There’s no denying how social media has become a big part of everyone’s lives. In fact, there are over 3.6 billion people on social media and that number is only expected to grow in the coming years.
At this point, must of us spend way more time on social media than we’d care to admit.
Businesses are aware of this which is why they exert all efforts in making their social media presence stand out.
The most effective way to do this is to come up with consistent and valuable content, something a competent social media manager brings to the table.
If you’re always on social media and you’re updated with the latest trends, you may be able to turn this “hobby” into a profitable career by becoming a social media manager.
There’s more to social media management than just liking and commenting on posts though. In this blog post, we will break down everything you need to start a successful social media management career.
The common misconception about social media management is that it’s all about liking, commenting, and sharing though these are all part of the job.
The responsibilities of a social media manager cover a larger scope because by becoming one, you’ll also be in charge of strategizing, monitoring, implementing, and measuring a brand or a product’s social media presence.
Below are some of a social media manager’s most important tasks:
You’ve probably heard of the saying “content is king” and this couldn’t be any more true when it comes to social media.
People follow brands or products because of content. We follow Instagram accounts and Facebook pages because of the content we see in them, right?
This is why content planning is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a social media manager because, without good and shareable content, the brand they represent will go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, getting noticed is the name of the game when it comes to social media. With the amount of competition you have to deal with, standing out is not as easy as it looks.
That being said, you have to be creative and insightful if you’re going to become a successful social media manager.
You need to have the ability to come up with fresh ideas and strategies to help the brand you’re promoting stand out and stay ahead of the competition.
Do you need more video posts than image posts? Should your Instagram captions be as long as a regular blog post or should they be short and sweet? Do you publish posts once a day or thrice a week?
The answers to these questions can all impact your post’s (and social media presence) performance so if you want to become a social media manager, you need to have a good grasp of some of the most effective social media practices.
Once you’ve come up with a sound strategy, the next part is to have these post ideas scheduled. This task isn’t as simple as coming up with a date and time of release, however.
Before you schedule your posts, you need to do some research on optimal posting times or when your audience is online to consume your content.
This is important especially if you’re catering to an international audience. With millions of posts coming into our newsfeeds, a social media post can easily get buried if not scheduled to publish at the right time.
The good news is social media platforms have “insights” that will show you all the important data you will need to determine who your audience are, where they are from, and when they are usually online, among others.
As for the scheduling itself, this can be done either in the social channel itself or via scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. This being said, it would go a long way for you to have basic knowledge of such tools so you can easily adapt to whichever tool your client is using.
Social media is all about trial and error. When a strategy fails, you need to come up with a new one until you find the right formula for your audience. This wouldn’t be possible if you’re not tracking and measuring the results of your campaigns.
As mentioned, social media insights provide a wealth of data you can use to adjust your strategy. Apart from knowing the demographic and the optimal posting times, you’ll also be able to see how many people viewed, liked, commented, and shared your posts.
It will also show you how many followers you gained for a certain period as well as how many of your existing followers unfollowed you.
These pieces of information will give you a better idea of whether your strategy is effective or not so you can go back to the drawing board and come up with posts that more people will appreciate.
All of this is critical especially if you’re trying to sell a product or service and not just trying to increase your reach and engagement.
This is where the “social” part of social media comes into the picture. Getting people to follow your client’s brand is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a social media manager, you want your audience to remain loyal to your brand and the best way to do this is to make them feel important by engaging with them on a personal level.
How do you do this?
If they liked or commented on any of your posts, comment back by saying a simple “thank you” or like and share one of their posts back.
Doing this gives them the impression that you’re not just there for the likes and engagement but that you actually care enough to personally respond to them.
This strategy also “humanizes” your brand which is good because people like to engage with people instead of companies. This social engagement part should be done regularly so the brand you represent stays on people’s consciousness and does not end up getting forgotten.
Like any other job, salaries for social media managers vary depending on experience.
Most social media managers today work freelance so they usually get paid either via an hourly rate or on a per-project basis.
Newbies usually charge between $25 to $35 per hour while the more seasoned ones take between $40 to something as high as $250 per hour.
Social media managers who work full-time can earn an average of $49,000 to $57,000 a year depending on skills and experience.
Social media management can be a lucrative business but you have to have an impressive and excellent set of credentials to be “worth it,” so to speak.
Given the responsibilities hanging on the shoulders of a social media manager, it makes sense to have a specific set of skills that will help you accomplish the said tasks. Below are some of them.
A social media post is usually made up of two elements, namely a graphic and a caption.
While the graphic’s role is to instantly get people’s attention, the accompanying caption plays an equally important role in introducing or describing what the graphic is all about.
That being said, having sound copywriting skills can make a huge difference especially since each social media channel requires its own writing style.
Facebook is fun and informative, LinkedIn should be more professional, while Twitter requires short and sweet.
As mentioned, graphics are essential for social media, and though you don’t necessarily have to be a Photoshop guru, having some basic graphic design experience would definitely help.
You don’t have to be the one to do the graphic yourself (although that would come in handy if you can) since most clients have their own graphic artists to do that but understanding the look and feel that hooks people in will help in the design process.
Remember that as a social media manager, most of the ideas will come from you so knowing something about colors, designs, and basically what works for social media will go a very long way.
Coming up with a social media plan and strategy requires deep research. For one, you have to be updated with the latest trends relevant to social media.
What’s the latest viral meme look like? Is it possible to create one that would suit your brand and your audience as well? What are the latest social media tools or apps companies are raving about?
Staying on top of these trends will help your brand become more competitive.
This may be quite obvious but as mentioned, social media management goes beyond liking and sharing. It requires a tremendous amount of experimentation and trial and error until you get the right formula.
Simply put, a good social media manager should know which type of content works best for each channel, know how to optimize content on these channels, and effectively engage with the client’s audience.
Social media management is a fun and fulfilling career especially if you enjoy social media and seeing a social media presence grow through sound strategies and ideas. If you think the role fits you to a tee, the best way to start is to equip yourself with the knowledge and experience required so you can give clients a reason to click on the “hire” button.
Once you’re ready to start taking on clients, FreeUp is here to help. Apply for freelance social media manager jobs and start monetizing your new skill.
No minimums. Fast access to top US and international talent. Rated 5 stars on TrustPilot.Start Hiring