Salary Range for a Social Media Manager

Social media managers in 2011 earn an average of about $50,000 a year.
Social media managers in 2011 earn an average of about $50,000 a year. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

With the ever-evolving state of Internet technology, consumer marketing, not unsurprisingly, has made it's way into recreational social networking and media outlets. Correspondingly, more business-related social networking sites are popping up. Social media is becoming one of the main marketing avenues for business owners, and employment opportunities in the field are increasing as a result. If you are sufficiently familiar with social networking and media websites, blogging or managing an online community, you might make a good living as a social media manager.

Average Median

The actual amount of money you'll make as a social media manager might vary according to several factors, including location, concentration and experience. However, many online resources collectively estimate an overall average salary to be somewhere between $45,000 and $55,000 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer any information specific to social media positions, but its job description of "Public Relations Specialists" is an adequate comparison. According to BLS, in 2008 public relations specialists concentrating on media and advertising earned a median average of $55,290 per year. In 2011, other online resources -- such as Simply Hired, Online Community Report, Super Scholar and Word Stream -- published figures consistent with BLS calculations.

Position Variances

Your salary may also be affected by your particular title, company, position, area of concentration and level of experience. With so many social media outlets -- blogs, article marketing, search engine optimization, social networking, online community development and management -- fluctuations in salary are to be expected. Whether you work as an in-house media manager, for an agency or as an independent freelance contractor may also play a role in how much you get paid. According to the 2008 article "Social Media Salaries" by Jim Durbin, a typical social media management position is worth a maximum of about $55,000 per year; $30,000 at entry-level. However, online community managers might make $60,000 to $80,000, and directors of social media make up to $90,000 per year.

Lowest Earnings

According to Durbin's article, entry-level positions in social media management require little more than a few months of writing experience and a solid familiarity with social networking tools and are worth about $30,000 annually. The Read, Write, Web website indicates that part-time freelance blog managers may be among the lowest paid social media specialists, earning about $20,000 per year; or $10 per blog. The Super Scholar website reports that an entry-level position for a social media manager in 2011 is about $31,000. At the time of publication the Online Community Report and Word Stream websites estimate that the low-end salary for related positions is about $25,000 annually.

Highest Earnings

In 2011, with extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, you can find significant room for advancement and earn a generous salary in a number of social media management positions. Read, Write, Web reports that social media management consultants can earn between $150 and $300 per hour. The Online Community Report published salaries reaching more than $85,000 per year for related positions, and Word Stream reports that social media marketing managers make upwards of $75,000. Social media expert, Jim Durbin says that social media strategy managers can earn between $80,000 and $150,000 a year.

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