Before I discuss the steps to becoming a social media manager, let me share a beautiful incident.
Last year, during October, I was heading to attend a conference on road safety with my brother who runs a social startup to fix potholes. I take part as a volunteer for his initiative now and then. But the conference was canceled, and we couldn’t show our product.
The day started on an unpleasant note, and I was feeling low. I was scrolling my Instagram feed. I found a post by Rannvijay Singha (MTV Roadies). He was promoting Nissan Kicks, a newly launched SUV. Rannvijay said he wished Indian roads were pothole-free.
I commented on that post by tagging my brother’s startup’s handle. To my surprise, after my brother replied to my comment, Nissan India immediately took note and called my brother. You won’t believe that within 30 mins, they gave a project and transferred an advance amount.
The reason to tell you this was “why having a social media presence is necessary” not only for a business but for an individual if you are serious about becoming a social media manager. Sometimes, just being aware might get you one project. I started learning and executing from that day and successfully completed a few projects. I have compiled all my lessons for your one-stop solution. Happy reading!
Following are the steps on how to become a social media manager:
Step 1) Find your niche:
Social media can be overwhelming. You just have to find your advantage and lead with that. Handle social media for restaurants or an e-commerce store. There are plenty of niches out there. I would suggest you go according to your passion or something in which you have knowledge.
Whether it is posting valuable content for yourself or the clients, it will really help you in the long run if you have a niche.
Step 2) Market yourself:
You need to create your own social media presence. Just think about it – why would somebody hire you to be their social media manager if you are not managing your own social media in an effective and attractive way?
Your own content is your best portfolio piece because it’s what every single one of your clients will inevitably see if they research your work and want to reach out to you.
A million followers isn’t a requirement but you need to have effective and engaging content that looks professional. It has to be your best work. Every content is making or breaking your portfolio.
You can start with a solid Instagram profile. If you are passionate about social media management, then this should be a simple part for you. If you love doing social media stuff, then doing it for yourself should be a no-brainer.
You should keep optimizing your profile with every project you complete. But how to get clients? The next point discusses exactly that.
Step 3) Pitch to the clients:
In the first few months of your business, social media marketing alone is not what will get you, clients. The reason being your profile is still new and you don’t have as many followers or projects to showcase. But you don’t have to worry. There are many ways to get clients.
You should let people know around you about social media marketing and how you do it. Word of mouth is sometimes very effective to get you going. You can attend networking conferences or webinars to engage more. The more people know about you, the easier it will be to get your first client.
The road will get smoother after your first client. Trust me, that feeling is superb once you see that money being transferred into your account. And that’s how you will start the journey with no experience and be a freelance social media manager.
Step 4) Set your rate:
The obvious question that will come to your mind is:
How much to charge as a freelance social media manager?
How much is the salary of a social media marketing manager in India?
The answer to the first question is difficult because there are so many factors to consider such as type of business, number of platforms, services you are providing, the volume of posts to name a few. A brilliant way is to find out what other people offering the same services are charging. You might not get exactly right the first time but you will quickly adjust your pricing for the next client and learn from there.
The key is to be confident in the delivery of your rates when interacting with your client.
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Social Media Manager is ₹5,69,426 in India. For freshers, it starts from ₹40,000 pm. With experience, it could be more than ₹1,00,000 pm.
Step 5) Develop a structure:
Time management will be important as your social media manager’s business grows. When you have multiple clients i.e. you have to manage multiple social media accounts, you will need to streamline and name your tasks. Invest in scheduling tools like calendly or doodle to map out your posts in advance and have them pushed out to the channels for you. This will make you a good social media manager.
Also, get time for yourself and family to make sure you are not glued to your apps 24*7. Set aside a specific time for planning content, time for engaging with fans, time for diving into the data. As mentioned above, read your analytics carefully. It will help you strategize for clients in a better way.
Once you feel that managing clients is too overwhelming, hire someone to do graphics or post content or whatever you want to outsource. This small team might be a part of your social media marketing agency one day if you plan to go in that direction.
What are the skills required to be a social media manager?
A study by Fractl and BuzzStream suggests that 21 percent of social media users unfollow a brand if the content shared is boring. Therefore, engaging posts is the need of the hour. Online contests, polls can be used for the same.
> Excellent Communication and Writing Skills–
Representing an organization implies you need to have excellent communication skills. This is important for building great relationships within the organization.
Writing is an essential part of a social media marketer’s job profile. If headlines are not captivating enough, it is likely people are not going to be motivated enough to click. A well-crafted tweet or social media post is a must.
> Content Curation–
What and when to share a post is an important part of being a social media manager. This will come with practice when you analyse the result. So just go there and post relative content one at a time.
> Community Management–
A wonderful community is a common aspect of all the big brands. They will eventually give business to them. Thus, SMM requires building connections and being the manager. A social media manager will have to take care of that area.
> Analytical Skills–
To know if your marketing is working, analytical skills are important. Having an analytical mind will help you make sense of all that data—so you can make informed decisions instead of relying on assumptions.
If you’re wondering how to master these skills, then make YouTube your best friend. You can also explore Udemy for different social media marketing manager courses. Thus, you need to research the market. Learn as much as you can and keep implementing for better results.
What is the future of a social media manager as a job?
The number of internet users is increasing every year. This implies more and more people are using social media and this number will keep increasing. Hence, every company would be obliged to have their online presence. They will require people who are experts in managing social media. So, there is an immense opportunity for the next two decades in this field.
Glorious things take time. You need to have patience in becoming an exceptional social media manager.
This is the right moment to learn those skills and be ahead in this race.
Therefore, learning and implementing should be your only agenda.
Let me know in the comments section about this article. Also, share your journey as a social media manager.