How To Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience

Updated February 16, 2023

As more brands continue to rely on social media platforms to grow their businesses, there is a growing demand for social media managers. Companies search for professional social media managers to help improve their online presence and increase their profits. Apart from being a regular internet user and social media platform expert, there are many things you can do to improve your skills to help run and manage social media accounts for companies.

In this article, we discuss how you can become a social media manager with no experience, the skills you need and the career outlook for social media managers.

What is a social media manager?

A social media manager is an individual responsible for setting strategies that can drive engagement on the company's social platforms. Social media managers often possess excellent storytelling skills, keenness for designs and the ability to analyze what works well with an audience. They can work with individuals, brands or companies by representing them on multiple social channels. They can create content, respond to comments and add engaging information representing the brand.

Read more: What Is a Social Media Manager?

What does social media manager do?

Social media managers are responsible for developing strategies to increase followers, producing content, communicating with key stakeholders in the company and overseeing social campaigns on social media platforms. To do that, they often have duties such as:

  • Scheduling posts and monitoring engagement

  • Building brand awareness by engaging relevant influencers

  • Analyzing trends and finding solutions to brand problems

  • Strategizing content and campaigns

  • Creating graphics

  • Setting up profiles

  • Commenting and responding to customer service inquiries

  • Finding relevant content and sharing

  • Optimizing pages and posting organic-rich content

  • Reporting important metrics to relevant parties

Related: Social Media Manager Resume Template (With Example and Tips)

Basic skills for social media managers

Here are the most common skills you may want to cultivate as you gain experience as a social media manager:

  • Communication: With excellent communication, you can respond to customer inquiries, share ideas with stakeholders and post content that invites helpful discussion among followers.

  • Writing and editing: It's also important to know how to write and edit materials when drafting posts. Apart from basic grammar and spelling, it's essential to have basic copywriting skills that allow you to create engaging posts that your readers will like, comment on and share.

  • Creativity: Being a social media manager allows you to explore your creativity skills to provide consumers with the information they need. The digital space is ever-changing, which requires social media managers to keep themselves up to date with current designs.

  • Decision-making: Being a manager requires critical thinking and fast decision-making. Brands rely on the decisions you make regarding their social media platforms to grow and increase sales.

  • Customer service: Customer skills allow managers to understand customer concerns and communicate effectively and on time.

  • Technology and social media proficiency: An understanding of how social media platforms operate helps you know their strengths, weaknesses and user demographics and connect the knowledge to the brands you're managing.

  • Collaboration: Social media managers work with the consumers, retailers and stakeholders to deliver the required results. Your ability to work with different teams also allows you to work with different brands and deliver quality results every time.

  • Analysis: As a social media manager, you can compare items, products and services, conduct enough research and determine which platforms perform better than the others.

  • Flexibility: The dynamics of social media are constantly changing. New trends, features and algorithms require social media managers to be flexible and develop adaptive techniques to improve results.

  • Time management: Managing and monitoring multiple social media accounts requires excellent time management skills to ensure every brand receives equal attention.

Related: 35 Social Media Manager Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Becoming a social media manager with no experience

Follow these steps to learn how to start a career as a social media manager with no experience:

1. Consider a college degree

While not always required, a college degree is a common credential for social media managers. Associate or bachelor's degrees in fields like communication, business, journalism or marketing can help you prepare for a career in social media management. College also exposes you to various opportunities where you can obtain specific experience in a professional setting. You can use your career center's resources to find internship opportunities or part-time roles in social media, business or marketing. You can also join campus clubs and contribute to their social media growth.

2. Build your online community

Create your pages and profiles on all major social media platforms. Use these pages to practice engaging, building and maintaining an online community before you start performing this work for other people. Familiarize yourself with search engine optimization, email marketing, graphic design and blogging. If you notice significant growth in a few months, you can start marketing your services.

3. Take a social media marketing course

Even if you opt to pursue a degree, you may want to further your skills by taking social media marketing courses online. The courses help you understand different marketing techniques to boost engagement. You can learn how to perform keyword research, create relevant content for a specific target audience and run paid promotions across different platforms.

Some of the advanced topics you can expect to study that relate to social media management might include:

  • Custom social media apps

  • Optimizing videos with descriptions, annotations, titles and tags

  • Custom social media headers

  • Hashtag marketing knowledge

  • Knowledge about email capture forms

4. Research tools you can use for social media management

Managing accounts effectively helps you improve your expertise. To improve your management skills, you can start by researching some of the latest tools that can help you perform duties like managing more than one account on one platform, scheduling posts, planning and managing content and tracking campaign performance. Most tools help streamline processes and organize your work. Some companies may require you to have experience using these tools for effective management.

Related: Learn About Being a Social Media Manager

5. Network online and in person

Today, brands, celebrities and organizations are available online, making it easy to reach out and interact with them. You can begin by following the brands you admire and liking, commenting on and sharing their content. You can also use your following to gain more experience, reach more people and advertise your skills. Be clear that you're looking for a social media management job and ask your followers for recommendations and advice to get hired.

6. Volunteer to manage social media for small business

To build your resume for your first job, consider volunteering to help smaller businesses or nonprofits that don't have the resources to hire someone to manage their social media accounts. This can provide you with the opportunity to learn about the field and determine which skills you may need to focus on more before securing a paid position.

7. Apply for an internship or entry-level social media managing job

An internship or entry-level social media managing job helps you gain experience in the digital marketing space and further develop your skills. Since you're looking for experience, you can learn from the activities you will be performing as you aim for the managerial position. Apply the skills and tools you've learned in your courses and monitor results and growth. As you gain more experience, you can start taking on more complex responsibilities and working with more brands.

Related: How To Become a Digital Media Manager

Social media manager salary

The average salary for social media manager is $55,634 per year. Like most managing roles, the salary can vary based on the brand or company that hires you, your experience level and whether you're self-employed. You also have the options to work as a freelancer or start your own social media managing agency.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link.

Social media manager career outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment of promotions, marketing and advertising roles to grow by 10% by 2030, with over 31,100 openings every year. The projections are due to the increased demand to replace employees who shift to other occupations and the growth of social media marketing. As new ways to find customers through social media develop, social media managers can craft strategies to reach more customers.

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