How to Become a Social Media Manager

social media manager

Considering a switch to a new career as a social media manager? With many brands recognizing the importance of their online presence, there’s a huge need for a skilled social media manager to be on their team.

After all, the person who takes on this role has a pretty important job. Not only are they creating content for various online platforms, but they’re also representing the brand they work for. They become a go-to contact for the brand, as the one who is showing up and building relationships within the community.

Being a social media manager is a lot of work. And it can definitely be challenging. However, it’s still a fun, rewarding career path.

How to Become a Social Media Manager

So, how exactly can you land a job working in social media? Well, this post shares a few key steps to help you get started before you run off to update your LinkedIn description.

After you’ve read this, I’ve previously shared seven traits of a great social media manager, so make sure you read that too. Together, these posts will help you be a success in your new venture!

1. Start Building Your Own Online Presence

When applying for jobs or looking for clients, people want to see that you know your stuff. They’re going to ask about the experience you have and they’ll want to see examples of your previous work. If you’re just getting started, you might not have much to offer. That’s why you need to make sure you have built your own social media presence at the very least.

What you need to do is choose a few platforms where you can really shine and commit to showing up there regularly. If you’re great with photos/graphics and videos, Instagram would be perfect for you. For those who can effortlessly craft short, punchy posts, then Twitter can be your hangout. Just make sure you’re investing in the platforms that showcase what you can do because it gives other brands an idea of how you’ll handle content for their team.

Participating in Twitter chats is an awesome way to generate more awareness for your brand.

And as mentioned, make sure you post fresh content on a regular basis. A social media manager can’t ghost on their audience. You need to share new posts and spend time engaging to show you’re dedicated to the work.

2. Create a Portfolio That Showcases Your Skills

You want to have something prepared before you start applying to jobs or searching for clients. While having your own social media presence is a nice start, it would be smart to put together some sort of portfolio that showcases what you can do for someone as a representative of their brand.

Consider compiling some of your best social media posts for potential jobs to read through. You can also gather stats on specific posts, as well as your own growth over time. And if you really want to get creative, put together a social media plan, detailing exactly what you’d do if you were on their team.

It’s also worth volunteering your services to gain some experience. See if there’s a business friend you can help out for a few weeks or a month. Or you could reach out to an organization within your local community to help them out ahead of a big event. Working for free isn’t always ideal, but it could be what helps you land your first paying gig.

3. Find a Job or Land Your First Clients

Do you want to work for one specific company? Or would you rather start your own business and take on clients? This is an important decision you’ll have to make before you begin looking for work. Both have their benefits, so it’s worth testing the waters to see how things go.

Taking on the role of a social media manager for a specific company can provide stability. You might be lucky enough to find a full-time gig this way, thus allowing you to just focus on one brand instead of juggling multiples. However, starting your own business has benefits too. You could design management packages for potential clients to choose from, giving you the opportunity to be more in control of how you work.

If you’re looking for a job at another company, you’ll want to scour job listings across the web. And if you choose to go the business route, then it would be wise to create your own website and put together packages that people can choose from and purchase.

4. Stay Updated on the Industry’s Latest

The reality is, social media changes. And if you want to be great at your job, you need to stay on top of things. Make sure you’re one of the first to know about algorithm updates so you can adapt your strategy accordingly.

You may also want to stay updated on the newest social media management tools. There are numerous ones available to make your job easier. And they’re often receiving updates to be even more user-friendly for a social media manager. Don’t be afraid to sign up for free trials to test out different tools and find the right one for you.

(P.S. Here are a few Twitter tools worth checking out.)

5. Take Steps to Grow Your Skills

And finally, there’s always room for improvement. No one should ever stop learning, no matter how successful they become. Find ways to grow your skills, whether that’s taking a course, reading tips in blog posts, or working with a coach. When you invest in yourself, amazing things can happen. And the companies you work for will be forever grateful.