All Articles / Marketing
All Articles / Marketing

How to Become a Social Media Manager

To many people, social media management is a bit of a mystery job. It’s in that unique class of professions that wouldn’t have existed 20 years ago, so there’s not a lot of information out there on what it means to have a ‘proper career’ in social media management. There’s a lot of joking that it must be nice to paid to scroll Instagram all day. But this couldn’t be further from reality. There’s a huge amount of technical skill that goes into effective management of social media strategy, content and channels. That’s why it’s emerging as one of the fastest growing (and best paid) jobs in the marketing field. According to some of the latest stats:

  • The average salary for a social media manager is $70,000 – $90,000
  • There are thousands of full-time and part-time social media managers across Australia, with over 2,200 vacancies advertised (at time of writing)
  • The global market for social media management services is growing at over 20% a year (estimated to reach over AUD$205 billion by 2032!)

If you’re keen to be a part of this exciting growth and opportunity, read on. In this article, we’ll look at what it’s really like to be a social media manager, plus pathways to get there.

A day in the life of a social media manager

Social media managers have a (sometimes surprising) array of tasks and responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. While content creation is a big part of it, there’s a lot of strategy, analytics, and communication with other marketing stakeholders.

Here’s an example of a day in the life of a social media manager named Mia, working for a big international brand from her local office in Sydney.

6:30 AM – Morning briefing

Mia likes to start her day early. As a social media manager for a trendy lifestyle brand, her first task is to check the latest analytics and performance metrics on various platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. She reviews the engagement rates from yesterday’s posts while sipping her morning coffee, making notes on any spikes in interaction or areas for improvement.

8:00 AM – Content planning and meetings

After a quick workout, Mia heads to the office in Sydney’s bustling CBD. Her morning is packed with creative meetings where she collaborates with graphic designers, videographers, and copywriters. Together, they brainstorm ideas for upcoming campaigns, focusing on innovative ways to incorporate user-generated content that resonates with their Aussie audience.

10:30 AM – Social listening and engagement

Back at her desk, Mia spends time monitoring social media trends and performing social listening tasks. She uses specialised software to track mentions of the brand across platforms, responding to comments and messages to foster a strong community feel. She also keeps an eye on competitors and industry trends, ensuring her brand remains a step ahead.

12:00 PM – Midday check-in and lunch

Mia has a quick virtual check-in with the global team, including counterparts in the US and UK. This sync helps align strategies across time zones and provides insights into what content is performing well internationally. After the meeting, she grabs a quick lunch from a nearby café.

1:30 PM – Content creation and scheduling

In the afternoon, Mia focuses on creating and scheduling content for the next week. She fine-tunes the captions, schedules posts according to the best engagement times, and plans Instagram Stories for live events and product launches. She ensures all content aligns with the brand’s voice and image, and schedules cross-promotional posts with influencers and partners.

3:00 PM – Analytics and reporting

Diving deep into the data, Mia analyses the results of recent campaigns. She uses tools like Google Analytics and native social media insights to prepare reports on ROI and engagement. These insights are crucial for understanding the impact of her strategies and for reporting to senior management.

4:30 PM – Professional development and networking

As part of her professional development, Mia attends a webinar on the latest social media trends focusing on AI integration in social marketing. Networking is a significant part of her role, and she often engages with other professionals via LinkedIn or industry forums to exchange ideas and keep up-to-date with digital marketing innovations.

6:00 PM – Wrapping up

Before leaving the office, Mia sets up alerts on her phone to monitor any significant activities on the brand’s social media overnight. She also leaves notes for her early-rising team member who handles the morning shift, ensuring they’re prepared for any immediate actions.

7:00 PM – Reflect and unwind

After a busy day, Mia heads to a local networking event for digital marketers, enjoying the chance to unwind and connect with peers over drinks. These interactions often spark new ideas and provide insights into new tools and strategies.

Mia’s role as a social media manager is demanding, requiring a blend of creativity, analytics, and continuous learning to keep up with the fast-paced world of digital marketing in Australia. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities to grow her brand and engage with a dynamic online community.

Social media management essential skills

Reckon you’d be a great social media manager, based on your legendary posts on your personal accounts? You may be actually be on to something. Especially if your work is popular and influential beyond your circle of friends and family. There’s a lot that goes in to creating content people are interested in, and posting it in the right way, at the right time.

Essential skills and experience you may already have include:

1. Communication skills

  • Writing and editing: strong writing skills are essential for crafting compelling and grammatically correct content that engages audiences.
  • Verbal communication: effective verbal communication is important for collaborating with team members and stakeholders, and for presenting strategies and results.

2. Creative abilities

  • Graphic design: knowledge of design principles and proficiency in design software (like Adobe Creative Suite) can help in creating visually appealing content.
  • Video production: skills in video production and editing can be highly beneficial as video content continues to dominate social media.

3. Analytical skills

  • Data analysis: the ability to interpret data analytics to gauge content performance and make informed decisions based on user engagement and behaviour.
  • SEO/SEM: understanding of search engine optimisation and marketing to enhance content visibility.

4. Project management

  • Organisational skills: managing multiple tasks and campaigns requires good organisational and time-management skills.
  • Leadership: ability to lead and manage a team, including outsourcing to freelancers or collaborating with other departments.

5. Adaptability and learning

  • Trend awareness: being up-to-date with the latest digital trends and platform updates to keep the strategy relevant.
  • Continuous learning: willingness to continuously learn and adapt to new technologies and changes in the digital landscape.

6. Interpersonal skills

  • Customer service: good customer service skills to engage positively with followers and handle any public-facing issues or crises.
  • Networking: building and maintaining relationships with other professionals, influencers, and brands can enhance reach and credibility.

7. Experience

  • Background in marketing or communications: a formal education or background in marketing, communications, or public relations can provide a strong foundation.
  • Real-world practice: hands-on experience managing social media for a business, including internships or volunteer work, can be invaluable.

To take the next step and become a professional social media manager, there are a number of advanced technical skills and software proficiencies you’ll need to develop. These can be gained through a combination of training and certification courses (more on that next). They include:

Advanced technical skills:

♦ Advanced analytics and data interpretation

  • Mastery of social media analytics tools such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and Google Analytics to deeply analyse traffic, user engagement, and conversion rates.
  • Ability to use predictive analytics to forecast trends and user behaviour, enabling proactive strategy adjustments.

♦ Paid advertising expertise

  • Proficiency in managing paid campaigns across platforms like Meta Business Manager, Google Ads, and LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
  • Skills in A/B testing, budget management, and conversion rate optimisation to ensure the effectiveness of paid campaigns.

♦ Content automation

  • Familiarity with tools and scripts for automating content posting and engagement, which can save time and ensure consistency in content delivery.

♦ CRM integration

  • Ability to integrate social media strategies with customer relationship management (CRM) systems to enhance customer interactions and data collection.

Software skills:

♦  Social media management tools

  • Expertise in using advanced features of social media management tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social, including bulk scheduling, social listening, and detailed reporting.

♦ Graphic design software

  • Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) for creating professional visuals and infographics tailored to different platforms and audiences.

♦ Video production tools

  • Skills in using video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro to produce high-quality video content that is engaging and platform-optimised.

♦ Content management systems (CMS)

  • Proficiency in using CMS like WordPress or Drupal to manage and optimise content, integrate social media plugins, and enhance user engagement through blogs or forums.

♦ Web analytics tools

  • In-depth knowledge of tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics for measuring website traffic derived from social media, understanding user paths, and improving content strategies based on user interactions.

♦ Collaboration and project management software

  • Familiarity with tools such as Slack, Asana, or Trello to enhance team collaboration, manage projects, and streamline communication and task assignment.

These advanced technical and software skills enable social media managers to not only handle day-to-day tasks, but also to strategically innovate and optimise their approach to drive better results and achieve greater impact in their campaigns.

Social media manager certification

There are lots of different pathways to establishing your career in this field. For every successful social media manager you meet who’s been to uni or grad school, there’s one who reached their position through experience alone. However, if you’re looking to get certified as soon as possible, getting your skills up to scratch without spending years as a junior, there’s a different route you can take.

Monarch Institute offers a variety of flexible, 100% online social media marketing qualifications. Your choice will depend on your goals, time frame, and existing experience or qualifications (our friendly course consultants can hep you choose the right one for you).

The Diploma of Social Media Marketing is a nationally-recognised qualification. Fun fact: it’s the first ‘official’ social media qualification in Australia. It’s made up of nine units covering the most important technical, strategic and management skills you’ll need, including:

  • Content marketing
  • Social media strategy
  • Organic social media marketing
  • Paid social media advertising
  • Personal branding on social media
  • Social media conversion strategies
  • Project work
  • Persuasive copy
  • Marketing communication plans

The Social Media Fundamentals course is made up of three nationally recognised units – the very basics of social-media-specific technical skill. These are:

  • NAT10904001 Plan, implement and manage content marketing
  • NAT10904002 Plan, conduct and optimise organic social media marketing
  • NAT10904003 Plan, manage and optimise paid social media advertising

These purpose-built units are designed to help you practice your skills in a hands-on way (on your own business if you want!), leaving you with a portfolio of work you can use to secure your first proper social media management gig. The units are also part of the full Diploma, meaning you can get credit for them if you decide to continue studying after completing the Fundamentals.

Of course, full qualifications aren’t for everyone. You may be looking for an industry-based certification or short course. One that’s recognised around the world and endorsed by industry giants like Meta and X. That’d be the Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) course, or the Social Media Marketing course. Delivered in partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute, these cutting-edge multimedia-based courses are packed full of practical exercises and insight from international social media experts. The CDMP course is more of an all-rounder digital marketing course, which helps keep your career options open, or helps you work better with other marketing specialists. The Social Media Marketing course is a shorter, more targeted path to specialising in social media management work.

Monarch Institute offers three different qualifications which will help fast track your social media management career. These courses are as follows:

Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication
Diploma of Social Media Marketing
Certified Digital Marketing Professional

Not sure which social media study opportunity is right for you? Get in touch with our friendly course consultants today.


Any questions? Ask away!