How to Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience

As an aspiring social media manager with no prior experience, building the necessary skills and experience to land your first role can seem like an i… As an aspiring social media manager with no prior experience, building the necessary skills and experience to land your first role can seem like an i…

As an aspiring social media manager with no prior experience, building the necessary skills and experience to land your first role can seem like an impossible challenge.

The field is competitive, and most employers prefer candidates with several years of hands-on experience running social media campaigns.

However, if you have a passion for social media and marketing, all hope is not lost.

With hard work and dedication, you can develop a portfolio of experience that helps you stand out to employers.

Over the next few months, I went from having no social media experience to landing multiple job offers as a social media manager.

In this article, I will share the steps I took to gain the necessary knowledge and build up my experience to successfully transition into the role.

Whether you're a recent college graduate, looking to change careers, or wanting to pick up useful skills, you can become a social media manager without prior experience.

It will require work, but the rewards of doing a job you love make the effort worthwhile.

What Does a Social Media Manager Do?

As a social media manager, I am responsible for developing and implementing social media strategies to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to company websites, and boost lead generation and sales.

Key Responsibilities

My day-to-day duties typically include:

  • Conducting research on current social media trends and our target audiences

  • Creating and curating relevant content (blog posts, photos, videos, infographics) to post on social platforms

  • Engaging with followers by replying to comments and messages in a timely manner

  • Analyzing social media metrics and insights to optimize content and strategies

  • Staying up-to-date with changes in popular social networks and tools

  • Collaborating with marketing and design teams to ensure brand consistency across channels

  • Providing recommendations and advice on social media best practices to colleagues

While not always required, many social media managers have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, public relations or a related field.

Strong written and verbal communication skills, an understanding of major social media platforms and analytics tools, basic design abilities, and a creative mindset will serve you well in this role.

With hard work and persistence, you can land an entry-level position and gain valuable on-the-job experience.

Many social media managers get started by interning at an agency or company to build up their experience, networking, and honing their craft before transitioning into a full-time role.

While the job market is competitive, the demand for social media expertise is growing rapidly.

With the right skills and motivation, you can become a social media manager, even without years of prior experience.

Skills and Qualities Needed for the Job

To become a social media manager without prior experience, you'll need to develop key skills and embody certain qualities that will set you up for success in this role.

Technical Skills

You'll need to become proficient in social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Learn how to optimize profiles, post content, engage audiences, and analyze data and insights.

You should also know how to use social media management tools to efficiently post, monitor, and report on social accounts.

Basic skills in graphic design, photography, and video editing will allow you to create high-quality visual content.

Soft Skills

Strong communication abilities are essential, as you'll need to connect with colleagues and clients, understand their needs, and translate those needs into social media strategies.

You'll also need to be a compelling storyteller to craft posts and captions that resonate with audiences.

Organizational and time-management skills are important to keep up with the fast-paced nature of social media.

Creativity will help you develop innovative content and new ways to engage followers.


An ideal social media manager is curious, as you must stay on top of trends in social networks, content creation, and digital marketing.

You should be data-driven to make decisions based on social insights and metrics.

Having a positive attitude and sense of humor will make the work more enjoyable for you and come through in your social posts.

Patience and persistence are useful when building an audience and community.

Most of all, you must have a passion for social media and understanding how it can be leveraged to achieve business goals.

With continual learning and experience, you can gain the skills and develop the qualities to excel as a social media manager, even without a related degree or background.

The key is simply getting started, practicing each day, and sticking with it.

How to Gain Relevant Skills With No Experience

To become a social media manager with no prior experience, you must develop relevant skills and expertise.

Through self-study and practice, I gained the necessary knowledge and abilities to perform this role.

Learn Social Media Platforms and Best Practices

I spent time learning the major social networks - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn - and how businesses use them.

I studied platform best practices for posting frequency, content types, and engagement.

I set up profiles for fictional brands to practice posting in different styles and voices.

Develop Content Creation Skills

A social media manager must be able to create visual and written content.

I taught myself basic graphic design skills using free tools like Canva and practiced writing different forms of social media copy like tweets, captions, and blog posts.

Creating mock content for various brands helped me develop a versatile style.

Stay Up-To-Date with Trends and Tools

Social media is constantly evolving, so I follow industry leaders and news sources to stay on top of new platforms, features, algorithms, and best practices.

I also experiment with social media management tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social to understand how they can help in this role.

Build Soft Skills

Strong soft skills like communication, organization, and problem-solving are essential for a social media manager.

I worked to strengthen these skills through volunteering, joining networking groups, and managing my own social media profiles.

Relationships and partnerships are also important, so I aimed to develop an approachable and personable online presence.

With diligent self-study and practice, I gained the skills and knowledge to become a social media manager without previous experience.

Continuous learning and improvement are required to excel in this role long-term, but the fundamentals can be developed through your own motivation and hard work.

If you dedicate time to understanding social media, creating content, staying up-to-date with trends, and building key soft skills, you can launch a career as a social media manager, even without a related degree or background.

Building Your Social Media Presence

To build your social media presence as a new social media manager, focus on the following steps:

Create Social Media Profiles

As an aspiring social media manager, establish dedicated profiles for the major social networks - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Provide a consistent profile photo and cover image across platforms to strengthen your personal brand.

Share posts about social media news, tips, tools, and strategies to position yourself as a thought leader.

Engage with others by liking and commenting on their posts.

Build Your Connections

Connect with other social media managers and people in related roles like digital marketers, content creators, and influencers.

Send personalized connection requests explaining your goal of becoming a social media manager.

Once connected, engage with them by liking and commenting on their posts.

Some may follow you back, providing opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.

Expand your network over time through introductions from new connections.

Post Valuable Content

Share blog posts, images, video and other social media content that provides value to your target audience of businesses and clients.

For example, you might create social media strategy templates, checklists or how-to guides.

Provide an insider’s perspective on the latest social media tools, features and algorithms changes.

Repurpose content by posting across multiple platforms, tailoring it for each channel.

Promote your content through social sharing and email newsletters.

Gain Experience

While building your social media presence and online credibility, seek opportunities to gain hands-on experience managing social media accounts.

You might volunteer to run the social media for a local nonprofit organization in your area of expertise or interest.

Manage social media campaigns for friends who own small businesses.

Apply for entry-level social media management roles to get experience working for clients.

With time and experience, you can pursue full-time social media management positions or build your own consulting business.

Through diligent profile building, networking, creating and sharing valuable content, and gaining direct experience, you can establish yourself as a social media manager and advance your career, even without a related degree or job experience.

With hard work and persistence, you can achieve your goal of becoming a professional social media manager.

Creating a Portfolio of Your Work

To build a portfolio as a social media manager with no experience, I would start by choosing platforms to focus on, based on my interests and skills.

For example, if I have a knack for visuals and short-form content, Instagram and TikTok could be good places to start.

If I prefer long-form writing, a blog and LinkedIn may be better options.

Choosing Accounts to Manage

Once I determine the platforms, I need to find accounts to manage, whether my own or for local small businesses, nonprofits or influencers.

To build experience, I would start with managing my own accounts or volunteer to help organizations I care about.

Some may be open to giving me access to their accounts to post on their behalf, with oversight and guidance.

This allows me to gain real-world experience curating content, engaging with audiences and analyzing metrics to optimize performance.

Developing a Content Strategy

For each account, I would develop a comprehensive content strategy, including:

  • Posting schedules based on when each audience is most active and engaged.

    For example, Instagram audiences tend to be most active in the evenings and on weekends.

  • A mix of content types like behind-the-scenes photos, infographics, blog posts, news coverage and more.

  • Hashtags, captions and keywords to increase visibility, clicks and shares.

    Researching related accounts to see what hashtags and phrases they use is a good way to identify opportunities.

  • A balance of promotional and non-promotional posts to avoid seeming “salesy.” For every few promotional posts, share an educational, entertaining or inspiring piece of content.

  • Metrics to track, e.g.

    impressions, engagement, link clicks, followers growth, etc.

    I would analyze metrics regularly to optimize the strategy.

With time and practice, I can build a robust portfolio of social media management experience and results to help land my first paid role, even with no prior experience.

The key is starting small, working hard to gain experience, and leveraging the opportunities and connections that come from managing accounts well.

Networking and Making Connections

To become a social media manager without previous experience, networking and making genuine connections in the industry is key.

Build Your Online Presence

Establish a professional presence on major social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Optimize your profiles by including relevant work experience, skills, and interests.

Engage with others by liking and commenting on posts, and sharing relevant content.

This helps to raise your visibility and build credibility.

Join Relevant Groups

Look for popular social media groups and online communities in your area of interest.

Some options for social media managers include Social Media Managers, Social Media Marketing, and Digital Marketing.

Join the conversation by commenting on discussions and posting questions.

Provide value by sharing useful resources and advice.

Over time, you can build mutually beneficial relationships.

Reach Out for Informational Interviews

Contact social media managers currently in roles you aspire to.

Express your interest in learning more about their work and company.

Ask if they would be open to a quick informational interview over the phone or video chat.

Come prepared with thoughtful questions about their job responsibilities, background, and advice for breaking into the field.

These conversations are an opportunity to learn and make a good impression.

Attend Industry Events

Look for social media and marketing conferences or events in your area.

Events like Social Media Marketing World, Content Marketing World, and Digital Summit are great for networking and learning.

Strike up genuine conversations with other attendees and speakers.

Share your goals and don't be afraid to ask someone to connect on LinkedIn or grab coffee.

Follow up and build new relationships.

With time and persistence, networking and making authentic connections with others can lead to new opportunities like job referrals, collaborations, mentorships, and clients.

While gaining the necessary knowledge and skills, never underestimate the power of your network.

Keep putting in the effort to expand your circle of influencers and someone may just take a chance on you.

Finding Entry-Level Social Media Roles

To land an entry-level role as a social media manager with no prior experience, the key is leveraging your transferable skills and actively networking.

Focus on building your knowledge and experience through online courses and internships.

With hard work and persistence, you can break into this growing field.

Develop Your Knowledge

Study the latest social media platforms, strategies, and tools.

Take free or low-cost online courses on sites like Coursera, Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.

Topics to focus on include content creation, community management, analytics, and social advertising.

Stay up-to-date with trends by following industry leaders and news sources.

Over time, you will build up your expertise.

Gain Experience

Look for internship opportunities at local businesses or nonprofits to gain hands-on experience.

Reach out to companies you're interested in and offer to intern 10-15 hours a week helping run their social media.

Be willing to start with entry-level community management and content creation tasks.

Treat the internship like a job and work hard to prove your abilities.

With time, you may get hired on permanently or use the experience to land an entry-level role elsewhere.

Build Your Network

Attend local networking events, conferences and Meetups to connect with others in the social media field.

Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and engage actively in discussions.

Reach out for informational interviews and ask people about their roles and companies.

Let them know you're looking for entry-level social media opportunities.

Someone in your network may know of an opening and help you get your foot in the door.

Look for Job Openings

Search sites like Indeed, Monster and Craigslist for openings with titles like “Social Media Coordinator,” “Social Media Assistant” or “Junior Social Media Manager.” Smaller companies and startups are often open to candidates with little experience, so focus your efforts there.

Be willing to start in a role with a lower salary to build up your experience.

With hard work, you can progress quickly to a higher-level position.

The path to becoming a social media manager is challenging but rewarding.

With diligent self-study, practical experience through interning, active networking and persistence in your job search, you can launch your career in this exciting field.

Continuing Your Education and Training

To become a social media manager, continuing to strengthen your knowledge and skills is essential.

Ongoing learning will help ensure you stay up-to-date with changes in various social networks and tools, gain new insights into effective social media strategies, and advance your career.

Take Additional Courses

I would recommend exploring social media-focused courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, or LinkedIn Learning.

These cover foundational topics as well as more advanced subjects, such as developing a content strategy, social media advertising, analytics, and influencer marketing.

You might also pursue certifications from major social networks like Facebook Blueprint or Hootsuite Academy.

Achieving these credentials demonstrates your competence to employers and clients.

Stay Up-To-Date with Social Media News and Trends

The social media landscape is constantly shifting, so following industry news is vital.

I regularly read blogs like Social Media Examiner, Convince and Convert, and Hootsuite Blog.

I also subscribe to newsletters such as Social Media Marketing Weekly by Social Media Examiner and Jeff Bullas' newsletter.

Additionally, I follow thought leaders and publications on various social networks to see discussions about new features, algorithms changes, and trends as they emerge.

###Continue Networking and Making Connections

Networking with other social media professionals is a great way to learn and open up new opportunities.

I attend local social media marketing meetups and events when possible.

I also actively participate in relevant LinkedIn groups, such as Social Media Marketing Professionals and Social Media Managers, by posting discussions and commenting on other posts.

These types of online communities are ideal for asking questions, sharing insights, and making new contacts in your industry.

Through committing to ongoing education and professional development, a social media manager can gain the knowledge and connections to advance their career, better serve clients, and adapt to changes in the digital marketing field.

While the learning curve may feel steep at times, persistence and dedication will pay off in the long run.

FAQ: Answering Common Questions About Becoming a Social Media Manager With No Experience

As an aspiring social media manager with no experience, you likely have many questions about how to get started in this role.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive from those looking to break into social media management:

Do I need a degree to become a social media manager?

A degree in marketing, communications, or a related field can be helpful for learning the fundamentals, but it is not always required to become a social media manager.

Many social media managers get started through on-the-job experience, online courses, and certifications.

The most important qualifications are having a solid understanding of various social media platforms, content creation skills, analytics, and community management.

What skills do I need to develop?

Some of the essential skills for a social media manager include:

  • Proficiency with major social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube

  • Strong communication and writing abilities

  • Creativity for developing engaging social media content

  • Analytical and strategic thinking for interpreting metrics and optimizing campaigns

  • Project management for executing social media strategies and content calendars

  • Customer service orientation for handling community management and engagement

How can I gain experience?

There are several ways to gain valuable experience as a social media manager:

  • Complete online courses on social media marketing and management.

    Some highly-rated options include Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning.

  • Pursue certifications from Facebook, Google, and HubSpot to strengthen your knowledge.

  • Start managing social media profiles for friends, family, or local organizations to build your experience.

    Offer to do it for free or low cost at first to create case studies and reviews.

  • Look for entry-level jobs like social media coordinator, social media assistant, or social media community manager.

    While the pay may be on the lower end at first, the experience is invaluable.

  • Stay up-to-date with trends in social media to continuously expand your knowledge.

Through dedication and persistence, you can launch a successful career as a social media manager, even without a degree or prior experience.

With the right skills and a willingness to learn, you'll be managing social media campaigns in no time.

Let me know if you have any other questions!


As social media continues its rapid growth and evolution, the demand for social media managers will only increase.

While experience is always helpful, passion, curiosity, and a willingness to learn are the keys to success in this role.

With hard work and persistence, you can land an entry-level position and gain the necessary experience to advance your career as a social media manager.

The path may not always be easy, but for those willing to put in the effort, the rewards of this exciting and fast-paced field can be well worth it.

If you have the drive, determination, and desire to become a social media manager, don't let a lack of experience hold you back.

With the right mindset and skills, you can get started today.

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