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Career Spotlight: Social Media Manager

tech careers

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic storm, and while some jobs might be at risk, others, like that of a social media manager, will probably always be in demand. With roughly 2.307 billion social media users across the world, social media marketing (and its management) has become a significant business avenue. Even the smallest of businesses out there are making use of social media for marketing purposes, with 81% of medium business relying on social media for more exposure.

Facebook alone has over 50 million pages dedicated to businesses. In 2015, companies spent more than$23 billion in creating ads for social media. Just imagine what that figure looks like 5 years later! It’s a clear indication that businesses are willing to pay more and more for their social media marketing and management.

Still think that there’s not much of a future for social media managers? Think again!

The average business is willing to pay between R5000 and R30,000 just to get their social media accounts set up. We’re looking at a rate of somewhere between R100,000 and R300,000 for a complete social media strategy.

If you’re just ‘consulting’ as a business’ social media manager, you’ll be able to charge somewhere between R500 and R5000 for an hour of your time. That time you’re selling, it’s yours to do with as you like – if you’re working on a freelance basis of course – which could mean you get to have the perfect work-life balance you’ve been hunting down all your life.

That information alone should be enough to tickle your fancy. Now let’s dive into the details of what exactly the job entails…


What does a social media manager do?

In essence, social media managers help businesses with the setup of their social media accounts. They also deal with social media marketing. Social media managers come up with social media marketing strategies which emphasize driving engagement with a business’ audience and securing long-term relationships.


Here’s a look at their key responsibilities

  • They set up social media accounts for their clients on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Tumblr.
  • They manage social media accounts for their clients, posting status updates on each of the client’s accounts. This might include studying analytics and creating reports which reflect progress to the client.
  • Social media managers audit social media accounts, noting improvement and comparing the stats and data with industry standards, which can all help establish whether or not the company is achieving its goals.
  • They plan social media strategies, which is where social media managers highlight any problems in the marketing campaign as well as provide the company with tips on how to reach their goals.
  • These professionals do social media advertising
  • They create and manage content, which can be in the form of white papers, blog posts, infographics and e-books, to name but a few.

Do I need specific skills and experience to become a social media manager?

To be on top of their game and offer their clients the best possible service, social media managers need to:

  • Have experience and be knowledgeable in the antics of traditional marketing. Although a marketing degree is welcomed, it’s not a prerequisite if you have relevant, hands-on experience.
  • Be creative and show a genuine interest in social media
  • Be proficient with the application and theory of content marketing
  • Understand the process of sourcing and managing content
  • Be able to think creatively and analytically
  • Have in-depth knowledge of all social media platforms and how each of them can be used in marketing campaigns
  • Have excellent language and writing skills
  • Be able to build and maintain a sales relationship with the business’ audience
  • Have excellent time management skills
  • Be team players
  • Have a good technical understanding and take to new tools quickly
  • Understand and implement the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization
  • Know how to use WordPress


Wrapping It Up

Social media managers are essentially the voices of thousands of companies out there, included in all interactions with customers. In order to compete in today’s connected consumer market, almost all businesses need a well-established social presence to stay on top of their game, which is exactly why social media managers are being hunted down by HR departments across the world.