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Social media manager Social media strategist, social media specialist, online community manager, social media marketing manager

Social media managers communicate with organisations’ customers and clients through social media channels. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £23,000 to £75,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements but some employers may expect you to have a degree. Relevant subjects include:

  • advertising
  • media and communications
  • digital marketing
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • business management

You could get into this job without a degree if you have the skills and experience in areas like marketing, advertising or PR. 

You can do college courses in social media and business. 

You could also start as an assistant manager and work your way up. 

You’ll usually need some knowledge and experience of social media. To get experience you could:

  • manage your own social media profiles
  • volunteer to manage social media for a charitable organisation
  • ask to get involved in social media sites of the company you already work for
You’ll need excellent IT skills as you’ll be using social media software and tools. You’ll also need knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) methods and ‘key’ or ‘searched for’ words to drive more users to your social media site.

Experience of graphic design and digital editing software can help. You can use these skills to make your social media posts better by adding videos, photos and infographics.

You could get into this job through a creative and digital media apprenticeship.

iCould has a video interview with a social media assistant.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • an eye for detail and the ability to work accurately
  • the ability to deal with more than one task at a time
  • creativity
  • presentation skills
  • an analytical approach to data
  • writing skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll monitor and upload content to sites like:

  • Facebook and Twitter
  • Instagram and Pinterest
  • YouTube and Vine

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • updating social media sites
  • writing blogs, articles and posts
  • responding to social media posts and developing discussions
  • checking online for company mentions and customer feedback
  • searching for interesting posts, news and articles to attract site visitors
  • overseeing competitions and campaigns promoting your company
  • taking part in conferences and group chat relevant to your industry or company
  • educating other staff on social media use
  • promoting social media use within your company
  • developing strategies to increase your audience
  • using social media tools like Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Buffer to manage multiple sites
  • using web tracking tools like Google Analytics, Social Report or Bitly

4. Salary

Starter: £23,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £75,000 (head social media manager)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work normal office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may need to work evenings and weekends when working on a campaign or with deadlines.

If you’re freelance, you may work longer hours depending on the needs of your clients and the amount of work you take on.

You’ll be based in an office and spend a lot of time working on a computer. You may also attend meetings and make presentations about your work to clients or colleagues.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into managing social media for larger companies or progress to a senior or head social media manager job.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016