How I Became A Successful Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager Good Trends Compared

Social Media Managers continue to be a hot commodity in the job market. I started my own career as a social media manager for an recording artist management company in 2009. Since then I’ve worked as a social media manager for 3 different agencies in Toronto.

I’m now Director of Internet Marketing at TechWyse where I manage a growing social media team. I also wrote about how to land your inbound marketing dream job on Moz. In this post, I’m going to focus on social media.

Also on TechWyse:

The Rise Of Community Managers
Social Media and Brand Management Challenges

I’m writing this blog because I wanted to share how I got three different jobs as a social media manager.

Before we begin, I want to show the search volume growth for term “social media manager:”

Social Media Manager Good Trends

Wow, talk about exponential growth!

Let’s now compare this to three other inbound marketing jobs. SEO Manager, Content Marketing Manager, and PPC Manager:

Social Media Manager Good Trends Compared


Wow, social media dominates! Need any more convincing that this is a great career path? No? Great, let’s get into the meat of this post!

It all Starts with You! Creating your Personal Brand.

Your personal social profiles are currency in this industry.

You should be familiar with most social networks, but you don’t have to be on all of them. My advice here: if you have them, be ACTIVE on them.

Think of each social post as an opportunity to express yourself.

For example, I love building Lego:

Steve Toth Lego

I post this because I want the world to know my hobbies and you should, too! It gives people something to remember you by.

When it comes to selecting social networks, my advice is to pick three networks and make sure you engage with them regularly. If it’s LinkedIn, you’ll want to build up connections and recommendations. If it’s Twitter, you’ll want to make witty and useful tweets, that earn favourites and retweets, and lastly if you’re on Facebook you’ll want to post great content that fosters engagement.

For anyone in the job market, your social media profiles are important. For a social media manager they are a reflection on how good you are at your job. So post wisely. Doing otherwise is bad for your career and it probably won’t do you any favours in your social circles.

Super Pro Tip: When I entered this industry I made a conscious decision to make my Facebook posts completely public. This includes using my real name. Don’t think your next boss will  look you up on Facebook? Of course they will! So entertain them with your witty observations, cute dog photos and an insightful post about your industry!

Social Media Managers Should Make Their Facebook Posts Public

Same thing goes for leaving your Tweets unprotected. Though most people don’t seem to do this.

To summarize, if you’re into Pinterest and Instagram, great! Curate your posts to be entertaining and extension of your personal brand. The easiest way to do this is be yourself!

 Choose a Social Network and Start Your Own Community!

Communities you create can be a lot of fun and it can also be act as currency when you’re going up against other job candidates.

Personally I would choose Facebook. Naturally, we’d want to create a new Facebook Page, but there are many challenges with Facebook posts. Namely, your posts won’t get seen in the news feed.

My suggestion? Create an open Facebook group!

You can do this relatively easily. Here’s my strategy.

Look at your own hobbies, are there other people like you who want to share their interests?

Are there any groups related or even tangentially related to your hobby? Good? Great!

Interact with them, get to know them! Take a few weeks to do this. When you feel you’re ready add them as a friend. This will allow you to invite them to your group. Make enough like minded friends and your members will begin inviting their friends.

Just remember to create an open Facebook group.

Here a made-up example, let’s say there was a Facebook group for the Simpsons. You could create a groups for The Simpsons Seasons 1-10 (the best seasons imo).

Choose a Social Network and Start Your Own Community!

Another example from my own experience. I belong to several groups related to high-end headphones such as the group I’m also part of an off-shoot group for Grado headphones. See what I’m getting at? Find a little niche!

Start A Niche Facebook Group - Grado

Then there are those rare ideas for groups that are just so sticky people will want to join them. for example, take the group “What did you See on the Street Today?” (you’ll need to be logged into Facebook to view the link). This is such a simple and entertaining group that will practically run itself after a few hundred users join.

Here’s one example of a post:

What Did You See On The Street Today

Did you read into my last point? In the beginning, you and your friends/classmates (if willing) are going to have to generate the content. If you want to be a social media manager, generating content should be something you’re already good at!

To summarize, starting your own communities is a great way you can do the same thing for the companies you’ll end up working for! Definitely put these on your resume!!!

Just Because You are “Good at Facebook" Doesn’t Mean You’ll be a Good Social Media Manager!

Yes, your personal brand is important, but it isn’t the only thing that makes a great social media manager.

You’ll need to familiar with SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING, too. Twitter advertising, Facebook advertising and how to use Power Editor, LinkedIn advertising are all things you should be familiar with. If you don’t have money to spend to test them out, sign up and get acquainted with the interface. Know each platform’s strengths and weakness.

You should be able to look at any business and tell which platforms would be effective and why.

Be Prepared to Answer Tough Questions

Questions like:

Which Facebook’s declining reach, how would you get our clients in peoples’ news feeds more often?

How would you build Twitter followers for a boring business, e.g. storage company?

What is your favourite Facebook campaign of the last year?

Can you give an example of small business who does social media very well?

Name a social network that you think will explode this year.

Educate Yourself About the Social Media Industry

There are always new developments. Every new app has the potential to turn the industry on its head.

Here are some blogs that I like to read to stay current:

Getting Found as a Social Media Manager

My first tip is actually one that worked for me. It’s so simple, you’ll wish you had done it years ago.

Set up a Google Alert or a Talkwalker Alert for “social media manager” + “your city”

Prepare to get job posting sent directly your inbox. This is actually how I found the job posting at my agency TechWyse, where I’ve worked since early 2011. It’s a dead simple trick.

LinkedIn is also a great place to find a job. Even if you’ve never worked as a social media manager, put “prospective social media manager” as your job. That way you’ll get relevant job postings emailed to you!

There are a Million Ways you can Become an Awesome Social Media Manager!

So let’s wrap it up this way. Don’t be afraid to create your own content whether it’s a Facebook posts, your own blog or doing some guest posts.

In the interest of finishing up this post, I’ll leave it at that.

I’ll update this blog periodically with new techniques, I’ll post them here. If you want to be alerted to the them, go over to and enter your email and URL. They’ll send you a link with the updated blog.

Feel free to ask me questions in the comments or tweet me @strategyinventr


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