But it’s a lot harder than it looks, according to Anja Beckmann, a social media consultant who runs her own travel blog and spent many years as a spokeswoman for various businesses.
“If you want to become a social media expert you’ve got to be communicative, open, flexible and creative – as well as being interested in social media,” she says.
Her CV shows how varied the job can be: social media managers can work freelance, for specialized agencies or directly for an organization, representing their clients or employers on the internet.
The goal is to attract attention, either to win new customers or advertise a new project. Social media are also the new medium by which customers can complain, or ask questions, all of which social media managers have to sort through and respond to.
“You’re in constant contact with all the different departments,” says Beckmann.
A detailed knowledge of different social media is essential: What target groups use Facebook? What strategies work best on Twitter, which on Snapchat? What about data protection?
And of course the social media manager also has to know their own company’s products and services, as well as different trends within their industry.
“With social media, businesses want to reach younger target groups that they’re hardly reaching with traditional media any more,” explains Juliana Petrich from the German tech association Bitkom.
That means excellent job opportunities now and in the future.
“Four out of ten businesses want to increase their social media budgets,” says Petrich. That means there’s room for specialists: You don’t have to be familiar with the entire social media gamut, you can become an expert in marketing or data analysis.
There’s a multitude of study options available. “If you study communications for example or business studies you can specialize in social media,” says Petrich. “Or in IT you can work on the development of social media.”
Work experience is crucial. “Internships are indispensable,” says Petrich. “A blog can also be a great entry. You can show that you can deal with pictures, text and video,” says Beckmann. “Just have a go, that’s the beauty of social media.”
Salary usually depends on whose social media you’re managing – you can earn more in the pharmaceuticals industry than in tourism, for example, says Beckmann.
But, she adds, it’s important to think about what you like doing best because those in social media often end up taking their work home with them.
“One of the disadvantages is that your professional and private lives can quickly become blurred,” says Beckmann. Hours can also be unsociable, with social media managers having to respond to customers outside of the normal working hours.
If you can deal with all that you have an exciting career ahead of you. “The job changes constantly – just like social media,” says Beckmann.
By Pauline Sickmann