A gift for storytelling. Diplomacy online and off. Search engine optimization skills. Today’s social media manager has all that, plus a knack for developing highly creative campaigns and measuring how effective those ideas are.

The growth of the social media manager job is strong, and this important role continues to evolve as businesses expand their social media strategy and presence.

Businesses use social media in many different ways today. Social media is used to generate sales leads, build brand awareness, provide customer service and recruit new employees. Many organizations recognize the need to find social media-savvy leaders who are capable of developing strategies for engaging existing (and potential) clients and customers. Social media managers are now an essential part of any successful creative team.


In many cases, the main (or only) exposure people may have to a brand is on social media. It can define the company and the brand more than any medium. The business consequences, therefore, are huge. Social media has the potential to make a company or agency into something human, something relatable, something so interesting that people feel compelled to share information about that brand with friends and colleagues. But because so many organizations have jumped into social media, it’s a noisy environment. And all that noise and competition means there’s an even greater need to do social media right.

Read on for a look at the social media manager job description and to see what the typical social media manager salary is today.

Social media manager salary benchmarks

According to the Salary Guide from Robert Half, social media manager positions are among the hot jobs in the U.S. Use the guide to find social media manager salary ranges and what you can earn in your city.

Social media manager duties and expectations

To be a social media manager, you need more than a creative mind and the ability to corral words, images and videos into compelling content. You also need a thorough knowledge of the most popular platforms. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are just a toe in the water. Keeping up with the latest developments not only means Snapping, Yelping, and shortening with Bitly, but managing on Hootsuite, tracking with Klear, using Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and more.

Strong management and strategic thinking skills are critical for social media managers. Companies want a social media manager who possesses elevated analytical abilities. Because social media is still a relatively new medium, the landscape is constantly shifting. As such, agencies and in-house creative departments prize those who stay up on the latest trends and emerging platforms. Adaptability, good judgment and online etiquette go without saying. The social media manager who lacks discretion and responsiveness will not last long in the job.

The social media manager job description often includes the ability to:

  • Implement an organization’s social media strategy, developing brand awareness, generating inbound traffic and encouraging product adoption
  • Lead teams that create and publish content and maintain relationships with user communities on multiple platforms
  • Report on the process of applying various social media tactics using a variety of digital analytics and media tracking tools
  • Collaborate with internal marketing and public relations teams to support their respective missions, ensuring consistency in voice and cultivating an engaged social media community

Professional experience and skills

Experience counts for a lot because the skills in the social media manager job description have only recently surfaced in college curriculums. Most employers expect a minimum of three years of demonstrable experience in social media management and tracking. They often give extra attention to candidates with a four-year degree in marketing, communications, business or a related academic area.

Job candidates for social media management opportunities should prepare to get personal. Hiring managers will want to see you in action by looking at your own social media feeds. Give yourself an advantage by using your online platforms to showcase campaigns for previous assignments, explaining how you created them and how and why they succeeded.

Be ready to show you know how to monitor the effectiveness of a multipronged campaign and demonstrate that you can write for SEO. Employers look for experience with a variety of tools, such as Google Analytics, Klear and Buffer, to name a few.

Also, highlight your expertise with common content production tools. Most often a social media manager job description will mention Adobe Creative Suite and social media management systems like Hootsuite.