Only about a decade old, people only used social media to converse, comment, and share pictures when it all started. However, today, its use and, more importantly, its reach has expanded well beyond that. As a result, businesses increasingly turn to social media to reach a wider audience, build brand image, and boost revenue.
Roughly 91.9% of US companies use social media for marketing purposes. This means there is a constant and growing demand for skilled and experienced social media managers.
If you want to become a social media manager and are wondering, “How do I become a social media manager with no experience?” we got you covered!
As long as you know your way around popular social media channels and have an understanding of how to help a business grow, landing an SMM job doesn’t have to be as hard as most people make it.
What Does a Social Media Manager Do?
Social media managers manage a brand’s online presence by planning quality content, sharing enticing posts, running ads, evaluating audience data, assisting customers, and more.
Simply put, you must perform several different activities on behalf of the brand to maintain its online image. This includes but isn’t restricted to the following duties:
Monitoring Brand Reputation
What do customers think about a company’s products and services? Do they spread positive word of mouth, or is the brand’s reputation on thin ice?
As a social media manager, you must keep track of the customer perceptions about the company you work for. Additionally, you’ll want to take note of what people are saying so that you can help address consumer pain points and resolve issues preemptively that may affect the brand’s image.
Influencing the Target Audience
Social media managers also establish a brand’s authority through different social platforms. This is typically achieved by creating and distributing value-packed and engaging content.
Because each social media channel has a different audience with a distinctive mindset, influencing them requires Social Media Managers to create more customized content and strategies for each channel.
For instance, an attention-grabbing image that might win the love of many on Instagram may go unnoticed on a professional platform like Linkedin.
Likewise, a 280-character tweet on Twitter can go viral in just a few minutes, but a Facebook post would require an extra bit of effort to reach more audiences.
Therefore, Social Media Managers will often be tasked with planning different campaigns for each social media channel to tap into that particular audience’s interest.
Running ads alone doesn’t ensure a successful social media campaign. It’s vital to also be able to reach a larger audience organically too without having to rely on spending a bunch of the marketing budget on paid ads.
Therefore, SM managers often are expected to connect with influential figures on popular social media platforms; aka influencers. For instance, an SM manager working for a fashion brand might be asked to reach out to fashion influencers on Instagram.
Because the influencers have substantial followers on their accounts, they’ll help you strengthen your brand’s reputation by promoting your product or services for an agreed upon fee or freebie.
The role of a social media manager isn’t restricted to creative content creation. Instead, an SM manager is also responsible for creating a funnel which will eventually get people to buy the services and products from the company.
You’ll naturally generate sales if you nail your social media marketing campaign and successfully capture the audience’s attention with a great product/service and how others have benefited from using your company.
Over time, you’ll be responsible for not just getting new followers and good engagement with your posts, but in eventually showing the value that your brand can bring to your followers’ lives which will ultimately help move them from just being followers online to actually becoming paid customers that you can wow with your product/services.
How Do I Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience?
It’s not surprising that companies seek professional SM managers due to rising ecommerce competition. However, as you’re surely aware, companies don’t want to hand over their social media marketing to an unskilled, inexperienced person and risk harming their business.
That, by no means, indicates that inexperienced people seeking a role should throw in the towel. So, how do you become a social media manager with no experience?
You need to start by learning how social media works for businesses and then start gaining work experience in certain areas that hiring managers covet the most so that you can show that you’ll actually be able to provide an immediate impact to their company if hired.
Learn Social Media Marketing
Your dedication to just learning social media alone won’t fully help you get a social media manager role; you’ll need to also acquire work experience and learn the ropes of specific social media platforms as well so that you can pitch strategies on how you’ll specifically help their company grow.
The art of engaging existing customers and attracting new prospects is tricky. For this reason alone, familiarizing yourself with popular social media channels that the companies you want to work for are already on is crucial.
In a perfect world, you should really learn both how to run paid ads on social media as well as how to succeed on the organic side without using ads.
The former offers businesses an opportunity to reach a larger audience and acquire new customers quickly (but it can get very expensive). The latter, on the flip side, doesn’t cost the company money each month but is a much slower and long term play that requires a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
As stated earlier, each social platform works differently and requires different types of content. Let’s take a quick look at popular channels and how they function for businesses to achieve their goals.
Around 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand to learn about its products and services.
So, it isn’t uncommon for companies to create Instagram accounts to hopefully gain followers who will ultimately become their customers someday. On Instagram’s platform, users love watching short videos and reels, scrolling through attention-grabbing photos, and viewing behind-the-scenes stories so this is the type of content you’ll mostly be creating for this platform.
With around 2.9 billion active users, Facebook remains an incredibly popular social media platform. Naturally, it’s a prime marketing channel for small and large companies.
Social media managers target relevant audiences on Facebook by creating business pages. This is typically followed by running paid ads and joining industry-specific groups to see what the audience is up to and fulfill their needs. It’s been noted that it’s much harder to grow a business organically on Facebook as they don’t provide as much organic reach as the other platforms do, so most businesses focus much more on paid ads when using Facebook.
The audience base of Twitter might be less than Instagram and Facebook, but overlooking the role it plays in marketing is certainly not wise.
Millennials love using Twitter. But that isn’t the only perk the channel brings for businesses. It can just take a split second for a Tweet to go viral, provided that it offers something unique to the online audience.
Brands can add a spark of emotion or a touch of humor to intrigue the audience and encourage them to retweet and reply. Further, strategically designed campaigns can spread like wildfire, and #IceBucketChallenge, #ShareACoke, and many others are living proof.
Linkedin is a social network for professionals. On this platform, users focus on networking, business, and valuable content through articles and blog posts.
If your target audience is the older age group or more focused on business solutions, this is definitely a platform you’re going to want to focus on as the viewers are already on that platform looking for these types of services that can help their businesses.
Build Online Presence
Do you want to become a social media manager but you aren’t able to show any social media online presence that you’ve created? The company you’re hoping to work for won’t be pleased with this as they want to see what you’re actually capable of doing as that’s why companies place so much emphasis on previous work experience.
The best way to start gaining these social media skills is to simply create your own profiles across these platforms and just start testing things out to see what’s working and what’s not. Although this won’t give you the work experience that companies are requiring (we’ll get into how to get that immediately down below), this will at least give you a bit of personal experience for free so you at least have a first-hand idea on how these platforms actually work.
Polish Your Manager Skills
While industry-specific skills help support your SM manager career, you must also have sound managerial skills to climb the ladder and help the company grow through your business decision abilities. Some skills you want to be mindful of include:
Say you stumbled upon some harsh comments of angry customers against the brand. How do you plan to tackle this negativity like a pro?
Even if you provide an impeccable customer experience as a social media manager, you’re bound to come across some dissatisfaction. You must polish your problem-solving skills to handle complicated scenarios that risk the brand’s reputation.
You have to communicate with your team and customers as a social media manager. Numerous people will reach out to you, asking questions and presenting problems.
Weak communications skills will turn them off and hurt the brand’s reputation – no matter the quality of services and products.
Therefore, strong communication skills are crucial to building customer relationships and ensuring campaigns run smoothly.
Time Management Skills
The story doesn’t end after you design a social media strategy. You must manage your time efficiently from beginning to end to lead and implement the campaigns.
Which activities create the most engagement and draws in the most amount of customers? You must discover this, and it’ll require you to hone your time management skills to execute campaigns at peak moments while figuring out how to spend less time in areas that aren’t producing great results.
Get Familiar With Popular Social Media Marketing Tools
Managing numerous social media accounts is not a walk in the park. It requires organization and, above all, automation.
Gone are the days when manual work helped businesses succeed. To stand out from the crowd, you must streamline your social media strategy by using social media marketing tools.
Furthermore, Canva can be your graphic designing tool to create quality visuals by choosing from thousands of free templates for your social media channels.
Showing that you’re focused on working efficiently through the use of these popular websites bodes well for you as there is only so much time in the day and companies want to make sure you’re going to be someone who works efficiently as possible.
How To Get The Marketing Work Experience You Need To Get Hired
As I’m sure you already know, if you don’t have the work experience the company is aksing for, it’s incredibly hard to get hired. This can be incredibly frustrating, but at the end of the day, if you had a business and you were going to pay someone with your money, you too would hire the person that actually has done the job before as opposed to giving your hard earned money to someone that hasn’t.
So, to get by this lack of work experience issue, here are 2 solutions on how you can get the marketing work experience you need to get hired for a full time Social Media Marketing position:
1. The Internship Route
You can try over the next few months to get an internship to start gaining the marketing work experience you’re missing as this will make you more hireable (although you might have already tried that and are running into the work experience issue here). If you go this route, just make sure you first look at the jobs you actually want and write down the work experience they’re asking for.
Then, you need to make sure you’re actually getting that experience at your internship otherwise it won’t be a good use of your time as so many young professionals fail to get jobs after their internships because they spent their time doing meaningless intern work rather than getting the work experience that they actually needed.
Secondly, make sure it’s an internship where you’re actually working closely with a marketing manager as you want to make sure that you’re getting good training so that you’re actually learning good practices and good business strategies as you’ll need to be able to discuss good marketing strategies when you’re interviewing so this is an important component of a good internship.
2. The JobPrepped Route:
Alternatively, you can check out JobPrepped if you’d like to fix your work experience issue immediately. JobPrepped gives you 25+ bullet points of the most in-demand Marketing work experience companies want you to have and you’ll be able to add all of this new marketing work experience (Social Media, Email Marketing, PPC Marketing, SEO Marketing, SEM Marketing, Lead Generation, and Automation Tools) directly on your resume under your work experience section so that you’ll be able to give companies exactly what they’re asking for line-by-line in their job requirements section which will help you get hired much faster, by better companies, and for a better salary.
You’ll also be trained by and be able to work 1-on-1 remotely with a former Fortune 500 Top-Level Marketing Exec. to ensure you’re learning a ton and the best marketing strategies (which hiring managers really like) as opposed to receiving your training by a lower level marketing employee at an internship. We also give you a lot of other help (Resume, Linkedin/Indeed Profile, Cover Letters, Interview, driving Recruiters and Hiring Managers to your resume/profile) but you can check that out on JobPrepped’s website if you’d like.
Apply to Social Media Manager Jobs
We recommend using the below job sites for Social Media Manager jobs as these tend to have the most and best options available for this particular role.
- Google for Jobs
How do I become a social media manager is a common question raised by fresh graduates and individuals seeking to change careers into digital marketing.
While the tactics mentioned above will help immensely, just remember that the main thing that companies look at in determining who to hire is who has the right work experience they’re asking for in their job description and who pitches the right high-level Digital Marketing strategies during their interviews that actually show they will make an immediate impact if hired.
If lack of marketing work experience is holding you back from getting a social media manager role, consider trying to get an internship or taking JobPrepped’s Digital Marketing Training + Get You Hired Program so you can get a job much faster, by better companies, and for a better salary.
Becoming a Social Media Manager is a great way to break into the Digital Marketing field. Just make sure you’re giving companies the work experience they’re asking for so you don’t make the process of landing that new job much harder than it needs to be.