Social Media Manager: Roles and Responsibilities

Let's face it: nowadays, if you're not online, you don't exist. Personally, it's acceptable to guard your privacy, but if you want your business to thrive, it's paramount that you make your presence on social platforms known. Think of them as your storefront. Apart from your website, it's the first impression potential customers may get from you. So, make sure it's a good one! Social media managers are the team members you need to create and maintain a positive public image of your company in the community.

social media manager roles and responsibilities

PR vs. Social Media Specialist

We all loved the TV show, Mad Men. But there’s one role in marketing agencies that they couldn’t cover: social media specialists. In this video, we’ll cover what their job involves, how much they earn, and what other roles they shouldn’t be mistaken for.

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A Social Media Manager’s Typical Day

If you think social media managers scroll through Facebook all day, think again. They do need to scroll through hundreds of posts, but not for fun! It's their job to keep up with trends and find inspiration in the unlikeliest places.

Defining the Communication Strategy

Anyone who works in marketing knows that you can't just do and say what you want. A clear strategy is defined, and it contains guidelines for any type of content: tone of voice, replying to customers, visual design, etc. These guidelines make it easier not to go astray when emitting messages. Each employee has a unique personality, and they should let it out when communicating with potential or existing customers, but within the brand's strategy guidelines.

Setting Goals

Before publishing anything, it's crucial to know what you're trying to accomplish. Do you need more followers? Are you going through a rebranding process? Your posts will be shaped by the goals they're aiming for. It's also a great way to stay focused on the marketing strategy when trying new things. This is not an everyday activity, but it affects daily decisions and operations.

Keeping Up With New Trends

The social media world is the most fast-pacing industry because it is literally under the constant influence of every living (human) being. Even those who don't have internet access can be filmed by someone who does and become a viral sensation. Viral videos become memes and conversation topics that then shape new trends and interests. Also, social platforms keep introducing new ways to create and publish content. Social media managers must stay updated with new formats, rules, and news at all times.

Creating Engaging Content

It's not enough to have a product and be present on social platforms. Social media managers need to find ways to be more interesting and engaging than everyone else, and that is no easy task! People are tired of commercials, so SMMs are forced to think outside the box and communicate creatively with their public. What's cool today is outdated next week, and the variety of formats should be used to one's advantage.


Creating content in the form of images, text, videos, and polls is just one step in the workday of a social media manager. They need to decide when and where to post each piece of the puzzle because not every social platform is the same, and it's pointless to post at night if you're advertising a product locally. Some platforms require more frequent posts, while others aren't as demanding.

Measuring and Adjusting

Once the posts are published, the job isn't done yet. Social media managers have to keep track of their performance constantly. It's the best way to weed out what works and what doesn't. Experimenting with the frequency of posting will also be visible in the metrics.

Average salary

Statistics say that the average salary for social media managers moves around $50,000 per year in the US (Glassdoor $49,140, Payscale $52,901). This doesn't include bonuses that could be rewarded upon completing a thriving marketing campaign or a successful quartal/year.

Social Media Manager $49,140 $52,901

Becoming a Social Media Manager: Get Started

Can anyone become a social media manager? Yes, but some people will be better at it than others.

All the platforms we use today have been around for less than 15 years, and they've been changing continuously inside and out. This makes it impossible to establish some verified rules for success. It's also difficult for schools and mentors to keep up: by the time a book is printed or a course prepared, the trends, formats, and algorithms have already changed! Nevertheless, there are plenty of online courses that can help you grasp the basics of using social platforms to your advantage. We've listed the most popular ones below.

They're a great starting point if you have zero experience running an account. We'd also advise you to open a profile that you'll use for practice. It's the fastest way to apply what you've learned and break the ice when it comes to creating and posting content. In time, you'll perfect your skills and have something to show when applying for your first job as a social media manager.

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first job as social media  manager

Your First Job as a Social Media Manager

Like project managers, many people become social media managers by accident. Every company needs a social media presence, and the responsibility to make that happen often falls on random employees who have enough time to take care of it or who're already passionate about social platforms.

Marketing teams are also known for letting interns or junior writers deal with social media and letting them get specialized in the area. This is not the case with big international companies whose profits rely immensely on public engagement. They hire professionals with years of experience, and they have entire media teams ready to back them up with all the necessary materials. So, you probably won't have much luck applying there as a beginner, but you might get the chance to shadow one of those professionals and learn from them what no course offers.

Joining communities like Facebook groups and LinkedIn is a great way to find your first job in the social media business. It's the first place small companies and startups will go to when they realize they have no one on board who's willing to "play around" with their public image. They usually don't have the funds or the need to hire someone full-time, so they'll resort to a part-time junior willing to help them out. Don't be shy to offer your services either. Be honest about your experience and try to provide an example of your work.

Friends or acquaintances who produce handmade crafts are another chance to get started. They'll be wrapped up in their work so much that they'll need a helping hand in photographing, publishing their products, and dealing with orders. You'll learn a lot in the process, growing together with their business.

A Social Media Manager’s Career Path

We already mentioned that anyone could become a social media manager, but some people are just more talented for the job. Since it's such a young industry, professionals from any background could switch careers at any point and become SMMs if they wish in the field of their expertise (for example, dentists).

The most common career path, however, involves working in marketing. One could begin as a content writer, influencer, or video editor and end up as a social media manager or vice versa. SMMs have to juggle many responsibilities and perfect their skills in many areas, so it's up to them to decide which they prefer and specialize in it.

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Hiring a Social Media Manager

If you're wondering whether your company needs social networks, stop pondering because the answer is always yes. Even local shops can become successful businesses and attract people from anywhere in the world if they play the social media card right.

The next dilemma would be, do you need a dedicated person for this job? We'd like to suggest it would be better to have someone whose sole attention is focused on social media, even if you'll only need them part-time. Social platforms require constant monitoring, and a person who has to also attend to other tasks will have their attention scattered.

You're looking for a well-informed individual who likes to interact with people online and play with images and videos. The perfect social media manager is always happy to try new things, explore fresh ways to engage with the public, and isn't afraid to take a few risks. Make sure they're tech-savvy and passionate about the latest network trends.

Experience is always a plus, but don't insist on more than 2-3 years of it because the industry changes so quickly that it isn't essential. Someone with no experience could perform better than an experienced SMM if their inquisitive mind and proactiveness push them to higher grounds.

CONTINUE READING Life in an Agency: Agency Roles and Responsibilities

When we talk about roles in an agency, we're actually discussing types of jobs. In a chaotic environment where clients are gods and deadlines are doomsdays, the lines between these jobs become blurred.

Well-organized teams are more productive