2020 was a year of personal and professional changes for many content creators and creatives. Most of us saw our work disrupted by an unexpected pandemic that got us locked up in our homes for months and in many cases forced us to stop working while turning to the only thing that connected us with the outside world: social media.
Looking at it from the bright side, it was a year when many brands around the world realized the importance of going digital but most importantly going social. Brands saw the need of having a strong online community in order to survive a period of low or even no sales at all. This is when we see a rise in demand for social media manager roles around the world.
According to the Future of Jobs Survey 2020 by the World Economic Forum, Digital Marketing Specialist roles, which include Social Media Managers, are the number 4 most demanded roles across industries and it has seen a 33% rise in hiring growth since 2019.
So should you be turning to these new opportunities? In this blog post, I am sharing my experience as a freelance social media manager, how to become one, the pros and cons, do’s and don’ts, so make sure to read until the end!
Table of contents
What is Social Media Management?
Before diving into details, let’s go over the basics. What is social media management and what does a social media manager do?
Social Media Management is the role of managing your or someone else's social media presence in channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc
It involves everything from creating a content strategy for each channel, creating content, publishing, tracking it, engaging with online audiences to ensure there is a two-way conversation with users, and staying up to date with the latest social media trends.
A Social Media Manager is the person in charge of handling all these actions and making sure that the strategies that have been implemented are bringing the desired results like audience growth, increasing rates of engagement, brand awareness, lead generation, etc
Some of the main tasks a social media manager will cover on their day-to-day work are:
Setting up social media accounts for brands that still don’t have any social media
Creating a content calendar based on the brand’s marketing calendar, events, and any other important and relevant dates
Community management - replying to comments, private messages, and any other customer issues
Designing images or infographics for social media posts, or creating photos/videos if it has been agreed with the brand
Implementing SEO strategies that are applicable to any social media channel
Creating reports based on data such as traffic, reach, growth, etc
Creating and running ads campaigns
Moderating Facebook groups
Developing a brand identity
Ensuring there is consistent branding along the different channels
What is the difference between a Social Media Manager and a Community Manager?
The role of a Social Media Manager includes managing the online communities for each channel. In many cases, a Community Manager is in charge only of managing the communities, scheduling, and engaging. A Community Manager usually responds to a Social Media Manager.
What skills does a Social Media manager need?
Many people have reached out asking if they need any kind of degree or experience to work as a social media manager. Even though, having a degree used to help to get into the ‘typical corporate job’, nowadays being creative and having copywriting skills is more than enough.
The good news is that as content creators, we already have experience with this, managing and building our own audiences. So why not use this to help other brands achieve their goals?
These are some of the skills you already have, but you might not be aware of as a content creator:
1. Content Management
You already have experience in sharing content on your own channels. As a Social Media Manager, you should be able to manage all content being posted on your client’s social media, and work with other members of the content team to make sure all content is being promoted correctly.
2. Tracking data & analytics
I know, this might seem a bit tedious for many. I am not a fan of numbers either, but if you think about it you have probably been tracking your own data, analyzing it, and using this information to improve. The same applies to social media managers. You will be measuring data such as reach, growth, traffic generated to a specific website or campaign, and use that information to optimize your social media strategies.
You are probably already an expert when it comes to writing captions! You know how to leverage the character limit to convey a message, drive engagement, and generate conversations.
4. Customer Service
In many cases, social media channels are the first place where people come for customer support. Managing a community is something you have been doing since the moment you first started your Instagram or Pinterest account, so this is nothing new to you either. There will certainly be cases in which the customer complaint might escalate, but you can always refer these cases to the customer support team.
Guess what… we are all good at this! Remember when Instagram stories rolled out and many of us were complaining of yet a new feature? Nowadays who doesn’t do stories? Being adaptable means discovering new trends and implement them into your social media strategy. Trends in social media change quite fast, so it’s great to be able to stay ahead of the curve.
How to become a Social Media Manager in 2021?
Becoming a social media manager in 2021 is much easier than it was 7 years ago when I started my career as a social media manager. There are literally tons of tools and resources not only to educate yourself for free but to find job opportunities and projects.