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How to Become a Social Media Marketing Manager

So you have Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, and you tweet - are you ready to become a social media marketing manager? Read on to learn about the educational requirements, job skills and pay ranges for this rapidly growing career.

Career Overview

Social media marketing managers develop and implement strategies to increase the exposure of their companies' brands via online platforms that allow users to share content. These marketing professionals stay abreast of the latest trends in digital media and coordinate sales strategies with the rest of the company. The chart below shows educational requirements, key responsibilities, job outlook and salaries for this challenging field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required Ongoing education to keep up with changing trends in the digital marketplace
Education Fields of Study Marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism
Key Responsibilities Manage employer's social media presence, develop strategies for brand promotion, monitor customer response
Job Growth (2018-28) 8% (all marketing managers)*
Median salary (2019) $50,231**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Does a Social Media Marketing Manager Do?

Practically every business today - even a neighborhood bar advertising its karaoke night - knows the value of promoting its brand on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. But in the rapidly changing digital media landscape, the role of the person who manages such efforts has become increasingly sophisticated.

Today's social media marketing managers are experts at managing a company's digital footprint, implementing strategies for reaching new customers, and helping to ensure that current customers are satisfied. These professionals create brand promotions, produce and post new content, monitor response using analytics tools, and coordinate the company's overall online marketing plan.

What Kind of Education and Training are Required?

A bachelor's degree is generally required to work in this field (though small companies like the karaoke bar might not care). Courses of study can include marketing, public relations, advertising, communications, sales, business, economics and finance. Several major U.S. universities offer courses in social media marketing, some of them online only, and some offer two- to five-day seminars on the latest trends. The Digital Marketing Institute, a global professional association for the industry, offers certifications in the field.

What Other Skills are Needed?

Good social media marketing managers are adept at search engine optimization (SEO) and always use best SEO practices. They are good writers, ideally with a keen sense of humor, who possess 'visual intelligence,' meaning they are adept at finding the right photos, videos and graphics to accompany their material. They have an in-depth understanding of their target market, and within their companies they are effective 'evangelists' for persuading the entire team to embrace the social media mission.

How Do You Become a Social Media Manager?

Gaining an in-depth, experiential familiarity with various social media platforms is an obvious first step. It's also helpful to learn to use networking tools that allow you to post on several platforms at once. There are some posts that could go viral on one and fall flat on another, and it's vital to know the difference. College coursework, internships, seminars and certifications in the field can all boost your employability.

How Much Do Social Media Marketing Managers earn?

The average salary for social media marketing managers as of 2019 was $50,231, according to Payscale.com. According to Glassdoor.com, social media managers earned average base pay of $55,199 a year as of 2019. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that marketing managers in general earned a median annual salary of $134,290 in 2018.