How to Become a Social Media Manager With No Experience

Don't have experience as a social media manager? Learn about the things you can do to get hired as a social media manager.
Reviewed by:
Sabika Abbas
March 7, 2024
0 min read time
Nawal Malik

As the world becomes more digital, the demand for social media managers is on the rise. In fact, according to LinkedIn data, the need for paid social media skills has risen by a whopping 116.4%

While learning social media skills comes with a lot of trial and error, the possibilities of working for a company you love, having remote work flexibility, and building a social media team that effectively drives social engagement make it worth the investment. 

So, how can you snag this in-demand position without prior social media management experience? We’ll walk you through it in the article below.

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1. Showcase your social media success

Even if you have no experience professionally managing social media for a company, you can still showcase your own social media success. Plus, gaining some new knowledge through freelancing and volunteering might be easier than you think.

Practice on your own platforms

To start building social media experience right away, work on your own social media account(s). Grow your experience and skills by following these steps: 

Find a niche

Your “niche” can be based on a particular hobby, interest, or persona. Do you like knitting frog hats? Making practical-joke TikToks? Do you want to share language learning resources? Do you want to brand yourself as an expert social media manager?

Intentionally building your social media accounts around your niche will help you define your brand and target audience so you can create relevant, helpful content they will want to engage with. The more specific and unique it is, the less competition you’ll have. 

Build a following

After finding your niche, it’s time to grow your presence. The most essential step to growing a following on social media platforms is regularly posting content. 

For new accounts, content should be posted at least daily, so people have something to follow. Create a content calendar and stick to it. No matter how frequently you decide to post, consistency is key.

Quality is just as important as quantity, so make sure your posts bring value to others, whether it’s by providing useful information, life hacks, or daily laughs. Other tricks for growing your following include using relevant hashtags and following similar accounts.

Track your progress

Use social media analytics tools to keep track of all your social media metrics. This is a great way to understand your progress and figure out how you’re doing compared to your competitors. It also gives you a ton of data to show potential employers. 

Here are some key social media metrics to track:

  • Impressions
  • Views 
  • Reach
  • Audience growth rate (how many new followers you gain in a specific time frame)
  • Engagement
  • Amplification rate (shares per post)


As a social media manager, you’ll be responsible for creating an effective social media strategy, so it’s important to get some practice strategizing.

Come up with some goals you’d like to reach (a certain number of followers, for instance), and then think of strategies you can implement to accomplish your goals. For example, you could run a Reels campaign on Instagram to reach more people. 

Track your strategies and their success so that you can demonstrate your experience to potential clients or recruiters. 

Gain some freelance or volunteer experience

Freelance and volunteer experiences are valuable assets on a resume. Plus, companies are more likely to hire inexperienced individuals for these roles. 

Reach out to a local company that could use some help strengthening their social media accounts, browse freelance websites (like Upwork or Fiverr) for opportunities, or find volunteer roles on job boards. 

Make a social media portfolio

Having an online social media portfolio is essential when becoming a social media manager, whether for a company or as a self-employed person. This can be a website that showcases your experience and abilities, or you can use a social media account as your portfolio (which can also demonstrate your ability to grow a following).

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2. Demonstrate your industry knowledge

After accumulating a decent amount of data proving your social media talents, make sure you demonstrate your industry knowledge as well. Take inventory of what you know well about social media, such as data analysis, following trends, and high-performing content types. 

If you lack industry knowledge, it’s never too late to educate yourself. There are plenty of online resources on social media management and marketing to grow your skill set.

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3. Highlight your leadership and management skills

Any experience with management and/or leadership from a past role can help immensely when seeking a social media manager role, as employers want to know you have the required management skills. 

Relevant experience could include anything from a position in a school club to working as a retail manager. These roles have likely improved your skills in managing others, organizing systems and projects, and communicating. 

Including such experience on your resume shows that you are a well-rounded individual who can lead others. Simply list your relevant experience under your “work experience” section and highlight job duties and skills relevant to a social media manager role.

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4. Market your relevant transferable skills

In addition to leadership and management skills, you are sure to have other valuable skills you can market when you create your resume. Highlight relevant skills on your resume in your skills and work experience sections.

Some transferable skills for social media management are:


Social media is all about communication, so having excellent written and verbal communication skills will help you create quality content for your audience. Plus, strong communication is a general requirement for any managerial position. 

Demonstrate your communication skills by including examples from your previous work experience on your resume to show how effectively you have written, presented, or verbally communicated a message and to what effect. 


Social media managers must have excellent organizational skills, as they oversee multiple social media accounts, metrics, content calendars, and team members. 

Employers will want to see that you’re organized, so make sure you include this skill on your resume by showcasing any times you have managed complex projects, streamlined any systems, or stayed on top of multiple deadlines. 


Creativity is a crucial skill for social media managers. This role is responsible for handling the logistical side of online accounts and also for creative content creation. This means they have to get crafty and come up with fresh ideas on a daily basis, so having a creative side is a must. 

Show off your creativity by including any projects you ideated on your resume or new ideas you brainstormed that led to product improvements or increases in sales. Providing your social media accounts is also a great way to show employers how creative you are.


Social media is always rapidly evolving. With new platforms emerging and new trends popping up daily, social media managers have a lot to keep up with. It’s important to be adaptable to change, navigate it effectively, learn from the developments and make them work to the company’s advantage.

To show employers you have high adaptation skills, give them examples of times you have had to change plans because of unforeseen circumstances and how you succeeded despite the unexpected challenge. 

Media literacy

Media literacy includes understanding the role and application of different forms of media - from knowing how to use different channels effectively or engage your target audience to understanding what content is appropriate for each channel. 

As a social media manager, you’ll be the one leading the content strategy; therefore, good media literacy is a must. Demonstrate it to employers by providing examples of different media you’ve used and how you have adjusted your methods for success using each type. 

Graphic design

Having graphic design skills can be a huge pro for a social media manager. This skill allows you to create original content for social media platforms, allowing for a wider range of visually engaging content. Be sure to list any graphic design software you’re proficient in on your resume, and consider including a link to a portfolio or social media account that showcases your designs.


Having film and videography skills is great for social media roles. Particularly with the rise of video-content platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, filming high-quality video content is now a large part of any social media strategy. Make sure to include any film experience on your resume, and try to have some videos in your social media accounts to show to employers.

Video editing

Having some video editing skills will help reassure employers that you’ll be capable of posting quality video content. Being able to edit long and short-form video content is, therefore, an excellent skill to have for social media management. Gaining experience with programs like iMovie and Adobe Premiere will help set you apart from other candidates. Spotlight any video editing experience on your resume - list programs in your skills section and mention how you’ve edited videos for your social media accounts. 

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5. Take a social media management course online

Taking an online social media management course is the perfect way to gain new knowledge and demonstrate your expertise to recruiters or clients. Some online courses even provide you with a certificate of completion, which you can note on your resume or portfolio. 

An online course is also an excellent step for those looking to refresh their digital marketing skills. Showing employers that you understand digital marketing trends will position you as a stronger candidate and improve your chances of landing a social media management position.

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