The world of work is continually changing. Many of us now work in jobs that didn’t exist last century – or even last decade in some cases. One such role is the professional social media manager. Another is the closely allied influencer marketing manager.
In the beginning, businesses usually delegated their social media work to one person – usually a junior member of their marketing department, or perhaps the owner/manager of a small business. As social media has evolved, the need for more proactive and higher skilled social media staff has arisen. More and more firms employ specialists in that field now.
Of course, as with everything new, you may feel you are floundering in the dark. How much do you think you should pay your social media manager or influencer marketing manager? What is the typical level of social media manager salaries?
Summary: Social Media Manager Salaries:
Possible Social Media Roles within a Business
To some extent, each business will operate on the social web differently. Some run basic accounts on a few major social networks, with minimal posting and little interaction. Others realize that social customers make up a considerable proportion of their client base, and devote a massive investment of time and money to their social accounts. Some businesses choose to let social highflyers do much of the hard work for them and therefore focus their resources into influencer marketing.
Therefore, the exact social media roles and the salaries attached to them will vary for each business.
Social Media Manager
A social media manager is responsible for operating social accounts on behalf of a business. They post as if they were the business. Social media managers perform tasks like creating and editing copy for posts, answering questions, creating a posting schedule, replying to comments, and the everyday tasks of operating social media accounts. In many ways, a social media manager runs a social account as it was his or her own, but supercharged with a business’ resources. Much of the success of business social accounts comes down to the skill of the social media managers.
Although the name Community Manager can be used more generically, in this context, it refers to somebody who manages customer relationships with a brand or product, and each other. According to Blaise Grimes-Vior, a community manager is “focused on the flow of information and knowledge, strengthening relationships and promoting productive collaboration, which may include moderation and hosting of both micro- and macro-events on the company's community platform.” Part, but not all, of a community manager’s work will involve social media. A community manager is typically more sales and customer service focused than a social media manager (who has a clear emphasis on marketing accountability).
Influencer Marketing Manager
As we have reported on numerous occasions, many businesses now choose to work with influencers to spread their message to a broader social media audience. Depending on the level of influencer marketing a firm undertakes, it may recruit a specialist influencer marketing manager. He or she would have the responsibility for all phases of influencer marketing for the business, working with the influencers and overseeing the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Other Social Media Roles
Different companies operate their social media in different ways. Obviously, larger firms have more resources available for social media than smaller businesses. When a business has a large marketing department, there may be multiple people with some responsibility for social media. Some of these positions, in order of best paid to least paid, are:
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
- Creative Director
- Brand Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Content Manager
- Social Media Specialist
- Social Media Strategist
- Brand Ambassador
Where You Can Find Social Media Manager Salary Data
Although pay rates vary between companies and industries, several sites collect pay data and publish average rates for job positions. The salaries used in this post come from Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale. To be consistent, we use US dollars throughout. We made our analysis in mid-December 2018.
Typical Social Media Manager Salaries
The average social media manager in the United States earns $59,965 per year according to Glassdoor. They average an extra $4,477 in additional cash compensation on top of their salary.
Indeed’s statistics are lower, suggesting the average social media manager salary is $50,123. They do show considerable variation in their salary distribution, however, with some social media managers receiving well over $100,000 per year. This is matched by some who clearly work part-time for small businesses earning as low as $14,000 per annum.
Indeed shows that rates vary considerably by region. Social media managers in New York can expect to receive at least $57,505 per year, but this drops to $50,292 in Miami Florida.
PayScale’s figures are lower. It considers the median pay for a social media manager to be $49,070, in a range of $31,616 to $74,605. They acknowledge that some social media managers receive up to $8,400 paid in bonuses, $8,000 in profit sharing, and $11,600 in commission.
PayScale also analyzes pay by experience for social media managers. It sees that entry-level managers, with less than five years of experience, average $42,000 total compensation. This rises to $58,000 for somebody who has worked in the industry for five to 10 years. A manager with 10 to 20 years’ experience can earn $62,000 on average. Although there will be few social media managers with more than 20 years’ experience in the role for obvious reasons, the few who claim this experience receive average salaries of $68,000.
Typical Community Manager Salaries
Community managers typically receive a small amount more than social media managers do. The average community manager in the United States earns $61,818 per year according to Glassdoor. They also average a further $8,196 in additional cash compensation on top of their salary.
Indeed figures, however, swing the other way, with community managers averaging $45,447 per year. Indeed observes that the typical tenure for a community manager is 1-3 years.
Again Indeed sees some variation between community managers in different states. The average salary in San Francisco is $70,621 per year. However, community managers in Portland OR only average $39,391 per year.
PayScale’s rates come between Glassdoor and Indeed. Their reported average salary for an online community manager is $50,396 – ranging from $33,929 to $78,212. Also, online community managers earn up to $8,700 in bonuses, $9,500 in profit sharing, and $6,500 in commission.
Typical Influencer Marketing Manager Salaries
According to Glassdoor data, Influencer Marketing Managers in the United States can expect a higher salary than their social media counterparts. Their average base pay is $93,125 per year, with $10,128 additional cash compensation on average. This is based on 39,804 salaries of people claiming to be influencer marketing managers.
Neither Indeed nor PayScale yet separates out influencer marketing managers in their data.