Twenty years ago, there was barely anything like social media manager. It was hardly in our vocabulary.
And becoming a social media manager was not the dream of so many digital marketing experts either.
Many years later, thing began to change. And brands started seeing the need for social media managers.
Regardless of these changes, a lot of social media media managers were still regarded as the lowest of the low, in the digital marketing and tech ladder. They were also paid peanuts.
At the height of the discouragement, in some cases, clients felt like they were doing a social media manager a favor whenever they get to employ one. Especially, in developing countries.
But then, looking back at recent history, a lot has changed.
Right now, with over 3 billion people on the social media and an ever increasing adoption rates by both brands and individual, not only are we having a rising number of professional social media managers, the job of a social media manager is gradually getting the prestige it deserves.
So, if you really want to become a social media manager then you’re right in good time.
Because, there’s no better time to be a social media manager than right now. But hey before we dive in further, let’s get some terms defined…
What’s a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager is a professional whose role is to manage a client’s social media accounts, update posts, interact with the client’s audience, respond to enquiries and carry out other specific tasks on the social media as un behalf of another.
Unlike what we used to have in the past, in most organizations and businesses today, the role of a social media is a clearly defined role, with responsibilities, specific skills requirements and remuneration captured in the company’s payroll.
Again, as companies continue to see the relevance of social media as regards business growth, a lot of companies and brands are putting up specific requirements and experiences which their prospective social media managers will need to have before they can be employed.
Luckily, there are also a lot of both paid and free trainings put in place to get social media managers prepared for their roles, making it easier for aspiring social media managers to get started with the right skills.
And I’m going to discuss some of these skills in this post.
The Role of a Social Media Manager
Generally, the primary role of a social media manager is to manage, a social media account in order to achieve a specific result.
To be more explicit, this role is usually defined by the client or the social media manager as the case may be..
But generally, this role involves activities like; updating the social media page for clients, creating new posts, representing the brand, responding to enquiries on behalf of the brand, managing the brand’s reputation both in times of crisis and generally across board.
Usually, a whole lot of responsibilities that comes with the role of a social media manager but some of them also includes making periodic research on topical industry issues as it relates to your client’s niche and sharing same with your audience.
And sometimes, it might extend to understanding top social media trends and creatively curating same to share with the audience, creating and managing social media ads, being able to manage crisis that involves your brand if such issues arises etc.
Skills you need to become a Social Media Manager
Although it might come very handy, to become a social media, you don’t really need a backlog of experience to get started at the entry level.
The following skills can be very helpful as you work on garnering your social media management experience
Writing: To become a successful social media manager, you need to have a decent writing skill.
Doesn’t matter that you didn’t have a degree in creative writing, learning about how to create a simple social media post will be very helpful for you especially if you’re on one of those social media popular for written content like Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
Content Marketing: Content marketing demands a strategic approach towards creating a specific kind of content for a specific audience, in order to create a particular outcome.
As a social media manager, a lot of your job revolves around creating content. Depending on your niche or the particular social media, your content might come in any form including videos, audio, graphics etc.
Having a good grasp of how to create this content in a way that way that will help you create a particular result will be very helpful for you in your career as a social media consultant.
SEO: 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 the social media platform is not exclusively a search engine like Google for instance, all social media platforms still have social media algorithms that can help your post become more visible for the right audience.
Talking about algorithms for social media search, you can also consider mechanisms like hash tags, tagging, geo targeting etc.
All these tools when used well can be very effective in helping you to reach across the right kind of audience with your posts.
You need to know how to use and manage the specific social media visibility mechanism on your chosen social media platform.
Analytics: Understanding how to use analytics to create data driven solutions will be very helpful for you in your career as a social media influencer.
With this knowledge, you will be able to make data driven decisions that will affect the kind of content you create, your marketing procedures and even the way you interact with your audience.
Graphics: 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, you’ll need some basic graphics design skills to get your job done effectively.
Of course you need to have at least a decent understanding of Corel Draw, Paint, Illustrator and other design skills to get really grounded as a graphics designer but as a social media manager; you can also use templates to create your graphics while learning the others by the side.
Social Media Savvy: Beyond the skills listed above, to be successful in your role as a social media manager, you need to be social media savvy.
You need to have a good grasp of the particular social media platform you want to use the most and you can only do this by actually using the 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 managers’ might not look like a get rich quick scheme job, compared to others in the digital marketing ladder, social media managers still make a very decent income as professionals.
In the United States for instance, 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.
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.
Coming down to Nigeria, the social media manager salaries varies a lot in most cases. From a little as NGN30,000-50,000NGN.
A good social media manager can earn as high as NGN200,000-500,000 NGN, depending on their years of experience and what the result they are creating for the brand.
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
Avoid costly mistakes: Some mistakes are never 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. You need to avoid this at all cost.
To be successful in this role, a lot of precision is needed on the part of the social media manager.
Not only are you supposed to be great at content creation for instance, you have to avoid typos and all forms of grammatical errors in your content by cross checking your post at all times before posting them.
Get on top of your game: You have to be very sociable and able to relate well with your target audience.
To avoid sounding socially awkward, you also have to understand the social ethics as it relates to your client’s audience and their needs.
Understand your client’s market: Depending on your arrangement, if you’re also responding to enquiries on behalf of the brand, you need to have a good knowledge of the brand.
Know the ins and outs of the brand so you can easily represent them online. Ask questions where you have to and read up about the client before getting started.
Specialize on one or two social media 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.
Focus on learning as much as you can on your preferred social media handles and then demonstrate your expertise on those platforms.
Use social media automation tools: To make the most out of your social media management career, you may want to manage as much accounts or create as much content as possible.
And for you to be able to meet up, you may need to use some automation tools to schedule posts for publishing on specific times among other automated activities.
There are a lot of social media automation tools you can get to use to achieve this. Of course while these tools are not supposed to replace you entirely, using them will free up some time for you to take care of other activities.
Like I mentioned in the opening of this post, whether it is for small businesses or established organizations, the role of a social media manager has come to stay.
And with the proliferation and adoption of social media, over the years, this role is becoming increasingly more important than it used to be.
For this reason, as someone aspiring to have a career as a social media marketer, you stand to gain a lot if you learn the skills that will help you excel in this field and forge ahead with your aspirations.
So, here you just read the most important tips you need to learn to become a social media manager.
If you want to earn more to become a more successful social media manager in any niche, grab our social media management toolkit here.
Now, its over to you.
What is your biggest setback in your aspiration to become a social media manager? Let’s hear you!