Can you imagine living in a world without social media? Neither can digital marketers. Social media is a powerful tool that has become an integral part of any advertising campaign, including direct response efforts, lead generation work and any form of brand or product awareness.
Why? Because Social Media’s reach has skyrocketed, but so has it’s utility to marketers via its capability to influence purchasing decisions. In fact, Social Media influencers have developed such effective marketing methods that Social now ranks near the top of most effective channels for distributing product or service news, updates, alerts, and other marketing materials.
And it’s the Social Media Marketing Specialist who configured this process, sets it in motion, and adjusts it in order to ensure maximum return on investment. It’s the Social Media Marketer’s job to attract website traffic by generating engagement from Social Media users, turning them into first leads, then consumers, and finally, brand advocates.
The Social Media Marketers job success hinges on their ability to choose the right Social Media network(s), identify a proper target audience, and then craft compelling content and other marketing materials to influence that audience in an effective way.
But it doesn’t stop there, because Social Media marketing also requires all sorts of data collection and processing techniques, from analyzing and interpreting analytics data to understanding and even predicting emerging trends and strategies which can be leveraged for marketing efforts.
Social Media Marketing professionals need to understand the opportunities and limitations offered by each Social platform so that they can set appropriate social media marketing strategies for each campaign they run, including which platforms will work best for reaching different types of audiences, or serving different types of content, or generating the most engagement.
The savvy Social Media Marketer knows that their job is about far more than just posting content to Social platforms, but about engaging with the targeted users to develop a real relationship that will put the brand, its products and services in the spotlight in order to generate as much interest and actual revenue as possible.
Some campaigns are all about increasing awareness, generating followers, likes, comments, etc., but experienced Social Media Marketers understand that this is clearly just the beginning of any successful campaign, as lead gen, direct response, website traffic, actual product sales, reputation, engagement and brand or product advocacy are all much more valuable metrics when it comes to measuring Social Media marketing success.
Like all Digital Marketers, Social Media Specialists must also learn to wear a variety of hats, as their daily duties can easily include a variety of tasks, from creating Blog Posts, to responding to Forum comments, answering questions via Facebook Messenger, building sharable Social-content, and even handling comment moderation. There’s truly no task too small for a Social Media marketer.
Good Social Media Marketers can handle this variety of tasks at ease, with clear and consistent communications, effective and persuasive content, and thorough, comprehensive performance reporting that clearly indicates expected ROI of each campaign they touch.
Social Media careers typically require at least an undergraduate degree in one of these fields, but that’s just the starting point, because many employers will also require significant experience in social media or public affairs, and especially in roles where you can share actual results of your work.
A Bachelor’s Degree in any of these fields will greatly help your chances of breaking into a career in Social Media Marketing. Employers want to know that their candidate is comfortable with both traditional marketing and advertising concepts, as well as modern Social Media communications best practices.
Even if you haven’t leveraged Social Media in a professional environment yet, you should definitely plan on being able to showcase successes in creating and distributing content, generating engagement, etc., from your personal Social profiles.
These skills are crucial for a career in Social Media Marketing because almost all of them will be required on a daily or even hourly basis.
This is a space that moves quickly, and you can’t be spending time looking things up, pondering strategy or wondering about what to do as a result of something blowing up on Social Media.
To be effective in the Social space, you need to determine the proper course of action quickly, deploy a workable strategy, then adjust based on immediate feedback and results.
Because you will be interacting with the public in a way that is potentially permanent and available for everyone to see, you can’t afford to make any mistakes.
Social Media has become ever more important to businesses as more and more of the consumer journey has begun occurring online, in the background, rather than up-front or face to face in a traditional store.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not inquire data directly under the title “Social Media Specialist”. However, these roles are often incorporated under the umbrella title of “Public Relations Specialists”, which is a field expected to increase by about 9% (As fast as average) between 2016 and 2026.
The reality is that Social Media growth has been phenomenal in recent years, and we see no indication of this slowing down any time soon. This is an excellent field to get into as it has a huge potential for further exponential growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) concludes “the median annual wage for public relations specialists was $59,300 in May 2017.” This comes out to $28.51 per hour.
GlassDoor reports annual base pay for a Social Media Specialist at $49,395.
Indeed reports an average hourly wage at $16.18.