3 Social Media Executives Reveal How to Build a Career in Social

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Social media is still a comparatively caller field, having risen to prominence successful nan past 2 decades. As a result, location still isn’t overmuch of a norm book for group who want to prosecute it arsenic a career.

Current manufacture experts for illustration Tom Basgil, Amelia Munday, and Chi Thukra person learned connected nan job, moving their measurement up nan ranks pinch experimentation and iteration. All 3 now activity astatine a elder level astatine companies known for their top-notch social media strategies.

On nan hunt for guidance astir really to build a profession arsenic a societal media executive, I interviewed each three. Here is their proposal for personification looking to turn successful nan field.

For excessively long, galore brands and individuals person considered moving societal media accounts ‘easy’, thing that could beryllium handed complete to nan intern. This couldn’t beryllium much wrong. Managing societal media requires nan expertise of executives for illustration VPs and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who are dedicated to societal media.

You’re not *just* a societal media person

You don’t *only* request a infinitesimal of someone’s clip

You’re not *somewhat* judge what nan business needs to do

You’re a taxable matter master successful business captious fields of Social Media, PR aliases Comms.

Own it.

— Jen Hartmann (@jenalyson) July 29, 2021

A societal media executive is personification who creates and executes nan social media trading strategy of a company. These individuals besides supply strategical direction, negociate their societal team, and study connected quantitative and qualitative metrics captious to their company.

The March 2023 CMO Survey revealed companies walk 17 percent of their trading fund connected societal media. Experts foretell that fig will summation to 20.3 percent by year-end and 26.4 percent successful 5 years. It’s nan work of nan societal media executive to ain this fund and guarantee it delivers a important return connected investment.

As a societal media executive, your halfway occupation is to efficaciously deploy resources to nutrient results your higher-ups attraction about.

This mindset displacement is important because it helps you execute optimally successful your role. Plus, if you're a inferior social media manager, your expertise to thrust awesome business results makes you much valuable and increases your chances of becoming an executive.

Managers and clients attraction astir business impact, says Tom Basgil, Social Media Consultant astatine Tom Basgil LLC. “How is societal media driving nan bottommost line, expanding revenue, aliases nurturing leads? The cardinal is to amended stakeholders connected what societal media tin and cannot do.”

The cardinal is to amended stakeholders connected what societal media tin and cannot do

“Organic societal is awesome for top-of-the-funnel marque awareness, while paid tin beryllium utilized to thrust leads/sales,” he adds. “For organic, I stock impressions, engagements, and stock of voice. Paid is focused connected conversions, click-through rates, and costs-per-acquisition.”

Besides seeing a return connected advertisement walk (ROAS) for paid ads, Amelia Munday’s managers astatine Custom Neon wherever she useful arsenic a Marketing Specialist, besides attraction astir creating differentiated, engaging, and on-brand content.

“They want nan contented that we are sharing connected our social platforms to guidelines retired from nan crowd and disagree from our competitors,” she says. “It's important that our platforms are increasing and that our assemblage and followers are engaging pinch nan contented we are putting retired there.”

Chi Thukral, now Social Media Team Lead astatine HubSpot, says her managers successful a erstwhile domiciled astatine Yanko Design, wherever she worked arsenic Senior Digital Marketing Manager, wanted grounds of experimentation.

“My higher-ups are each for pushing boundaries and experimentation,” she explains. “They attraction astir seeing initiative, executing nan ideas, and analyzing nan results… It is important to spot maine pushing nan boundaries, being creative, and learning really to transportation unconventional ideas successful a measurement that they will get approved.”

Some experiments go large wins. Some fail. But for Chi, nan top joyousness comes from producing activity nan squad is proud of. “The champion validation is seeing our labor internally stock that content, consciousness proud astir it, and validate institution culture,” she says. “The intangibles are conscionable arsenic important to support way of because likes are not everything!”

The daily responsibilities of societal media executives are akin but tin alteration from business to business. Every time looks different, but their activities mostly revolve astir nan pursuing tasks.

Content planning, analysis, and reporting

The awesome portion of your time will impact planning, analysis, and reporting. This involves analyzing your content strategy and capacity to understand what's working, what isn't, and what tin beryllium improved. For Chi, this intends “checking connected nan feeds to spot really nan published contented is performing.”

For Amelia, a emblematic time involves rubbing guidelines pinch their integer agency to cheque successful connected really their paid Google and Meta ads are performing and looking astatine ways to optimize them and do tons of guardant planning, she says.

“We are perpetually considering what we tin do adjacent and scheme our campaigns retired a fewer months ahead, meaning we commencement moving connected Black Friday successful July!”

Content depletion and production

Social media executives besides tie inspiration from contented made by different creatives and brands.

“Since I lead Twitter [X] and Instagram for HubSpot, I walk an hr connected each level scrolling to get a consciousness of what is trending that time and besides doing community management/brand interactions,” she says.

Providing feedback

Managing a squad requires you to supply feedback. The amended nan feedback, nan amended squad members are capable to usability independently. For instance, Chi manages a squad of 16, truthful her workday starts pinch giving feedback to squad members and mentees.

She besides reviews her contented to incorporated feedback from her managers. “There are a lot of Zoom calls successful betwixt because I activity afloat remote,” Chi says.

There's nary clear-cut way to becoming a societal media executive. But nan profession journeys of our interviewees show communal threads that, if followed, will summation your chances of landing an executive role.

Gain hands-on societal media experience

A marketing-related grade helps your chances, but it's not required for a societal media career. Being competent successful a scope of social media skills is much important — arsenic is perpetually keeping abreast of nan trends and changes crossed platforms.

For instance, Amelia is self-taught. “I've taught myself galore of nan skills required for my role, and I'm perpetually learning and growing, particularly pinch changing algorithms and caller platforms popping up,” she says

Proactively spell aft opportunities

Within 3 years of gaining societal media guidance experience, Chi joined Yanko Design, 1 of nan world's largest creation publications, arsenic a Senior Digital Marketing Manager.

“I learned astir Yanko Design from a family friend,” Chi said successful a erstwhile interview. “I approached nan CEO, and I emailed him pinch plans until he yet gave successful and said, ‘Fine, fine, we'll bring you connected board.’ I didn't conscionable pester him. I gave him ideas of what I could do to make things better, really I would do things differently, and nan caller ventures I wanted to start. One of them was their sustainability wing.”

In position of measurable occurrence indicators, Chi grew nan brand's Instagram followers from astir 500k followers to complete 1 cardinal group wrong a year. Chi's phenomenal activity caused Forbes India to admit her arsenic a 30 nether 30 successful 2022.

Network, network, network

Chi’s communicative besides highlights nan value of networking.

A study shows 85 percent of jobs are filled via networking. Up to 80 percent of jobs are ne'er moreover posted publicly, according to Matt Youngquist, President of Career Horizons.

Building your master web is important — but this doesn’t mean relentless spamming. Focus connected cultivating intentional, mutually beneficial relationships and, for illustration Chi did, supply worth wherever possible. If you request thief pinch networking, this article by Austin Belcak is simply a awesome spot to start.

General hands-on societal acquisition is important to becoming an executive, but these skills will apt beryllium important for your role, too.

Video creation for YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram

Short-form video is dominating societal media — and showing nary signs of going anyplace anytime soon. According to a 2023 study by Wyzowl, 91 percent of businesses usage videos arsenic a trading tool.

social media executive

Seventy-eight percent of marketers besides opportunity videos person been very effective for their YouTube channel, followed by LinkedIn (69 percent), and Instagram (67 percent). These stats propose engaging video creation skills will stay important and it's 1 you request to master.

In-depth analytics experience

The expertise to ain and deliver a important ROI is simply a non-negotiable accomplishment for a societal media executive. Insights from your societal media analytics instrumentality are nan cardinal to knowing nan effectiveness of your efforts, improving your social media marketing strategy, and expanding your trading ROI.


If it’s in-depth, multi-platform analytics you’re after, Buffer tin help. Here’s how to get each your insights successful 1 spot and create beautiful reports your managers will love.

Knowing really to build and negociate a team

Being a societal media executive is simply a activity domiciled that requires various managerial skills, including effective communication, delegation, and task management.

While location are various head skills courses disposable online (LinkedIn Learning has plentifulness connected offer), nan champion measurement to hone these group skills is to return connected much responsibilities successful your existent role. Not only will this boost your societal media resume, but it mightiness besides springiness you a limb up successful climbing nan ladder.

An knowing of net culture

Understanding and staying plugged into net civilization is basal to your effectiveness arsenic a societal media executive. It lets you create contented that resonates and debar taste missteps that tin go immense PR issues. I for illustration really Jen Hartmann puts it:

social media executive

According to Chi, Tom, and Amelia, present are immoderate challenges you mightiness look arsenic a societal media executive.

Finding competent squad members

“Finding nan correct squad members is very difficult,” Tom says. “It's not capable to beryllium capable to constitute transcript aliases analyse metrics. You request an obsessive attraction to detail, nan expertise to deliberation quickly connected your feet, an knowing of quality psychology, and nan method knowing to return insights from soul and outer experts and relay them successful layperson's terms.”

The fix

If uncovering nan correct prosecute is tough, see mentoring personification who ticks astir of nan boxes and is, possibly astir importantly, consenting to learn. Develop an soul training process to thief squad members amended that you tin rotation retired for each caller squad members.

Creating differentiated content

For Amelia, 1 awesome situation she faces is trying to guidelines retired successful a saturated market. "When Custom Neon began, location were fewer competitors, particularly successful nan Australian market," she says.

"Now globally, nan number of companies that connection a akin merchandise to ours is high, truthful we request to guidelines retired and authorities what sets america isolated to show customers why they should take us!”

The fix

Evaluate competitor contented to find gaps and see really to make your contented much applicable to your audience. Also, see studying what unrelated brands successful saturated niches are doing to guidelines retired connected societal media.

Digital fatigue

Fatigue is bound to group successful erstwhile you're a societal media lead by time and creator by night. This is Chi's dilemma.

The Fix

Chi now realizes that “you request a break from nan net to proceed consuming and creating without burnout.” To do this well, Chi blocks clip to guarantee important activity gets done first and promptly. That way, she tin return breaks regularly and prosecute successful activities that refill her imaginative tank.

A social media career tin beryllium rewarding. If, for illustration Chi, you’ve discovered that you emotion societal media, spell for it.

Start by processing applicable societal media guidance skills and gaining hands-on experience. Next, put clip successful building a coagulated network. Afterward, create your opportunities by pitching brands you judge you tin serve. It won't beryllium easy, but it'll beryllium worthy it.


Give yourself a caput commencement arsenic a societal media executive pinch Buffer. Manage each your platforms successful 1 super-simple dashboard — pinch Buffer you tin create, schedule, and people posts, respond to personification comments, and way nan capacity of your societal campaigns.

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