How To Start Your New Career in Social Media Management

How To Start Your New Career in Social Media Management

Updated August 2, 2020
Reading Time: 5 minutes

💥Have you always dreamed of working in marketing?

💥Do you love working with people?

💥Are you able to work independently?

💥Can you make quick decisions?

💥Do you love writing?

💥Are you creative and organized?

If you answered ‘Yes' to any or all of these questions, you might be ready for a new career in Social Media Management!

What is a Social Media Manager?

A social media manager is someone who represents their clients in their social interactions.

As a social media manager you are responsible for

As you can see, the role of social media manager goes way beyond ‘playing on Facebook' or ‘tweeting out something' or ‘pinning a recipe'. We social media managers have heard this said about our jobs more than once by family or friends who know nothing about what we do. ‘Playing' on social media is not what we do 95% of the time, but of course, we do have fun at times!

via GIPHY

Believe us when we say “Social media management requires focus, skill, hard work, wit, humor, determination, and so much more!”

What You Need To Know Before Choosing Social Media Management as a New Career

Here are our Top 7 truths about social media management, as we know them.

  1. Social media management takes strategy, effort and time.
  2. No, a 16-year-old teenager cannot do the same fine job as a social media manager can.
  3. You need skills to be good at Social media management; skills beyond ‘posting' something.
  4. Job training is recommended by those currently in the field.
  5. A new career in Social Media Management takes dedication, and a desire to learn!
  6. Social media managers should not be expected to work 24/7 and do have a life outside of work.
  7. Marketing interns need to be paid for their time.

Some of the recurring tasks social media marketers are expected to preform on an almost daily basis are related to social media management tools.

That includes knowing how to

  • create content and content calendars
  • schedule posts
  • use a variety of social media networks
  • utilize task management tools

all while using a variety of tools and applications both on desktop as well as on mobile.

Choosing the Social Media Management Career Path

There just isn't one right way to go about becoming a social media manager and starting this new career, there are many!

In a previous article, we debated whether a degree is necessary to have a successful career in social media management and while the opinions were many, the outcome was clear.

No, you do not have to have a degree in marketing to start a new career in social media marketing. While it does help a new social media manager to understand how the client's current social media accounts fit into the overall social media strategy s/he is employing, certification or a degree is not required.

We do highly recommend some sort of in-person or online training and/or on-the-job learning specifically geared towards social media management. Whether you plan to work as a freelancer, are looking for a job at an agency or want to start an agency, everyone has to start somewhere!

Read on to learn more about how you can start your new career!

become a social media manager

How to Start Your New Social Media Management Career

Below we have laid out four paths to a new career in social media management. These are not the only pathways to do it, yet they are the most common ways people get started in our industry. Find out where you might like to start by reading the description of each.

✔️ Internship

One of the most common ways people get started in any new career is through an internship. The social media marketing field is no different. Many universities and colleges facilitate these types of marketing internships with local businesses looking for help with their social media marketing.

We recommend any person looking to work with a business as an intern to keep these questions in mind.

Ask

  • has this business had previous marketing interns?
  • who (job title) will guide and mentor you?
  • what project(s) will you be working on?
  • are there tools you need to get access to and learn about?
  • what task management process, or software, does the marketing team use?
  • how long (weeks/months) can you expect to stay on?
  • how many hours per day/week are you expected to work?
  • what will your compensation be?

Red flags will include not having a set work schedule, expecting to answer and respond to social media after hours and on weekends, not drawing a salary or getting no straight answers about an hourly rate, or not getting guidance on what's expected of you.

First and foremost, if your goal is to learn about social media management while on-the-job, you will need someone to guide you in this process. You will need a mentor or supervisor who is willing to invest time in you.

✔️ Marketing Degree

If you have gone the route of a marketing degree, you will (theoretically) be ready for the role of ‘social media manager'. Some of the same questions still apply as previously mentioned under ‘internship', unless you've already gotten that under your belt and have worked at an agency, or small business before, while in college and have experience working on a marketing team.

With a degree in marketing, you are most likely expected to step up to create and execute marketing campaigns, work on strategy and more. You might also be tasked with digital marketing on top of social media management, which could include things like

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Landing Pages
  • Blog Writing
  • Analytics
  • and more.

✔️ Freelance

Nothing says you can not hang up a sign, or set up a website and become a freelance social media manager.

You do, however, need more than social media management knowledge.

As a freelancer, you essentially need to know how to run a business!

That includes things like

Therefore, if you have the skills to be a social media manager, but not the skills as a freelancer, you need a way to learn more about that first before diving in; otherwise, you will run into many, many client issues, as we see in our Social Media Managers Facebook Group on a daily basis.

We can not stress enough that you need business smarts on top of social media smarts if you want to go this route!

✔️ Agency

If you are ready to roll and start a marketing agency, go for it!

People who start their new career as owners of a social media marketing agency, usually have significant business experience and/or a marketing degree, or experience working for an agency. Setting us this type of business requires you to understand how marketing agencies operate as well as how to scale for success.

An agency can start with one individual but will need to grow quickly if the agency offers all services social media and digital marketing related.

Where Can You Learn The Skills Needed To Get Started With a New Career in Social Media Management?

Glad you asked!

We at Social Media Pro are a training company dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of social media management.

We have courses related to just anything you've read in this article, and more!

Like what you see? Check out all our courses!

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