How I Got Started As A Social Media Manager

The idea that you can just jump into social media and make it a career isn’t necessarily true. In fact, I would say that it is not true.

You can’t jump but you can take the time to climb and learn.

Some people think you just tweet and post pictures on Instagram all day but that’s not all of it. Most of the time, you aren’t even doing that because that’s the quick & easy part of the job. Social Media isn’t something you can just assume you can do because there’s a lot that goes on in the backend. That’s what I’ve learned as I divulge in my career and figure out more and more about this digital marketing world and social media.

Do you know that there is tons of money behind ad units on Social Media? Or that there is a 20% Facebook rule that you have to work with in order to promote something? Did you know promotion on Instagram isn’t really all that and a bag of chips? And, that brands have invested over a billion dollars into social ads? Cause I do but I only know that because I work within the insights and the community to figure out what works. From my day-to-day, I see how much a brand puts into an ad unit and it’s wild.

When working in social media, you have to come ready with knowledge of the social platforms and strategy. But, I don’t say this to discourage anyone because you can gain experience with freelancing and part-time gigs.

Actually, I encourage many people to take an interest in social media because I want brands to realize how important it is as the world takes a digital turn.

How did I get into social media?

To be completely honest, I didn’t even think I was fit to work in social media. I didn’t have too much experience when I started my post-grad job search. I obtained my degree in Communications, Analysis and Practice in May 2016. Somehow, I went into a job interview after doing some Facebook Marketing for a small firm and I landed the role of Social Media Coordinator. Shout-out to The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company for being my first shot at social media management, more so shout-out to my manager that hired me because I’m pretty tuned up with the trends and what is happening in the millennial world.

In college, I had a social media community intern position where my role was promoting content. That internship taught me a lot about how to share out content and that social media is a tool to get the word out so I was able to leverage that. From there, I was able to secure jobs that enlisted social media needs and it’s how I was able to get into it. I didn’t think it was a career. Let’s be real, I don’t think that a lot of us thought it would be a career but somehow, it has taken over and I love it. Not only that, my blog has been around for some time and I give credit to Hello Brittnee for helping me learn more and more about social media as I utilize it. My journey into this career was pretty random — initially, I wanted to go into Public Relations and in some ways, I feel like the two are similar.

But, you don’t necessarily need a degree in Tech Communications (I don’t have a degree in that) or Marketing. My social co-workers have a degree in a variety of subjects and have held other career paths. If you’re passionate and dedicated to social media, go for it. You don’t need the experience to impress someone — just do your research.

Why do I work in social media?

Good question — I ask myself this sometimes because it can be draining. Social Media is draining; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, it can all be stressful. But, I enjoy the trends. I love seeing brands that respond to people and I love being part of a brand that does that. Social Media is so many different things in one and it’s just mindblowing. Brands can tackle their audience through multiple platforms — they can tweet, post a picture, utilize a hashtag, share an Instagram story or SnapChat. It’s so versatile. As a blogger, I can take from my job and apply it to my blog. The only reason why I understand my blog analytics is because I do monthly and bi-weekly analytics and insights reports. It’s not as simple as people think it is. My boyfriend just tells people I manage brands on social because that’s what I do. It’s the same with my blog — I’m engaging and trying to stay consistent while promoting myself, essentially that is what a brand is doing but they definitely have big bucks compared to me.

On a positive note, it’s fun! Engaging with your audience is the best part. Just look at Wendy’s and MoonPie on Twitter, they’re having a ball. Also, Food Brands are probably the best to work for — I don’t have that experience but I read multiple fast food brands’ tweets and I love them. I feel like the best brands are brands that have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously. They can joke and engage with their audience without sounding too corporate. This is why I work in social media to be social within the digital media world.

How can you work in social media?

Thie is a no-brainer. Own it. Own that shit and prove you can do it.

Having an idea of how social media works is a start. The backend of social media. You need to know how to report on data, community insights, content calendar, a strategy, workflow, etc. Google will be your best friend during this process (and myself if you reach out!).

People try to defer people from their path all the time and I want more people in the social world. Do you know how nice it would be to talk to someone without being asked if I tweet all day? It would be a joy to be on the same page as someone. The only people that truly get it are my co-workers and I’m trying to expand that network. Work in Social Media and make brands see the importance!

With that being said, you should definitely look into what the social media role entails because some are simple while others are all over the place. And, watch out for brands that don’t want to pay you the right amount for your work — fight it because there is more to social media than they think. Take everything that applies to marketing and television ads, apply that to digital marketing. If they’re willing to pay tons to boost or promote that video, they need to come with the funds to pay you.

Would you work in social media? What is something you’ve always wondered about the social media career track? Share below!

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12 Comments

  1. January 22, 2018 / 10:35 am

    Such an informative read for anyone looking to get started. Well done!

  2. Stephanie
    January 22, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Thanks for sharing your story Brittnee. It’s really interesting to hear how you got to be a social media manager. I’ve been thinking about getting into social media for some time now, but not sure where to start. What would you say are some of the key things I need to know in order to get started?

    • January 23, 2018 / 10:23 am

      I would say take what you know so far and just dig into all the channels. Learn about the KPIs and analytics as those will be important to share our. Stay up on the changes coming. Don’t try to do too much on social, have goals and figure out how to accomplish them. Learn about social strategy and content planning as those are big!

  3. January 22, 2018 / 10:46 am

    Really interesting. Sounds like a dream job to me!

    • January 23, 2018 / 10:27 am

      Definitely a dream! I love it.

  4. January 22, 2018 / 10:54 am

    It really seems a simple job, but to be good you have to know more. Great post. Thank you for sharing!

  5. January 22, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    I love reading posts like this! People really underestimate how much goes into social media management and the different roles that are needed!

    XO, Becca | http://www.15bex02.co.vu

  6. January 22, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    I live analyzing brands on social media, and some do a really good job connecting with their audience. I guess they all invest in a good social ledia manager like you. Interesting career path!

  7. January 23, 2018 / 12:34 am

    Thanks for sharing this post! I find it so interesting how others end up in their careers, positions, and lifestyles. I really enjoyed hearing this little bit of your story! I would definitely work in social media given the right opportunities; it sounds like a really engaging, creative, and intellectual career. What kinds of companies do you think are the best for college students to intern with inside the social media field?

    Kaitlin || http://www.thecuriouslemon.com

    • January 23, 2018 / 10:32 am

      Honestly, I feel like any that fall into the category of your interests. I would reach out to Media/Digital agencies because they take interns and work with many different brands. You’ll be able to test out a good brand and retail brand at an agency.

  8. January 23, 2018 / 12:34 am

    Thanks for sharing this post! I find it so interesting how others end up in their careers, positions, and lifestyles. I really enjoyed hearing this little bit of your story! I would definitely work in social media given the right opportunities; it sounds like a really engaging, creative, and intellectual career. What kinds of companies do you think are the best for college students to intern with inside the social media field?

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