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 specialize 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 roles

average social media manager salary

Most social media managers start out as junior managers or social media assistants to learn the ropes. According to our most recent salary guide, an early-career manager earns between $55,000 and $80,000 a year. 

As you improve your skills and move into a mid-level position, your income typically increases to $60,000 or $90,000 per year. Social media managers with several years' experience earn higher salaries, above $80,000 and up to $125,000 depending on region and industry.

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.

download our salary guide

types of social media managers

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

  • social networks: you can specialize 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.
Close up - Smiling woman wearing glasses looking away
Close up - Smiling woman wearing glasses looking away

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.


FAQs about working as a social media manager


meet a recruiter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.