Each month we take a look at one of the 650 career pathways featured within Indigo. This month, we explore the role of a Social Media Manager.

Social Media Executive Alice Fry shares her insight into a career in social media with this video career profile from the Indigo Careers module.


So what is a Social Media Manager?

Social media managers promote and manage their client’s online presence through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

You will be in charge of creating engaging content for websites and social media channels. You will respond to social media comments and posts involving your client. You will also monitor and create strategies to increase follows and likes.

You will use search engine optimisation (SEO) to ensure your client’s website has a better chance of being discovered by customer searches.

You will analyse web data to monitor the success of your activities using tools such as Google Analytics.

You may use management platforms, such as Hootsuite, to integrate content across different social media platforms.

You will work office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, you may work longer hours to meet deadlines. Some social media managers work freelance and have more flexible working hours thanks to the ability to schedule posts to go live at a later time.


You will be office based as you will be working on a computer, but travel may be necessary to meet with clients.

Type of work

Good interpersonal skills are essential to engage with customers and clients effectively.

Things to consider

It can be very satisfying to see successful campaigns go viral.

Unpredictable/unstable profession
Social media and digital marketing is a new and very fast-paced industry and the role of social media manager may be taken over by other pre-existing departments.

Flexible hours
Tools like advanced scheduling mean you can set your own hours and work very flexibly.

Make a difference
A successful social media campaign could go global and really affect people’s perceptions of a product or company.

Little progression opportunity

Owing to it being a new industry, the career path for new social media managers is not clear.

Most people have an undergraduate degree and you will need previous experience/passion for the field

There are a number of routes into this profession. Whilst some employers may like you to have a degree in a relevant subject, others look for evidence of skills and experience. Relevant degree subjects such as marketing, journalism, communications, business/management or public relations will provide you with basic skills valued by the industry.

You can enter the industry without a degree with relevant experience in marketing, public relations or advertising.

Short training courses are provided by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Communication, Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Education Foundation and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). Courses cover topics such as social media policy, search engine marketing and web analytics.

Salary progression
Starting salaries for junior social media managers can be around £19,000–£23,000 a year. With experience you can expect to earn between £25,000 and £40,000 a year. Those in senior roles may earn in excess of £60,000.

Fees for freelance social media managers are usually between £15 and £25 per hour but you will be able to negotiate your remuneration depending on experience and skill.

Top Tip
Managing your own social media profiles or managing those of a charity may improve your prospects.

Click here to explore the full library of over 650 career profiles, including multimedia content and LMI data for students to interpret and discuss.