Becoming A Social Media Manager With No Experience
Social media managers work for businesses and brands, representing them on multiple social channels. They have to run social media accounts, create content, respond to comments, and, overall, represent the brand.
It can be a demanding job since social media is always up and running. Social media managers also have to stay aware of current trends because certain events can impact what they post.
A little over a decade ago, this job was nonexistent. Social media was not a thing, and even during social media’s dawn of existence, many business owners believed it would not be necessary for them.
Obviously, they were incorrect. Social media dramatically influences the number of customers, a company’s advertisement, and more.
Therefore, is a degree necessary for a job so influential in the success of a business? What are the steps to becoming a social media manager?
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Is a Degree Required to Become a Social Media Manager?
You do not necessarily need a degree to work in social media management; however, some employers do look to see that you have some sort of education in this field.
Having a degree shows that you have higher education and a basic understanding of working in a professional field.
If you do not have a degree, but have plenty of experience, then you are just as qualified to work as a social media manager. Although, it depends on how much experience you have.
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When hiring a social media manager, employers look to see who has the knowledge and ability to represent their company’s brand in a respectful, creative, and informed manner.
Some employers may even prefer experience over degree. However, the process of getting involved in working with social media marketing can be confusing- especially if you lack knowledge in the field.
Responsibilities of a Social Media Manager
Social media managers have several responsibilities throughout their workday that require specific skills. The first and most influential is communication.
As they say- communication is key, and this has never been more apparent than in the field of social media management. You must be able to post on social media mindfully and creatively. You represent a brand, so communication is critical.
You must also be creative. Often, employers want a social media manager who can engage with customers through visual design and appealing language.
Social media marketing is all about mixing things up and being creative, all while paying attention to current trends and events.
You may also have to engage in customer service. Keeping a friendly and upbeat dialogue with customers through social media can help brands thrive.
Finally, a social media manager knows their technology. This career revolves around being online, so you must understand the latest technology and trends.
Without the proper knowledge of internet lingo and essential technological functions, you simply cannot do the job correctly.
How to Become a Social Media Manager with No Experience
In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is essential to work as a social media manager. However, the experience is also crucial.
There are several skills you need to become an effective and creative communicator online. If you are someone with no experience in social media marketing, you may want to investigate getting a college degree.
This can jump-start your path to becoming a social media manager with set guidelines and an internship.
If you are someone who enjoys taking classes and learning the traditional way, then having a college degree in marketing, communications, and more, can be the best option for getting some experience under your belt.
Some employers seeking social media managers say that a college degree is not necessary. More importantly, that experience is a must.
One way to get started in social media marketing with little experience is by being a self-starter. Look up basic design and communication videos, and then apply it to some of your own work.
You can take marketing classes online that give you more experience. Start your own website, add to it, and show off your evolving skills. Having a presence online can also help you adapt to ever-changing internet functions and languages.
Since the need for social media managers becomes more popular, some programs offer certificates related to online social media marketing. You could obtain a certificate in interactive marketing techniques or social media analytics to help gain more knowledge on the subject.
Without a degree, it can be hard to become a social media manager, but it is not impossible. With motivation and perseverance, you can obtain the necessary experience to get involved in social media management.
How Much Does A Social Media Manager Get Paid?
The average base pay for a social media manager is around $50,000/year. There is a huge range of pay though depending on your experience level and whether you’re self-employed.
If you’re a go-getter and work well independently, then you’re probably better of starting your own solo social media management company. This walks you through the steps and shows you how you can make even $10k/month, despite starting as a complete beginner.
How To Become A Freelance Social Media Manager
A freelance social media manager works for themselves and takes on clients on a case by case basis. As a freelancer, you’re considered an independent contractor.
The good thing is that you can make your own hours and pick up as much work as you can book. There are job boards where companies list their social media management needs.
This is THE program I recommend for starting out as a freelance social media manager. It’s not expensive and the students get results. Plus, it’s taught by a world-class social media manager who doesn’t have a degree either yet has built a multi-million dollar social media management company.
You’ll learn how to gain experience, pitch clients, have access to business templates, a supportive community, and live Q&A sessions. Even if you currently have a full-time job, you can still work this part-time until you build enough clients to switch over full-time.
This also is a good option for stay at home moms who know social media platforms. Social media management not for you? Check out these additional stay at home jobs.
Social Media United is also scalable so you can build your freelance side hustle into a full-fledged social media management company. You get access to all of the training for an entire 7 days for only $1.
Why would a company hire a freelance social media manager?
You may be wondering why a company wouldn’t just hire an employee to manage their social media. Why would they hire a freelancer for the job?
Often, if a company is a small business or their just getting started with social media, they don’t want to hire a full-time employee. They’d rather pay for the hours’ someone worked on a contract basis.
Also, social media is a specialty. If you have proven work on Instagram and get clients excellent results, companies will be more willing to hire a proven specialist rather than taking a gamble with someone who knows a little bit of everything.
Is a Degree Beneficial for Working in Social Media Management?
Having a degree can be very beneficial if you want to break into the social media field, especially if you want to start as a full-time employee for a company.
Displaying a degree on your resume shows employers that you have proper preparation for working in social media management. Plus, there are other skills needed for this career that basic college classes teach.
First, effective communication- through reading and writing- is vital when working with social media.
Having a college degree proves that you completed four years of successfully writing reports and effectively communicating your knowledge. It also demonstrates that you have the skills to research, read, and write at the college level.
A college degree also proves that you have some sort of dedication and perseverance for having completed all four years of college. Obtaining a degree is not an easy feat, so having it on your resume just sheds a little light on your persistence and work ethic.
Additionally, most colleges require their students to complete an internship before graduating. This also shows you have experience.
What Kind of Degree Is Best?
Unfortunately, a social media management degree does not exists. Luckily, multiple programs can help you become a social media manager.
Since communication, design, and customer interaction are all major components to social media management, you can choose from many curricula.
Many employers recommend marketing as a great degree for social media managers. If this does not interest you, then Public Relations, Graphic Design, Web Design, English, Communications, Journalism, and Business Administration are other options that are suitable.
Marketing is an excellent degree for social media management. It does not directly lead you to become a social media manager, but it can create a clear path into the career.
Obtaining a degree in marketing shows that you have a good level of understanding of market strategies.
Digital marketing is essential when it comes to being a social media manager, so having a marketing degree and having experience working with marketing can be a significant factor in your journey to getting started in social media management.
As long as you have a degree that relates to digital marketing, you can get started working as a social media manager more efficiently. You have the knowledge and basic skills needed for working online and with other people.
How to Become a Social Media Manager with a Degree
If you have a bachelor’s degree- or higher, then you can work your way into social media management with the proper skills and expertise.
Most employers want you to have some prior experience with working online in digital marketing or something similar. You may rely on your college internship to gather this experience. This can open doors as a social media manager.
Overall, you need to be able to communicate effectively, write well, have knowledge of technology and computers, and have some sense of design.
A college degree can help teach these skills, and they can also set guidelines that allow you to receive proper experience and knowledge to become a social media manager.
Essential Skills to Have in Social Media Management
There is no one particular degree needed to be in social media management, and there is no set amount of experience required. However, you must have specific skills to achieve success in social media management.
Of course, communication is always a big highlight when talking about essential skills. You want to display a particular message to customers that attracts them.
To do this, you must also be creative. Since everything online continually changes, you need to be one step ahead. Keep things interesting with your designs.
3. Fast Decision Making
The quick pace of the internet also means that you need to have fast decision-making skills. A post or comment can appear within a second, and you want to give the best customer service as soon as possible.
4. Keeps Up With Technology
To be a social media manager, you also need to have excellent knowledge of how to navigate the internet and technology.
Presentations, emails, and designing software are all critical components to being in online marketing. Without the proper computer skills, there is no way to perform your job.
5. Basic Team Skills
Finally, there are some basic skills that social media managers need, as do almost any other employees working in a professional environment.
You need to have time management, the ability to work with a team, and the knowledge to conduct your own research, in addition to having some copywriting and community engagement skills.
What Is a Normal Day Like for a Social Media Manager?
The everyday responsibilities of a social media manager depend on the person. First, you could either work in an office or from home. It depends on your situation and where you are employed.
One of the first things a social media manager does at the start of the day is check emails and listen to voicemails. Interacting with vendors and your team is very important in this field.
Checking your email is a frequent task. After responding and preparing for the day, many social media managers check their platforms and posts. They analyze the success and monitor the feedback from social media.
During this time, it is critical to communicate with your team so that everyone is one the same page.
After getting updated and informed on past work and marketing management, a social media manager can move on to communicating with current or potential vendors.
These meetings can cover market analytics, any updates, and more. These meetings are important in staying up to date on everything.
A lot of people working in social media marketing balance their time between community engagement, creating content, and responding to emails. There really is no particular schedule that every person in social media has to follow.
However, most people working in this area of marketing have to communicate with their team, their boss, and the community.
Is it Difficult to Be a Social Media Manager?
The job can be difficult if you are someone who does not necessarily enjoy constant communication. As a career in social media, being a manager of social accounts requires a continuous connection with your boss and the community as well as the people you work with.
All in all, it can be a difficult job if you do not have the right experience or the motivation to keep you and others updated on projects and tasks. Learning the ropes can be tough but this makes it easier.
Ultimately, a degree is very beneficial in becoming a social media manager if you want to start as a full-time company employee. If you don’t have a degree, you can start your own freelance by freelancing and build your own company.
Many employers prefer a Marketing degree, but you can opt for other ones like Communication, Graphic Design, Public Relations, and more.
In the end, you need to have proper communication skills to work with others and to display a certain message. If you cannot obtain higher education, you still need to have some education or knowledge about social media and how to run an online account.
Starting your own business and creating your own designs and public relations can really show employers your skills. It can also help build your portfolio.
At the end of the day, experience and education can lead you to your career goals. With specific qualifications, you can show employers the basic skills you possess.
You also show them the competence and expertise you bring to the job. As for experience, you just need to demonstrate your ability to handle a job in social media management successfully.
No matter where you start, you can find success in social media management in your own way. You just need to be yourself and show some creativity, motivation, communication, and moxie.
Disclaimer: I am an independent SMU Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from SMU. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of SMU or its parent company, RBP Productions.
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