Social media is very quickly becoming the most happening marketing channel out there. Consider all the time you spend on social media. Be it Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or even TikTok! And you aren’t the only one, there are over 3.5 billion active social media users! That’s a whole lot of potential views you can gain to your business by utilising social media the right way.
Many companies have already caught onto this, and realize that if they need to connect with their audience, they need to have an active social media presence. A platform where they can inform their audience about their latest offerings, and answer questions the audience might have about the company. And importantly, also to reach potential new customers.
But, many of these companies and owners don’t have the time or expertise to handle their social media. This is where a social media manager comes in. To help them find new audiences, build that genuine connection and provide businesses with the right exposure through social media channels.
What is a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager is simply someone who helps manage a business social media presence, from bloggers to large corporate companies. As a social media manager, you might be required to manage one or multiple social media channels for another business.
There are affiliate links used on this page. If you use any of the following links to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I do not make any recommendations for products which I have not personally had a positive experience using. Read my full affiliate disclosure here.
What do Social Media Managers Do
Your responsibility as a social media manager is to:
Plan Content and Strategy for Other Businesses
One of the biggest challenges business owners face is deciding what kind of content to put up on their social media channels, and when. As a social media manager, your role starts with the planning of content and strategy.
When planning, keep in mind the brand voice and identity. What kind of content will you be posting? Ideally, you should be posting a mix of content, from informative, engaging posts to sales posts. Make sure all of your content is relevant to the companies industry.
Often, it’s not easy to generate new content every month. Some places you can check out for content ideas are:
- Competition. Look at the top-performing posts of your competitors. Replicate that in your own brand voice. Remember it’s sterling by copying and pasting another company’s post. Ensure to use competitors stickers media channels as inspiration and then create new content based upon these ideas.
- Google Trend Alerts. Open up trend alert on Google related to the topics of your brand. When you do that, you get information on the latest news and updates surrounding that particular topic. Use that to plan your own content.
- Facebook Groups. The amount of information and ideas in Facebook groups are limitless. Follow relevant groups in your niche and you’ll never have to search for inspiration. People ask all kinds of questions via Facebook on a daily basis from meal ideas for kids to the best digital planner. If you search where your ideal client will be, you’ll have an endless supply of content ideas that are guaranteed to provide value to your client’s audience.
- Pinterest. For me, Pinterest is THE source of ideas and inspiration when it comes to anything. You can always find great quotes on Pinterest to use on your page. Plus, Pinterest also has a trends section where you can view the most popular searches and topics to help you build content that people want to see right now. This helps keep your content relevant but also aids for your client to be seen as an expert in their field as you are able to provide solutions to people’s current problems.
If you are just starting out with becoming a social media manager, I highly recommend investing in this social media content calendar. It is jam-packed full of post ideas inspiration, quotes, key events for the year, and different types of posts to help with engagement. Not to mention, This content calendar provides ideas specific to a vast range of different industries so there is something for everyone.
Create Graphics and Write Captions
Some sense of design and aesthetics is called for in your role as a social media manager. However, you don’t have to be the resident Photoshop expert to create high-quality graphics. If there’s one resource I had to recommend to aspiring social media managers, it would definitely be Canva.
With Canva, you can create stunning graphics. Choose from their preexisting templates. Add in the businesses brand colours, logo, and message within a few clicks.
I like to add a lot of useful information in my captions so that every time I post a picture, my followers would want to read the captions. When writing captions, I recommend always adding a call to action or CTA. Your CTA can be a sales message or just a chance to engage with your audience. Something like ‘send me a DM to know more’ or ‘drop a like if you agree’.
Next comes scheduling the graphics and captions you’ve created. When scheduling content, use the scheduler recommended by the social media platform you are using. So for example, it is better to use Creative Studio for Facebook and Instagram, and either Pinterest directly or Tailwind, which is an approved partner with Pinterest.
Try to schedule an entire month’s content in advance so you can focus on engagement and growth.
This is something that many businesses, and even social media managers ignore. They post and schedule the content and then POOF! They disappear.
A huge giveaway to the main purpose of social media is in the name – social! A key part of a business’ strategy on social media is to use it as a way of connecting with your audience. Spend time answering their questions and interacting with them. Get to know your top fans and the people who engage the most with your content. When you engage with your audience, it helps to build a human connection and they are more likely to stick around and recommend your page to their friends and family.
Another key role of engagement is to follow and interact with other people and businesses within your industry. Every day spend 15-30 minutes on at least one social media platform. For Instagram, search and follow hashtags related to your industry. Interact with at least 10 accounts to 9 different related hashtags. Interacting isn’t just about giving them a like on their photo. Leave a meaningful and relevant comment on a couple of their images (do not leave a comment pushing and promoting the business you are managing, this is distasteful and spammy).
For Facebook, join groups and hang out with your audience. Focus on building your audience and demonstrating authority within the industry, answering their questions and being genuinely helpful rather than having an ulterior motive.
How do you know which posts are connecting well with your audience? What posts should you be focusing on to get more exposure and sales?
That’s where analytics helps us. It tells us when to post, what days to post and what to post to help you reach a higher percentage of your active audience. Every week go through your client’s page analytics. Check which posts performed well and repeat variations of the same posts.
Related Post: How to Become a Virtual Assistant: Your Essential Guide
How to Become a Social Media Manager?
If you want to become a social media manager, I would strongly advise that you start by creating your own page. This page will act as your portfolio and should be used to generate more client leads. As a social media manager, you don’t necessarily need a website. You can work on it later once you have a few clients under your belt.
For the first few months, focus all your energy on building that one page. Make it big. Take up courses. Join Facebook groups where other social media managers hang out. Learn from them. Ask lots of questions. You might even get the chance to work as a subcontractor with these social media managers. Or, if you are looking to gain experience, ask if they would like an intern where you can support their business and learn in the process, though do bear in mind that you would be offering your time for free in this instance.
If you think you can handle it, I’d say go for the bigger clients. That’s because one big client reflects better on your portfolio than two or three small ones. If you are still building your experience and expertise, then aim for smaller businesses to help you build your portfolio.
Where to Find Clients?
The big question- finding clients. It’s the chicken and egg dilemma in some ways. You can only show your work is good when you get clients, but you can’t get clients until you show some work. To jump through this loophole, you can start with smaller businesses. Or start by building and growing your own business page. You can also work as a subcontractor for another social media manager, as mentioned above.
Fortunately, there are so many small and medium businesses that are looking for social media managers right at this moment. The industry is so big, you can easily find a few clients in the first few months. Usually, smaller businesses are also more open to working with someone new in the field.
Some places you can find clients are:
I know I’m always recommending Facebook groups, but the reason for that is that they are so valuable. I know so many people who are running successful businesses solely through Facebook groups. Look for groups where entrepreneurs and small business owners hang out. These people are often too busy to handle their social media, or maybe don’t have the expertise of handling it.
LinkedIn is the platform for business owners and professionals. You need to have an exceptional LinkedIn profile to get noticed. Try and invest in a professional headshot to make a good first impression. When writing your bio, use the right keywords. Update your resume and upload your portfolio.
When looking for social media jobs on LinkedIn, I would suggest that you move away from just responding to job opportunities. Make a connection directly with business owners. Approach them with your services and how you can help them after you have built a genuine connection.
If Instagram’s your jam, then you should know that there are still a lot of people who don’t really get Instagram. Which hashtags to use? Which pictures to put up? What captions would get attention? And how to really grow their profile on Instagram.
If you’ve had success with Instagram, make a list of Instagram accounts you’d like to handle. Go for accounts that are almost crossing the 1k mark. These people usually want to step up their game and are more likely to hire a social media manager to do that.
Consider the best niche and audience for you. Start by connecting with these people through comments, and later when you have that connection approach them with your offer.
Look for small business conferences or meetups happening in your area. If you can, attend these events. Take along your business card and a flyer. Talk to others attending and show an interest in their business.
Don’t just give out your card. You would have a better chance of gaining a client by connecting with each business owner directly. Perhaps they do not need to use your service, but, if you have made a positive first impression, your name will be the first they think about when making recommendations to others.
You probably know someone in your friend or family circle who is a business owner, or maybe from your previous job. These people might also know people who are looking for a social media manager. People you already know are highly likely to be more willing to hire or recommend you because they already know you and your work ethic.
Interviews and Guest Posting
If you have good experience with social media management or have information that would be useful to business owners then actively work in building your authority. Participate in other businesses podcasts, interviews or blog posts as a guest. This helps you to extend your reach through someone else’s audience and helps to build your credibility and someone from that audience might even approach you for work.
Top Tips to Succeed as a Social Media Manager
A lot of people want to become social media managers because they use a lot of social media themselves. While that definitely is a big plus in your favour, you also need to go beyond the basics if you want to succeed as a social media manager.
If you ask me, here are my top tips to succeed as a social media manager.
- Take a few social media management courses. Check Facebook’s own blueprint course. Other places to learn on how to become a social media manager are Udemy, Coursera or Hubspot. You can learn a lot from these courses and at the same time have something to show to your prospective clients.
- Figure out your niche. Having a niche will not only make your job easier, but it makes it much easier to get clients. When considering your niche, think of your ideal client. Think of an industry you already have good knowledge about. This could be pet care, parenting, fitness, or even marketing. Once you have your niche, build your social media presence around the niche.
- Create and Grow your Own Social Media Following. Every time you apply for a job, you’ll be asked to show a portfolio. Many newbies make the mistake of working for free for a friend or family member. Instead, I advise that you build your own brand. Your page will always be yours and you can really show your potential client what you can do for them. Plus, when you create your own page, you can pick your own niche.
- Hang out with other social media managers. It doesn’t have to be physical meetups. You can hang out with them virtually. Trust me, you will find oodles of information in such groups. Any time you are stuck, you have a group to help you figure out the solution. I’ve found so many great people in social media groups who are always willing to help out. You might even find a few clients through them.
Resources for Social Media Managers
Just like a handyman needs his tools, social media managers can do their job better when they have access to good resources:
- Canva. I think I’ve already mentioned this one before. Many of us don’t know how to use Photoshop, and plus, it can be expensive especially for a budding social media manager. For the rest of us, there’s Canva. Canva has preexisting templates you can use for your social media posts. These are already sized for the right platform. Canva is super user friendly and easy to navigate. If you are more focused on the engagement side of social media rather than the graphics, there are also plenty of businesses who offer social media templates which can be used within Canva.
- Content Scheduler. We’ve already talked about the benefits of scheduling in advance. For Facebook and Instagram, I would recommend using Facebook’s own platform, Creator Studio. For Pinterest, Tailwind is the best recognised and is an official partner with Pinterest. Hootsuite or Buffer can be used for managing LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Trello. Trello is basically a big pinboard that you can share with your client. Use it to share essential documents like logos and colour codes. You can also create a monthly board to get feedback. I also use it to save inspiration and ideas for the upcoming months.
- Google Trends. Though I’ve already mentioned it before, I’d like to mention it here too. With Google trends, you can open alerts on your niche. For example, you are handling social media for a keto bakery. Open up trend alert for Keto, Nutrition, Keto food, etc. This will not only generate tons of ideas for your social media but will also put on the pulse of the industry.
Social media managers provide a service that is very much in demand and is only going to increase. More and more people are catching on that social media is an excellent marketing method to help them grow their business.
If you are looking to become a social media manager, these top tips will help to give you a good head start.