Are you a Facebook and Instagram trendsetter? If so, you can make a good living in the social media field and have fun doing it. Nearly 2.5 billion people have at least one social media account, and businesses recognize their power.
Most companies connect with their customers using social media, and they need talented people to lead the charge. If a social media job sounds appealing to you, read on for information on what the job entails, salary expectations and where to look for opportunities.
Getting a Social Media Job:
- Social media jobs allow creative people to generate marketing materials and customer engagement.
- There is no formal degree to work in this field, but degrees in English and/or marketing can help you get a job.
- Being creative, analytic and organized are great character traits for someone in social media.
Overview: What Does a Social Media Job Entail?
There are many different types of social media jobs and categories, but most social media jobs encompass:
- Developing social media strategies and marketing plans
- Building a company’s brand awareness and reputation through social media
- Engaging and informing customers about new products and services
- Generating sales leads and increasing profitability by posting unique social media content
- Attracting customers to a company’s website and social media pages to drive sales and gather customer data such as email addresses
It’s been 15 years since Facebook was launched, so social media jobs are relatively new. Today, social media workers are valuable to businesses and are integral to their profitability and performance.
Do I Need a Degree to Work in this Field?
Education requirements for social media jobs run the gamut, from no experience to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you’re a social media rockstar and can prove it, a formal degree won’t be necessary, but it would help if you could take some social media marketing courses. Many larger employers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, social media, or a related field.
Social media manager or director jobs may require a master’s degree. Either way, demonstrate your social media talents by showing your personal social media accounts or accounts you manage for others. A strong online presence with lots of followers will make you a desirable job candidate.
Types of Social Media Jobs and Titles
There are dozens of job categories and titles that fall under the social media job umbrella. Here is a list of examples:
Entry-Level Social Media Jobs
Entry-level social media jobs entail assisting social media coordinators, managers and directors by monitoring social media accounts, creating content and responding to customers.
Sample job titles: Entry-level social media writer, junior social media specialist, social media analyst
Social Media Strategy Jobs
Social media strategists are instrumental in developing and implementing social media content strategies, editorial calendars, campaigns and processes. He or she would be part of a creative services team, collaborating on corporate initiatives and promotions.
Sample job titles: Social media strategist, junior social media strategist, senior social media strategist
Digital Media Jobs
Digital media jobs encompass working with a company’s digital assets such as websites and social media. If you’re pursuing a digital media job in the social media category, you should have expert-level skills in graphic design, internet marketing and video production.
Sample job titles: Digital media specialist, social media specialist, digital media coordinator
Social Media Manager Jobs
A social media manager oversees a team of social media content experts and represents a company’s brand by coordinating and managing social media discussion forums, blogs, ratings
Sample job titles: Social media manager, senior social media manager, social media coordinator
Social Media Marketing Jobs
The social media marketing jobs category represents several different types of jobs focusing on social media marketing. Individuals in this category collaborate on social media marketing campaigns, analyzing data with the overall goal of promoting products or services.
Sample job titles: Social media marketing coordinator, social media campaign manager, social media marketing director
Social Media Content Strategist Jobs
A social media content strategist creates social media content and messaging strategies to grow a company’s business. A strategist develops content using search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords as well as other tactics to reach customers and boost online presence through social media channels.
Sample job titles: Social media content strategist, content strategist, social media content specialist
Salary Ranges and Expectations for Social Media Jobs
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics groups social media specialists with public relations specialists, so they don’t have a specific social media category right now. The average annual salary for a social media specialist is $60,000.
This salary doesn’t reflect independent contractors or self-employed workers. Candidates vying for these jobs can expect a lot of competition, so specializing in certain areas is highly recommended if you’re targeting a higher salary.
Projected Growth Rate of the Social Media Field
As more social media platforms are introduced, there is a growing need for people to manage social media content and accounts. The projected job growth rate for this field is 9%, higher than average.
How to Get a Social Media Job
If you have creative social media skills and good education credentials, how do you get a job? Here are our best tips and strategies for landing your dream job:
- Establish an online presence: Focus on 2 or 3 social media accounts of your own, or manage accounts for organizations, such as nonprofits, to prove you can effectively engage users and attract a following. Make sure your online presence is polished and professional.
- Build relationships and network: Join professional organizations such as the Social Media Association and the International Association of Business Communicators to build your professional network and learn about new job opportunities.
- Tap your school’s career center: If you’re still in college or a recent graduate, your school’s career center has connections with employers and resources to help you find a job.
- Register with a staffing agency: Find staffing agencies that specialize in creative and marketing jobs — they can help you get interviews and land a job.
- Check online job search engines: Post your resume on sites such as LinkedIn and sign up for job alerts.
- Apply at companies you’d like to work for: Most companies, small and large, hire social media teams to manage their accounts. Search on their career page using the keywords “social media.” Many businesses require you to create an account, so post your resume there and make sure it’s up to date.
- Keep learning: Read social media marketing books, watch YouTube tutorials and follow social media influencers to know current trends. Also, certifications can boost your credibility. For example, Google offers certifications in Google AdWords, a pay-per-click advertising platform. You can get this certification for free after passing a short online exam.
- Start your own business: You can create a website using sites such as Wix for about $10 per month, and advertise on Facebook for free. Have customers post online reviews on your site to add to your credibility.
Top 10 Skills to Be Successful in Social Media
What kind of skills do you need to be good at if you want to excel in a social media job? Here are our recommendations for 10 skills you should have:
1. Creative Skills
Nearly every company has a social media presence, so competing for customer “likes” can be challenging. You need to bring your creative “A” game to engage people and keep them coming back to your pages. Contests and surveys are examples of ways you can be creative through social media.
2. Writing Skills
You should have strong English skills and a flair for writing. Social media writing requires you to say more with fewer words, so you need to be concise and be able to create catchy tags. It’s the relevant writing and content that engages users.
3. Content Curation Skills
In addition to good writing, you need to develop a library of go-to content sources and know what your audience wants to read about. You should also know what to share, when to share and where to share it.
4. Organizational Skills
Social media management requires the ability to manage calendars and organize targeted marketing campaigns, so strong organizational skills are a must. Keeping up with daily social media posts and tracking analytics are just a few examples of tasks that need to be well-organized.
5. Marketing Skills
Social media marketing is a specialized marketing skillset, requiring basic marketing knowledge with social media insight. Social media marketing campaigns don’t involve paper flyers or other tangibles; you have to be an expert in online marketing using only social media channels.
6. Analytical Skills
No matter the social media job, you’ll need strong analytical skills to analyze and interpret data, such as how many people visit social media pages and what posts they respond to the most. The data you gather is critical as it is shared with business partners and decision-makers so they can gauge the effectiveness of your work.
7. Relationship-Building Skills
Social media jobs require you to build relationships with customers, colleagues, managers, and community leaders. You should be a trusted social media advisor so people are confident in following your social media strategies and guidance.
8. Project Management Skills
Social media management involves a lot of multitasking, from managing multiple social media accounts to managing marketing campaigns and tracking analytical reports. Solid project management skills are a necessity.
9. Communication Skills
Exceptional communication skills are required in any social media job. For example, you may be asked to give a presentation on campaign results or meeting with business leaders to discuss marketing strategies or promotions.
10. Technical Skills
Not only do you need to speak fluent “social media,” but you also need to gather and analyze data on pay-per-click metrics and other information. You should also be able to understand how to open and manage social media accounts, be proficient in SEO and able to abide by Google rules for posting content.
Social Media Gurus, Take Note
About 3 out of 4 Facebook users and 6 out of 10 Instagram users visit these sites at least once a day, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s why many companies are adding new social media accounts every day. In addition to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, businesses engage with customers on Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
If you’re Generation X, a millennial or Generation Z, social media is a part of your daily routine, so if it’s more than just a hobby for you, why not make a living at it? You can earn a good salary and make a solid plan for retirement. Whether you want to work for a large corporation or start your own business, the possibilities are endless.