In the last decade, social media marketing has become integral to any brand’s marketing strategy. With more than 4 billion people projected to use social media in 2025, and platforms like TikTok transforming the landscape, organizations are investing more resources into the medium. As a result, the social media manager has become a critical position supporting multiple teams throughout a company.
The role of social media managers has expanded to touch several business departments, including marketing, commerce, and care. Social media managers must wear many hats — the strategist, the storyteller, the community builder, the customer care whiz — all while inspiring followers to become customers.
In this 5-part blog series, we’ll share valuable insights from some of the leading minds in the field on topics ranging from technology to skillset. They’ll also offer advice to young professionals aspiring to start their social media careers. Be sure to view them all here!
Despite uncertain economic conditions, the February 2022 CMO Survey found that companies reported an average increase in marketing job growth of 12.2% in the last year, including social media managers. According to the career planning site Zippia.com, over 26,725 Social Media Managers are currently employed in the U.S. alone. Without question, social media management and marketing is a high-priority strategy requiring teams of individuals who have unique talent and skills that go beyond the yesteryears of simple "likes", "posts", "retweets", and DMs.
Today’s social media professionals bring an array of capabilities and skills, from communications and creativity to analytics, strategy, and technical expertise. They tend to possess the balance of both Intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) when it comes to working with thousands (even millions!) of vocal, energetic, high-expectation consumers.
So how can you jump-start your social career? We asked 10 of our Social Superstar nominees about what advice they would give to young professionals aspiring to start their social media careers.
Master the intangibles that make for successful social media managers
Citlali Amaranta del Valle Alonso, Insights Manager, The Hershey Company: "Develop [your] curiosity and business knowledge."
Juan Manuel Farías Salas, Director of Communications, Betterware (MX): "You need to be a good listener and a great communicator to reach your audience with the right message. It's a must to be up to date with trends and technological advances. It will really make the difference."
Hussein Abdallah, Senior Product Manager, Department of Tourism and Culture of Abu-Dhabi: "Young professionals are the first generation who are native to the digital world we live in. You are the perfect person to speak the language of your generation through your brand. Just know your limits first."
Erika Apellaniz, MarTech Lead Middle Americas Zone, Anheuser-Busch InBev: "Understand who your audience is, and make sure what is the tone and manner that the brand would need to use. Every brand, product, and strategy is different. Remember to always test, analyze, and learn; this will help you build the most successful strategies."
Be prepared, it may not always be fun and games
Aminta Iriarte, Senior Manager, Global Social Media Strategy, Crunch Fitness: "Expect to create and edit content, but also know you’ll be dealing with a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff like business management, analytics, reporting, and maybe even community management."
And you’ll likely encounter disgruntled customers. Iriarte added, "You need to find a balance between being empathetic to customer issues, but also realizing it’s not personal and not letting it get to you."
Just like with anything else, practice makes perfect.
Aura Antonia García, Creative Manager, Penguin Random House (MX): "Practice a lot: create content daily, see what works, and be the first to try a new platform."
Above all, put yourself out there, remain positive, and have fun
Kseniya Mahileuskaya, Digital & Social Media Senior Executive, Department of Tourism and Culture of Abu-Dhabi: "Just go for it! One of the favorite methods for social teams is ‘A/B testing.’ If plan A doesn't work, your plan B will not let you down."
David De la Garza O., Social Media Coordinator, Grupo Xcaret: "Always have fun. If you are not having fun with the brands you are working on, or it gets difficult to bring new ideas, maybe you are at the wrong place. Always try to keep your mind open for ideas even if they come from other people outside the social media team."
Stacy Oularis, Social Media Community Manager, ANZ: "Don’t give up, stay positive, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there."
Karla Ramirez, Head of Content Management, Grupo Editorial Altamirano (SV): "Enjoy from the first stage in networks, whether as a community manager or content creator. That is the stage where you learn the most and where you really become an expert in social media."
Know what expert social media teams look for when they’re hiring
Payclip: "Believe in [yourself], believe in [your] ideas, and be open to change, because in social media, what is trendy today will not matter tomorrow. Share [your]ideas and feelings and to not be afraid of it; a simple idea can be great and an amazing finding to make extraordinary things. Find a way of work that is going to help everyone to do their best job."
Viñedos La Redonda: "Be organized professionals, work by objectives and not by time, and above all, be professionals who are constantly updated."
Piaggio Group (IT): "The Social Media world is still growing fast, with a lot of opportunities. Follow your dreams!"
The road ahead to becoming a social media superstar yourself
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates jobs for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers will grow by 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is as fast as the average. Mastering social media is a long-haul endeavor, and the landscape is constantly changing. But up-and-coming social superstars have the opportunity to learn from others' successes (and mistakes) to define their own careers.
Want help becoming the social media superstar you’re meant to be? Emplifi Social Marketing Cloud has helped top brands elevate their social media game and drive business results. Book a demo today to speak with an Emplifi expert.