A successful social media manager is a multitude of careers all wrapped in one.
It’s an undisputed fact that every business needs to be active onsocial media.
The ever-changing demands of the modern-day consumer require brands to think fast and adapt quickly in order to stay one step ahead.
The role of a social media manager has appealed to the mass generation of socially active internet users.
It’s hard not to. Especially when some might think that you can earn big bucks from posting Facebook and Instagram updates.
But that’s hardly what it’s all about.
Being a social media manager requires you to quickly understand your audience and your engagement with them is vital.
In order to accomplish this, you need to be able to decipher the metrics and determine if your tactics are working correctly.
More to the point, how do you become a great social manager anywhere in the world?
The answer will be surprising to some.
Firstly, you have to want it.
Second, you have to love it.
Third, you have to learn it.
And even if you tick all these boxes, you should ask yourself:
“Am I a social person?“
If the answer is no, then becoming a social media manager is probably not for you…
But the statistic that is most relevant to this article is:
Being a social media manager in Southern FLORIDA or globally brings with it some key benefits within a freelance setting.
The most recognizable being the fact that you are your own boss.
You make the decisions and answer to no one.
You send the invoices and you set the policies.
Heck, you could sit in your underpants all day on the computer if you wanted to.
The other is money.
It is an in-demand role, but one that companies are still struggling to come to terms with.
Some companies realize and understand the value social media could bring to their enterprise and are willing to invest heavily in robust social media campaigns.
Being your own boss, you can decide how to set your costs and price accordingly.
Another attractive reason is the low barriers to entry.
With low start-up costs and plenty of online resources (like this one!) to rapidly decrease the learning curve, anyone can launch a freelance social management business within a short space of time.
I’ll tell you my story shortly but first, let’s explore the essential skills you’ll need to become a great social media manager in Jupiter, FL.
You should have a good grasp of the basic marketing principles.
Some education in marketing would be beneficial, but otherwise you can find many quality resources online.
Your experience doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to life experiences. Have you managed your own social media profiles for a while? Do you know how to effectively maintain your own social accounts and understand what clients expect?
I touched on this at the beginning of the article. If you are not a sociable person – someone who doesn’t like communicating much and isn’t very outgoing, then becoming a social media manager just isn’t for you.
Sure, you can hide behind a keyword and monitor for a while, but clients will usually want to meet, speak on the phone, or have Skype sessions at some point.
You don’t have to have a marketing degree, but you do need to be able to manage projects and your time well.
It’s typical for social media manager’s to work with multiple clients at any one time.
Keeping tabs on everything is important so that it doesn’t get overwhelming.
Social media exists online. Therefore, you need to have a certain degree of computer literacy.
Having good knowledge of social technology will enhance your services and ensure you are keeping up to date with the latest social trends and developments.
It kind of goes without saying that if you’re going to be representing a company and engaging with their customers, then you will need to have strong communication skills.
Companies tend not to want to hire people with no personality to act on behalf of their brand.
It doesn’t resonate well with them, or their audiences.
I’ve touched on this a few times – social media is very fast-paced.
Imagine if one of your social assignments was largely focused on customer service and you didn’t respond to customer complaints or queries for weeks.
People online want rapid responses.
Being able to fulfill these needs can stand your client (and you!) in a good way.
To become an in demand social media manager in a freelance capacity, you have to be a self-starter.
You should be willing to go the extra mile and take a few financial risks along the way.
If you don’t land a job that pays enough in one month, how will this affect you?
A great social media manager must be able to effectively carry out a wide range of tasks.
You should always be very well organized when delivering social media management services.
I use all kinds of traditional tools like calendars, whiteboards and task lists to keep myself organized.
I also use many online organizational tools, such as: Google Suite for accessing all my email accounts in one place, Dropbox to easily share documents with clients and bookmarks to keep track of all the websites I frequently visit.
Being able to think campaigns through before they happen and sometimes thinking outside the box when needed, are a great asset to have as a social media manager.
Clients tend to want to know how you will do something before letting you do it, so being able to present a clear and concise strategy is essential.
Contrary to popular belief, a freelance social media manager has to leave his office sometimes!
If this is a problem for you, then you should think about starting another profession.
Nearly every sizeable project I undertake involves multiple meetings with the client.
You should have reasonable pitching skills, as you may be required to sell your services face to face too, before being hired.
You may even opt to take on in-house work.
Every good social media manager is a great writer.
Writing forms the foundations of many aspects of online marketing, be it creating ads, writing blogs, engaging with customers, scripting sales copy or writing press releases.
Fortunately, AI software helps with this in a big way!
Pretty much all social media platforms provide the functionality to customize the interface and incorporate your own branding.
If you are sharp with Canva or Photoshop (or similar design software), then you are in a good position to offer these services as part of your social media package.
Similarly, creating content such as infographics, banners or images is standard practice for a social media manager.
Every social media manager should have sound knowledge of advertising.
Be it Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or banner advertising, you should know the ins and outs of each discipline and understand how to optimize each format.
Public relations is closely tied to social media marketing, in the sense that both involve managing the spread of information between a business and the public.
You may start out not needing to have a deep knowledge of PR, as it is typically managed by larger brands who have an interest in persuading stakeholders, investors or the public to maintain a certain point of view.
Everything in marketing should be measured.
You should periodically measure and analyze your social marketing performance and produce reports to your clients to demonstrate your value.
Understanding how social media affects search engine optimization will ultimately improve campaign performance.
The latest data shows that Google processes over 99,000 searches every single second (Internet Live Stats, 2022). This makes more than 8.5 billion searches a day.
If you think SEO doesn’t matter to your social activities, think again.
Even though you generally won’t be involved in traditional marketing practices while undertaking a social media management role, you should understand how both forms of marketing affect each other and how each can be best leveraged to complement the other.
This will probably be one of the most used being that video is so pertinent these days, but nevertheless, and it can assist you in your social marketing positions.
Fortunately with video software or even your cell phone you can make professional videos simply.
As a social media expert, having a reasonable level of knowledge in video editing software can turn that video file straight from the camera into a beautiful, YouTube-ready video.
Even if you possess all the necessary skills to become a social media manager, there is still scope to improve your services by using different social tools and software.
So, what does a social media manager actually do?
As you can probably tell by now, the role of a social media manager is diverse.
It’s not a case of “Well, I post updates to Facebook.“
Here are a few general activities that social media managers will be expected to execute:
You will be required to formulate campaign and platform-specific strategies that meet the business objectives.
You will create actions plans, content calendars, set metrics and KPIs, undertake various research activities and perform different types of analysis.
Content creates the foundations of any marketing campaign.
How you decide to execute your campaigns will depend on the different forms of content you produce.
As you would have no doubt already heard from someone, content is king.
Managing accounts also means managing communities.
You should be the go-to person when representing brands in social domains and continually reach out and engage with your audiences.
You will need to constantly strengthen social relationships in order to develop long-lasting followers.
Marketing to the same people over and over will not widen your scope and social reach.
You should be increasing readership and your level of influence within your target audiences.
Many companies use social media as an instant channel for customer service.
You will have to be responsive and helpful in your social activities, regularly being the first point of contact.
You will be representing the brand and managing their customer perceptions.
Every effort that consumes investment will need to be measured and analyzed.
I’ve previously written posts that demonstrate how you can set up your Google Analytics account on my blog.
Once your efforts have been measured and analyzed, your clients will want to understand how their investment has performed.
This can take the form of visual aids for meetings or digital reports.
Reporting is a key ingredient of any social media manager in order to prove your worth and demonstrate the value you have added to the business.
I’ve been active in social media since 2015.
This was before the time of all the latest social marketing tools and software that nowadays are ingrained into all social marketers everyday life.
Resources or tutorials weren’t as widely available that could help speed up the learning curve.
I did find an online course that looked pretty good in teaching me how to turn my social skills that I had been practicing on my own accounts into a fully fledged business.
I invested less than $200 on this online course to learn the basics and now that some years have passed, I can look back and say the value wasn’t all that great, but the ideas were there.
It pushed me to think outside the box and motivated me to start my trajectory towards becoming a social media manager.
So before I had decided to turn my love for social media and networking into a freelance opportunity I worked for a firm that built websites for accountants.
Kind of dull. Once social media came more into the forefront of marketing that took over my interest full time.
Before I knew it, I was a fully-fledged freelance social media manager in Jupiter, Fl.
So to kick-start my freelance social media work, I joined a bunch of freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
You can check out the social media course here!
After a few years of freelancing on small one-off projects and developing my social marketing acumen, I was hired by an online business services company to run their social media campaigns, as well as handle all their own client’s social marketing campaigns.
I still work with them today, which just shows the power of forging good working relationships.
I managed to attract clients in most months for the next few years and each project ended up being pretty diverse from the next.
This allowed me to develop wider skills that I have since found almost a necessity in order to provide a well-rounded social media marketing service.
I mentioned some of these wider skills required to become a great social media manager towards the middle of this article.
I also kept maintaining and building my own social media profiles. It’s important to practice what you preach and showcase your expertise on your own domains.
My social profiles have regularly attracted clients, which keeps work coming in and builds up my networking potential.
I have been writing on my blog for a few years and love to give others tips on how to get started.
My own social activities also serve to build traffic to my sites, where I generate passive income.
I like to “listen” to the social environment and engage with people who are already looking for my content.
This serves well in building and strengthening connections, as well as attracting targeted traffic.
I have also been a keen guest blogger.
I believe that writing articles for other relevant blogs only serves to increase your scope and exposure.
Once or twice, I have had my articles featured by online magazines and publications, which was always nice.
Keeping my ears to the ground and getting myself ‘out there’ was one of the things I promised myself I would do, even though I knew the vast majority of my time would be spent in my home office.
I tried to regularly meet up with business connections and clients to make sure they could match an online persona to a real life face.
The vast majority of the time, I even managed to remember my business cards!
A strategy I’ve always tried to employ while freelancing is to try and turn one client into three.
What I mean by that is word of mouth is the most powerful advertising there is.
People do act on solid recommendations that their friends make. I found that taking as basic an approach as asking clients at the end of projects if they knew anyone who could benefit from social media marketing, worked out surprisingly well.
As social media is such a dynamic environment with start-ups booming and busting every few months, I knew that it was essential to keep up to date with social developments.
Every so often, a client would ask me to set up profiles or campaigns on sites that some social media managers would have never heard of.
Keeping tuned in enabled me to have at least some knowledge and experience in using these platforms, which dramatically lowered my learning curve and ultimately lead to better performing campaigns.
I thought I would leave you with some final advice from things I have learned from my own experiences being a social media manager.
Starting a career in anything takes time and effort. If you’re willing to put in the work anything is possible.
Here’s a great course I recommend that will help you become successful, gain prospects, earn profits and improve your skills as a social media manager in less time.