Know your Facebook from your Twitter? Your Instagram from your Google+? Of course you do, you weren’t born in the 19th century. You know social media inside out. You know how to Tweet, you can put up a Facebook status about Britain’s Got Talent in seconds, and you definitely know which Instagram filter is the best for any occasion. X-Pro II, anyone?
However, pursuing a career as a social media manager is slightly different. Social media managers make sure the company they work for maintain a strong presence on all social media channels. A social media strategy needs to be developed and put into action so that the company reaches its targets and objectives.
Social media managers need to make sure the tone of voice they use is suitable to the audience the company is trying to reach. For example, you wouldn’t expect a top law firm to be posting on Facebook; “Hey legal geezaaaaas! Wanna bit of summer work? Here is when our work experience weeks are happening… get applying y’all!”
Social media managers will also have to build audience, reply to any feedback left in social media comments and work out how to deal with frequently occurring complaints. They will also use social media stats to report on how successful and unsuccessful past social media campaigns have been. On top of this, they will use tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck to schedule social media posts, so that the global audience in different time zones and the night owls among us remain satisfied.
All in all, being a social media manager isn’t just about sitting on Twitter and Facebook all day, posting whenever you like. There’s a whole strategy put in place as part of the marketing outreach to boost sales and audience appeal. The key to doing it well is to make sure posts don’t look like a deliberate sales drive, the message needs to be more subtle and social… it is social media, after all.
Salary & benefits
Starting salaries for those hoping to progress to be a social media manager range between £17,000 to £25,000. Top social media managers can earn anywhere between £25,000 to £80,000.
Social media managers have similar working hours to others in the advertising and marketing world (i.e. between 35 and 40 hours per week). However, when deadlines are approaching or if you need to attend meetings, you may need to work outside normal working hours.
To work in social media you will need a degree or diploma in a related subject, or at least be able to demonstrate relevant work experience if you have not undertaken a directly related course. With social media such a fledgling but flourishing part of advertising and marketing, competition is rife and a degree is almost certainly necessary.
Training & progression
For entry level jobs certain skills are required but on the job training will be provided. You will then gain first-hand experience and be guided by your senior colleagues in the social media team.