Becoming a Social Media Manager: Your Guide to an Exciting & Lucrative Career
With social media fast becoming a leading platform for brand awareness worldwide, we look at becoming a Social Media Manager, what it takes and where it can take you!
Today, any serious business will have at least one social media account. Social media is a field that has grown exponentially over the last decade, and in doing so, has created a large number of exciting and lucrative career opportunities.
We’ve all seen the Instagram feeds of our favourite designers or local cafes on our screens, keeping us up to date with their latest offering, news or even funny quotes and jokes. This constant flow of attractive, engaging content is now integral to maintaining businesses relevance and making them memorable, much like the traditional advertising of the past.
Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest started as an informal, unrefined way to connect with friends on a social level. Now, they are some of the most implemented social network and brand awareness platforms. Almost all businesses will have social media as a huge priority in terms of marketing and PR.
The popularity and success of such media giants have paved the way for a whole new career avenue, with many businesses hiring a social media manager full time – meaning job opportunities for those looking to progress down this path are aplenty!
So what is a social media manager, and what do they do?
Often tailored to the specific company, a social media management role can vary. Typically, they are in charge of planning and executing key messaging with great content for the business or current social media campaigns on several platforms.
Social media managers ensure brand consistency throughout and often work with the marketing team to ensure a cohesive relationship between the social accounts and other marketing structures. They also monitor activity and engagement, analyse metrics relating to audience demographics, campaign performance and reach.
As one of the most fun jobs out there, for anyone who loves social media, loves being creative and enjoys engaging with others, this role can be enjoyable and satisfying.
What can you earn as a social media manager?
What skills does a social media manager need?
Knowledge of social media
For anyone looking to embark on this as a new career, it would be advisable to have a sound understanding and personal experience using each of the social media platforms first.
Having good time management skills and being able to visualise, work to a calendar, research and plan a month worth of new content is integral to this role.
Social analytics experience
Familiarising yourself with how the analytics tools work for each social media platform is recommended to monitor the performance of your campaigns effectively.
Often, only short captions are used for social media posts, but that doesn’t mean they are easy! If you are required to write copy for your employer, copywriting skills are essential.
Search engine optimisation can sound daunting, but once you know the basics, it is pretty straight forward. Being able to offer your understanding of how to use social media to make a company searchable on the internet will set you apart from many.
A creative eye
Knowing what looks good is essential, especially on platforms like Instagram, where many companies priorities page layout aesthetics. While some social media managers will work with graphic designers, photographers and writers for content creation, others will create all or some of the visual content – this is more likely in small businesses. Knowledge of Adobe Suite, Canva or another creative programme is highly recommended.
Customer service skills
These days, a lot of customer service enquiries come through social media accounts. Having excellent communication skills, being personable and able to professionally respond to a request or direct people in the right direction is a much-needed skill to ensure the optimal customer experience.
On occasion, somebody may need you to drop what you are doing to quickly put a last-minute post up, or respond to a request on the weekend or after hours. Luckily, most actions won’t take more than a couple of minutes.
As quickly as these social media platforms popped up, so too, they can change and evolve to become more user friendly. Often there are updates, making minor changes in the processes we are accustomed to. Sometimes your employer might have a completely different idea of what they want the message to be for their business, and you will have to start over. A good social media manager will know they have to be adaptable to change and to be able to run with things at times.
Reliability is probably the most critical attributes anyone in this role can have. If an employer knows they can leave it up to you to get the brief executed on time, every time, they’ll never want to let you go!
What are the career pathways for a social media manager?
From this role, you could take yourself in a few directions, including the following:
How do I get started as a social media manager?
There are new courses on the scene these days explicitly built for social media, like the TAFE Diploma in Social Media Marketing. Among other things, this course equips you with planning social media strategy techniques, familiarises you with marketing and, most importantly, teaches you how to interpret market trends.
Hot tip: Having your own substantial social media presence, along with making sure you are always researching and keeping your finger on the pulse with what is trending are super important.
With social media platforms not going anywhere, especially now offering prime advertising real estate, roles in this industry are ripe for the picking. A highly skilled, intuitive social media manager is becoming a must-have for any business so with the correct preparation, understanding of the role and upskilling, the time is now to head down this exciting new career path.
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