Social media managers are having their moment. With the rise of short-form video, more and more people are being exposed to the lives of marketers behind their favorite brands and thus piquing the interest and curiosity behind social media as a career.
Curious about how to become a social media manager? This monthly series provides insights from social media managers from the incredible brands who use Dash Hudson that highlight their expertise, passion and stand-out work.
In September, we spoke with Haley Barcus, Senior Social Media Manager at GUESS to learn more about how she started their career in social, how she stays on top of social trends and more.
As the Senior Manager of Social Media, I lead the global social media strategy at GUESS?, Inc., with an audience of nearly 20M followers across all GUESS-owned brands. Through my 7+ years at the global brand, I have helped launch over 150 Global Advertising Campaigns featuring talent like Hailey Beiber, Jennifer Lopez and J Balvin.
No day is the same in the world of social media. Every new social media trend is a challenge to our creativity.
My team and I touch base twice weekly and always start with what’s trending on social media. Nothing is off-limits because I believe you can find inspiration from anything. I’m lucky to lead a team of dynamic creatives with different perspectives.
It’s hard to choose one, but the first project that comes to mind is being a part of creating #DestinationGUESS, our series of global influencer events. My boss at the time really believed in us and let us lead everything from event production to content creation. During the first year, we increased the @guess following from 2.7M to 5M (the account is now at over 8M followers), attributing most growth to the five #DestinationGUESS trips we hosted. It felt good seeing our hard work pay off, plus we got to have a little fun while doing it — always a bonus.
Choose a hard-working, diverse team. Another tip for creating your team is working with people you can rely on who bring different skills to the team. It’s also important to have solid communication across all internal departments to ensure all marketing efforts are aligned.
Regarding social, channel intention matters — Don’t be afraid to test new trends on the platforms where it makes the most sense.
The advancement of video storytelling excites me. I can already see how brands and creators are increasing the quality of their content. I love seeing the evolution of edited pictures to elevated video content that feels almost cinematic. As someone whose passion is storytelling, this ignites my creativity.
I love how easy it is to pull Social Media Analytics and make a report. It’s vital to have easy accessibility to this because not all teams have a Data Analyst. I have each team member pull reports for their owned brands, allowing them to learn a lot in the process. I also love how Dash Hudson listens to their customers' needs and finds solutions quickly.
No longer seen as the intern’s job, social media management careers have matured alongside social platforms, and the list of skills needed to be successful has grown longer. And just as every business has different needs, a role in social media will look different for every social media manager and every company.
Why do social roles differ from person to person? This is because of the complexity of the role itself and the wide range of tasks associated with managing a brand’s social presence. To give you an understanding of what a social media management career looks like, this blog covers:
A social media manager is a marketing professional who specializes in managing and implementing social media strategies for businesses. They are responsible for creating engaging content, monitoring social media channels, analyzing performance metrics and interacting with their audience on various platforms. A social media manager is the driving force behind a brand's social media presence and helps to shape its online reputation and cultivate meaningful connections with customers.
As mentioned, no two social media managers will have the same responsibilities, so no two days will look the same for a typical social media manager. The role is dynamic and requires context switching, which is part of the appeal for most social media managers. The tasks typically executed by a social media manager include:
Social media professionals often have a variety of diverse backgrounds that lead them to their roles. While a degree in marketing, communications or a related field is beneficial, practical experience and a strong understanding of social media platforms are equally important.
While most gain practical experience through internships or entry-level roles, freelance projects or building a personal social media brand are some untraditional ways that can lead to a job in social. Some social media professionals have backgrounds in more creative fields like photography while others can transition from customer service or other marketing roles.
All businesses can benefit from a social media manager, extending the role beyond industry boundaries. Whether you're interested in working for a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, business-to-business (B2B) enterprise or exploring freelance opportunities, social media management offers diverse career paths.
With the breadth of tasks needed to succeed in social media, brands also build social teams based on specialties.
For example, if you’re terrific at filming and editing content, you might consider freelancing as a content creator or applying to content production roles. Other companies structure their teams based on platforms, so if you have a deep understanding of TikTok, you might be hired to solely manage a TikTok account. The opportunities in social media are endless when businesses see the potential of this marketing channel.
Embarking on a career in social media requires strategic planning and a proactive approach. Here are some essential tips to help you get started and excel in the industry:
Showcase your skills and expertise by curating an impressive social media presence. Share valuable content, engage with industry influencers, and demonstrate your knowledge to establish yourself as a go-to professional.
Engage with professionals in the social media industry by attending virtual webinars or conferences, following the marketers behind your favorite brands on LinkedIn, and having coffee chats both on and offline. Building meaningful connections can open doors to exciting opportunities and help you stay updated on the latest trends.
Leverage the abundance of online resources and free courses available to enhance your social media skills. Platforms like HubSpot Academy and Google Digital Garage offer valuable courses and certifications that can bolster your credentials.
Regularly explore job boards, company websites and their social accounts and professional networking platforms to discover social media management positions. LinkedIn, Indeed, and specialized marketing job boards, like Link in Bio from Rachel Karten, can be great places to start your search.
Social media is an ever-evolving landscape. Stay informed about the latest platform updates, algorithm changes and emerging trends in the industry. Subscribe to reputable blogs, follow industry leaders on social media and participate in relevant online communities to stay ahead of the curve.
Now that you understand how to get started in a career in social media, you’re probably wondering, what does it take to be successful in this role? Explore best practices for social media marketing professionals and how to streamline your social strategy with helpful tools from Dash Hudson.
A well-defined social media strategy is crucial for success. Start by setting clear goals and objectives that align with your overall business objectives. Determine your target audience and select the most relevant social media platforms to reach them. Develop a content calendar to ensure consistent posting and incorporate a mix of engaging content formats, such as images, videos and interactive posts. Regularly analyze your performance metrics and make data-driven adjustments to optimize your strategy.
Building and nurturing a strong online community is essential for social media success. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages and reviews promptly. Foster meaningful conversations, ask questions and encourage user-generated content (UGC). Monitor brand mentions and proactively address customer concerns with a tool like Dash Hudson’s Community Manager. Reply to direct messages, Tweets, Instagram Story mentions, and post comments in one, easy-to-use inbox.
Content is the backbone of any successful social media strategy. Focus on creating high-quality and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Tailor your content to suit each platform, leveraging the unique features and preferences. Experiment with different content formats, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses, user testimonials and interactive polls.
Collaborating with influencers can help amplify your brand's reach and credibility. Identify influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged following. Develop authentic and mutually beneficial partnerships. Clearly define expectations and deliverables, and track the performance of influencer collaborations. Tools like Dash Hudson’s Influencer Marketing Measurement tool help you analyze the impact of influencer campaigns and seamlessly measure the ROI.
Measuring the success of your social media efforts is essential for continuous improvement. Track key metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rates and conversions. Generate weekly, monthly and quarterly reports to showcase your performance, identify trends and make data-driven decisions to optimize your social media strategy.
Dash Hudson is a leading social media management software designed to streamline and optimize your social media strategy. From content planning, publishing posts and analyzing performance, Dash Hudson empowers social media managers to drive results efficiently. Its intuitive interface and powerful tools make it an indispensable asset for managing multiple social media platforms, analyzing data and discovering insights that help you maximize your social media ROI.
Social media manager salaries can vary based on experience, location and industry. On average, social media managers earn a salary range of $50,000 to $75,000 per year.
Successful social media marketers possess a combination of creative, analytical, and communication skills. They should have expertise in social media platforms, content creation, community management, data analysis and staying up to date with the latest industry trends from TikTok Trends to popular Instagram Reels songs.
Social media coordinator, community manager, social media specialist, social media strategist and digital marketing manager are some common role titles associated with social media management positions.
In August, we spoke with Paige Sander, Social Media Manager at Béis to learn more about how she started their career in social, how she stays on top of social trends and more.
I studied Marketing at The University of Minnesota and always loved the creative side of brand building. I actually played professional volleyball overseas for many years out of college, and in the meantime worked freelance in marketing and social. When I decided to retire as an athlete, I knew I wanted to work for a brand that was growing and testing the boundaries creatively.
I love how close social media is to the consumer. We get to speak directly to those who love our brand the most. It’s incredible the insights and feedback that we can learn through day-to-day interactions. As we develop new collections and products, most of our decisions come from what the consumer asks us for and communicates to us. It’s a powerful tool if you use it to connect and engage with your community!
What’s that saying for raising something great...It takes a village? That definitely stands true for building this brand. In our case, we use each and every member on our team to stay on top of social media trends. Across our marketing team, we are watching a variety of shows, listening to a variety of podcasts, reading different press outlets and we always have a pulse on what’s happening — but collectively. Teamwork is key when it comes to staying on top of the ever-changing trends in social.
Behind our social media, we have such a great team creating the content and building all of the campaigns together. I definitely take no credit for them, but am so proud of the team for our most recent collaboration with Barbie The Movie.
Focus on connecting with your audience. It’s not always about selling products, it’s equally about entertaining, relating, and listening to them as well.
I am loving the social listening feature that Dash Hudson is tapping into. Having an extra hand to catch on to what our community is talking about, helps us relate and connect in a more effective way than ever before.
As a creative, Dash Hudson’s Reporting Dashboards are such an incredible timesaver for me. We can always see how content and campaigns are performing without spending large amounts of time calculating performance in spreadsheets. The analytics are unmatched.
In July, we spoke with Caleb Simpson, Assistant Manager of Social & Community at Summer Fridays to discuss which social campaign they are most proud of, tips for social media management success and more.
I’m a Social Media leader with over 6 years of experience working with highly engaged cult beauty brands. I began my career at Glossier in 2017 where I worked closely in social engagement and UGC-powered campaigns before shifting my direction and joining Summer Fridays in 2022. I was thrilled to join their team here in LA and continue growing the brand’s presence and community across social media.
Since last year, I’ve begun leading Summer Fridays’ Social Listening program while maintaining a highly engaged community across Instagram. By leveraging these two key areas, our team has been able to harness our customer’s voice and strengthen our product lineup through community-backed feedback.
My favorite part of working in social media is having the space for storytelling, and the ability to form an authentic brand voice.
Social Media is constantly evolving. Aside from always being online, tools AI-Powered Social Listening from Dash Hudson have really helped pinpoint new trends and forecast upcoming trends within the beauty industry.
Our first makeup product, Sheer Skin Tint.
Your community’s voice should be a major guiding factor in what you do. Listen to everyone, consider all feedback, and allow your community to be stakeholders within your brand’s ecosystem.
Using social engagement as a vehicle for surprise and delight. These moments often arise when there’s a crossover between social and customer experience, but taking the time to surprise and delight can show that you’re truly listening.
AI-Powered Social Listening Trends and Topics — specifically Dash Hudson’s new Visual Trends tool.
In June, we spoke with Kristen Lang, a TikTok Content Creator from AG1 to discuss why they love working in social, how they stay on top of trends and more.
After years of wanting to break into the social media world, I finally decided to make a move in 2022. I’d interviewed for a few social media jobs, and after hearing “we went with someone who has more experience,” one too many times, I decided to build my personal brand through TikTok. After growing my own audience, I landed my current position at AG. I helped launch the @drinkAG1 TikTok, and 28k followers later we are still having a blast telling the AG story!
I love the endless opportunity that comes with social media, especially with short form video content.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this — I’m chronically online. Trends come and go so fast these days, you have to be!
We launched a series this year where we interview strangers on the streets of NYC about their health. It’s as funny as it is rewarding. Plus, it’s so cool to meet people who already drink and love AG1 in person!
I dream of a feature on TikTok that saves your video without the watermark. I know they rolled this feature out a while ago and I had it temporarily. If you’re a social media manager, you KNOW this is crucial.
The Boards! I love that you can select videos to add to a board and view the stats as a whole — this makes my life easier!