How to Become a Social Media Manager

Social isn’t just a platform for connection. For businesses, it can be a powerhouse to grow their brand awareness. Thus, they need social media managers to boost their online presence.

If you are curious about how to become a social media manager, you’re in the right place! I will explain the requirements needed for this role. So, let’s check the practical steps below to kickstart your journey!


A social media manager masters all the skills to help businesses grow on social media. Before learning how to become one, you should understand this job first.

Who is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager sets strategies to grow their company’s presence on social platforms. This task requires knowledge of social media and marketing.

Many companies boost their brand awareness on social media because it can access more people. Hence, this approach has become one of the core marketing objectives of every business.

The social media manager often works in the marketing, public relations, or communications department of a company. Sometimes, businesses hire independent contractors to handle their social media aspect.

What Education Does A Social Media Manager Need?

Most employers like candidates with a bachelor’s degree. However, it’s not always compulsory. Your experience and skills play more critical roles.

You can also demonstrate your knowledge by earning certificates. Those in social media management will be the best options.

Social media management

What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

Working with social media sounds interesting, but it’s not simple. As a social media manager, you have many responsibilities on your shoulders, such as:

  • Drive engagement: A social media manager has to boost their company’s profile on social platforms. This task involves getting more followers and increasing engagement. Sometimes, they need to create posts for goals.
  • Strategize content: Content is essential in social media marketing. Thus, the social media manager needs to ideate content for their campaigns.
  • Analyze data: When running the campaigns, they have to assess their performance. The best method for this task is to analyze the data. Then, they can tell if their posts are doing well.
  • Report metrics: After analyzing the metrics, they report to their bosses and stakeholders. The metrics come from the number of followers and engagement.
  • Monitor social media platforms: Social media platforms run all day and night. It means the manager has to keep an eye on them. They must also upload new posts to update their company’s profile.

How To Become A Social Media Manager

Your journey to becoming a social media manager is full of challenges. However, by the end of the road, you will get rewards. So, let me help you conquer this adventure.

There are seven steps to take. You may have a different path, but ensure you stick to this general guideline:

1. Get Experience In Social Media Marketing Strategy

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are our friends. Almost any of us uses at least one of them. This trend makes social media more familiar, especially with young people.

However, working with social media is a totally different thing. To become an expert in this field, gain experience first.

You can reach out to your friends who own a small business. Then, learn why they want to use social media. Often, they aim to reach more customers. But it’s not the only reason.

Social media has lots of uses. For example, you can work on it to create user-centric content. It’s also a great way to interact with your clients directly.

This first step is about familiarizing yourself with marketing strategies on social media. Once you have the idea, you can easily move to the next steps.

Get to know social media marketing strategies

2. Earn A Degree

Not all social media manager jobs require a college degree. Even so, many employers prefer it.

The best degrees for this job are in marketing, business, public relations, or communications. Psychology majors are helpful, too, because they help you understand human behaviors.

Certifications can help with your career as well. They focus on certain parts of social media marketing. Here are the best options to consider:

Hootsuite Academy

Hootsuite Academy offers a social marketing certification. It’s about six hours long. Despite the limited time, you can learn the basics of social media marketing, such as SEO and content strategy.

To pass the course, you need to take a one-hour test. There are 60 questions, and you just need to get at least 80% of them right.

This certification is most helpful for beginners. Passing the exam shows employers that you know how social marketing works. You can also then create strategic content.

Cornell University

Cornell University also has an online program for social media marketing. But it takes up to three months to finish.

There are six classes in the course. In those classes, you can learn the best ways to plan an effective social media marketing campaign. And if you intend to invite influencers to your campaign, this course will teach you how to work with them.

To get the certificate, you have a final project at the end of the course. This project shows you can use your new skills in a real job.

The course has both basic and advanced strategies. Thus, it’s suitable for beginners or those in the middle of their careers.

Boot Camp Digital

There are 42 hours of training in this course. By the end of the program, you can use your skills in blogging and marketing to run real projects.

When you buy the materials, you can access them for a whole year. Yet, you can finish the program in a short time if you want, depending on your own schedule.

This certification can help marketers at any stage of their career. But I think it’s the best for newcomers. Brand marketers and blog writers may like this the most.

Earn a degree in marketing or a related field

3. Build Your Social Media

You may have an account on social media, right? So, boost engagement right on it. This way, you prove you can handle a business’s social media following.

For example, you can share interesting content. The aim is all about the likes, shares, and comets. You can also connect with your followers and create a plan for your content.

It’s not easy to attract followers because you have to compete with many creative content creators. Thus, try to show that your methods can work.

To do it, find your unique style. Also, use visuals with a consistent feel and look. This approach helps establish a theme for your page. Then, whenever your followers want that vibe, they will come to your place.

Copyrights are a huge concern, too. If possible, you can design your own pictures. It’s even a better way to increase engagement.

Using others’ artwork is okay. Yet, remember to give credit to the content creators or photographers. This small action shows how professional you are. It also avoids reports from the original owners.

Build your social media profile

4. Use Social Media and Marketing Analytics

A social media manager uses analytics to see their campaigns’ performance. They can be followers, clicks, shares, page views, or impressions.

Impressions refer to how many people see your content. This metric is important, but you should focus more on engagement.

As you gain experience, you will learn different tools to track those numbers. Small businesses often use Google Analytics, while the bigger ones prefer Core Metrics. But as a social media manager, explore both.

It takes time to understand what those analytics mean. So, consider using visualization software to present them. That way, they will be in an easier-to-understand format.

Learn how to read marketing statistics

5. Undergo Training

Training is a crucial step to becoming a social media manager. There are three ways to get the necessary training for the job:


You can collaborate with your friends on small projects. Applying what you have just learned from school to create social media campaigns is a good idea.


Seek out internships with companies that offer social media marketing roles. They will give you valuable real-world experience. You can also have a chance to work with professionals in the industry.

During the internship, focus on content creation and tracking analytics. If you have questions, don’t be shy to ask.

Entry-level positions

After that, you can apply for an entry-level position in marketing. This job helps you earn more experience. Gradually, you can excel in your role and want to level up. That’s when you can become a social media manager.

Work to gain experience

6. Build Your Online Portfolio

The portfolio is where you collect all your previous work. So, remember to keep a record of your best posts on social media.

Please also note that in marketing, results are more important than the process. The employers may not even care if you spend hours designing a picture. Instead, they want to know the engagement metrics of that picture.

So, when composing your portfolio, add metrics to each project. Then, employers can tell how excellent you are on social media.

Here’s a great tip: You can make your own website to show your work. Many marketers use WordPress to create their portfolios. This method is much more professional than gathering your posts in a PDF file.

However, WordPress may cost you some money every month. If you are looking for a free option, consider LinkedIn, Coroflot, or Behance.

7. Follow Companies

Even when you have become a social media manager, don’t stop learning! Marketing is where new things arise every day. If you miss a trend, you will lose engagement.

Hence, follow the leading brands in your industry to see what’s new. Check out brands in different sectors, too. You may learn many things from them.

Be active on social media

Essential Skills

If you want to become a social media manager, improve these skills:

  • Writing: Writing in marketing is not just about spelling and grammar. Your posts should match the brand’s style and capture the audience’s attention.
  • Editing: As a manager, you need to review your team’s work for mistakes. So, practice your proofreading and editing skills.
  • Using social media platforms: There are many social media platforms. To perform well on them, you have to understand what each platform stands out and who uses them.
  • Design: You don’t have to be a good designer. Yet, you should be able to talk about visuals with the graphic designers in your team.
  • Analytical tools: You will work with many analytical tools. They can be tricky to read. Even so, you need them to optimize your campaigns.

Job Outlook and Salary

In 2023, social media managers can earn about $63,991 per year. This salary range is higher than the median pay for many other jobs.

The demand for social media managers is high, too. Thus, companies pay talented marketers well to run their marketing campaigns effectively.

Is Social Media Manager A Stressful Job?

Yes. If you work alone to handle your company’s marketing effort, you have to do many things. The deadlines may make you exhausted.

And if you run a team, the tasks will be even more stressful. Aside from marketing, you must support your team and monitor their performance.

Plus, marketing is all about metrics. If they don’t perform well, it means you are going the wrong way. Meanwhile, many factors can affect the performance of your campaigns.

Is Social Media A Good Career?

Yes. It’s a good career because of the high salary and demand. You can also have opportunities for skill development.

Moreover, many social media roles allow for remote work. It means you can achieve work-life balance by adjusting your schedule correctly.

Plus, social media is necessary for many industries, such as entertainment and marketing. Thus, you have many career options.

Final Thoughts

You need to master social media marketing skills to become a manager. This career also requires years of experience. But trust me, it’s a rewarding job! You can receive high pay and recognition from your boss when you work hard.

So stay curious and keep learning! With passion and dedication, you will succeed in your role soon!