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Written by Anna Sonnenberg

Published December 15, 2020 at 11:56 am

Social Media Manager Salary: How Much Should You Be Making?

Bonus Materials: Tips & Tricks for Agencies

Are you paid enough as a social media manager? Here’s a look at the numbers for a social media manager’s salary.

As a social media manager, you may have a few questions about salaries, such as:

  • What is the average social media manager salary?
  • Which factors affect the pay range for this role?
  • How much room do you have to negotiate?

After all, you need to know what’s reasonable for the industry before you walk into a salary discussion.

Average Social Media Manager Salary

In the United States, the average salary for a social media manager is around $50,000 per year, according to most major job listing sites.

LinkedIn reports that base earnings are $50,000 per year on average.

In addition, 18% of social media managers receive an annual bonus of about $2,000.

average social media manager salary US - LinkedIn

How much do professionals with the title social media manager make in the United States?

The average base pay in the U.S. is $50,473, and this role doesn’t typically include bonuses or additional compensation, according to Glassdoor.

average social media manager salary US - Glassdoor

Social media manager salaries in the United States

PayScale reports a slightly higher average annual salary of $51,262 in the U.S., which includes a bonus, commission, and profit-sharing.

average social media manager salary US - PayScale

Average social media manager salary

Worldwide Salary Comparisons

Around the globe, pay scales for social media manager jobs vary.

Glassdoor reports that the average base pay is £32,030 per year in the United Kingdom. (That’s $42,704 in the US.)

average social media manager salary UK - Glassdoor

Average social media manager salary in the UK

In France, the average annual salary is €43,859 ($53,265.88 in the US).

average social media manager salary France - Glassdoor

Average social media manager salary in France

Social media marketing manager wages also vary from city to city.

PayScale reports that companies in American cities with high costs of living, such as San Francisco and New York, pay up to 47% more than average.

Firms in cities like Paris and London also pay a small premium.

Indeed breaks down salary data by state in the US. Overall, companies in Colorado, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine typically pay 25% more than average.

how location affects social media manager salaries - Indeed

Where do social media managers earn more in the US?

Industry

Many social media managers specialize in certain industries, which can also affect their average pay.

Larger firms also tend to pay more than small businesses. Companies with more than 5,000 employees pay about 25% more than those with 50 or fewer employees, Glassdoor reports.

how company size affects social media manager salaries - Glassdoor

How company size affects a social media manager salary

Experience

Employers in any industry can expect to pay lower salaries to entry-level social media managers with minimal experience.

Candidates with less than a year of experience have average annual salaries of about $40,000, according to PayScale. In contrast, experienced social media managers who have worked in the field for 10-19 years earn about $67,000 per year on average.

how experience affects social media manager salaries - PayScale

How experience affects social media manager salaries

How to Negotiate Your Social Media Manager Salary

Applying for a new social media manager job? Be sure to have an idea of the salary range you can expect from an offer. (If you need to job hunt but don’t know how to get started, check out these expert tips.)

But what if the offer you receive doesn’t meet your needs or align with what you think you deserve?

Take a look at some of the most effective ways to negotiate your salary and demonstrate the value you add.

Education

Your education level can have a significant impact on your earning potential in the marketing field.

With an associate’s degree, you can expect a salary of about $40,000 per year—or about 20% below average—according to LinkedIn. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can expect an annual salary of $51,000, which is close to the average for the role.

how education affects social media manager salaries - LinkedIn

How education affects social media manager salaries

However, if you have an advanced degree, you could have additional power to negotiate.

Candidates with master’s degrees earn an average of $55,000 per year. Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) could get you closer to an average of $60,0000 per year.

Studying marketing, advertising, or communications could help you qualify for this type of role. Those fields of study, however, aren’t the only ones that could help you increase your earning potential.

In fact, social media managers with degrees in journalism and political science have some of the highest average salaries.

Bonus Materials: Tips & Tricks for Agencies

Skills

As a social media manager, you’re expected to have a few essential soft skills:

  • Adaptability so you can experiment, learn, and lead your team to success
  • Analytical thinking so you can review data and optimize your strategy
  • Communication skills so you can develop effective messaging
  • Creativity so you can design and execute innovative campaigns
  • Organization so you can handle multiple social media channels seamlessly

If you have advanced technical skills, you may be able to negotiate more successfully.

Indeed reports that social media managers with media buying and budgeting skills could garner a salary 40% higher than average. Customer relationship management and creative writing skills could boost your earning potential by about 33%. Social listening skills could increase your salary by almost 25%.

how skills affect social media manager salaries - Indeed

Responsibilities

As a social media manager, you can look for an in-house job with a single company or a role with an agency, where you’ll manage multiple clients in a number of industries.

Both roles typically include standard responsibilities like:

  • Designing social media strategies that align with marketing and business goals
  • Creating brand style guides and campaign briefs
  • Developing paid and organic social media budgets
  • Coordinating content development, including copy and creatives
  • Overseeing social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube
  • Managing social media engagement and brand reputation
  • Supervising staff members, including social media schedulers and community managers
  • Analyzing competitors, audiences, and industry trends
  • Monitoring social media metrics and campaign results

If you go the agency route, you may also have to tackle duties like:

  • Setting and achieving key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Performing client research in a range of industries
  • Leading client onboarding and status update meetings
  • Presenting routine reports to clients
  • Supporting clients in several time zones
  • Using project management software

Another big difference between the two types of roles is the social media manager salary.

In general, in-house roles have higher salaries and may offer more room for negotiation. In contrast, agencies tend to pay slightly less. Yet agencies may provide you with a wider range of experience, especially if you manage a diverse range of clients or brands in a highly competitive niche.

Value

If you’re considering joining an agency, you may need to contribute more than skills and experience alone. You may also have to demonstrate the value you would add to the agency.

For example, you might show prior results you’ve achieved or prepare a case study to share with the agency.

Here are a couple of ideas you can use for inspiration:

  • Paid Social Media: Review the metrics from a lead generation campaign you managed. Explain the social media tactics you used and show the return on ad spend (ROAS) the campaign achieved.
  • Organic Social Media: Prove the return on investment (ROI) from your organic social strategy over time. Use a social media dashboard to calculate ROI quickly based on the metrics that matter.
how to calculate social media ROI

Calculate social media ROI

In Conclusion

Whether you’re hiring for or applying for a social media manager role, it’s important to know what type of salary to expect. Use these figures to effectively negotiate a social media manager salary that’s reasonable for you, your company, or your agency.

Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.

Social Media Manager Salary: How Much Should You Be Making?
Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over six years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food & beverage, health & wellness, and SaaS industries.

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