Social media marketing managers can work 'in-house' promoting their own organisation’s brands or they can work with clients at a marketing agency.
Social media marketing managers work to promote and strengthen an organisation’s brand(s) by using of social media platforms. There are a number of creative, analytical and managerial aspects to this role. Social media marketing managers can share many of their responsibilities with marketing executives, multimedia specialists and marketing manager/producers (digital), especially in small- and medium-sized employers (SMEs) where there may not be a dedicated social media manager. Related and alternate job titles include: social media manager, social media marketer, social media executive, social media assistant and social media intern.
Social media marketing managers’ responsibilities revolve around organising and running marketing campaigns over social media platforms (such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr). Typical responsibilities include:
- Creating content, including text posts, video and images for use on social media
- Promoting products, services and content over social media, in a way that is consistent with an organisation’s brand and social media strategy
- Scheduling social media posts using applications such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck
- Interacting with customers and dealing with customer’s inquiries
- Developing new social media strategies and campaigns
- Managing a budget to be spent on promoting social media posts and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Keeping track of data and analysing the performance of social media campaigns
- Collaborating with colleagues from across marketing departments to ensure branding is consistent
- Meeting with clients and other stakeholders (such as social media influencers). These meetings may involve pitching potential marketing campaigns
Social media marketing managers can work 'in-house' promoting their own organisation’s brands or they can work for a marketing agency, where they would manage the social media presence of their clients. These may be ‘full-service’ agencies or they may specialise solely in digital and social media marketing. There are also a number of opportunities to work as a freelance social media manager. Salaries for entry-level social media roles tend to range from £19,000–£25,000 a year, while experienced social media marketing managers can earn up to £50,000 a year.
The majority of job roles are based in London and other major UK cities. Vacancies are advertised online (on sites such as TARGETjobs), by recruitment agencies, in national newspapers and in publications such as Campaign, The Drum and Marketing Week.
- Roles may be unadvertised and you may only be able to apply through speculative applications. Find out more about applying speculatively for unadvertised roles here.
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into social media marketing roles for both university graduates and school leavers. Roles which require a degree will typically accept a degree in any subject. Some employers may indicate a preference towards graduates with degrees in a subject related to journalism, business, marketing or media.
School leavers with GCSEs (or equivalent) can enter the industry through a social media apprenticeship or a more general marketing apprenticeship. Through an apprenticeship, school leavers will receive training in marketing, work towards qualifications and earn money at the same time.
Work experience, organised informally or through a formal internship scheme, will certainly be helpful in finding graduate marketing opportunities. Employers may offer internship opportunities which will allow graduates to gain experience in using social media for marketing purposes.
- Before you apply for an internship that sounds too good to be true, make sure you are familiar with the law around unpaid internships. Know your rights.
You may also be able to develop your knowledge and technical skills through a postgraduate or professional qualification offered by a professional body, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) or the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM).
- For more information about these opportunities, read our advice on how training and professional development can benefit your graduate job hunt.
Key skills for social media marketing managers
- A knowledge of and an interest in the methods organisations use to promote themselves through social media is a necessity
- Strong communication and presentation skills
- Photo and video-editing experience
- Organisational skills
- Analytical ability
- An ability to multitask, to work on a number of projects at once
- Problem solving skills