What Does a Social Media Manager Do? With Skills and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 January 2023

Published 14 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A social media manager is responsible for developing, managing and updating a company's social media accounts. It's a technological and modern position that many organisations require to keep in contact with their customers, look for new ones and communicate the company's values and objectives. If you want to work in social media, you can first learn about the duties and typical day of a social media manager to determine whether this role aligns with your skills and qualities. In this article, we explain what a social media manager does, the skills you need for this role and how much you can earn working in this position.

What does a social media manager do?

A social media manager's main responsibility is to keep the organisation's social media accounts updated and well-organised, so they represent the company's voice and share their values. A social media manager uses technical knowledge to promote a brand and engage customers. Here are their main duties:

  • Identify the target market and target audience to create social media content on each platform.

  • Reach potential customers that are more likely to engage with the organisation's objectives, products and services.

  • Monitor and respond to customer's questions and issues via social media.

  • Track and report social media trends and engagement.

  • Stay current on trending topics that may increase engagement and user conversion.

  • Develop and monitor social media ads.

  • Practise continuous learning and be constantly updated about changes in methods and algorithms of various social media platforms.

  • Manage social media partnerships with other brands.

  • Generate creative content to post on social media, including text, graphics, polls, images, audio and video.

Related: Creative Thinking: How To Start Thinking Creatively

How much does a social media manager earn per year?

Social media managers can work on a full-time or part-time schedule. They can also work on a contractual basis as freelancers. According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a social media manager is $85,794 per year. The expected salary is based on the number of hours they work, number of social media accounts they manage, level of experience, level of technical knowledge and the organisation. The highest paying cities in Australia for social media managers are:

  • Melbourne

  • Sydney

  • Canberra

  • Surry Hills

  • North Sydney

  • Hawthorn

  • Brisbane

  • Richmond

Related: Understanding the Base Salary in Your Compensation Package

Social media manager education and certifications

A social media manager uses a variety of technological and online tools. Some education and certifications related to social media, social media advertising and content creation may be useful for this career. Here are some education and certifications that can help you expand your knowledge to become a social media manager:

Education

You may start working as a social media manager with a secondary school degree and dedicated social media training, but many hiring managers would prefer at least a bachelor's degree. Related industries include advertising, marketing, psychology and journalism. Other areas of study, such as mathematics, software development and business administration, may also be helpful.

Training and experience

If possible, having real-world experience managing social media accounts can be a great way to begin your career as a social media manager. Many social media managers have experience with each of the most popular social media platforms. You can volunteer to manage local non-profits and charities to learn the essential skills, gain experience in the work placement or by completing a student exchange.

Certifications

Certifications can be useful for a career as a social media manager. They can allow you to develop your skills throughout your career as new platforms emerge and practices evolve. Here are some common certifications you can obtain to expand your skills and become a social media manager:

Social media marketing certifications

Multiple sites host free social media marketing certification courses that can help you understand and use different social media platforms. These courses can help you build an effective social media strategy, set up social listening and moderation, create content, extend your reach, learn about digital advertising and campaign, measure ROI and build awareness. You can also learn how to grow followers, increase engagement and track performance. You can research courses to determine which online certification course includes the skills you wish to develop.

Related: 20 Tips on How To Earn Money From Home

Platform-specific certifications

Aspiring social media managers can also pursue certifications from specific social media platforms. Sites offer certifications for a variety of activities like ad buying, which can help social media managers understand how to spend their advertising budgets. You can identify the skills you want to develop and then research platforms' offerings for specific courses and certifications.

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

Social media mangers will typically need the following skills:

Technology skills

Social media managers spend much of their workday using a computer or smartphone. Therefore, you can develop a strong understanding of how different technology programs and software works, especially social media. Technology skills are highly transferable and can help you work in various positions, regardless of the industry. You can also benefit from an optimal typing speed of more than 60-80 words per minute.

Related: Computer Literacy: What It is And How You Can Improve Yours

Communication skills

Excellent verbal and written communication skills are vital for a social media manager. They communicate with team members and customers on a daily basis, both written text and using a variety of multimedia resources. A social media manager must convey their messages to follow the organisation's voice and avoid any possible misunderstanding or double meanings. To be successful, excellent spelling, grammar and punctuation abilities are also important.

Related: Social Skills: Definition and Examples

Problem-solving skills

Social media managers may be in charge of solving customers' issues in an online setting. They may receive messages and requests for help on social media. Problem-solving skills are essential to deescalate any problem they might encounter while keeping the company's reputation intact.

Project planning skills

A content marketing strategy usually requires extensive planning. Each post on a company's social media page has an intention and a goal. A social media manager can develop strong planning skills to work through every step of a campaign and effectively plan upcoming content. They might also schedule content and decide the best time to post based on user behavior. The industry is constantly changing, so it is essential to plan to adapt to fast changes.

What does a social media manager do all day?

There are a few responsibilities that a social media manager can complete in their typical workday:

  • Identify the target audience. Companies can ensure the success of their product or service by identifying their target audience. A social media manager can help identify the most likely consumers to be interested in what the company offers. They can use many tools to research the target audience and filter different audience segments.

  • Develop and follow a brand voice. This is the process of creating messages that appeal to a company's target audience, so you transmit the company's vision throughout all messages and communication. This can help you communicate why consumers should trust a particular company.

  • Set objectives. A marketing plan defines realistic and quantifiable goals. Social media managers can set objectives in order to plan the upcoming content creation campaign. They can work closely with other organisation's marketing experts to better define the primary goal of each campaign and the results they wish to obtain.

  • Create and follow an engagement strategy. The engagement strategy is one of the most critical tasks, and it's essential to be careful about responding to users' comments. A social media manager can develop knowledge and experience of the sales process or experience in customer service to respond appropriately.

  • Measure and analyse KPIs. As a social media manager, you can track and monitor the most important KPIs (key performance indicators) that matter most to the organisation, such as audience growth, audience engagement, engagement by content type, leads, response rate and negative feedback.

  • Create and develop a solid content strategy. Once you know what a company wants to transmit and who its target customers are, it's vital to plan every post, video, webinar, picture and other resources according to a comprehensive content strategy.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing.

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