experience level will also play a part in this.
If you’re just starting up as a social media manager, and you’re choosing to be a freelancer, your earnings might be lower until you establish yourself in the industry.
Once you’ve gained valuable experience and you’ve mastered the basics of social media management, you can start increasing your prices. The average monthly social media management package price is anywhere between $250 and $1200, per client.
If you’re looking to charge your clients on an hourly basis, the price will depend on your experience level. As a beginner social media manager, you shouldn’t expect to get more than $25 per hour for your work. Once you move on to an advanced level of knowledge, you can charge up to $120 per hour.
Which freelance platforms can you use as a social media manager?
If you’re thinking about becoming a freelance social media manager, you might be wondering if there are platforms that can help you get started. Nowadays, there are tons of websites that give you the opportunity to find clients for a small fee in return.
The most popular freelancing platforms are Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Guru. All of these platforms have a similar way of operating. They help you connect with potential clients and give you the ability to build your profile and portfolio to gain the clients’ attention.
However, you have to be aware that most of these platforms do charge a fee (up to 20%) on each of your jobs. Additionally, the competition on these platforms is huge, with many freelancers choosing to charge much lower rates than the industry standard.
With all that taken into consideration, it might be a better idea to look for clients elsewhere if you’re looking to make a living purely out of freelance social media management.
GET STARTED IN A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT CAREER
Becoming a successful social media manager is certainly not an easy task. Learning all the necessary skills, knowing how to use important industry tools, and how to make sense of analytics and metrics are all things that take time and effort.
Since social media is a field that is constantly changing and evolving, keeping up with current social media trends is of utmost importance if you want to be in the top tier. Even if you don’t have relevant work experience, you can still build your own professional brand.
One of the great benefits of working as a social media manager is the fact that you can express yourself creatively and do what you’re passionate about, all while earning a decent amount of money. You can also work full-time and freelance on the side if you wish to.
By growing your own following, learning how to use key industry tools, and generally knowing how to navigate the social media waters, you’ll definitely be able to prove your worth and find a well-paid job as a social media manager.
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