Even as you read this article it is likely that you have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter open in the background. Social media is no longer just a means of connecting with friends and families, but also businesses. It has transformed from a place for individuals to interact on a personal level to a medium where it is an integral part of professional lives. In 2005, just 5% of American adults used social media. By 2011 it was more than half of the population, and by 2021 72% of the public is using some platform of social media.
Social media personalities became celebrities through these platforms, giving their life a 180-degree turn. Companies use social media to market their products. Meme pages too have become a source of revenue by posting promotional content. With social media becoming increasingly important, demand for social media managers arises.
A social media manager is an individual who posts content in light of the trends on the platform and looks after a company’s interactions with the public through implementing content strategies on social media platforms.
What are the skill requirements?
In the United States of America, the average base salary of social media managers is around $20.78 per hour. This leads up to an estimate of $56,000 per annum while other research showed that these managers can earn an average of $71,191 per annum. While the job is rewarding, it also comes with its responsibilities.
“So, all I have to do is post on someone else’s behalf, and I get paid?” If this is what you are thinking as you read this article, it’s really not that simple.
A social media manager is responsible for analyzing engagement data, identifying trends in customer interactions, and planning digital campaigns to build an online community accordingly.
“So, what exactly must I know to become a social media manager?” Well, you would need a basic understanding of all popular social media platforms that you would be expected to handle, be it Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
You should also know exactly the message your employer is trying to communicate to the audience. If your audience is concerned for their health, you would have to adopt a serious tone and give them statistics that are authentic figures to give them the knowledge they need and to obtain their trust. On the other hand, if you have to market a new phone to the youth, a relevant meme may do the job for you- or you may need to provide phone specifics depending on the tone of your social media account. Not only to understand your audience but you are also expected to come up with engaging and interactive content to increase your reach on these platforms. Hence, an understanding and analytical abilities to plan content are crucial.
How to get starter experience
Academically, a degree in marketing, journalism, English, or journalism is the career path social media managers take but the most essential feature of becoming a social media manager is experience.
To start in any business, you must start from scratch and a social media manager role is no different. Entry-level jobs such as social media associate, digital content producer, and social media coordinator require just a basic understanding of social media apps and help you obtain knowledge about the industry.
Moreover, people also tend to take online courses on becoming social media managers. It helps in obtaining the necessary skills before joining the field instead of learning at the job.
Which skills are most popular?
Now that you know who a social media manager is, what is required of you to become a manager and how much they earn, now you need to know what skills the job requires of you.
Working remotely, effective communication skills are all the more important- to connect with your employer as well the audience. There may be a conflict of interest between you and your employer, but you should not let it blind you from the fact that you are only a representative of that organization and should set professional and personal feelings aside. It is important to have an open mind when it comes to representation and posting content that is not meant for your social media but a brand’s. It is important to realize the difference between your own voice and the people you are actually speaking for.
You are the voice between a brand and the audience. Your brand can be a company as well as an individual, hence it would not be an exaggeration to say that the image of your brand is in your hands. Everything you post will reflect directly on your employer so you should be careful about how you post anything. You are entirely responsible for a brand’s reputation and that is a big responsibility to carry- one that should not be taken unless you are confident that you can meet the job’s expectations.
At your job, you should phrase your words carefully so things cannot be taken out of context. You do not want your audience to get the wrong message because of minor neglect on your part. Additionally, you should be aware of the demographics of the majority of your audience- what areas they belong to, their gender, and their socio-economic background.
Most importantly, you should be creative. You should be able to use quick and witty humor if your employer allows it and it should be original. Your content should be engaging for the community you yourself have built but should also be careful not to undermine any class, gender, or racial group. It is important to be mindful of all groups.
While there is an increasing trend of hiring remote social media managers, the role comes with its responsibilities. Understanding the brand that you are working with, your audience, and your employer is crucial. But with this understanding, and of the social media platforms themselves, it is easy to get a job as a remote social media manager.