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Social Media Marketing 8 min read

What Is a Social Media Manager? Do You Need One?

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 08 Feb 2023

As the use of social media continues to expand beyond personal use and into professional contexts, businesses increasingly need individuals skilled in managing and promoting brands on these platforms. 

But what is a social media manager, and what do they do? Is it a position that your business should consider filling? 

Whether you’re an employer curious about the benefits a social media manager can provide or someone looking to enter this fast-growing field, we’ll provide some valuable insights into the responsibilities, necessary skills, and career outlook for this role.

So What Is a Social Media Manager? 

What do social media managers do

A social media manager’s job is to represent a company or brand on social media platforms. This typically includes account management, content creation, and engaging with consumers. 

For less established brands, they’ll also spearhead the development and implementation of a social media strategy. This strategy must consider the business’s mission statement, brand values, and marketing goals. A social media manager will collaborate with marketing and advertising teams throughout the implementation to coordinate ideas for social media campaigns and promotions. 

To optimize their content creation and scheduling approach, a social media manager will also typically conduct a thorough analysis of a brand’s target audience and the platforms used to reach them. This research can influence the most effective tactics for any given campaign.

Once this research is complete, the social media manager can create a content calendar and begin planning out the type and frequency of content that they will post. This step can involve writing and formatting social media posts, o selecting images and videos, and identifying the best times to post for optimal visibility. 

The social media manager is also usually responsible for engaging with the audience by responding to comments, messages, and reviews promptly to build relationships and foster trust. If this duty is shared with other team members, the social media manager should also establish guidelines and best practices for audience interaction to maintain consistency and professionalism. 

Finally, the social media manager is responsible for regularly tracking and analyzing social media performance metrics to identify what is and isn’t working. This way, they can make adjustments as necessary.

What Is a Social Media Manager’s Typical Career Path? 

Because it’s a relatively new and fast-growing career in businesses of all types and sizes, it’s difficult to pin down a “typical” career path for social media managers.

For example, in startups and small businesses, it’s not unusual to secure the role through an internship. In many cases, existing employees with a particular aptitude for social media often move into the position organically. On the other hand, at larger businesses, social media managers are usually directly hired, either as a freelancer or for an in-house position. 

A successful and motivated social media manager also has various growth opportunities. They might choose to specialize in a specific industry or social media platform, advance within the same company to become the head of a larger social media team, or even start their own management or social media consulting firm.

Ultimately, career prospects for a social media manager will depend heavily on their skills, experience, and track record. With the right combination of these factors, the possibilities are practically endless.

What Kind of Skills Does a Social Media Manager Need? 

Because of the wide variety of tasks a social media manager is responsible for, they’ll need a diverse skillset to succeed. Some of the most important skills are:

Excellent Written Communication

A social media manager will often be required to craft engaging social media posts and handle customer feedback (positive and negative). 

Ability to Collaborate

Social media managers are often required to work closely with other teams — such as marketing and advertising — to coordinate social media efforts that are aligned with the core values and goals of the business.


Whether it’s juggling multiple campaigns across a variety of social media platforms or setting up detailed content schedules, the ability to stay organized in a fast-paced environment is a trait shared by every successful social media manager. 

Experience with Various Multimedia Formats

A social media manager may be in charge of creating or curating content ranging from still images and illustrated infographics to animated or live-action video footage. While it’s not always a requirement, a strong grasp of multimedia design can go a long way toward creating more eye-catching and engaging content.

Strong Analytical Skills

To ensure that a brand leverages social media for maximum return on investment, being able to analyze key metrics and data to understand the impact of each social media campaign is crucial.


A good social media manager should be able to identify emerging trends and come up with new and innovative ideas for content.

Knowledge of Platforms

No two social media platforms are alike, and a deep understanding of the various quirks and features of the ones your business uses is indispensable. 


The social media landscape is always changing, and an effective social media manager must be able to adapt to new features, algorithms, and even platforms as they evolve. 

What Is a Social Media Manager Good For?

The benefits of social media

Many businesses fall into the trap of believing that social media doesn’t need to be an important part of their marketing strategy. They might also think that managing the creation and distribution of content across multiple platforms is a job that can be handled without hiring a specialist. Unfortunately, this approach typically leads to subpar results and lost earnings potential.

The reality is that an experienced social media manager brings the seasoned knowledge and skills needed to develop and implement a social media strategy that gets results. In doing so, they’ll keep your business top-of-mind by increasing its social media presence and audience reach. 

Hiring a professional is also a great way to efficiently allocate marketing resources. After all, managing and maintaining multiple social media accounts can be a time-consuming task, especially for a small team. But a social media manager can free your personnel to focus on other work while also ensuring that you make the most of every dollar of your marketing budget.

Effective social media management pays off in the long term, too, since better customer service and increased engagement help to build and maintain a trustworthy and customer-first reputation on social media. These relationships ultimately lead to increased brand loyalty and more sales. 

By analyzing and refining key campaign metrics, a skilled social media manager can provide incredible utility to a business that wants to scale up and put its products or services in front of a larger audience.

Take the Guesswork Out of Your Social Media Strategy

A robust and well-planned social media marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to amplify your brand voice and boost your revenue. And in a crowded market, a tailored, professional approach, backed by expert knowledge of your social media platforms of choice, is the key to outshining the competition and achieving your vision.

At Galactic Fed, our team of expert social media managers can help you do just that. We know what makes each social media platform tick, and we can leverage that information to increase your leads and then convert them into paying customers.

From performing target audience research to designing and scheduling content to developing and implementing an overall social media strategy, Galactic Fed is standing by to help you achieve long-term, sustainable growth.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed