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.
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?
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.
If I work as a General manager but I am responsible for social media platforms as well including creating copy and taking photos, what would you think that percentage of my salary would be? It is done daily for two different restaurants on twitter, facebook, and instagram. As well as the websites. I am going away for a month and will still be doing social media while I am gone, so I am trying to show a monetary value to the social media part of my job.
Thank you in advance for your help.
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Very informative article. I was dismayed, however, to see so many people working under $20/hr managing social. Considering the majority of marketing efforts for businesses happen online, and the online brand reputation is key to success for most businesses, a $12 an hour pay rate is unacceptable. You are the "face" of that organization and should be paid accordingly. Because I own my own business, I set my own pay rate and clients work with me within their budgets to accomplish their goals, and I certainly wouldn't accept $12 an hour as compensation. if you are good at your job demand to be paid what you are worth!
I'm currently my company's social media manager and I'm about ready to quick. I do all the social media as well as communication and marketing at make less than $12 an hour. I'm treated poorly because most people in the company don't see the importance of social media (they think I sit on Facebook all day) despite 90% of our lead generation comes from what I do. I'm paid $24,000/yr and it's getting ridiculous to make ends meet. I'm thinking of starting my own company and managing them from home or getting an office and doing multiple company pages.
@socialmediagirl I'll send you my resume then lmao
@socialmediagirl I am starting up doing the same thing. Let's possibly team together. Email me yeah? Let's make some real money. I've done stuff like this before. email@example.com
@socialmediagirl not sure if you noticed, but if your ONE JOB is to be a social media manager, you should probably be able to find typos in your comments. #justsaying
Good info here but. What about small business that does not have the need for a full-time social media manager? Any thoughts on how to go about finding good part time help for social media management. Stay at home parents looking for part time work seem dangerous to me in this space. I can see people thinking they know the ins-and-outs of social media when they really do not.
@Jim Chase Hire a professional. I do all the social media for the small retail store I work for and I'm quitting her because she underpays me substanially, and starting my own business. There are plenty of us that are extremely qualified who are looking for part-time social media jobs, just not at $12 an hour.
@Jim Chase Thanks for reading, Jim!
We've run a few articles on Insights over the years with suggestions about the key traits to look for and questions to ask when hiring for your social team. I think the answers hold true whether the position is part-time or full-time:
@saracsit Gee, "professionals" usually have better grammar skills.
Salaries range greatly depending on responsibility. A social media manager that simply runs a standard program may see pay in the $50k range but those running much larger programs that are cross-channel with other marketing efforts and designing, executing and measuring social campaigns will see much higher pay, as they should for taking company marketing efforts to a much higher level. @BenBrausen