Do you want to become a social media manager? Are you looking for info on how to start a freelancing career as a social media manager? If you answered yes to both questions, this article is for you. Social media managers are in high demand, and even if this is a career that is often perceived as easy and straightforward, the truth is that it requires a lot of skills.
In this guide, I want to give you tips and advice on how to become a social media manager without sugarcoating it. If you’re going to work as a social media manager, you need to have the right skills, and if you don’t have them, you need to make sure you study and practice to learn and gain. Once again and at the risk of repeating the obvious: improvising is never the right solution when it comes to freelance work, and in the case of a social media manager, it is even more real.
Whether you’re starting your career and you’re looking for advice on how to become a freelance social media manager or you are considering a career move to become a social media expert, keep reading. In this guide, you’ll find useful information to start a social media career and also what it takes to become one.
Table of Contents
What is a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager is “the voice” of a brand, a product, a company, an individual. A social media manager is the person in charge of monitoring, executing, measuring, and creating strategies to enhance the social media presence of companies or individuals.
They can define strategies, execute them, or do both.
What Do Social Media Managers Do?
Social media managers create campaigns to achieve results that are assigned to them by the company. A campaign can be visual or with text or with mixed elements. Social media managers work daily to produce new content for their companies. Part of the job of a social media manager is to monitor social media analytics tools to understand people’s behaviors and users’ intent, but also the brand’s perception. They can also respond to questions and comments, and in that case, it means they are in charge of community management as well.
Typical social media manager duties include (but this list is not exaustive):
- Planning and scheduling content across various social media platforms
- Analyzing, tracking and reporting on campaign performance
- Looking to grow social networks
- Generate leads and enhance business visibility
What qualifications do you need to be a social media manager?
Social media manager positions typically require a bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, or similar. This is not mandatory, but it helps, especially if you’re determined to make a living out of this job. Considering the competition, it’s a good idea to have a degree in marketing, but it’s not strictly needed as long as you train yourself and do experience. Attending classes online or in-person can also be an excellent way to break into the social media management industry.
How do you do become a full-time freelance social media manager?
Let’s be honest: there’s no bluebook to teach people how to become social media managers, there’s no step-by-step guide, nor the complete manual that helps you in building a career in this industry. Every social media manager out there will tell you a different story on how they started, what they did when they started. If you put all the experiences together, you will quickly notice how impossible it is to create a book of rules to make in the social media management industry.
One thing is clear and has to be said: working as a social media manager is everything but easy. You may think that you only have to learn what visual to post on social media, when, and how but this is only part of the job: a good social media manager knows more than just what to post, when, and how. They know how to create a report, how to create content that converts, how to gain a community, and keep people engaged, how to be a useful resource for a company.
So said, there are a few things you can do to facilitate your social media management career. And these are our recommendations.
1. Learn the fundamentals of marketing
Social media is part of online marketing, and it is s part of the digital efforts a company do to be visible and increase their leads. If you don’t come from a marketing background, you need to start from scratch and learn the fundamentals of online marketing.
Seek out appropriate training to become the best in your job: learn what conversions mean, learn how social media can help other areas of online marketing perform better, learn everything you can about digital marketing. You don’t have to become an expert. Still, you need to know where social media stand and why they are so crucial for a company nowadays: the only way to understand their importance in the marketing mix is by knowing a bit of online marketing.
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With this course, you will learn how to use dozens of proven digital marketing strategies. You will learn social media marketing using all of the most popular social media platforms to grow your business. You will improve your brand identity and build your brand’s audience. You will develop your email list, website traffic, subscriber count, and social media following.
Integrate the data-driven and adaptive culture of Growth Hacking to improve digital marketing results. Grow social media audiences using bots and organic techniques. Track, analyze, and leverage traffic and product usage data using Google Analytics. Tell better stories and write marketing content to improve conversion rates.
Find your target audience, easily convince them to become your customer, and buy your products. Increase your conversion rate by building advanced landing pages, write compelling copies, and sell more. Grow your sales by doing successful email marketing, following step by step instructions to get results.
2. Learn the fundamentals of online writing
For the same reason as above, learn the art of writing for online media and translate this to social media. Learn how to write for different audiences, how to create content that converts, how to be engaging and effective.
You can enroll in one of the many writing courses that can help you become a better storyteller, or a content marketer, or a copywriter; once you’re ready, you will apply those principles to social media.
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3. Learn Social Media Management
You cannot learn social media management just with a course, but you can certainly use a course in social media management to kickstart your career or help you achieve your goal. You can choose generic paths or more specific ones but enroll in at least one, by any means, to give yourself a chance to learn how to become a freelance social media marketing manager or how to refine your skills.
Recommended Social Media Marketing Online Courses:
Join 100,000+ students who mastered Facebook and are now Facebook Ads experts. Connect with new audiences and lower your ad costs via Facebook Ads! Mass post quickly to various social media networks. Use the advanced features available in Facebook Business Manager.
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Understand the social media foundations. Understand the basics of Youtube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and blogging. Build a social media strategy, understand the risks of social media and use them not just for marketing, but for customer services & PR.
4. Start practicing
The more you practice, the more you get used to managing social media. The more you fail, the more you will improve. You don’t need to seek out for a proper job, at least not at the beginning. Still, you should practice with your projects or a friend’s project: put yourself out there, start learning what people want, start learning how to build a community and how to manage it, start focusing on practical techniques.
Do not consider this training time as a waste of time or just an experiment: use it to learn how to segment your audience, how to find topics based on your niche, how to facilitate an action for your followers. Give yourself a goal to reach and work towards achieving that goal.
Promoting your project on social media may not directly land you your dream job. Still, it can add value to your professional portfolio, as it demonstrates your ability to run a successful social media profile.
5. Pick a niche
This may sound strange to you, but it’s probably the best thing you can do to advance your career in the social media marketing or start one. If you get specialized in a niche, you will probably know how to master it from different perspectives, and this will give you an advantage over those with ho specialization.
Imagine you are a social media manager specialized in e-commerce for animals: you know how to get in touch with the ideal people, how to talk to them, how to create engaging and converting content, and so on. You will have a unique experience and skill to sell, something that cannot be compared to people that do social media marketing for generic e-commerce, for example.
Also, your skills in a specific niche will help you get paid more: in a world where everyone thinks they can do everything, showing particular skills is a valuable asset and can bring you to the next level.
6. Stay informed
Social media channels come and go, so it’s essential to stay informed and stay flexible. You need to be able to identify the best social media channels for your client, advice on why one is better of another.
To do so, you have to know the differences between social networks, the demographic on each social network, and also the metrics available to measure a campaign. You may end up getting specialized in one or just a couple of social networks, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have to know anything about the others or the upcoming social networks.
Remember that it is your responsibility to advise your client for the best, and to do so, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
7. Choose which platforms to master
The point above brings us to the next point: choosing which platforms to master. Being a social media manager means you want to become proficient at several social media platforms. But if you can learn one or a few of them, you will become way more attractive to companies looking specifically for a manager with your social media skills.
Every platform has its characteristics, and every platform is different from the others: make sure you become a master in the platform you like the most, learn everything about it, and practice.
The more you can demonstrate expertise, the more companies, brands, and individuals will want to avail of your freelancing services as a social media manager.
One of the best things about working with social media is the chance you have to experiment. Experimenting and A/B Testing is a part of the job. It will help you understand what your followers want, how they interact with your brand and your company, and what they do after they’ve interacted on social media.
A/B tests are a fundamental part of this job: you may test different types of content to see what performs better, or different kinds of words to see what’s best perceived, and so on. Experiments are also fundamental for planning paid campaigns on social media.
9. Learn the art of customer service
To provide an excellent social media management service, you need to know how to deal with customers. For many companies and individuals, social media are considered a customer service channel. Even if you treat social media differently, customer service always has to be part of the equation.
According to research from Help Scout, 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad social media experience, and 78% of online customers recommend a brand to friends and other contacts after an excellent customer experience.
So make sure you’re always on top of your game, you know how to respond to customers, how to deal with a crisis, and how to address problems your followers may have.
You want to master the art of being polite while being firm as well, to represent the company at its best.
10. Learn tools and softwares
In social media management knowing tools and software is critical: not only the native tools offered by the major social networks, but external tools that will allow you to maximize your work, measure what you’re doing, and achieve better results.
Spend time learning the best tools to simplify your workflow and make sure you can showcase these skills on your resumé because they can make the difference when looking for a freelance job as a social media manager.
Social networks are not a short term game, and they require commitment and time. You may end up competing with people asking for very little money to do what you do or facing problems in getting engagement. This is all part of the game: social networks have to be considered tools to reach a goal, but mastering these tools require a lot of effort to learn new skills, to get seen, to get results. Stay focused, experiment, learn how to win and how to fail, learn how to sell your skills, and in the long run, your efforts will pay off.
How much freelance social media management pay?
There is no fixed fee in this profession. Some freelancers choose to work for very little money and have several customers, others who instead look for fewer customers to get paid more. I always recommend the second solution, provided that you have the right skills to sell and that you can become vital resources for the company that hires us.
It all comes down to your skills, your experience, and how much you’re willing to risk: the more skilled and specialized you are both in terms of niche and conditions of the social network, and the more companies are willing to pay.
Do social media managers play on Facebook all day?
No, this is everything but true. As explained above, to become a social media manager, you need to have a lot of skills and play in different fields. You have to be a marketer because your role won’t just involve publishing cute images on Facebook. You are asked to create a strategy, implement it, and then measure results. Most of the time, lovely photos don’t bring expected results, and if you don’t have the right skills and the right mindset, you won’t be able to succeed.
Professional social media managers do way more than just coming up with quotes or pictures.
How do I become a social media manager with no experience?
To become a social media manager with no experience, you need to apply the steps above and make everything in your possession to gain strong skills. Show off your work, get in touch with people, apply to jobs and keep learning: you don’t necessarily need a degree in social media management, but you need the skills to do your job correctly.
Is social media management a low pressure and easy job?
Being a social media manager can be hard, but it can also be rewarding and fun: it all depends on how you want to approach it, the company your work for as a freelancer, and your skills. Sometimes this industry can be overwhelming because it’s always changing. Still, if you allow yourself to take time to learn and improve continuously, you will instantly see the results from hard work and dedication.
Once again: this is not an easy game, and you need to be prepared to fail, get rejected, and not achieve the results you wanted to make. But as long as you keep committing, experimenting, improving, you’ll set yourself up for a great freelance career in social media marketing.
Ready to kickstart your career as a Social Media Manager?
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