By Madeleine Latimer
When thinking of social media, most people think of people posting beach photos on Instagram and posting baby announcements on Facebook. When thinking of Oreo’s Instagram or Facebook, most people don’t think much of it. All of those posts of new flavored Oreos, fun graphics and videos, and even the Game of Thrones Oreo promotions all over their Instagram feed is an entire job for someone. Those hilarious Wendy’s clapback’s on Twitter? Those are also someone’s entire job. Those influencers and famous people that have large followings, most of them don’t manage their own accounts. It may seem like it is the famous person or influencer posting, but most of the time it is someone they have hired to do that work. Managing these accounts and creating great posts and hilarious clapback’s is all part of a job called social media marketing. Someone interested in a career in social media marketing or as a social media marketing director/manager should be aware of the associated educational requirements, salary, job duties, and job prospects.
Most jobs require education of some kind, whether that be a high school diploma, a certification, a bachelor’s degree, or even a PhD. Entry-level education for becoming. Social media marketing manager is a bachelor’s degree. This bachelor’s degree is typically in Mass Communications with a specialization on either marketing, advertising, or digital media. A degree alone is not going to get someone hired in this position. Most companies are looking for experience in social media marketing, as well as a large range of other skills. According to the Journal of Marketing Education, “several studies in marketing education have praised the importance of getting an internship while studying in college to get experience in the work world.” (Schlee and Karns, 70) This could be as simple as a low-level marketing or advertising internship, or as specific as a social media manager internship focused solely on a specific social media platform. Most jobs in this field are looking for 2-5 years of work experience prior to starting the job. It is important to pay attention to job descriptions. Job descriptions can help guide a person in the types of skills that will be required of them for this job. For example, some common skills asked for on job descriptions are time management, project management, multitasking, ambitious, creative, and detail oriented. These are only a few of the skills asked for. Some skills can be more in depth, such as business intelligence and strategy, public relations, budgeting, and the ability to create a full marketing plan. There is also a split between needing technical skills and creative skills. Most social media manager jobs, and marketing jobs in general, will ask for knowledge of search engine optimization and having good customer service skills. Skill more specific to social media marketing are going to be social media expertise (understanding the full ins and outs of different social media platforms) and having mastered social media management tools (this could be anything from knowing how to schedule posts in advance all the way to having a complete understanding of the analytics and the algorithm of different social media platforms). Not all of these skills are required for social media management and some of them are not as important as others. There has been some research on certain skills that an employer will pay more for a prospective employee to have.
According to Andy Crestonia, of Career Advancement, the median annual salary for a social media marketing manager in 2016 was $46,511 ad it grew by 20% over that year, making the 2017 annual salary reach $55,901 (Crestonia, 54). The amount of jobs for social media marketing have been rising dramatically. According to Andy Crestonia, of Career Advancement, social media marketers have the second highest growth rate in salary in the marketing industry (Crestonia, 54). Some social media marketers work for a company and are paid salary or an hourly rate, and others work solely on commission. Typically, the people working on commission are working by themselves and not with a company, or they are the company. As previously mentioned, employers will pay $10,000-$20,000 over the median annual salary to hire an employee with certain skills. When it comes to marketing knowledge, employers will pay more for someone who has knowledge in business intelligence and strategy, segmentation, merchandising, product and brand management, and pricing. When it comes to technical skills, employers will pay more for someone who has skills in search engine optimization, Microsoft Office and other types of software, project management, search engine marketing, outlook, and social media. When it comes to personal attributes and general skills, employers will pay more for someone who has skills being enthusiastic and passionate, creative, and detail oriented and are looking for someone who has skills in leadership, time management, and oral communications. Some of these skills are also day to day job duties.
Job duties for being a social media marketing manager seem simple, but can be quite complicated. A large part of social media marketing is managing all the social media platforms for a certain company. Some social media marketers also manage that company’s website, but that depends on if the account. Social media marketers also draw up marketing plans, plan promotional campaigns, and meet with clients. Having a good relationship with the client is important because a social media marketer holds the reputation of the company in their hands. Marketing managers also have to research the trends going on, develop strategies to increase profits, and estimate the demands for products and services. Some of these job duties flow over into other jobs in the marketing field.
When it comes to job prospects, if someone wanted to branch out from social media marketing, there are lots of other jobs they could move to. Moving within the marketing field is more common that moving outside the field. Most people staying within the field will move up to be a marketing director. Other job options are Vice President of marketing, sales and marketing director, marketing communications manager or director, and marketing specialist (Crestonia, 54). There are many moves someone could make to move away from marketing, such as graphic designers, public relations specialists, advertising sales agents, art directors, and editors to name a few. The rates for job openings for social media marketing are going to keep growing.
In conclusion, it is easy to see why an individual interested in a career as a social media marketing director should be aware of the associated educational requirements, salary, job duties, and job prospects. In writing this essay, I learned so much more about my dream career than I already knew. I learned that internships are much more important than I believed they were. Looking into my college experience, I’m a sophomore and just doing my first internship. ,I should step that up significantly. The more work experience and the more skills, the higher rates of being hired on the spot for the optimal social media marketing job. I also learned that even though owning my own marketing business sounds nice, I’d rather have salary than be commission based. Being on commission means that if your biggest paying client decides they want to go somewhere else, you could be struggling to pay bills without their business. Also being on salary means that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Your workload can be shared with a team of people, instead of one person having to carry the whole business on their shoulders. Making sure I have the proper skills to get this job is also important. I think that being a social media marketing manager is a job that more people should pursue. With the rate that this job is growing, and how the annual salary is growing with it, I think it’s a smart job choice for people of this generation who are already so in tune with today’s technology and social media.
“Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 13 Apr. 2018, www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm.
Crestodina, Andy. “How Much Do Marketers Make?” Vol. 52, no. 5, May 2018, pp. 54–Business Source Complete, Marketing News.
Fontein, Dara. “6 Essential Skills You Need in a Social Media Manager Job Description.” Hootsuite Social Media Management, 7 Jan. 2016, blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-manager-job-description/.
Schlee, Regina Pefanis, and Gary L. Karns. “Job Requirements for Marketing Graduates: Are There Differences in the Knowledge, Skills, and Personal Attributes Needed for Different Salary Levels?” Journal of Marketing Education, vol. 39, no. 2, 2017, pp. 69–St Petersburg College, doi:10.1177/0273475317712765.
Header photo from tarecruitmentandconsulting.
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