Since I started my journey of becoming a social media manager a couple of years ago, I’ve read up on what it entails. I’ve done numerous courses. I’ve even got certified as a digital marketer. But these days it seems that every John and Susie who can operate Facebook and Instagram remotely deems themselves able to be social media managers. In this article, I will try and summarise the role of a social media manager, the qualifications they need and address the skills needed.
A social media manager looks after a company/organisation’s social media channels.
It is important to realise that you are not the social media marketer (that is a completely different role). You are a social media manager. You will deal with the company’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. channels. But, that said, a lot of companies expect you to be both, carrying the title of the social media manager. Therefore we will continue to speak of both roles as if it is the same role.
Lumen5 defines social media managers (SMM’s) as “professionals who monitor, engage, measure and guide the social wing for a brand.” SMM’s form part of the marketing team. They don’t just post pretty photos to Facebook/Instagram. They use their marketing and branding knowledge.
The duties of a social media manager
- Social Listening. Monitoring and responding to customer service and reputation issues on the social web.
- Social Influencing. Establishing authority on the social web, often through the distribution and sharing of engaging content.
- Social Networking. Finding and associating with authoritative and influential individuals and brands on the social web.
- Social Selling. Generating leads and sales from existing customers and prospects on the social web.
What do I need to do to become a social media manager?
According to UCAS “formal qualifications are not necessarily required, (but) some employers may expect you to have a degree.”
- Technical ability
- Time management
- Customer service
- Interpersonal skills
It is important to realise that, although an SMM is barely seen, the job of the SMM is of critical importance. If you consider following a career in social media marketing or you are already one, but needs to broaden your knowledge, consider the following:
- Consider a degree in communications or marketing,
- Stay on top of all tech and tools in the industry,
- Remember, you are always watched,
- Never stop learning and adapting,
- Demonstrate good time management.
- Social Media Manager. UCAS. https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/social-media-manager. Accessed on 14 June 2020.
- How to become a social media manager. Alex Uifalean. 2019, May 7. https://lumen5.com/learn/social-media-manager/. Accessed on 14 June 2020.
- Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager: Which hire is best for your business. Suzie Nelson. 2016, June 29. https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/community-manager-vs-social-media-manager/. Accessed on 14 June 2020.
- 10 Pro Tips on How to Become a Social Media Manager. Samantha Bonanno. 2019, November 13. https://blog.capterra.com/how-to-become-a-social-media-manager/. Accessed on 14 June 2020.