How Much Should You Pay a Social Media or Community Manager?

As social media assumes a bigger and bigger role in companies’ marketing plans, the need for dedicated social media employees has also grown. It’s not practical or recommended to load the responsibilities of your brand’s social media presence on a fresh-faced intern or on your already busy marketing team. That means you’ll need to hire a community manager or social media manager (or maybe both) to join your staff.

Before you start recruitment for these valued positions, you’ll want to understand how to determine a fair and competitive salary for the role.

Has the increased exposure and demand for quality community managers and social media managers increased the rate of pay these positions command? Do the jobs warrant higher salaries now that social media and related specializations have gained in formal training and skills? How much can you expect to pay managers these days to make sure you’re attracting the best candidate?

Know the Jobs First

The expanding role of social media in business means that there are multiple positions that cover central social tasks. To start, you need to understand the details of what community managers and social media managers do.

The two roles may seem to have some overlap, so make sure that you’re clear on the difference before you start the hiring process and determining a realistic salary.

What the Numbers Say

Social Media Manager Salaries

To get a clear picture at the industry standards, we reviewed salary data for both positions from multiple sources. We checked in at Glassdoor, a respected online resource for salary and employment information, and at popular job board Indeed.

For social media manager salaries, Glassdoor’s national average was $51,613, while Indeed’s was $61,000. For a final source, we checked PayScale, which showed a median salary of $45,260.

Community Manager Salaries

On the other side, Social Fresh has released a white paper each year with detailed information about the community managers. In 2013, the average salary for community managers was $57,733. Glassdoor set the national average salary for community managers at $51,971. Indeed’s average clocked in at just $49,000.

Keep in mind that even though community manager is a job title that has grown in importance within the social media and marketing fields, it is a title shared with other fields. That’s the likely reason why Indeed’s average salary for community managers is so much lower than for social media managers.

What the Numbers Mean

As with any research, a bunch of numbers aren’t much use without context. The numbers above are only averages. Both managerial roles have a similar range of typical salaries. Managers for social media positions across the U.S. can expect to pull in between $30,000 and $70,000. Where on that spectrum should your brand expect to fall?

social media manager and community manager salary range

The first point to consider is your own business. If you are seeking a social media or community manager for a large, high-profile enterprise company, then a candidate will expect a higher annual salary. For example, Glassdoor listed the salaries for several prominent tech and Internet companies. The average community manager pay reported at Google was $68,169, while Yelp’s community managers reported $69,039 and Electronic Arts’ reported $69,482. Social media managers would expect to see a similar scale; in fact, the role received average pay of $85,999 working at Samsung Electronics America.

If you’re running a smaller operation that won’t be as demanding for the community manager, however, then applicants might be more comfortable with the rates toward the lower end of the scale. In general, pick a rate that will align with your own budget and hiring practices.

The next element to consider is your candidate’s experience. In today’s market, it’s not uncommon to have applicants with extensive business experience and years of social media credentials.

More years of experience in the social media work force means a higher expected salary. If you have a candidate who has been holding jobs in the field since businesses first started incorporating social, then expect to pay them on the upper end of the salary scale.