Steps to become a social media manager

With more than 4.7 billion combined users and a wild scramble for online customers driving up demand for experts, it’s now possible for anyone to become a social media manager, regardless of their pedigree.

Indeed, the mouth watering benefits and increasing respect for the role has made social media management roles even more appealing than it was, back in the years.

Looking back twenty years ago, this was not the case as there was barely any role like “social media manager“. But years down the line, brands are now falling over themselves to hire social media managers.

Although this rise in demand has created opportunities that’s encouraged many people to aspire to become social media professionals, in reality; most aspiring social media managers have failed at the attempt because of one thing – lack of proper skills and relevant information.

For the fact that there is no better time to become a social media expert than now, in the following paragraphs, I am going show you the skills you need, steps you can take and all the relevant information that’ll guide you to become successful in your social media management career.

Who is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager is a digital marketing professional whose role is to manage a client’s social media accounts, update posts, interact with client’s audience, respond to enquiries or carry out other tasks on the social media on behalf of the client.

Unlike in the past, in most firms today, the role of a social media is a clearly defined role, with responsibilities, specific skill requirements and remuneration captured in the company’s payroll.

Also, as companies continue to see the relevance of social media as regards customer acquisition and business growth, most brands now put up specific requirements and expectations from prospective social media managers.

Luckily, there are also a lot of training, certifications and experience building opportunities put in place to get social media managers prepared for their roles, making it easier for aspiring social media managers like you, to get started with the right skills.

The Role of a Social Media Manager

To become a social media manager successfully, you want to understand the role you’ll be playing for any client you’re working with.

Although generally, as a social media manager, your primary role is to manage, a social media account, to achieve specific outcomes for a brand, a social media manager’s role can be grouped into the following;

Custom Roles

Some clients might be very specific on the roles they want you to play as their social media manager. Also in some cases, you as the social media expert might want to outline specific roles you want to play for clients as the case may be.

General Roles

In any case, the role of a social media manager might generally involve activities like; updating client social media, creating posts, representing the brand, responding to enquiries, engaging with client’s fans, managing client’s reputation both in times of crisis and generally across board.

Premium & Advanced Roles

Most times alongside the general roles, an ideal client also wants you to stay on top social media and industry trends and to be able to use this alongside platform analytic insights to drive their social media outcomes.

Furthermore, in some cases clients might expect you to be able to create and manage social media ads, as well as being able to manage crisis that involves client’s brand if such issues arises etc.

Skills to Become a Social Media Manager

Although experience can come in very handy, when you plan to become a social media manager, you don’t really need a ton of experience to get started at the entry level.

However, the following skills will be very helpful as you work on garnering your social media management experience;

Content Writing

Even though it’s possible to become a social media manager without experience, to get successful at the job, you need a decent content writing skill.

Doesn’t matter that you didn’t have a degree in creative writing, learning how to create simple social media captions, posts etc. will be very helpful for you especially if you’re on one of those social media platforms popular for written content like Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

Digital Marketing

Content marketing demands using a creative approach towards creating, posting, and using a strategic approach to promote a specific kind of content for a specific audience, in order to create a specific outcome.

As a social media manager, a great deal of your job will revolve around creating content. Depending on your niche or the particular social media platform, your content might come in any form including videos, audio, graphics etc.

Having a good grasp of how to use certain digital skills to create, post and promote this content in a way that will help you create expected outcome for clients will be very useful in your career.

Search Optimization Skills

Search engine optimization or SEO for short revolves around optimizing the content you create for the search engines in such a way that the content is easily findable by the target audience you want to reach.

Now, while social media platforms don’t have same search engine capabilities like Google for example, social media platforms do have in built search engines and algorithms that can make your content visible to the right audience, when your posts are optimized correctly.

So, when it comes to post optimizations for social media, you want to get familiar with the use of social media hash tags, group and page features, tagging, geo targeting etc., to reach a wider audience with your posts.

Page Analytics

To become a social media manager successfully, understanding how to use analytics to create data driven solutions will be very helpful for you in your career.

With your knowledge of analytics, you will be able to make data driven decisions that will affect the kind of content you create, your marketing procedures, your posting schedules and even the way you interact with your audience.

Graphics Design & Editing

A lot of social media posts will demand some graphics design skills to create them especially if you’re using a picture driven platform like Instagram etc.

For this reason, for some clients, whether you plan to become a social media manager without experience or not, you’ll need some basic graphics design skills to get your job done effectively.

To do this successfully, you might want to have some skills using Graphics Design tools like Corel Draw, Illustrator, Adobe or using templates and other softwares like Canvas.

Alongside this, you might also need some video editing skills as well as ability to use certain video editing software like Adobe and other easy video editing applications.

Platform Specific Skills

All social media platforms are not the same. Beyond the skills listed above, to be successful in your role as a social media manager or influencer, you must have a good grasp of some platform specific skills.

to become successful at social media management, you need to learn some skills specific to certain platforms | Image credit: Samson Katt

And you can only do this by actually using the social platform and exploring its features.

Also try to understand how it works, the kind of post that aligns with the audience and the kind of terminologies they appreciate.

Average Social Media Manager’s Salary

While the average social media manager’s job might not look like a get rich quick job, compared to others in the digital marketing ladder, social media managers still make a very decent income as professionals.

Social Media Manager Salary in US

In the United States for example, according to a report by Payscale, a senior social media manager earns a much as 63,000 USD yearly, with the average fees at around 43,000USD for entry level social media managers.

Social Media Manager Salary in UK

For the United Kingdom, the average salary is pegged at about the range of 16,000 to 35,000 GBP, depending on the years of experience among other things.

Social Media Manager Salary in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the social media manager salaries varies a lot in most cases. From a little as NGN45,000-70,000NGN.

In some cases, a good social media manager in Nigeria can earn as high as NGN200,000-500,000 NGN and above, depending on their years of experience, network, influence and what the result they are creating for the brand.

And of course, Payscale estimates that the average base yearly salary for a social media manager in Nigeria is in excess of 750,000NGN.

How to be a Successful Social Media Manager

Regardless of your experience, exposure or certifications, the following are some steps you can take to become a successful social media consultant;

Avoid Costly Mistakes

Some mistakes like typos, posting wrong, unverified or controversial content might never be intentional but they can be very embarrassing both for you and the brand you’re managing.

And you’ll be called out or dragged on the social media. Avoid this at all cost as it might have a negative impact on your client’s brand.

So, to be successful in this role, you want to post only verifiable content, double check your content for typos, avoid copyright infringement and use only controversies that can advance your client’s brand.

Stay on Top of Your Game

Even if you want to become a social media manager without experience, to be successful, you have to be very sociable and able to relate well with your target audience.

To avoid sounding socially awkward, study your client’s audience, their industry and understand the social ethics as it relates to your client’s brand needs.

Understand Client’s Market

Depending on your arrangement, if you’re also responding to enquiries on behalf of client’s brand, you need to have a fair knowledge of the brand or industry.

Some jobs may need you to learn the ins and outs of client’s industry so you can easily represent them online. So, you want to ask questions where you have to and read up about your client before getting started.

Specialize on Platforms

Currently, there are over 4 top social media platforms, outside the smaller ones.

You don’t have to learn the ropes about these entire social media platform before you become a successful social media manager.

You can choose to focus on learning as much as you can on your preferred social media handles and then demonstrate your expertise on those platforms.

Use Automation Tools

To make the most out of your social media management career, you have to understand how to use automation tools to create, schedule and share content online.

Doing this simplifies your work, frees up your time and enables you to post content on schedule.

There are a lot of social media automation tools you can use to get started on this. But keep in mind that these tools are not meant to replace you but to make your work easier.

Final words

In conclusion, in years to come, the increase in social media users will only push up the demand for social media managers by brands.

So as someone aspiring to become a social media professional, not only should you use this guide to start to position yourself as a social media manager, take steps to learn specific skills that will give you an edge by registering at Win Media Academy here.

When you do, you’ll learn advanced and industry specific skills, garner experience and gain all the mentorship you need to become an exceptional social media manager.

So, its your turn now! What is the biggest setback in your journey to become a social media manager? Let’s hear you!

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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