Social media management is a fast growing industry. If you're interested in online marketing and you know your tweets from your pins, then a career in social media could be right up your street.
'Interested in a career in social media? Find out all you need to know in this post'
A social media manager is the broad term used to describe someone who handles social media for a company. Depending on where you work and what your exact job role is, social media managers are also known as:
- Social media executives
- Social media consultants
- Social media strategists
Although each of these roles can vary, most involve carrying out similar tasks on a daily basis. The following infographic from course creators MindFlash explains the difference between some of these job roles:
What does a social media manager do?
Social media managers typically spend their day working online, promoting a company's services. However, as a medium, this type of media is less sales-focused than other marketing channels. On a daily basis you will find yourself talking online with customers, promoting blog posts, events and sharing useful information from other users.
Some platforms you could work across include:
- Google Plus
This list isn't exhaustive and the sites that you use will depend on the industry that the company operates in.
Some of the tasks that you could expect to carry out on a daily basis include:
- Updating social platforms with new posts and sharing content from others
- Responding to customer enquiries and handling customer complaints
- Keeping track of mentions of your company
- Searching for interesting posts to share with your followers
- Promoting events and special offers and running competitions
- Sharing industry news
- Developing strategies to increase customer engagement
- Training other people in the company how to use platforms
What Qualifications do you need to become a social media executive?
In some cases, you don't need any qualifications to become a social media executive. Social media is something that you can learn on your own through practice or by taking courses online. However, in order to find a job in social media with a large organisation, you will need to show that you have knowledge, understanding and experience in marketing.
Some qualifications that will help you find a job in social media include:
- City and Guilds Level 3/4 Diploma in Social Media
- The IDM Professional Certificate in Social Media (Cert SocM)
- A digital marketing qualification from the Open University
- An HNC/HND in Communications
- A degree in Marketing and Communications
What skills do I need?
To become a social media executive, you need to have a range of skills as well as being good with IT. Some skills you'll need to work in social media management include:
First and foremost, your job as a social media executive will require you to deliver messages to people in a certain way. You'll need to be able to communicate through writing by using a specific tone of voice that reflects your company's brand.
Having good computer literacy will certainly come in useful for a career as a social media executive. You'll need to be able to find your way round the various social platforms and have good troubleshooting skills if you come across any technical problems.
Whether you're working as a social media strategist, executive or consultant, a large portion of your work will involved writing. You'll need to create plans and write progress reports as well as posting content online.
As a social media consultant, you may find yourself working freelance for several companies at once. If you're working remotely as a social media consultant, it's essential that you have good interpersonal skills as not only will you be engaging with customers, but you'll likely have regular contact with internal business and marketing managers.
For more information about the skills that you need to become a social media consultant, check out this video from marketing YouTube channel How to Rule the Web:
How much do social media managers earn?
According to the website Payscale.org, a social media manager earns an average salary of £25,407 per year, which is slightly above the national average.
As a freelancer, your earnings potential may differ from this depending on whether you work full or part-time and how many clients your have.
Social media training and courses
There are a range of social media training courses out there. Some are online, while others are location-specific. As we mentioned earlier, there are various qualifications that you can gain, so it's worthwhile finding a course that will give you a qualification. Some of the best social media training courses in the UK are provided by:
For more information on how to become a digital marketing manager, check out our Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations career zone.