How to Become a Social Media Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming a Social Media Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Social Media Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Social Media Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Social Media Manager

If you enjoy taking charge of a company's online advertising presence, you might be interested in a rewarding role as a social media manager. Learn more about this career in digital marketing and follow these steps:

Examine your personality traits.

Before you launch your career in social media management, it's essential to know if you have the right stuff. This job revolves around helping companies successfully engage their audience. It can be an attractive career for many who have the essential soft skills to succeed. Not only do you have the ability to connect with just about anyone and you thrive in an ever-changing environment, you're also:

  • Adaptable.
  • A team player.
  • A multitasker.
  • Artistic.
  • Efficient.
  • Organized.
  • Tech-savvy.

Educate yourself.

There's more than one way to learn how to be a social media manager. Some employers require their candidates to have a bachelor's or even a master's degree from a traditional university in fields like:

  • Advertising.
  • Journalism.
  • Marketing.
  • Media.
  • Communications.
  • Business.
  • Public relations.

However, many marketers have no formal education. It is possible to pick up the job-ready knowledge and skills within months instead of years. You'll hit the ground running with all the practice skills you need through numerous self-study paths. Take online marketing classes on websites like SkillShare or attend a digital coding BootCamp. You'll develop loads of employable technical skills that you can showcase to headhunters, like:

  • Content management.
  • Data analysis and analytics.
  • Copywriting.
  • Customer service.
  • Budgeting.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Social Media Manager?

96% of people working as a Social Media Manager earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Social Media Manager?

  • Adobe Indesign
  • Photoshop
  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Written Communication
  • Microsoft Office
  • Content Management Systems
  • Critical Thinking
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Social Media Manager in the United States.

Build a stellar digital marketing portfolio.

Think of your digital marketing portfolio as the bulk of your technical resume. This step is essential to land your dream job in social media. So start building your portfolio right away, and don't discount personal life. Everyday experiences are opportunities to wow companies with your expertise.

While promoting your hobbies on Twitter may not draw in a top recruiter, it will add value to your resume. Even hosting a weekly chat about the latest best-selling paperback demonstrates that you know how to lead a digital conversation. Just remember to steer clear of anything that may prove embarrassing in the long run.


Start your job search.

Embarking on your path to find a social media manager job may feel a bit daunting. Career experts offer informative guides that mention preparation, organization, and the best places to go for current listings. Be prepared with a:

  • Polished resume.
  • Digital portfolio.
  • List of references.

Prepare for that big interview.

Make sure you stand out from other social media manager applicants by having a few exceptional things in your tool kit, like:

  • Volunteer experience managing a school or non-profit's social media accounts.
  • A sample blog you created for the company that's interviewing you.
  • Expertise in multiple social media management platforms beyond the freebies, like Facebook.

Social Media Manager Career Path

Social Media Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$50K - $82K /yrMost Likely Range
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14% advanced to

Senior Social Media Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$64K - $107K /yrMost Likely Range
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Lead Social Media Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
$62K - $100K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Social Media Manager Career Path

Summer Intern Social Media Manager
Social Media Manager
Senior Social Media Manager
Lead Social Media Manager
Associate Director of Social Media
Director of Social Media
Senior Director of Social Media
Vice President of Social Media
Executive Social Media Manager
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Related Careers in the Media & Communications Industry

Interested in other Media & Communications careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Social Media Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Social Media Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Media Coordinator
25% skills overlap
20% transitioned to Media Coordinator