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Social media manager: job description and salary

Social media marketing has been of enormous importance for companies since Web 2.0. Several billion users cavort in the social networks every day so that there is now a job especially for this area: the social media manager. This is the central actor in new ways of communicating with customers and designing and implementing various marketing campaigns, especially social platforms.

But what are the same tasks of a social media manager, and what skills do I need to qualify for this profession? These are the main questions we will answer in detail in this article. In addition, however, we will also show you which development opportunities are open to you and what salary you can expect at all, should you decide on this profession.

the essentials in brief

  • A social media manager is responsible for all marketing measures in the social networks and develops strategies, campaigns, and tactics.
  • As a social media manager, you have to be creative, communicative, flexible, and interested in all trends and topics on the social web.
  • So far, there is no classic training to become a social media manager, but you can qualify as a lateral entrant with specific courses or further training.

Definition: what is a social media manager?

The profession of social media manager has only developed into an independent area of ​​online marketing in the last few years. Thanks to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Co., social media management opens up completely new possibilities and ranges of communication for companies

A social media manager takes over the coordination and control of all marketing measures on the social web. 

Accordingly, a social media manager has the task of developing and ultimately implementing strategies and marketing measures specifically for social networks.

He is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of all the company’s content and messages on the social web and is always in very close contact with customers and business partners and communicates with them using various Web 2.0 options.

In a separate chapter, we explain which tasks social media does in its day-to-day work.

Background: What you should know about social media managers

Since the profession of social media manager is still relatively unknown, there are, of course, many questions that you are likely to ask yourself when you hear the name. So what exactly does a social media manager do, and what skills do I need to practice this profession?

In the following paragraphs, we would like to give you answers to these and other questions so that you are fully informed, and we can perhaps arouse your interest in the profession.

What skills does a social media manager need to have?

To become a social media manager or to be able to carry out this job, of course, as in any other position, you have to have specific skills. You should, of course, know the social web and be familiar with various social platforms. This is practically one of the basic requirements required and the interest in all activities and trends in Web 2.0.

After all, a social media manager does a lot more than upload a few posts or videos every day, so the skills required go well beyond the basic knowledge you probably already have in social networks.

Above all, the profession of social media manager is characterized by artistic, creative, and communication skills.

We’ll go into more detail about the hard skills you should bring with you later. In this chapter, we limit ourselves to the soft skills of the social media manager. In the following, we list a few skills you should bring to be successful in this profession.

Communication skills

In the area of ​​social media, good communication skills are essential – after all, you not only have to be in constant contact with your teammates but also communicate with your customers and business partners via social media.

It is essential that you are quick-witted and articulate, as the language on the social web is a little different from classic customer relationships. Above all, you have to be armed against negative comments and always choose the right words.

On the other hand, communication skills also mean that you have a good eye for proper storytelling. As I said, the language on the Internet is a bit different, which also differs significantly from one another depending on the target group.

Therefore, you have to have the ability to use stories and authentic narratives to bring all the hard facts and products to your customers and to build a bond between them and the company.


In social networks, in particular, you have to adapt to a high degree. As quickly as the trends and interests of users change online, you also have to adjust your strategies accordingly.

The algorithms from Facebook or Instagram, for example, can also put a big spanner in the works overnight. You always have to be up-to-date and as flexible as possible in this area of your career and ideas.

Organizational talent

Managing different company channels in the social networks is one of the main tasks of a social media manager. Of course, you also have to coordinate the other posts and their times with the highest performance and plan your content precisely.

As a social media manager, you have to control several channels simultaneously and organize your content well. 

After all, social media management does not mean managing just one channel, but several simultaneously. Since every social network has different guidelines and possibilities, you have to adapt quickly to avoid a big mess.


This ability is essential to put yourself in the shoes of your target group and your followers and understand their needs and problems. This is the only way to create target group-specific content and build a natural bond.

It is essential that you enter into a dialogue with your followers and interact with your community – this, of course, requires the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes and exchange ideas with them on a personal level.

What tasks do I have as a social media manager?

The tasks of a social media manager are remarkably diverse. As I said, it’s not just about posting posts or tweets but about the complete strategic integration of social media channels into the company. A task that will make up a large part of your everyday working life is the information about new trends, platforms, or updates – you always have to keep an eye on all of this and react to changes as quickly as possible.

However, it is your job to have successful communication with the users of social networks. This happens not only by replying to comments and reacting to blog posts or personal messages but also by your postings, campaigns, or other messages that you send.

It is then your job to analyze campaigns and user behavior, create reports, and make improvements or change strategies.

Also, look at the competition, and their analysis is one of them. What campaigns do you use for your products? How do they interact with their followers? Which platforms does the competition use, and how does it do it?

In summary, we would like to list your possible areas of responsibility briefly:

  • Analysis of your target group and creation of buyer personas
  • Development of a social media strategy and its guidelines
  • Creation of an editorial plan
  • I am writing about various posts and contributions.
  • Analysis and reporting of social media campaigns
  • Manage all social media channels
  • Ongoing communication with users and customers
  • Research of current trends and topics as well as new platforms
  • Testing new tools or platforms
  • Crisis communication and dealing with shit storms or negative comments

Depending on the company’s size, these are, of course, more or fewer tasks that you take on. In addition, cooperation with individual interfaces is also essential to successfully implement various campaigns.

A social media manager’s job requires good teamwork skills and optimal communication, even within your department.

In which industries can I work as a social media manager?

As a social media manager, you can work in almost any industry, so to speak, because most companies are increasingly establishing social media marketing in their processes. For this reason, there is no clear answer to this question. However, social media managers are always part of a somewhat larger team in which various experts from online marketing, marketing, graphics, web design, or PR work together. This can happen more often in the following industries, for example:

  • IT or graphics agencies, online marketing agencies, full-service agencies
  • Newsrooms, journalism, advertising agencies, media companies
  • Clubs, associations, organizations, and institutions of the public service
  • Retail, food manufacturers, and the food industry

How can I become a social media manager?

Since the profession of social media manager is still relatively new, there are mainly lateral entrants who work in this field – the training is not yet regulated by law. This is also the case, for example, with online marketing managers, who mainly have to qualify for the profession through further training or knowledge in a similar area.

Courses from media and communication studies, public relations, marketing, or journalism are initially suitable for starting as a social media manager.

In addition, institutions such as the ILS, Social Media Academy, SGD, or career tutor offer advanced training in this area. These can also be distance learning courses in the field of social media – you can find out more in this video:

Completing internships or trainees is always an excellent opportunity to gain a foothold in this profession and gain initial experience.

In principle, however, you should have specific basic knowledge, i.e., hard skills, in the following areas, far from any training or further education:

  • Extensive knowledge of various social media platforms
  • Copywriting and creative work
  • SEO
  • Customer service and communication planning
  • Design and photo and video editing
  • Analytics, research, and reports

Depending on the company’s size, different activities can also become blurred. For example, there is also the area of ​​community or online management, which is often associated with the job of a social media manager.

This is often common in smaller companies – therefore, the requirements can sometimes go beyond the soft and hard skills we have mentioned.

How do I know if the social media manager job is right for me?

The social media manager’s job requires a lot of creativity and a high affinity for social media. So if you spend a lot of your free time on the social web and have fun actively interacting and posting there, you are practically laying the foundation for your future career.

If you are always interested in the latest trends and topics on the social web and use social networks more in your free time, the job of social media manager may be just right for you.

If you are also always interested in the latest trends and like to try out new tools and platforms, you can almost be sure that you should take a closer look at the job description of the social media manager.

In addition, you can ask yourself the following questions to find out your enthusiasm for this job:

  • Do I like to work on a computer, tablet or mobile phone?
  • Do I enjoy working in a team?
  • Am I flexible and ready to work outside of the 9-to-5 mentality?
  • Do I want the exchange with customers, and do I like this type of communication?
  • Am I prepared to continue my education and get involved in new things?

What are the career and development opportunities as a social media manager?

The development opportunities in social media marketing are just as diverse as the profession itself – however, there is no absolute career path here. Just like in marketing, as a social media manager, you can go through the classic hierarchical levels until you finally have complete responsibility for your team as head of social media. In addition to the traditional training and further education, you can also get certified as a social media manager and gain extensive expertise in social media strategy, viral marketing, or online law, which allows you to take on a managerial position with a higher salary.

Since there is no traditional training yet, newcomers or career changers with certifications are more valuable for companies.

On the other hand, you don’t have to work for a specific company; you can either go freelance as a social media manager or take on responsibility as the managing director of your own social media agency.

What is the salary of a social media manager?

The question of the salary of a social media manager is unfortunately not that easy to answer because many factors play a not unimportant role here. Of course, it depends primarily on your training and the knowledge you have already gained in this activity area. If you have already completed internships, a trainee, or even further training, the starting salary is, of course, higher than that without any prior knowledge worth mentioning. In principle, however, the following classifications can be made with increasing professional experience:

  • Junior Social Media Manager: € 27,000 to € 47,000
  • Social media manager with professional experience: € 39,000 to € 57,000
  • Senior Social Media Manager: € 50,000 to € 71,000

In addition, the state, the size of the company, and the industry are decisive for the amount of your salary.


More and more companies rely on social media managers to be present in social networks, win and retain customers, and increase brand awareness. A wide range of customers can be addressed with just one post – by sharing and interacting with users, the reach can be grown very quickly.

Therefore, social media managers are becoming more critical and exciting for companies, and the profession will continue to be of greater importance in the future. Although there is no classic training for this field of activity, a few basic knowledge or comparable training is sufficient to expect a steep career in social media marketing even as a career changer.

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