How to Become a Social Media Manager in 2023: Career Guide

Are you considering a career as a Social Media Manager in 2023 but unsure of where to begin?

Look no further!

This comprehensive career guide is designed to assist you in taking the initial steps towards a successful career as a Social Media Manager. Whether you are a newbie in this field or possess some prior experience, this guide will equip you with the essential steps, skills, pro tips, and valuable resources needed to excel in the role of a Social Media Manager.

Let’s delve into the captivating journey of becoming a Social Media Manager in 2023 and explore the vast opportunities awaiting you in this dynamic profession.

>> BONUS: How To Become A Digital Marketer 2023  (Step By Step Guide)

Why Pursue A Career As A Social Media Manager In 2023?

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

Pursuing a career as a Social Media Manager in 2023 offers compelling reasons to embark on this professional journey. Being a Social Media Manager offers exciting career prospects. The demand for skilled managers is growing, providing opportunities with prominent brands and small businesses.

How Much Do Social Media Managers Make?

The average salary for a social media manager in the United States is $70,287. Social media manager salaries typically range between $50,000 and $98,000 a year. The average hourly rate for social media managers is $33.79 per hour.

Location, education, and experience impacts how much a social media manager can expect to make. Social media managers make the most in Washington, California, Nevada, Oregon, and New Mexico.

How Much Do Freelance Social Media Managers Make?

As of Jun 1, 2023, the average annual pay for a Freelance Social Media Manager in the United States is $52,815 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $25.39 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,015/week or $4,401/month.

What Is Social Media Management?

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

Social media management refers to the practice of overseeing and executing social media strategies and activities for individuals, businesses, organizations, or brands. It involves creating and curating content, managing social media accounts, engaging with the audience, monitoring analytics, and implementing marketing campaigns on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube..

What Does A Social Media Manager Do?

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

A social media manager is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and managing strategies for the social media accounts of a business or organization. Their primary goal is to establish and enhance the online presence and brand value of the company through the use of various social media platforms.

Social Media Manager: Roles & Responsibilities

Here are the typical roles and responsibilities of a social media manager:

Planning and developing social media campaigns

Social media managers create strategic plans for social media marketing campaigns. They outline the objectives, target audience, messaging, and content strategy to achieve specific goals.

Crafting compelling content or getting it developed

They are responsible for creating or sourcing high-quality content, including text, images, videos, and infographics, that resonate with the target audience and align with the brand’s voice and values.

Posting content across social media accounts

Social media managers schedule and publish content across various social media platforms, ensuring consistent and timely updates to keep the audience engaged.

Engaging with customers on different channels

They actively interact with followers, respond to comments, messages, and inquiries, and maintain a positive and engaging relationship with the audience. This includes addressing concerns, resolving issues, and fostering a sense of community.

Analyzing running campaigns

Social media managers monitor and analyze the performance of social media campaigns using analytics tools. They assess key metrics such as reach, engagement, conversion rates, and ROI to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and make data-driven decisions for optimization.

Staying on top of the latest social media trends

They keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms, algorithms, features, and trends. This knowledge helps them adapt strategies, explore new opportunities, and stay competitive.

Social Media Manager: Skills & Qualifications

To succeed as a social media manager, there are several skills and qualifications that are important:


Having a knack for storytelling helps social media managers craft compelling content that resonates with the audience.

Design skills

A keen eye for design enables social media managers to create visually appealing posts and graphics that capture attention.

Analytical skills

Social media managers need to analyze data and metrics to understand the performance of their posts and campaigns. This helps in making informed decisions and optimizing strategies.

Content strategy

Developing effective content strategies aligned with the company’s marketing goals is crucial. This involves planning, ideating, and executing social campaigns, as well as repurposing user-generated content.

Communication skills

Social media managers need strong communication skills to engage with customers, collaborate with stakeholders, and convey the brand’s message effectively.

Industry knowledge

Staying updated with the latest trends and best practices in social media is essential. This includes being aware of platform changes, algorithm updates, and emerging social media tools.


Social media managers must think creatively to generate fresh ideas, create engaging content, and stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Time management

Managing multiple social media platforms and campaigns requires effective time management skills to meet deadlines and maintain a consistent online presence.


Working collaboratively with internal teams, agencies, influencers, or partners is often necessary for successful social media management.


The social media landscape is dynamic, so social media managers should be adaptable and quick to adjust strategies based on emerging trends or shifts in the target audience.

Where Do Social Media Managers Work?

Social media managers work in various industries and organizations where there is a need to establish and maintain a strong online presence. Here are some places where social media managers work:

Marketing and Advertising Agencies

Social media managers are also employed by marketing and advertising agencies that provide social media management services to clients. These agencies may have a team of social media managers who work on multiple client accounts, creating and executing social media campaigns, monitoring analytics, and managing online reputation.

Media and Entertainment Industry

Social media managers are essential in the media and entertainment industry, including publishing companies, news outlets, television networks, and film studios. They manage social media accounts, promote content, engage with audiences, and drive traffic to their platforms.

Freelancing and Consulting

Some social media managers work as freelancers or independent consultants, offering their services to multiple clients. They may provide social media strategy development, content creation, community management, and analytics reporting on a project basis.


Social media managers are commonly employed by companies of all sizes, ranging from small startups to large corporations. These companies hire social media managers to handle their social media accounts, develop and implement social media strategies, create engaging content, and manage online communities. Examples of companies that may employ social media managers include retail brands, technology companies, hospitality industry, consumer goods manufacturers, and more.

Non-profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations often rely on social media to raise awareness, engage supporters, and promote their causes. Social media managers in non-profit organizations develop strategies to reach their target audience, share impactful stories, and encourage donations or volunteer participation.

Government Agencies and Public Institutions

Many government agencies and public institutions recognize the importance of social media in connecting with citizens and providing information. Social media managers in these organizations handle social media accounts, share updates, respond to inquiries, and engage in public communication.

Step By Step Guide To Become A Social Media Manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

If you’re interested in becoming a social media manager, here are some steps you can take to kick-start your career:

1. Education and training

While a formal degree in social media management is not always required, it can provide a solid foundation for your career. Pursuing a degree in marketing, communication, or a related field can equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills.

>> Pro Tip: Best Bachelor Degrees in Social Media 2023

Additionally, there are numerous online courses and certifications available that offer specialized training in social media management.

>> Pro Tip: Best Social Media Marketing Courses & Certifications [2023]

>> Pro Tip: Social Media Management | Free Online Certificate Course

2. Gaining experience through internships or freelance work

Internships or freelance opportunities can provide valuable hands-on experience and help you build a portfolio. Look for internships at marketing agencies or businesses with a strong social media presence. Alternatively, consider offering your services as a freelance social media manager to gain practical experience and showcase your abilities.

>> Pro Tip: Find Social Media Manager Intern Jobs, Employment

>> Pro Tip: Find Freelance Social Media Managers Jobs

3. Building a strong online presence

Creating your own strong online presence is essential in demonstrating your expertise as a social media manager. Build a personal brand by consistently posting high-quality content on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or a personal blog. Engage with industry professionals, share insights, and showcase your knowledge to establish yourself as a credible authority in the field.

>> Pro Tip: Get an Idea from Social Media Manager Projects on Behance

4. Networking and building professional relationships

Networking plays a crucial role in landing social media management opportunities. Attend industry events, join relevant professional organizations, and connect with other professionals in the field. Building relationships can lead to job referrals, collaborations, and valuable mentorship.

>> Pro Tip: Top 20 Social Media Events to Enrich Your Skills and Build Professional Relationships

Tools and resources for social media management

As a social media manager, utilizing the right tools and resources can greatly enhance your productivity and effectiveness. Here are some essential tools to consider:

Social media scheduling and analytics tools

Scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social allow you to plan and schedule posts in advance, ensuring consistent and timely content delivery. Analytics tools provide valuable insights into audience demographics, engagement metrics, and post performance, helping you make data-driven decisions.

Content creation and graphic design tools

Creating visually appealing and engaging content is crucial for social media success. Tools like Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud, or Pablo by Buffer provide easy-to-use interfaces for designing graphics, editing photos, and creating videos.

Online courses and certifications

Continued learning is essential in the rapidly evolving field of social media management. Many online platforms offer courses and certifications that cover topics like social media strategy, content creation, and analytics. LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and HubSpot Academy are popular platforms for gaining industry-specific knowledge.

Tips for success as a social media manager

To thrive in the role of a social media manager, consider the following tips:

Staying updated with industry trends

Social media is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, algorithm changes, and platform updates. Follow industry blogs, subscribe to newsletters, and participate in relevant webinars or conferences to stay ahead of the curve.

Experimenting and adapting strategies

What works for one brand may not work for another. Experiment with different content formats, posting times, and engagement strategies to find what resonates best with your target audience. Stay agile and be open to adapting your strategies based on data and feedback.

Building a personal brand

As a social media manager, your personal brand is an important asset. Showcase your expertise by consistently sharing valuable insights and engaging with industry professionals. This not only establishes your credibility but can also attract potential clients or job opportunities.

How To Become A Freelance Social Media Manager?

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

To pursue a career as a freelance Digital Marketer, simply follow the guide I’ve outlined above. Once you’ve acquired the necessary skills, you can explore freelance platforms and work as a Digital Marketer on a freelance basis.

Benefits of Working As a Freelance Social Media Manager

Freelance social media managers enjoy numerous benefits, making it an attractive career choice.

  • Flexibility in schedule and work location
  • Independence as your own boss
  • Diverse clients and projects for continuous learning
  • Higher earning potential
  • Professional growth through self-development
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Creative freedom
  • Networking opportunities

>> Pro Tip: 15 Best Sites to Work as a Freelance Social Media Manager

How to become a self taught social media manager?

How to Become a Social Media Manager 2023  (Step by Step Guide)

Becoming a self-taught social media manager requires a combination of self-motivation, continuous learning, and practical experience. Here are the steps you can take to become a self-taught social media manager:

  • Understand the role
  • Set clear goals
  • Study social media platforms
  • Learn from online resources and industry experts
  • Practice and experiment
  • Build a portfolio
  • Stay updated
  • Network and collaborate
  • Keep learning and adapting

>> Pro Tip: Check out this 35 Free Online Social Media Manager Courses

How to Find Jobs As A Social Media Manager

Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor are excellent resources for finding social media manager positions. Use relevant keywords like “social media manager,” “digital marketing,” or “social media coordinator” to narrow down your search.

Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing agencies often have a specific department or team dedicated to social media management. As a social media manager in an agency, you would work with multiple clients from different industries, helping them develop and execute effective social media campaigns, manage their online reputation, and drive engagement and conversions.

Freelance Social Media Manager

Freelancing as a social media manager allows you to work independently and offer your services to multiple clients. You can create your own client base, manage social media accounts, develop strategies, create content, and provide analytics and reporting. Freelancing provides flexibility, diverse clients, and the opportunity to grow your own business.

E-commerce and Retail Companies

Social media plays a significant role in e-commerce and retail, where building brand awareness, driving traffic, and increasing sales are crucial. Social media managers in these industries develop and implement social media strategies, create compelling content, manage online communities, run promotions, and analyze the effectiveness of social media campaigns.

Media and Entertainment Industry

Social media managers in the media and entertainment industry work with production companies, TV networks, music labels, and celebrities. They handle social media accounts, engage with fans, promote new releases, manage online communities, and monitor social media conversations related to the brand or personality.

Startups and Small Businesses

Startups and small businesses often seek social media managers to establish their online presence, build brand awareness, and engage with their target audience. In this role, you would develop social media strategies, create content, manage accounts, and track metrics to ensure social media success for the business.

In-House Social Media Manager

Many companies, both large and small, have dedicated social media teams or hire social media managers to handle their online presence. In this role, you would be responsible for developing and implementing social media strategies, managing social media accounts, creating content, engaging with the audience, and analyzing campaign performance.

Social Media Manager Salaries By Country

According to Glassdoor, the average social media manager salary in the United States is $57,852 per year.

Well, according to Glassdoor, social media manager salaries in the United Kingdom (UK) average around £37,429 per year and can reach as high as £60,000 per year.

European data on the salary of a social media manager is a bit harder to pin down, as currencies and payscales vary widely. Here’s what we did find:

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Social Media Manager

  1. What qualifications do you need to be a social media manager?

    – Knowledge of media production and communication.
    – To be thorough and pay attention to detail.
    – The ability to sell products and services.
    – The ability to work well with others.
    – The ability to use your initiative.
    – Thinking and reasoning skills.
    – Business management skills.
    – Excellent verbal communication skills.

  2. How long does it take to become a social media manager?

    Hiring managers expect a social media manager to have soft skills such as leadership skills, communication skills, and analytical skills. Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of 1-3 months of job training to become a social media manager.

  3. Is social media manager a good career?

    Getting paid to be on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, and other popular social media channels may sound like a dream come true. And for many, it is. PayScale indicates that the job satisfaction of social media managers comes in at a 3.8 out of 5, or “highly satisfied” rating.

  4. Can you be a self taught social media manager?

    Free social media courses can help you build up your basic social media skills. But to gain the advanced skills you will need to become a social media manager with no experience, you will likely need to at least consider taking a paid social media course.

Remember, this guide serves as a starting point, and your determination, passion, and commitment will be the driving forces behind your success. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a highly skilled and sought-after social media manager!

Michael Diasz Kirindage

Leave a Reply