Social media has opened up a new field of human endeavor, creating new marketing and media jobs and providing new avenues for professional development.
If you go to work in this emerging field, you will likely find yourself managing social media accounts across multiple platforms, planning publicity campaigns that will be marketed through social media platforms, or producing online content that has an interactive component.
Social Media Career Options
As social media evolves, so do professional standards, technical certifications, and licensing requirements. If you're new to this area, it might be difficult to find out what the job really consists of or what will be expected of you. You can begin your job hunt by looking for keywords like digital content, digital media, online content, online community, social marketing, engagement, interactive, and just online or social media in general.
Job Title Variations
Although non-standard job titles can be confusing at first, creative titles do give you valuable information about a prospective employer. A company hiring for positions called social media guru, interactive media czar, digital media ninja, content swami, or brand evangelist suggest the position is for someone with experience who likes to experiment creatively.
The staff may be crafting an image in order to attract applicants who have a playful nature and a creative, even ironic attitude. If you are put off by being called a maven or a rock star, you probably won't be a good fit for that company's culture or its mission.
Because of the open-ended nature of the field, even traditional-sounding titles may not tell you very much about the job itself.
It may be difficult at first glance to know whether you’ll be coordinating other staff or if you’ll be the only social media employee. So, it's important to make sure you ask the employer about the job tasks and be sure you are comfortable with the response.
Social Media Skills and Responsibilities
KPIs. In each of these jobs and generally any social media position you may have, you will typically be responsible for managing key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs can vary greatly depending on the job and its goals. KPI management can involve dashboards, views, re-tweets, shares, sales goals, and more. In some jobs you may also have the responsibility for managing a KPI budget which can include paid options for social media marketing and analysis of the monetary benefits.
Writing Skills. “I apologize for such a long letter—I didn’t have time to write you a short one.” Mark Twain would appreciate the challenge of communicating in 280 characters or fewer. If your social media job involves copy writing—and many do —you must be adept at composing pithy, on-brand tweets, posts, and messages.
Customer Service Skills. According to SCORE, 77% of small businesses use social media to manage business functions like customer service and PR. At these companies, working on the social media team demands top-notch customer service skills, including communication, compassion, product knowledge, and conflict resolution.
5 Top Social Media Jobs
Director of Social Media. Director is a high-level title, and if this is the job you're hired for, it's likely that you'll be responsible for strategy, and possibly managing other people. You will probably be in charge of posting to social media accounts on several platforms, according to a set schedule. You may or may not be responsible for creating those accounts and the posting schedule. You may be responsible for creating content or overseeing editors in creating a content calendar. You may also write for, or oversee, a blog.
You might be responsible for creating your company's “voice” and social media personality. You will likely be expected to know more about social media than your supervisor does.
Other likely titles for the same job include director or manager of social media marketing, director or manager of social media communication, director or manager of social media relations, or director or manager of social media strategy.
Salary: PayScale reports that directors of social media earn an average annual salary of $72,136.
Brand Manager. As a brand manager or brand ambassador, you might also be posting to a group of social media accounts (with or without a blog), but it's more likely you'll be directly involved in advertising. Rather than managing communications directly, your team might be more involved in the sales and marketing aspect of social media. The job titles of content manager or content strategist might also be used for this kind of position.
Salary: According to Glassdoor, brand managers earn an average annual salary of $89,823.
Engagement Coordinator. If you're an engagement coordinator (or manager), you will not only be in charge of your company’s social media messaging, you’ll also be responsible for guiding the online behavior of the public. You will be executing (and possibly creating) a marketing strategy that involves getting the public to respond to posts, share posts, or re-tweet your posts—with the hope of it going viral.
You might also be called the director of community, interactive media associate (or coordinator, or manager), or internet marketing manager.
Salary: Per Glassdoor, engagement coordinators earn an average annual salary of $46,220.
Social Media Manager. As a social media manager, you’ll monitor and run a company’s social networks. Together with other members of the social media or marketing team, you’ll create the social media marketing strategy for the brand and analyze results using tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush. You may also manage other team members and keep them on track toward achieving the company’s goals.
Salary: PayScale reports that social media managers earn an average annual salary of $51,170.
Content Strategist. In a content strategist role, you’ll help companies tell their brand’s story across multiple platforms. Content strategists typically have a background in journalism or marketing, excellent writing and communication skills, and a solid knowledge of analytics and SEO tools.
Salary: According to PayScale, content strategists earn an average annual salary of $61,197.
More Common Social Media Job Titles
Each title below comes with different duties and responsibilities based on the company.
You can research the employer on LinkedIn or Google to see if the job already exists or to get a sense of what it might involve in comparison to other current roles.
- Brand Ambassador
- Brand Manager
- Community Manager
- Content Manager
- Digital Communications Professional
- Digital Content Manager
- Digital Media Manager
- Digital Media Producer
- Digital Media Supervisor
- Director of Community
- Director, Communications Planning
- Director, Online Communications
- Director, Social Marketing and Brand Communications
- Director, Social Media Marketing
- Director of Social Media
- Director of Social Media Communications
- Director, Social Media Relations
- Director of Social Media Strategy
- Engagement Coordinator
- Engagement Manager
- Interactive Media Associate
- Interactive Media Coordinator
- Interactive Media Manager
- Internet Marketing Coordinator
- Internet Marketing Manager
- Manager of Digital and Social Media
- Multi-Media Communications Specialist
- Online Content Coordinator
- Social Media Account Executive
- Social Media Analyst
- Social Media Assistant
- Social Media Associate
- Social Media Coordinator
- Social Media Designer
- Social Media Editor
- Social Media Executive
- Social Media Marketing Coordinator
- Social Media Producer
- Social Media Specialist
- Social Media Strategist