what is a social media manager?

As a social media manager, you oversee your company's social media marketing team to drive traffic and engage customers. Depending on the company's size, you may work with a large or small marketing team to manage social media marketing campaigns. Your primary role is to develop strategies for your business's social media platforms and oversee the implementation of the marketing efforts. You also monitor the performance of each social media channel by tracking the analytics to determine the engagement rates.

Social media managers can work internally for a single employer and handle all the company's social media marketing. When you work for one employer, you specialise in their brand offerings and use your social media marketing skills to drive sales and improve customer engagement with the company. You report the progress to the marketing managers and the executive teams.

Some social media managers working for marketing consultancy firms manage social media marketing for multiple clients. In such a case, you evaluate the social media marketing strategies and help your clients devise new methods of engaging the target audience. When you work with multiple clients, you take up idea generation and overseeing roles. However, in smaller companies, you implement the ideas generated by the team.

Would working in marketing and comms as a social media manager suit your creativity and exceptional writing skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a social media manager role.

social media manager jobs

average social media manager salary

According to National Careers, a social media manager takes home a median salary ranging from £25,000 to £60,000 per year. Most social media managers start as junior or assistant social media managers as they learn the ropes. In junior positions, a social media marketing manager takes home a compensation package ranging from £19,000 and £25,000 per year. As you improve your skills and occupy a middle-level management role, your earnings typically rise to £30,000 or £40,000 annually. Senior social media managers with substantial experience have higher salaries of over £60,000 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a social media manager?

As a social media manager, your compensation package depends on the organisation you work for. Working for an agency or consultancy firm attracts different salaries than working in-house in one company. The organisation's size is a major determining factor. When you work for a large agency that handles huge projects, your earnings are higher compared to working for smaller companies. Working in-house may increase your earnings if the employer has unlimited resources.

The success of your social media campaign activities also influences your pay. Most employers pay base salaries to social media managers, but some rely on performance metrics when reviewing the compensation packages and benefits.

Two smiling female working on their laptop.
Two smiling female working on their laptop.

types of social media managers

As a social media manager, you work on diverse social media platforms or specialise in specific platforms. Some of the specialisation areas for social media managers include:

  • social networks: you can specialise in social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter that connect people and businesses online. Social networks improve your company's social awareness, branding and lead generation.
  • media sharing networks: social media managers also supervise content shared through Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. The audio-visual and video content shared on the platforms generate leads and build brand awareness by encouraging content sharing.
  • discussion forums: as a social media manager, you also participate in discussion forums to improve your online presence and visibility. Since the forums are used for sharing and finding different information, participating improves your brand's authority.

working as a social media manager

Working as a social media manager requires creativity and a great eye for design to use images and visual graphics to attract the audience's attention. The role also relies on careful planning to make the most of every social media platform. Let's explore a social media manager's daily chores and work schedules.


education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications of a social media manager include:

  • university course: most employers prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree in relevant subjects like advertising, business management, digital and social media marketing or marketing and public relations.
  • apprenticeship: you can pursue a digital marketer degree or advanced apprenticeship that allows you to study as you gain experience in the role. A digital community manager higher apprenticeship also gives you an entry into the role.
  • work experience: to become a social media manager, you require extensive experience managing content on social media platforms. Start with entry-level positions in digital marketing to gain experience and relevant skills.

skills and competencies

If you want to excel as a social media manager, here are the best skills to acquire:

  • writing skills: you require exceptional copywriting skills to engage the audience on various platforms. Having great writing skills helps you relate to various types of audiences and curate the content for a specific social media platform. Aside from writing captions and headlines, you also edit content from the content creation team.
  • creativity: as a social media manager, you need creativity to maintain user engagement. Your expertise in using images and visual graphics helps you create unique posts.
  • flexibility: as a social media manager, you should be adaptable to the constantly changing social media landscape. For instance, as users move from written to video content, you should adapt the changes to your social media strategy to avoid losing followers.
woman in front of computer
woman in front of computer


FAQs about working as a social media manager

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