What Does A Social Media Manager (Even) Do?
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What Does A Social Media Manager (Even) Do?

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Over 200 billion tweets per year, 1 billion Instagram users per month, and 52 minutes per day on TikTok: It’s safe to say social media is deeply integrated into the fabric of our society. If you ever thought about starting a business in 2021, you quickly realized social media is the most affordable and accessible marketing tool you have.

There is a method to the social media madness. Thousands of freelancers have built successful careers developing strategy and content for social media campaigns.

First things first, here are the expectations & responsibilities of a Social Media Manager:

Credit: Scott Martin aka Burnt Toast Creative

What is the role of a Social Media Manager?

Social Media Managers (SMMs) live and breathe community. It is categorized as a Marketing or Digital Marketing role. SMMs work to communicate, market, and educate through an organization’s social media platforms.

A Social Media Manager’s goal is to plan content (blogs, photos, videos, and graphics) into a strategy that leads to awareness and community growth through the use of social media platforms (i.e, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn).

Credit: Imma Almourzaeva

Social Media Manager responsibilities and skills


  • Develop social media strategies that align with marketing efforts
  • Coordinate with writers and video editors to ensure content is produced and appealing
  • Assist in writing copy for content & captions
  • Manage and upload content to social media accounts
  • Engage with audience including responding to direct messages, comments, story replies, etc.
  • Research potential partners and influencers
  • Stay up-to-date with new digital technologies, algorithm changes, and social media best practices
  • Report weekly and monthly analytics and data trends

Skills (The more you have, the more qualified you are)

  • 💻 Experience with the Google Drive (Docs, Excel, Slides)
  • ✏️ Experience aligning content copy / text with a brand’s voice
  • 🔍 Resourceful research abilities
  • 🎨 Graphic design via Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Figma
  • 🎥 Video editing via TikTok, Instagram Reels, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, or Final Cut Pro

How much do Social Media Managers make?

According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for a Social Media Manager is $53,711/yr. [1] Social Media Manager roles at companies like Amazon and PwC can earn well up to $80,000+/yr.

When it comes to freelancing, companies on Pangea.app pay an average of $15–28/hr for part-time SMM roles.

Who does Social Media Manager work with?

A Social Media Manager’s role falls under the marketing department. Social Media Managers typically report to a Director of Marketing, CMO, or another senior marketing team member.

Depending on the company size, Social Media Managers may also work with:

  • 1) A Content Creator to help with specialized content needs like graphics or animation (i.e, graphic designer or video editor)
  • 3) A Data Analyst that helps monitor key metrics and develop new insights.

Other types of Digital Marketing roles

  • Community Manager
  • Content Writer
  • Creative Director
  • Digital Strategist
  • Email Marketing Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • SEO Specialist
  • Paid Advertising Specialist
  • UX / UI Designer