How to Become a Social Media Manager

Can you feel it?

Can you feel it?

Does being on Facebook all day sound like a dream job? Increasingly, there are more full-time, permanent positions for social media managers at top-rated companies. Common qualifications include being comfortable with all SM platforms, having a track record of improving a company’s social media presence and having a firm grasp on the basics of marketing.

However, actually getting that job requires a lot more than what the posting says. You’re going to face a lot of competition for this job, so make sure your ducks are in a row. It helps to start out with a related degree; this can be anything from communications to English, or engineering to marketing. How you spin your degree is oftentimes more important than the degree itself. Managing social media requires a unique blend of techie-ness and keen writing skills.

Appreciate Your Platform

A lot of people are going to be gung-ho about social media, so you should be skilled at all platforms, including Google+ and Pinterest. If you’re applying for a position with a larger company, get your feet wet by volunteering or interning as a social media communicator for a smaller business or non-profit. Posting for a business is very different than doing so personally, and having 5,000 Facebook friends isn’t going to cut it.

Your writing skills should also be top notch, because creating marketing genius in 140 characters is no easy task. It’s a good idea to include, with your résumé, a writing sample geared towards social media sites. This can include sample Facebook posts and Tweets, as well as replies to followers. Many people find it more difficult to write shorter snippets than blogs or articles, so show off your best stuff.

Highlight Your Many Skillswhat-customers-want

Being a social media manager requires multitasking, writing, communication, marketing and even photo and video editing skills. That’s like five jobs rolled into one, so you need to stay on top of the latest technology, too. Make sure your résumé, experience and cover letter address each of these requirements separately. This is one profession where a varied work history can actually serve in your favor, such as if you were a marketing assistant who moved into a paid blogging role or perhaps authored impressive guest blog posts for other bloggers.

Getting paid to manage social media is no easy task, but it’s one of the most desirable jobs of the moment. From the cost of SEO to knowing what makes content go viral, you need to understand the nuances of technology and how it integrates with social media. It’ll be fairly difficult to land a great social media management job out of the gate, so start as an intern or an assistant. It’s much easier to grow into these roles than to hope for a lucky shot.

Apply the Smart Way

You might find a few postings on Craigslist or another job board, but approach the companies from the right angle. Create a professional social media presence on all platforms and update them regularly. Make sure your personal profiles are hidden and unsearchable. If you approach a company from social media, you’ve already caught their interest because your competition is following the “rules” and emailing them their resume.

Of course, this means your resume needs to be appropriately reflected on all social media platforms. Include videos introducing yourself; putting a professional face with an applicant can get you moved to the top of the pile. More HR recruiters are perusing Google to find out more about their candidates, and this is especially true for anyone applying for a SM position. Get on the right playing field from the start to instantly up your odds.


  1. Nowadays you need a qualified, and passionate individual to manage your social media. These are some great tips for people looking into the field, thanks.

  2. Thanks for the great info Katie. I have been a Social Media Manager for a couple years now and without a doubt, the keyword is “multitasking”. Get familiar with a variety of marketing techniques and start adding to your portfolio. Cheers

  3. Hi Tanik! Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. Have a great day!

  4. Very interesting and helpful article. Many many thanks for sharing this article with us.
    @ Katie Elizabeth I visited your website and I really like your website design.

  5. Hey Denise, it would depend on what the goals are. For example, if the role is to grow the community, and retain new readers then there are certain things an SMM would do. First and foremost create a lis of assets the company has, from content, white papers, social network accounts, maybe a customer service center, etc. Figure out where your readers/clients/audience is. Personally, I would audit the site, include all their social network accounts. Then I would look at the data and start to focus on proven methods towards that niche. Personally I have had great success in growing readership for various clients with the use of videos, content curation, and content strategies. There are so many things you can do, but the most important one is to set up goals & benchmarks. Focus where your clients are, then create the campaign where things like Twitter/Facebook/G+/Pinterest come into play.

  6. WorkSafe Victoria, a state-run occupational health and safety organization in Australia has used social marketing as a driver in its attempts to reduce the social and human impact of workplace safety failings. In 2006, it ran “Homecomings” , a popular campaign that was later adopted in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, and named the 2007 Australian Marketing Institute Marketing Program of the Year.

  7. I’m always interested in becoming a social media manager, but I can’t seem to understand what the task is all about. Just like one of the comments here, it is definitely more than Tweeting, posting status on Facebook.

  8. Looking at competition is healthy, however in order to solidify that unique quality one must have a win-win proposition…don’t you think? It boils down to how you look at building a brand. Is it about following what everyone else does? Is there a formula, or is it creating a connection with your users, buyers, readers, that gives them a sense of community? Thanks for your input Mirko :-)

  9. Most definitely! If you aren’t engaging on your personal page, it’s probably likely that you won’t be on a company page, either!

  10. Thomas, isn’t that the truth! Everyone should watch out for what they post for the world to see!

  11. Thanks Amber! I totally agree – social media managers have to have that passion. There also a lot of planning that is involved, too! Thanks for reading!

  12. Social media is becoming more and more influent in order to get a better brand awareness but sometimes is necessary to consider what your competitors are doing too avoiding a waste of money or time

  13. Excellent tips Katie. Being a social media manager is more than just liking, and tweeting. You must have passion with social media in order to succeed being a manager.

  14. Great Post although just watch out what pictures are on your social media programs… Nobody wants to see you party nights out doing stupid things

  15. “what customers want”. A very good book to discover just that! It’s not about social media, but it’s 100% recommended for all of us.

  16. Great points Katie,

    It’s really essential to create your interesting professional social media profiles, this not only leaves positive impression but also showcase your skills related to Social Media Promotion.

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