How To Become a Social Media Manager With NO Experience
In this article
- What Is a Social Media Manager?
- What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
- Can You Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience?
- How To Get a Social Media Job Without Experience
- What Skills Do You Need To Get Into Social Media (With No Experience)?
- What To Expect From Your First Social Media Job
- Day in the Life: Social Media Managers
- Social Media Manager FAQs
The role of social media manager hardly existed a decade ago. Now, it’s a highly sought-after and competitive position. But do you have to have the experience to break into the world of social media marketing? Not necessarily.
In this post, you will learn how to become a social media manager with no experience, including actionable steps to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
What Is a Social Media Manager?
A social media manager is a professional who is responsible for the online presence of a company, brand, or individual. They oversee social content planning, social media strategy, and content creation, as well as platform-specific data analytics and reporting.
What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
Being a social media manager entails wearing many hats. Here are some of their responsibilities:
Manage Social Media Channels and Strategy.
Using a combination of data and your own intuition, you have to oversee output on all social media accounts and set the course for an online presence that will lead to measurable results. You’ll also have to conduct social media audits.
Grow and Engage Followers.
Whether you’re on LinkedIn or TikTok, you need followers to make your social media efforts more impactful for your potential clients or employers. Often, social media managers will create user personas to make this happen.
Define and Track KPIs.
Social media KPIs are the performance indicators of your social media efforts and track them over time.
Can You Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience?
You may figure out how to get a social media job without experience, but can you really get the title of social media manager without any experience? In general, the answer is no — you are unlikely to get a management position if you don’t have any kind of social media or management experience.
However, you can still get a job in social media without experience, and from there, you can work your way up. Alternatively, you can develop your skills outside of a professional setting and leverage them into a higher-paying social media management position.
How To Get a Social Media Job Without Experience
Do you see a social media management job in your career future? If so, you’re going to have to gain some experience. Here’s how to get a social media job with no experience:
Pick a Channel or Industry That Interests You
To stand out in a sea of applicants for most social media jobs, it’s helpful if you have an area of specialization. Your niche could be in a particular subject matter or industry, or you could become an expert on a particular social media channel.
If you want to specialize in a particular field, choose a subject that you’re interested in. Here are some potential areas of specialization for future social media managers:
- Healthcare organizations and practices
- Law firms
- Restaurants and hotels
- Tourist attractions
- Professional services firms (like plumbers and HVAC contractors)
- Marketing agencies
- Politicians’ social campaigns
Of course, you could choose an alternative route and specialize in a particular social media channel. While this route may limit your ability to get broad social media jobs that require managing multiple social channels, it can make you a highly competitive candidate for jobs that require in-depth knowledge of your chosen platform.
Here are some of the social media platforms you could consider specializing in:
Build Your Foundational Knowledge With Free Resources
If you want to become a social media specialist but have no experience, you have a lot of learning ahead of you. Not to worry, there are plenty of free resources that can give you the baseline understanding of social media you will need in order to build your career.
Here are some free resources to get you started:
Social Profiles You Admire
To start, one of the best free resources to learn how to do social media professionally is social media itself. Think of the social media profiles you react to the most, and then study those accounts. Try to deconstruct the patterns of their social media posts and content types, taking notes along the way. You will likely surprise yourself with how much you learn in just a couple of months just by tracking these patterns.
Social Media Blogs
Some of the best minds in social media are seasoned social media experts who maintain active blogs. These blogs are usually full of helpful free content that you can use to start building your knowledge base.
Here are some of the best social media blogs to follow if you hope to get a social media manager job with no experience:
Free Social Media Courses
The internet is full of free and helpful gems for those who want to level up their skills. If you’re looking for free social media courses, you won’t struggle to find one. You’re more likely to struggle with deciding which ones to take. Here are a few standout courses to consider:
Practice by Building Your Own Channel or Profile
Practice makes perfect, and that certainly applies to learning social media. So practice by building your own social media presence. Learn how to grow your followers and imprint across your chosen social platforms, and learn what doesn’t work.
Nothing else will help you learn so much about social media so quickly. And as an added bonus, you will come away with a great example of your skills to show off when you decide to apply for a social media job.
Take a Course To Refine Your Skills
Free social media courses can help you build up your basic social media skills. But to gain the advanced skills you will need to become a social media manager with no experience, you will likely need to at least consider taking a paid social media course.
Here are some of the best paid social media courses available today:
- Professional Social Media Marketing Certificate from Springboard ($2,495 USD or free with employer sponsorship)
- Social Marketing Certification Course from Hootsuite ($199 USD)
- Social Media Marketing MASTERY from Udemy ($149.99 USD)
- Social Media Marketing (Level 1) from the Online Marketing Institute ($859 USD)
- Advanced Social Media Certification Training from MarketMotive ($899 USD)
Look for Related or Entry-Level Jobs
One of the best ways to get into social media is to get a job that is related to social media. Many jobs in communications and marketing involve a social media component. Once you get a job that allows you to control the social media for the company you’re working for, you have a chance to build and demonstrate your skills. That way, you can leverage them for the next step forward in your career.
Alternatively, you can also look for entry-level social media jobs that don’t require any experience. Admittedly, jobs that don’t require any experience are relatively scarce, but they do pop up from time to time.
What Skills Do You Need To Get Into Social Media (With No Experience)?
Here are the essential skills to learn if you want to get a social media job with no experience:
Social media is all about communication. You communicate brand message and personality, and you directly reply to messages and comments. On top of that, you have to be able to communicate well with other people within any company you work for, many of whom will not understand social media or its value to the organization.
An Understanding of Popular Platforms
Every social media platform has its pros, cons, quirks, and unique audiences. And to succeed as a social media professional, you will need to learn how each platform works and which ones are best for reaching particular target audiences.
Related Read: 11 Social Media Pros & Cons for Business
For example, you need to know how best to reach professional target audiences (LinkedIn). You also need to know how to create carousels on Instagram, TikTok-friendly videos, and much more. Keep in mind that these social media networks evolve over time, and you will need to stay up to date on each.
Data Analysis for Your Platform or Target Audience
Social media isn’t just about likes, comments, and followers. It’s also about data. You have to be able to extract data from all of the social media channels you manage, process it, and derive actionable insights from it. That means you need to have some data skills in your portfolio.
Basic Project Management Skills
Overseeing a daily posting schedule and marketing campaigns for multiple social media accounts takes a lot of planning. You have to come up with what to post and what format it should be in, and then you have to create it and schedule it. And then you have to do this dozen of times per week.
In other words, you’re going to be busy as a social media professional. To handle the heat of an active social media calendar, you’re going to need to have some decently developed project management skills. Learning how to oversee a social media campaign from concept to completion is an essential skill that can land you top-tier social media management jobs in the future.
Familiarity With Popular Social Media Tools
Like any professional, you’re going to work with a set of tools as a social media marketer. In your case, however, the tools will be digital ones. Many social media jobs will require you to have familiarity with social media management tools like the following:
- Tools like Hootsuite for scheduling posts
- Google Trends
- Graphic design tools like Canva or Adobe Photoshop
What To Expect From Your First Social Media Job
Here’s what the day-to-day for a social media manager looks like:
Even if you have a marketing degree, you’re a beginner in what is likely an entry-level position, so you’re going to learn a lot really fast.
Processes and Standard Operating Procedures.
Working in a social media management ecosystem, you have to learn how the entire pipeline works, including how your employer likes to reach their online communities.
Lots of Research and Data Entry.
To truly flourish in your new role, you will need to develop an in-depth understanding of the industry you are now in, as well as the particular company you work for. There’s no better way to do that than research and data management.
Regular Teamwork and Observation.
You’re likely going to be a part of a team, so jump in and start collaborating as soon as you can. But remember to step back and observe those who are already doing your new job to see what you can learn.
Autonomy Over Time.
Over time, you will develop and demonstrate your skills, and that will lead your organization to trust you more. More trust is how you get more autonomy in your role at social media marketing agencies or similar workplaces.
Day in the Life: Social Media Managers
Sometimes, you need a real-life example to see if a career is really for you. If you want to learn how to become a social media manager with no experience, take a minute to understand what your dream career might actually look like on a daily basis:
- Day in the life of social media manager – Rachel Rothman. In this video, social media manager Rachel Rothman walks viewers through a typical day at work, which she says can vary widely and depend on a number of factors.
- Day in the life of social media manager – Brian Peters. Buffer social media manager Brian Peters answers some questions about what it’s like to be a social media manager in this short video.
- What Does a Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager Look Like? In this article, the team at WayUp covers the typical day in the life of the average social media manager.
Social Media Manager FAQs
One of your best assets as a social media professional is going to be a naturally curious mind. In other words, ask a lot of questions, and seek out the answers. To get you started, here are some common questions about becoming a social media manager:
Do You Need a Degree To Become a Social Media Manager?
A college degree in marketing is not always a requirement to become a social media manager. In many cases, employers are open to candidates who can demonstrate social media skills or experience even if they have no college degree. This will depend on the particular employer, however.
Is Social Media Hard To Learn?
Not at all. It’s true that social media is a vast and complex subject within digital marketing, but the good news is that you don’t have to learn it all at once. The best approach is to gain knowledge of social media fundamentals and then increase your knowledge over time, whether that is through professional experience or your own research.
Are Social Media Managers Well Paid?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups social media into its public relations category, and lists the average social media manager salary as $62,800. That’s around $17,000 USD more than the median pay for all other occupations combined, and because social media manager is an upper-level job title, you are likely to see a higher salary than the median.
Since you’re here…
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