How To Become a Social Media Manager

Social media management is a growing industry. With the increase in social media platforms, it’s no surprise that more people are turning to this profession to manage their company’s digital presence. But what does it take to become a Social Media Manager? And how do you know if this is the right career for you?

This article will explore all of these questions and more.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manager is responsible for creating and executing a company’s social media strategy. For example, your job may be to come up with the right content to post on Facebook or Twitter while also working with other teams at your company to see how their marketing campaigns can work together with your own strategies.

The day-to-day may involve planning and executing social media campaigns, monitoring mentions of your company online, writing social copy to drive traffic to the company website, or responding to customer inquiries.

Many social media managers work in-house, but more and more companies are allowing for remote work positions. Unless you have a position where you are required to create content on-site, there are not many reasons why you shouldn’t be able to work from home as a social media manager.

What skills do you need to become a social media manager?

A strong grasp of social media platforms

You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have a good understanding of all the major platforms and how they work. For example, know what types of content perform well on each one: Twitter thrives on updates with images, Snapchat is very casual and brief, LinkedIn is for professional updates, and Facebook is collaborative.

Know your audience

It’s essential that you understand what social media audiences want to see and what they engage with the most. If you don’t pay attention to this, audiences will feel like your posts are just another form of spam or advertisement. Clearly define who your target market is and create content for them only.

Being a social media manager also means staying on top of the latest social media trends as they develop. Know what’s going on in your space and stay informed about what other companies are doing to succeed.

If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all three of these criteria, then you may not be cut out to be a social media manager.

How Are Social Media Managers Paid?

Social media managers typically make an hourly wage or a salary. Many work part-time, but the number of people working on a full-time basis is growing.

While companies hire social media managers to work for them on a part-time or full-time basis, many also employ freelancers to manage the workload with their internal marketing team.

Freelance social media managers may have anywhere from one to ten years of experience under their belts, and they often manage a number of different clients at once.

These freelancers can be paid on an hourly rate, project basis, or on a monthly retainer for a specific amount of hours worked.

How Much Does a Social Media Manager Make?

The salary for a social media manager is generally between $34,000 and $88,000.

Of course, this figure will vary depending on the company you work for, your experience level, and your location. For example, a social media manager in New York City will make considerably more than one in Nebraska.

Freelance social media managers can earn anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour. Freelancers with a lot of experience will typically be paid a higher hourly rate, but that is not always the case.

If you have a good track record, work with clients accustomed to paying a premium for premium service, and provide more than just the basic you can also earn a more premium rate.

How To Become A Social Media Manager

How To Become a Social Media Manager In 2022

If you want to become a social media manager in the near future, it’s important that you start building your portfolio now. Social media is a great way to get started in marketing as you do not necessarily need a degree (although it definitely does help companies that need to “check the box”)

To become a social media manager:

Build your portfolio

Start building up a portfolio of social media content that you have created for brands. Do not make this about quantity, instead ensure the quality is consistent and high-level so that companies have faith in what you are creating for them.

Network with other marketers

Expand your professional network by joining local meetups and conferences related to marketing and social media. Keep up with what is happening in the space by reading industry blogs and publications.

Keep your skills sharp

When you are not running campaigns for clients, start building your own personal brand on social platforms like YouTube and Instagram. This will help you grow a following and – most importantly – allow you to demonstrate your expertise when it comes time to discuss compensation.

Market yourself

If you are looking for a full-time position, apply to open positions, and apply at companies you love. Your passion can help you land a job and the hiring managers should be able to recognize your enthusiasm. If you are looking to build your brand as a freelance social media manager, create an online portfolio listing your services and make sure this is findable on search engines, and of course, social media.

Collect referrals and testimonials

If a company has used your services, ask for a testimonial. If you are working as a freelancer, collect referrals from happy clients so that they can vouch for you when you reach out to their contacts. While your portfolio of work can often speak for itself, sometimes nothing beats a good old-fashioned recommendation from a current or former customer.

Best Free Social Media Manager Tools

There are hundreds, if not thousands of different social media management tools available to assist marketers in their efforts.

Unfortunately, many of these tools come at a cost and this can be hard for smaller marketing teams on tight budgets, or even individuals just starting out. However, there are plenty of free options that allow you to effectively manage your time and efforts across multiple platforms.

Facebook Business Suite

Facebook’s Business Suite is free to Facebook page admins regardless of the size of your page’s following. With the Business Suite, you can easily schedule posts, collaborate with team members, monitor page mentions, and more.

As a bonus, you can also manage a linked Instagram page, where you can also schedule, collaborate, answer messages, and more.


TubeBuddy is a free browser extension that allows you to take control of all aspects of your client’s YouTube channel.

You can use it to find the best keywords, optimize existing videos, find great content ideas and follow the trends in your niche, among many other useful features.


Canva is an all-in-one graphic design platform that allows marketers to create and share visual content easily. The Canva app comes with hundreds of templates for popular social media networks, making it easy to take your visual marketing game to the next level.

You do not need any graphic design experience to create beautiful social media images, and you can even create engaging social videos for free.


Loom is a great way to create a quick how-to video to share on social media, you can add your face to make the brand more personal and help your audience all at the same time.

Here are some great Loom alternatives to also look into.


Streamlabs can also be used for screen recording, but their main strength lies in Live-streaming.

While not many social media managers working on a freelance basis will be doing live streams, it can be a great way for full-time social media managers to increase the reach of the company they’re working for.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool that helps you monitor the web for mentions of your brand, client, or business across Google search, YouTube, news, and more.

This can be particularly valuable for social media managers constantly updating their network with fresh new content. It can also help you keep up to date with what your audience discusses relating to your client’s brand.


Tweetdeck is an online desktop app that lets you track and manage multiple Twitter accounts in one place. You can also monitor the tweets your clients have scheduled to send out, which can be highly informative for understanding how their audience interacts with them online.

This is a must-have for staying on top of multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously.

There are some Tweetdeck alternatives out there as well, but generally, Tweetdeck is the best option for Twitter.

Top Websites To Find Social Media Manager Jobs

The Internet is home to thousands of job boards, many of which are focused on the marketing industry. If you’re looking for a full-time position or just starting as a social media manager, you can use these sites to find vacancies that suit your skills and experience.

  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • FlexJobs

If you’re looking for remote work as a social media manager, check out this comprehensive list of over 45 remote job sites to find work.

How To Get Clients As a Freelance Social Media Manager

Once you’ve created your portfolio and updated it with examples of your work, it’s time to start building up a client list.

The first thing you need is some great samples to show potential clients. There are many ways for you to do this. My favorite would be to run your own profiles and use them as proof, but you can also offer to manage accounts for businesses at a cut-rate when starting out, or even for free for a limited time.

Once you know what you want to offer clients, and have some examples to back it up, it’s time for outreach.

You can register a profile on sites like UpWork, Fiverr, etc., and wait for businesses to come to you, but this can often take time and you only really get the ball rolling nicely once you are more established on your platform of choice. You can set up profiles, but to get the ball rolling today, it’s time for outreach.

Often when starting out it is best to focus on local businesses in your area. You can choose to niche down, but for local businesses, this is not all that necessary (unless you’re in a large metropolitan with a lot of competition, in which case, pick a type of local business you want to start serving).

Now it’s just a matter of doing outreach, this can be cold calling, visiting the business in person, email, or even contact over social networks. You can find local businesses that could use your help quite easily. Tools like the Facebook Ads library can show you what businesses in your area are running ads, and Google can provide a long list of local businesses nearby.

It’s your job to find the companies that have a lot of potential and then reach out to them. Business owners want to know how you can make them more money, so keep that in mind.

Freelance Social Media Manager Rates

When you’re just starting out, it can be a good idea to offer very low prices in order to build up a portfolio and client base. Once you have some experience, however, it’s time to start thinking about how much money you need to earn every month.

This is obviously based on many different factors – location, expenses/savings, and many more. As a freelancer, you need to factor in additional costs for running your business as well. This could include things like office space, health insurance, a retirement plan, accident insurance, accounting, software and tools, business insurance, internet costs, business cards, marketing, tax, electricity, savings, etc.

Once you know all of your monthly expenses, you can establish the minimum rate you should charge depending on how many clients you can handle and/or find.

Final thoughts on becoming a social media manager

To become a social media manager you should be able to use the various platforms and networks that are available. You have to know how they work in order for your company or organization’s content to reach more people.

The most successful social media managers don’t just post content but interact with other users as well so it’s important not only to share information but respond when others ask questions too!

Becoming a social media manager can be a very exciting position, and a lot more accessible than you may have thought. I hope this article has helped answer any questions you may have had about becoming a social media manager and can guide you along on your journey.

David Woutersen

Article by

David Woutersen

David is the founder of and has been in the social media industry since 2017. Since then, his mission has been to help others take control of their online presence. For some, this has been earning an income online; for others, it's teaching how to use social networks more effectively. And each year, he continues to help millions with strategy, troubleshooting, and inspiration.

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