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Social Media Manager - Community Nonprofit

"It’s my job to create the brand that promotes our organization. I monitor what’s happening on our social media channels, produce content and make daily posts all with the goal of building relationships with our customers. The platforms I use keep changing, but usually I’m working across at least three systems. I also use monitoring software to see how our services are mentioned and what’s going on with our competitors. I absolutely draw from my strong communication skills—using photos, metaphors, text and stories to showcase our work in the best way possible—but it’s my background in psychology that has given me the edge on the job. You have to understand people, not just communications, and all of this work is really about building relationships. I’m an influencer. I aim to motivate, inspire, and connect with real humans about real issues. I want to engage people using sound research and solid resources."

Salary Range:

$64,000 - $86,000

The Tip

Be aware that anything you post online now is searchable for the rest of your life. Only post what you’re proud of.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Decision Making
  • Sift through research to create posts based on credible sources

  • Creating engagement campaigns to address actual needs

Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Critically analyze research findings

  • Bring information from multiple sources together into a cohesive whole

  • Manage large databases and use creative analytics appropriately


Knowledge of Human Behaviour
  • Develop materials for quick consumption

Understanding of motivation, memory and stages of change

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Strong writing skills, writing for the internet

  • Present information to suit different digital media and platforms

  • Depict research findings through infographics & visual design


Inter-personal Skills
  • Communicate with respect for diverse populations

  • Commitment to lifelong learning


Intra-personal Skills
  • Work to deadlines

  • Self-motivated, strong work ethic

  • Reliable, creative, innovative


Additional Skills
  • Sense of humour

  • Resourceful, creative, individualistic

Set priorities and manage multiple demands

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)

  • Courses on motivation and learning, research methods and social psychology have been very helpful

  • My electives included a course on the history of communications and a creative writing course


Taking the course on creative writing was great, and I would have taken more of them if I had the chance. We learned to craft short stories, to express ideas through metaphors and to write narratives inspired by photographs.

Employment Experiences:
  • Social media communicator for our university’s wellness centre

  • Research assistant specializing in data coding

  • Retail sales at a clothing store


Landing the job as the social media communicator for wellness was a great experience. I had to write two tweets, one Facebook post and one Instagram post each week. I learned to keep my messages on point, positive and brief. The research work I did was okay, but didn’t excite me the way I thought it might. Writing was much more fun than data entry.

Community Experiences:
  • Volunteered at the peer support centre

  • I lived off-campus, so it was hard at first to be involved in a university community—connecting through Facebook pages (official and unofficial) and the university’s Instagram page was an easy way in

  • Once I felt in-the-know, I joined an intramural volleyball team and made some great friends that I still have today


Volunteering with the students’ union at the peer support centre was great. At first I thought I would like the listening and frontline helping roles, but I took on more of the backend doing advertising and outreach tasks and I found those to be a lot more fun. I could contribute on my own time. It was easier to feel excited about this kind of work and I could see the impact I was having as people responded to my work.

Contextual Experiences:
  • Online relationships are increasingly important, and analytics allow us to understand who’s interested in our products


Because I spend so much of my work time online, you’d think that I’d want to stay offline during my home time… but I find that the opposite is true. It’s easy for me to be on my phone constantly. I see how this impacts my partner though and I’m challenging myself to disconnect, to save an hour or two a night where I go totally offline and give myself time away from the online world. As much as I love it, I need to find that balance.

  • This job is all about relationships and building community. It’s not about who you know, it’s about helping people to know you.


Connecting with people away from social media has become more and more challenging. I’ve recently joined a squash ladder and I’ve just linked up with a running club. I’m hoping those activities will help me meet some new people and give me a mental break.

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