Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Social Media Manager

Social media has become essential to our daily lives in this digital age. Businesses are no exception. As a result, the demand for social media managers has increased significantly. Social media managers are responsible for creating and implementing social media strategies for businesses to help them reach and engage with their target audience.

Social Media Managers are also called “SMMAs”

What does a Social Media Manager Do?

A social media manger is in charge of managing social media profiles of a company, creating engaging posts, responding to comments and even running ads to bring in leads and customers.

As a Social Media Manager, you will charge a monthly fee from each of your client in exchange for a specific work done.

becoming a social media manager

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to become a social media manager.

Skills and Qualifications Required to Become a Social Media Manager

You’ll need technical and soft skills for becoming a social media manager. Here are some essential skills required:

  • Technical skills – Proficiency in social media platforms, digital marketing, content creation, graphic design, and analytics.

    Technical skills can range anything fro being able to use simple tools such as Canva or Photoshop to create engaging graphics, infographics or advertisement. You will also need to learn how to analyze data to understand how people are responding to your content and use it as a metric to improve future content.

    The reason you need to be good at analytics is because, if your clients can clearly see that their social media is receiving more engagement after hiring you, they will want to keep you.

  • Soft skills – Excellent communication skills, creativity, flexibility, multitasking abilities, and attention to detail.

    Soft Skills is being able to respond to people’s comment, concerns in a proper manner on social media and being able to explain the process, creatives to your clients in language that they understand. You always need to set correct expectations and over deliver them each time. On top of that, since you are working with multiple companies, you will need a good time management skill to make sure you can follow up with all your clients.

A degree in marketing or communications is extra for social media managers, but relevant skills and experience can also suffice. In fact, most social media mangers don’t have a degree from a university but rather some certifications from Google, Facebook etc or just examples or proofs. Some essential certifications for becoming a social media manager include the HubSpot Social Media Certification, Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification, and Facebook Blueprint Certification.

Steps to Becoming a Social Media Manager

If you aspire becoming a social media manager, these steps will help you get started on the right path:

1.      Understand the role of a social media manager

Research the role of a social media manager to determine if it’s the right fit for you. Understand the responsibilities, skills required and potential salary. Social media managers run social media marketing initiatives for businesses and organizations. It involves:

  • Content creation/curation
  • Strategizing social media
  • Metrics analysis
  • Engaging followers
  • Running PPC ad Campaigns

This job requires creativity, communication, and a comprehensive awareness of social media platforms and trends. Social media managers earn roughly $50,000 annually, depending on experience, location, and sector. However, if you work for yourself as an agency, you can make much more than that. Some social media managers make millions each month if they treat it as a business, rather than a “job”.

2.      Determine the type of social media manager you want to be

Decide whether you want to work for a company or start your business as a social media manager. Following is a brief overview of both options:

Company work:

  • Social media management and marketing are duties. May work with marketing, sales, and customer support to deliver consistent messages across channels.
  • Median incomes are $50,000.
  • Benefits usually include health insurance, paid time off, and retirement.

Social Media Manager Agency

  • Manage and execute social media marketing initiatives for various customers in various sectors. Responsible for finances, marketing, and client acquisition.
  • Pay may establish charges that change based on customer size and quantity. Social media management costs $25–$75 per hour, according to Upwork.
  • You create your schedule and pick your customers, but benefits are usually not included.
  • You can also charge a monthly retainer of $500- $10K per month per client as well.

3.      Develop your skills

Improve your skills through online courses, workshops, and self-education. Get familiar with social media, digital marketing, and content creation. Becoming a social media manager and you have to work hard. Some examples of these talents and skills are:

  • Technical skills include utilizing social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), social media management tools (Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social), and digital marketing tools (Google Analytics, AdWords).
  • Design talents are necessary to generate brand-appropriate social media material using Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or Illustrator.
  • Writing abilities include writing compelling social media material, blog articles, and email newsletters for a specified audience.
  • Communication, teamwork, time management, and creativity are soft skills.

4.      Build your social media presence

Build your social media profiles and create original content to showcase your skills and expertise. Some great ways to do this are:

  • Join LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Blog or make movies to demonstrate your talents.
  • Respond promptly and professionally to audience comments and communications.
  • Share material and interact with other users to grow a following and become a thought leader in your field.

5.      Network and gain experience

Attend events, join social media groups, and network with industry professionals to gain experience and build relationships. Here is a list of functions and locations worth checking out if you’re interested in advancing your career as a social media manager:

  • Conventions and markets for the business sector
  • Events for those who work in digital marketing or social media
  • Communities and organizations on social media and the Internet that discuss social media marketing, digital media, or a particular industry
  • Twitter and LinkedIn are two examples of social media where industry experts regularly converse and exchange information.
  • Visit local business groups, including chambers of commerce.
  • Sites like Upwork, which link freelancers with customers, are great places to network and acquire experience managing social media campaigns.

6.      Create a portfolio

Build a portfolio that showcases your work, including social media campaigns, content creation, and analytics. Here’s a list of tools to consider when building a portfolio for social media management:

  • Canva
  • Hootsuite
  • Google Analytics
  • Buffer
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Bitly
  • Google Data Studio
  • WordPress or Squarespace

7.      Job vs. Your Own Business

Decide if you want to work for a company or start a social media management business. Here’s a quick contrast between managing social media for a company and going into business for yourself:


  • Regular pay with fringe benefits.
  • Perhaps more organized and stable.
  • Reduced ability to choose one’s customers and initiatives.


  • Earning potential is infinite.
  • Choice of projects and clients.
  • You’ll have more freedom in deciding how and when you work.
  • There are no perks or income guarantees.

Your objectives, financial condition, and preferences will determine whether you should work a social media management employment or launch your own freelancing company.

8.      Finding Customers For Your Business

Use social media, networking, and referrals to find clients for your social media management business and enjoy becoming a social media manager. When seeking social media management clients, consider these details:

  • Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to reach new clients and demonstrate competence.
  • Network with industry peers via online and in-person events.
  • Give rewards to existing customers or industry colleagues who suggest new clients.
  • Partner with other freelancers or agencies to get more work or customers.
  • Email, direct mail, or cold contact potential clients who might benefit from your social media management services.
  • Use your website, blog, and social media accounts to attract customers and showcase your abilities.

It may take time to obtain customers for your social media management firm, but the more you network, demonstrate your talents and develop your reputation, the better.

9.      Pricing Your Services

Research the market rates and decide on a pricing strategy for your services. Some common approaches to pricing social media management services include the following:

  • Hourly rates
    This is when you charge a fixed hourly rate. This is good for busy tasks that require you to create a logo, data sorting, setup a campaign etc.
  • Package rates
    You and client agree on a deal where you deliver “X” for “X” money monthly. For example, 2 TikToks a week on Tiktok for. $500 monthly
Pricing Sample

  • Project-based rates
    This is when you charge a FIXED rate for any project such as logo, setting up campaign, setting for a lead generation campaign etc.

    Make sure that you always setup an agreement between what you are getting paid and the expectations on a written contract.

    Here is a Sample of Social Media Agreement that you can Download.

To charge a reasonable price for the value you deliver, you should look into what similar businesses charge in your field. When setting your prices, think about your degree of expertise, the difficulty of the job, and completion time.

How to scale your SMMA Business?

After becoming a social media manager, focus on scaling your operations, delegating tasks, and improving your services to attract more clients.

Tools and Resources for Social Media Managers

Here are some essential tools and resources for social media managers:

  • Social media tools – Hootsuite, Buffer, Canva, Google Analytics, and Trello.
  • Social media management software and platforms include Sprout Social, AgoraPulse, Loomly, SocialPilot, and Later.
  • Social media blogs and publications – Social Media Examiner, HubSpot Social Media Blog, Buffer Blog, Sprout Social Insights, and Hootsuite Blog.


Becoming a social media manager requires combining technical and soft skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and tools in social media. If you want to succeed as a social media manager, this guide can show you the way. You can achieve your goals using the right tools and resources and building your skills and social media presence.

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What exactly does an SMMA do?

An SMMA manages social media accounts and creates marketing plans to increase online visibility and connect with desired audiences.

How do I start an SMMA?

To start an SMMA, you must develop social media skills, build a portfolio, find clients, and set up a business structure.

How much can you make on SMMA by Becoming a social media manager?

Earnings vary depending on services offered, experience, and client base, but SMMA owners can make anywhere from a few thousand dollars per month to six figures per year.

Is running an SMMA hard?

Running an SMMA requires hard work, dedication, and the ability to manage clients and deliver high-quality work.

How much does SMMA charge a month?

SMMA pricing varies depending on the services offered, but typical monthly rates range from $500 to $5,000.

How much money do you need to start SMMA?

Starting an SMMA can be done with just a few hundred dollars invested in tools and software, but costs may vary.

Is SMMA a good way to make money?

SMMA can be a lucrative way to make money if you have the right skills, business strategy, and work ethic.

What is the difference between affiliate marketing and SMMA?

Affiliate marketing focuses on promoting other companies’ products and earning a commission, while SMMA involves managing social media accounts and creating marketing strategies for businesses.

How much should I charge for my first SMMA client?

The pricing for your first SMMA client depends on your experience, services offered, and market rates. Research the market and set a fair price based on your skills and experience.

Can you start an SMMA with no experience?

It’s possible to start an SMMA without experience, but developing your skills and gaining experience is crucial before offering your services to clients.

How long does it take to learn SMMA?

The time it takes to learn SMMA varies depending on your current skill set, learning speed, and dedication. You can become proficient in a few months with consistent practice and learning.

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