Feb 17, 2024

Certified Social Media Manager – How to Find One for Your Brand

Certified Social Media Manager

A certified social media manager is a professional with validated expertise in managing social media platforms. They possess specialized knowledge in content creation, audience engagement, and analytics. Certified managers ensure brand consistency, enhance online visibility, and maximize ROI. 

According to a study by Hootsuite, brands with certified social media managers report 20% higher engagement rates than those without certification.

This article provides insight into what a certified social media manager is, what their tasks are, what skills they need and how you can work with one as a brand. Next, we discuss how much certified social media managers make, discuss how you should pay them and finally, answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Certified Social Media Manager

Table of Contents

What is a Certified Social Media Manager? 

A certified social media manager is a professional with validated expertise in managing social media platforms. They ensure brand consistency, enhance online visibility, and maximize ROI. They help brand owners promote their products/brand by driving engagement, increasing reach, and optimizing content strategies.

Now, let’s discuss the different tasks of a certified social media manager.

What are the Tasks of a Certified Social Media Manager?

Certified social media managers undertake diverse tasks: crafting engaging content, nurturing online communities, analyzing metrics, managing ads, collaborating with influencers, handling crises, curating content, driving engagement campaigns, and optimizing platform performance. These efforts collectively enhance brand visibility, engagement, and reputation across social media platforms. This is all something that JoinBrands can help you with.

Content Creation

This task involves crafting engaging posts, graphics, and videos for social media platforms. Certified social media managers employ creativity and market research to tailor content to their target audience. Content creation is often performed daily or as scheduled in a content calendar. It benefits brand owners by attracting and retaining audience attention, ultimately driving brand awareness and loyalty.

Community Management

Community management entails interacting with followers, responding to comments, and addressing inquiries or concerns on social media. Managers engage with the community consistently, often multiple times per day. This task fosters a positive brand image, strengthens relationships with customers, and builds trust in the brand. It helps brand owners maintain a loyal customer base and encourages positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Analytics Tracking

Analytics tracking involves monitoring and analyzing social media metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversion rates. Certified social media managers typically review data weekly or monthly to glean insights into audience behavior. This task provides valuable insights for refining strategies and optimizing performance. It empowers brand owners to make data-driven decisions, leading to improved ROI and more effective marketing efforts.

Social Media Advertising

Certified social media managers create and manage paid advertising campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They optimize ad targeting, budgets, and creative assets to reach the desired audience effectively. This task may be performed regularly, depending on the duration and goals of the advertising campaign. It benefits brand owners by increasing brand visibility, driving website traffic, and generating leads or sales.

Influencer Outreach and Collaboration

Certified social media managers identify and collaborate with relevant influencers to promote the brand or product. They negotiate partnerships, coordinate content creation, and track influencer performance. Influencer outreach may occur periodically as part of strategic marketing initiatives. This task leverages the credibility and reach of influencers to expand brand reach, build credibility, and access new audiences.

Crisis Management

Certified social media managers are responsible for handling crises or negative publicity on social media promptly and effectively. They monitor online conversations, address issues transparently, and implement crisis communication strategies. Crisis management tasks may arise unexpectedly but are crucial for protecting brand reputation. It helps brand owners mitigate damage, regain trust, and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and integrity.

Content Curation

Content curation involves sourcing and sharing relevant third-party content that aligns with the brand’s values and interests. Certified social media managers curate content from industry publications, thought leaders, and user-generated content. This task is typically performed regularly as part of a content strategy to maintain a consistent posting schedule. It benefits brand owners by providing valuable information to their audience, establishing the brand as a trusted resource, and fostering engagement through diverse content.

Audience Engagement Campaigns

Certified social media managers design and execute campaigns specifically aimed at driving audience engagement, such as contests, polls, or user-generated content challenges. They create compelling campaign concepts, promote participation, and track campaign performance metrics. Audience engagement campaigns may be implemented periodically or in conjunction with specific marketing objectives. This task encourages active participation from the audience, strengthens community bonds, and increases brand visibility and awareness.

Platform Management and Optimization

Certified social media managers oversee the setup, management, and optimization of brand profiles across various social media platforms. They ensure consistency in branding, optimize profile information and settings, and stay updated on platform features and best practices. Platform management tasks are ongoing, with periodic reviews and adjustments based on platform updates or changes in audience behavior. It benefits brand owners by maintaining a professional and cohesive online presence, enhancing discoverability, and maximizing the effectiveness of each platform for reaching the target audience.

Now that we know the different tasks of a certified social media manager, let’s discuss the skills you’ll need to accomplish these tasks. 

What Skills Does a Certified Social Media Manager Need?

Certified social media managers require a diverse skill set to excel, including communication, analytics, creativity, strategic thinking, adaptability, time management, customer service, and risk management. These skills enable managers to effectively engage audiences, optimize campaigns, foster brand loyalty, and navigate challenges, ultimately contributing to brand success in the digital landscape. 

Communication Skills

Effective communication involves conveying messages clearly and persuasively to target audiences. Research shows that 86% of employers prioritize communication skills when hiring certified social media managers. This skill aids in tasks such as crafting engaging content, responding to comments, and managing brand reputation. Brands benefit from clear and compelling communication by fostering stronger connections with their audience and enhancing brand perception. It ensures consistent messaging across platforms, increases audience engagement, and drives brand loyalty. Ultimately, brands with certified social media managers possessing strong communication skills can effectively convey their brand’s values and offerings to their target audience.

Analytical Skills

Analytical skills encompass the ability to interpret data, identify trends, and draw meaningful insights. 92% of marketers consider analytics a critical component of their social media strategy. This skill assists in tasks such as tracking performance metrics, optimizing campaigns, and identifying opportunities for improvement. Brands benefit from data-driven decision-making, enabling them to refine strategies and maximize ROI. It allows for a deeper understanding of audience behavior, facilitates targeted marketing efforts, and improves overall campaign effectiveness. Consequently, brands can allocate resources more efficiently and achieve their marketing objectives with greater precision.


Creativity involves generating innovative ideas and producing compelling content that resonates with audiences. Studies show that 58% of marketers believe creativity is the most important skill for successful social media campaigns. This skill is essential for tasks such as content creation, campaign concept development, and brand storytelling. Brands benefit from creative certified social media managers who can capture attention, evoke emotion, and differentiate the brand from competitors. It fosters brand authenticity, encourages audience engagement, and cultivates a memorable brand identity. Ultimately, brands with creative certified social media managers can stand out in crowded digital spaces and leave a lasting impression on their audience.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking involves analyzing objectives, anticipating challenges, and developing long-term plans to achieve goals. Research indicates that 60% of brands lack a well-defined social media strategy. This skill guides tasks such as campaign planning, audience targeting, and crisis management. Brands benefit from strategic certified social media managers who can align social media efforts with broader business objectives. It ensures that social media activities contribute to overall business growth, brand equity, and market positioning. By taking a strategic approach, brands can capitalize on opportunities, mitigate risks, and maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape.


Adaptability is the ability to adjust to changing circumstances, technologies, and consumer preferences. In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, certified social media managers must adapt quickly to new trends and platforms. This skill enables managers to navigate tasks such as algorithm changes, emerging social media features, and shifts in audience behavior. Brands benefit from adaptable certified social media managers who can stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on new opportunities. It allows brands to maintain relevance, reach audiences effectively across multiple platforms, and stay competitive in dynamic markets. Ultimately, brands with adaptable certified social media managers can remain agile and responsive to evolving consumer needs and market trends.

Time Management

Time management involves efficiently allocating and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines and achieve goals. Studies show that 74% of marketers struggle with time management in their social media efforts. This skill is crucial for tasks such as content scheduling, campaign execution, and community engagement. Brands benefit from certified social media managers who can optimize their workflow, ensuring timely delivery of content and responses. It maximizes productivity, minimizes delays in campaign execution, and maintains a consistent online presence. Ultimately, brands with certified social media managers adept at time management can capitalize on opportunities and maintain momentum in their marketing efforts.

Customer Service

Customer service skills involve addressing inquiries, concerns, and feedback from customers in a timely and helpful manner. Research indicates that 71% of consumers expect brands to provide assistance within 24 hours on social media. This skill is essential for tasks such as responding to comments, resolving complaints, and providing product support. Brands benefit from certified social media managers who can deliver exceptional customer service experiences, enhancing brand reputation and loyalty. It fosters positive relationships with customers, encourages brand advocacy, and increases customer satisfaction and retention. Ultimately, brands with certified social media managers proficient in customer service can turn interactions into opportunities to delight and retain customers.

Risk Management

Risk management involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks that may impact the brand’s reputation or performance on social media. Studies show that 65% of consumers have lost trust in a brand due to a negative experience on social media. This skill is crucial for tasks such as crisis preparedness, brand monitoring, and implementing security measures. Brands benefit from certified social media managers who can anticipate and address potential risks, minimizing the impact of negative events. It protects brand reputation, maintains customer trust, and preserves brand equity in the face of challenges. Ultimately, brands with certified social media managers skilled in risk management can navigate crises effectively and emerge stronger from adversity.

Now, let’s discuss how to work with a certified social media manager as a brand.

How to Work with a Certified Social Media Manager as a Brand 

1. Establishing Clear Objectives

The first step is to establish clear objectives for the social media strategy. This is crucial for the brand because it guides the overall direction of the social media efforts, ensuring that every action contributes to the overarching goals. For the social media content manager, understanding these objectives is essential for developing targeted content and campaigns. To achieve this step effectively, both parties should collaborate to define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives, ensuring alignment on expectations and outcomes.

2. Defining the Target Audience

Identifying and understanding the target audience is the next step. For the brand, this ensures that the content will resonate with the intended demographic, increasing engagement and conversion rates. For the social media content manager, knowledge of the target audience informs content creation, helping to tailor messages that appeal directly to those users. This step can be effectively achieved through audience research, including analysis of demographics, interests, and behaviors, enabling the creation of persona-based strategies.

3. Crafting a Content Strategy

Developing a comprehensive content strategy is essential. This strategy serves as a roadmap for what type of content will be published on which platforms and how often. For the brand, a well-defined content strategy ensures consistent and cohesive messaging across all channels. For the social media content manager, it provides a clear framework within which to work, allowing for creativity while staying aligned with the brand’s goals. Effectiveness is achieved by aligning the content strategy with the brand’s objectives and audience preferences, incorporating a mix of content types to engage users.

4. Content Creation and Curation

Creating and curating engaging content is a critical step. For the brand, high-quality content drives engagement, builds brand loyalty, and enhances online presence. For the social media content manager, this step involves leveraging creativity and industry insights to produce content that captures attention and encourages interaction. Achieving this effectively means balancing original content with curated resources that align with the brand’s voice and audience’s interests, ensuring a dynamic and interesting social media feed.

5. Scheduling and Publishing

Consistent scheduling and publishing of content maintain the brand’s presence and keep the audience engaged. For the brand, a regular posting schedule ensures visibility and engagement in the crowded social media space. For the social media content manager, efficient scheduling involves planning content in advance and utilizing social media management tools to automate publishing. Effectiveness is achieved by establishing a content calendar that reflects peak engagement times and maintains a steady flow of content.

6. Monitoring and Engagement

Active monitoring and engagement with the audience are vital. For the brand, this step strengthens relationships with followers and can provide valuable feedback. For the social media content manager, it means responding to comments, messages, and mentions in a timely manner, fostering a sense of community. To achieve this effectively, set up alerts for brand mentions and use social media tools to streamline engagement processes, ensuring no interaction is overlooked.

7. Analytics and Reporting

Analyzing performance data and reporting is crucial for measuring the success of social media efforts. For the brand, insights gained from analytics inform strategic decisions and adjustments to the social media strategy. For the social media content manager, regular analysis of key performance indicators (KPIs) helps to understand what content performs best and why. Effectiveness in this step is achieved by utilizing analytics tools to track engagement, reach, and conversion metrics, and then adjusting strategies based on data-driven insights.

8. Collaborative Review and Adjustments

Periodic reviews and strategy adjustments ensure the social media strategy remains effective and aligned with the brand’s goals. For the brand, this step is an opportunity to reassess objectives and refine tactics. For the social media content manager, it involves collaborating with the brand to analyze successes and challenges, and to iterate on the strategy. Achieving this effectively requires open communication and flexibility to pivot strategies based on performance analysis and changing market trends.

9. Crisis Management Planning

Preparing for potential social media crises is an essential step. For the brand, having a crisis management plan in place protects reputation and minimizes damage from negative events. For the social media content manager, it means being equipped to act swiftly and appropriately in case of a crisis. Effectiveness is achieved by developing clear guidelines and response strategies for various types of crises, ensuring quick and coordinated action when needed.

10. Continuous Learning and Innovation

Embracing continuous learning and innovation keeps the brand’s social media strategy fresh and competitive. For the brand, staying updated with the latest trends and technologies can uncover new opportunities for engagement and growth. For the social media content manager, it involves regularly seeking out new ideas, tools, and strategies to enhance the brand’s social media presence. Achieving this effectively requires a commitment to ongoing education and experimentation, fostering an environment where innovative ideas are encouraged and tested.

By following these steps, brands and social media content managers can collaborate effectively to achieve outstanding results in their social media endeavors. Each step builds upon the last, creating a cohesive and dynamic strategy that drives brand awareness, engages the audience, and achieves strategic business objectives.

Now, let’s discuss how much a certified social media manager makes. 

How Much Does a Certified Social Media Manager Make? 

The salary of a certified social media manager can vary depending on several factors. These factors include the geographical location of the job, the size and industry of the company, the manager’s level of experience, and their specific skill set.

Geographical Location

The location of the job significantly impacts a certified social media manager’s salary due to variations in living costs and market demand. For example, managers working in major metropolitan areas or regions with a high cost of living may command higher salaries compared to those in smaller cities or rural areas. Additionally, salaries may differ between countries or states based on local economic conditions and industry norms.

Company Size and Industry

The size and industry of the employing company play a crucial role in determining a certified social media manager’s salary. Larger companies or those operating in lucrative sectors such as technology or finance often offer higher salaries and additional perks to attract top talent. Similarly, organizations with robust social media strategies and budgets may allocate more resources towards compensating their certified social media managers compared to smaller businesses or industries with limited digital presence.

Level of Experience

Experience level is a key determinant of a certified social media manager’s salary, with compensation typically increasing as managers gain more years of relevant experience. Entry-level managers with limited experience may start at lower salary bands, while mid-level and senior managers who possess a proven track record of success and leadership skills command higher salaries. Employers often offer incremental raises or promotions as managers progress in their careers and take on more responsibilities.

Here’s a table that depicts salaries of certified social media managers based on different experience levels: 

Experience LevelSalary Range (Annual)
Entry-level$40,000 – $60,000
Mid-level$60,000 – $80,000
Senior$80,000 – $100,000+

Skill Set and Specialization

A certified social media manager’s salary can also be influenced by their specific skill set, expertise, and areas of specialization within social media management. Managers with proficiency in emerging technologies, data analytics, or niche platforms may command higher salaries due to their specialized knowledge and in-demand skills. Additionally, certifications or advanced degrees in relevant fields such as digital marketing or social media strategy may contribute to higher earning potential.

Now, let’s discuss how you should compensate certified social media managers. 

How to Compensate Certified Social Media Managers as a Brand

Creating a comprehensive compensation plan for certified social media managers involves several components to ensure it’s attractive, competitive, and fair. Given the specialized skills and certifications these professionals bring, their compensation package should reflect their expertise, experience, and the value they add to the brand. Here’s a detailed plan on how brands should approach this:

1. Competitive Base Salary

Objective: The base salary is the foundation of the compensation package, ensuring financial stability for the manager. It should be competitive within the industry to attract and retain top talent.

Implementation: Conduct market research to understand the standard compensation for certified social media managers in your industry and region. Consider factors like experience, size of the brand, and the scope of responsibilities. Adjust salaries annually based on cost of living increases and market rates.

2. Performance Bonuses

Objective: Bonuses motivate social media managers to exceed their performance targets, aligning their goals with the brand’s success.

Implementation: Set clear, measurable objectives linked to the brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs), such as engagement rates, follower growth, and conversion metrics. Offer bonuses for achieving and exceeding these targets, with the potential for larger bonuses tied to significant brand milestones or campaigns.

3. Profit Sharing Plans

Objective: Including social media managers in profit-sharing plans encourages them to contribute to the overall success of the brand, fostering a sense of ownership and alignment with the company’s goals.

Implementation: Develop a profit-sharing scheme where a portion of the brand’s profits is distributed among employees, including social media managers, based on the company’s performance. This can be done annually or semi-annually.

4. Benefits Package

Objective: A comprehensive benefits package is crucial for the well-being of the employee, covering health, dental, vision insurance, and retirement plans.

Implementation: Offer a benefits package that matches or exceeds industry standards. Include options for personal development, such as covering the costs for further certifications and training in social media and digital marketing, to encourage continuous learning and improvement.

5. Continuing Education and Certification Incentives

Objective: Encourage ongoing education and professional development to ensure the social media manager remains at the forefront of industry trends and best practices.

Implementation: Offer annual stipends or reimbursements for courses, workshops, and conferences related to social media and digital marketing. Additionally, provide bonuses or salary increases when new relevant certifications are acquired, incentivizing professional growth.

6. Flexible Working Conditions

Objective: Recognize the importance of work-life balance by offering flexible working conditions, which can increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Implementation: Allow for remote work options, flexible hours, and consider implementing a results-only work environment (ROWE) where performance is measured by output rather than time spent in the office.

7. Recognition and Awards

Objective: Public recognition for exceptional work boosts morale and acknowledges the social media manager’s contributions to the brand’s success.

Implementation: Establish an awards program to celebrate significant achievements, such as successful campaigns or notable increases in engagement metrics. Recognition can take many forms, from public acknowledgment in company meetings to articles in internal newsletters.

8. Career Advancement Opportunities

Objective: Provide clear pathways for career advancement to motivate social media managers and retain them long-term.

Implementation: Create a career progression plan that outlines potential growth paths within the organization. Discuss these paths during performance reviews and provide the support needed to achieve these career milestones.

9. Work Equipment and Tools

Objective: Ensure social media managers have access to the latest technology and tools needed to perform their job efficiently.

Implementation: Offer a budget for purchasing or upgrading computers, smartphones, and software subscriptions related to social media management and analytics.

10. Regular Compensation Reviews

Objective: Regularly review and adjust compensation to reflect changes in the market, the manager’s skill set, and contributions to the brand.

Implementation: Schedule annual compensation reviews to discuss performance, reassess salary based on market trends, and adjust the compensation package as necessary.

This detailed plan aims to create a well-rounded compensation package that not only reflects the value and expertise that certified social media managers bring to a brand but also supports their professional growth, work-life balance, and financial well-being. By recognizing and rewarding their contributions, brands can foster a motivated and loyal team that drives social media success.

Now, let’s discuss some frequently asked questions (FAQs). 

Certified Social Media Manager

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How can one become a certified social media manager?

To become a certified social media manager, one must complete a certification course offered by an accredited institution or online platform. This process involves learning key social media marketing strategies, tools, analytics, and engagement techniques, followed by passing an examination to validate their proficiency.

Why is certification important for a social media manager?

Certification is crucial for a social media manager as it provides formal recognition of their expertise and skills in social media marketing. It enhances their credibility, increases employability, and assures clients or employers of their capability to effectively manage and grow social media presence.

What skills are essential for a certified social media manager?

Essential skills for a certified social media manager include strategic planning, content creation, analytics analysis, engagement tactics, and knowledge of various social media platforms. These competencies enable them to effectively manage and grow an organization’s social media presence.

Which institutions offer certification for social media managers?

Various institutions offer certification for social media managers, including universities, online education platforms, and professional organizations. These entities provide courses that cover comprehensive aspects of social media management, from basic to advanced levels.

How long does it take to become a certified social media manager?

The time to become a certified social media manager varies depending on the program’s depth and the learner’s pace, typically ranging from a few weeks to several months. This period includes learning the curriculum, completing assignments, and passing the certification exam.

What are the benefits of hiring a certified social media manager?

Hiring a certified social media manager offers benefits such as improved social media strategy, enhanced brand visibility, increased engagement with the target audience, and better ROI on social media investments. Their certification assures expertise in managing social media campaigns effectively.

Can a certified social media manager work in any industry?

Yes, a certified social media manager can work in any industry. Their skills in crafting strategies, content creation, and audience engagement are versatile and adaptable to various sectors, enabling businesses across different fields to enhance their social media presence.

What is the average salary of a certified social media manager?

The average salary of a certified social media manager varies by location, experience, and industry. However, certification can lead to higher salary prospects due to the validation of their expertise and skills in managing social media platforms effectively.

How does a certified social media manager stay updated with industry trends?

A certified social media manager stays updated with industry trends by attending workshops, participating in professional networks, following industry leaders on social media, and subscribing to relevant publications. Continuous learning is essential for adapting strategies to the evolving digital landscape.

What differentiates a certified social media manager from a non-certified one?

The primary difference between a certified and a non-certified social media manager is the formal recognition of expertise. Certification validates the individual’s skills in strategic planning, content creation, analytics, and engagement, offering assurance of their proficiency in managing social media platforms.


In conclusion, becoming a certified social media manager offers a pathway to credibility and expertise in navigating the dynamic landscape of digital marketing. With the skills gained through certification, professionals can effectively strategize, analyze, and engage audiences across various platforms, driving impactful results for businesses in today’s competitive online sphere.

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