Let’s talk about a profession that didn’t even exist 20 years ago but became extremely popular and important
in the last decade - social media manager. Instagram
, and YouTube
, as well as other social networks, became a workplace for many people. If you can’t imagine your life without social media, if you spend hours per day checking news feeds, if you’re curious about new trends in media - consider starting a career as a social media manager and turning your passion into a job.
What does a social media manager do?
Social media managers promote a service, a product or even a person using social media platforms. He/she creates marketing and promotional campaigns
for the company or an individual, knows the target audiences of different platforms and manages social media. In short, the SMM specialist is the one who’s responsible for keeping a brand or a product present on social media platforms.
But it isn’t just about posting pictures and texts
on the company’s page on Instagram or Facebook, it’s about creating a strategy and “a face” or “a voice” of the company. Good social media manager knows what people want to see and read, when they want to do it and how to keep their interest. How? They analyze users' behavior based on what they like or dislike, where they click, what they share and comment.
Social media managers are also in constant communication with the audience
: they reply to messages and comments. In general, good communication skills are the golden key for SMM specialists as they also need to collaborate with other companies and brands and establish partnerships.
Social media managers may work in a company or as freelancers. The second option is becoming more and more popular as it allows SMM specialists to work from any place and also with more than one company. Usually, they work in a tight unit with other departments such as content management, public relations, design, marketing. As previously mentioned, social media managers are often seen as a company's voice which means that they need to know about all news and updates to be able to present them to users and to find the best way to promote them.
Here are just some of the social media manager tasks and responsibilities:
Identify the target audience for the product
Create a short-term and a long-term strategy - own for every social media the company uses
Create and implement a marketing plan and a content schedule
Manage social media platforms daily according to the plan and strategy
Learn what topics are relevant to the company’s target audience
Create or control the creation of all content that is published in social media (texts, images, video, audio, etc.)
Respond to users messages and comments
Monitor customers reviews and feedback
Design advertisement campaigns and manage them
Write reports to show the results
Be aware of new trends, tools, platforms, etc.
Analyze and learn from best practices
Know what people want and know how to turn those who like the product to those who are ready to support it, both financially and by spreading the information
Maybe you’ve already seen this picture
created by Meltwater. If you haven’t - check it right now to understand if this job is right for you. If you are not terrified by it - congratulations, you would be a perfect social media manager!
How much does a social media manager earn?
There are different options to charge a company you’re working for: hourly, monthly, per project or in advance. All of them have pros and cons - for instance, a fixed monthly salary is convenient but it’s only paid once per month. However, there is an average sum you can look at to understand what to expect from this position.
, the average yearly salary for the social media manager is pretty good - around €34,180. That is valid both for office workers and freelancers. In France
the numbers are even better - €38,794 and $50,611 accordingly but don’t forget that fees and expenses may also be higher. A similar amount is offered in the US
(almost $45K) and the UK
(£25K). In the south part of Europe, the average salary in this position is a bit less than in other countries- in Italy
the SMM specialist earns about €21K per year, in Spain
- €22K. What about the East? In Romania
, the average monthly salary is 14,000 RON (about €2,900) and in Poland
, it is 16,300 PLN (almost €3,800).
As usual, it depends on one’s experience, the size of the company, the quality of job and results but in general, you can see that it’s possible to live well on SMM specialist salary.
Skills and characteristics you need to have to work in SMM
The first and main skill is to know and love social media. It may seem obvious but you should know and understand the differences
between Facebook, YouTube, Twitter
, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, as well as be able to see what your audience needs from each platform. You should be active and passionate about posting and communicating with your followers.
If you wonder how the Au Pair's experience
can help you to find a job in SMM we can reassure you that you have many skills that make great social media managers. Check them out:
Want to know more about other potential jobs after the Au Pair stay? Then read more in our job series.
Communication - knowing how to answer the customers' questions, how to solve conflicts if they appear and how to cooperate with other market players.
Creativity - a SMM specialist has to contribute with new ideas and new visions on how the product should be presented in social media.
Copywriting and good visual taste - online content is a mix of written (short posts, picture descriptions, long texts, etc) and visual (photos, infographics, videos, memes and so on) content. It’s good to know that there are slightly different style requirements for each social media platform. Instagram and Snapchat are more informal and fun while LinkedIn and Facebook could be more professional-oriented.
Flexibility and adaptivity - the online world moves with a cosmic speed so it’s crucial to be flexible and to be able to adapt to new requirements, trends or tools.
Hard skills (SEO, budget, traditional marketing) - knowing how much could the advertisement or creating of visual content cost, understanding the principles of SEO as well as how to use Google Analytics and how to make a keyword research, - these skills will make you more than a social media manager but unique multiskilled specialist who can work independently.
(Self) organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines - no need to explain these characteristics.
Teamwork - as you most probably will work closely with others, this is an important skill to make everyone comfortable in a team and to be able to share responsibilities and to delegate tasks.
Ability to learn fast and to “predict the future” - new platforms are created if not every day then every month, and it is important to learn how they work and to see if they have potential.