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Career in Social Media: Ultimate Guide [2024]

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25th Sep, 2022
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Career in Social Media: Ultimate Guide [2024]

A career in social media has always been in huge demand since social media plays a crucial role in the way people interact, share information, learn, influence, and do most of their communication. The diverse social media platforms available for users are enabling not just individuals but also companies to engage and connect with their audience.

But, while we are experiencing a boom in digital marketing and social media jobs, what does the future hold for us? Let’s explore the future of social media and several social media career opportunities available to you.

The growth of social media is bound to expand, and with the new digital platforms coming into the scene, social media is seeing a rising trend. Businesses or organisations are turning to social media due to the connection and impact it is able to create on the users.

The social media career is seeing a rise due to the demand. The global social media market size is expected to grow to $223.11 billion in 2022 (Source).

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What is the Importance of Social Media in 2024?

1. Brands need Social Media to be where their customers are!

According to Statista, there are 3 billion social media users worldwide, which is nearly 50% of the global population. It was also analyzed that an average person spends 2+ hours daily on social networks and messaging apps. Thus, making it integral for brands to devise business strategies that incorporate social media marketing. It is no wonder that a career in social media has always gotten attention.

Source

While the number of global users and the amount of time spent is one thing, there is another critical reason why brands believe social media is essential. The reason is: the presence of their target audience! 

Brands require social media marketing and management in order to target their customers and position their marketing, product or services accordingly. These efforts of the brand allow them to bring personalisation and increase customer loyalty.

A career in social media is thriving due to the investment brand do in their social media. Social media enables the brand to interact with its customers, and acquire and retain users as well. Social media provides for two-way communication as opposed to one-way communication. 

Another important reason for brands to be using social media is to build strategies that can help them in overcoming the competition. There are various jobs related to social media that help the companies to gather data that helps the company in becoming data-centric.

According to a study by Emarketer in 2019, the active social media users as per their age group were something like:

  1. 90.4% of Millennials
  2. 77.5% of Generation X
  3. 48.2% of Baby Boomers

Read more: Top 10 Benefits of Social Media in the Digital Era

2. The Crisis has Increased Social Media Usage!

The importance of social media was always high, given these statistics. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the importance of social media from integral to essential. With social distancing norms and enterprises struggling with other marketing channels to successfully reach out to their target audience, social media and digital marketing is the only option left for most. 

Although, it is not just the business world and those with a career in social media that are taking notice. The everyday user is spending a massive amount of time online not just for entertainment but also learning, working, or staying updated.

Source

An analysis of social media behavior and usage since the pandemic showcases:

  1. A surge in engagement rates: Almost every social media channel has seen a 15-20% in posts, while engagement for posts has increased by over 61% according to a survey of 25,000 consumers. The use of messaging across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is up by almost 50%, while Twitter is seeing a 23% rise in daily users compared to last year. People are surely turning to social media in these stressful times, and this makes it essential for businesses to be active and lend support to their customers through social media marketing. 
  2. The use of digital channels to educate: Since the crisis, people are working remotely, and this requires a considerable amount of independent work. In case the user runs into an issue, the likelihood of the user reaching out on social media to get the query resolved is higher now than ever. This has led to social media marketers creating more content that is in the form of tutorials, guides, tips, and specific to customer problems. 
  3. A rise in ephemeral content: Stories are gaining popularity and have been a part not just of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, but have also been adopted by Twitter, calling this feature ‘Fleet.’ Users are more likely to see a post in the ephemeral form (available for a short time, usually 24 hours) than permanent content in the form of social media posts. For those wanting to explore a career in social media, having the ability to create outstanding visual and straightforward content is vital.
  4. Smartphone usage has risen: Smartphones have slowly taken over the desktop to be the primary consumption channel for social media. Research indicates that around 96% of users access Facebook from their smartphones, while 75% of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices. The rising popularity of social media platforms that are entirely mobile apps like Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram is proof of this.
  5. Video content is highly appealing: Videos are the next big thing, as users are more likely to watch a video than read a lengthy article on a similar topic. Video content has higher conversions and impact, and this can be seen with the popularity of videos not just on Youtube but also on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.

Social media is one of the most important factors that play a big role during crises or calamities, covid 19 is a recent example. The companies are able to actively utilise their social media to address these issues and help people in surviving these tough times.

Most companies practice philanthropic activities, and during these times they are able to implement those. Some choose to donate to the victims on their own, some choose to raise awareness and crowdfund. Businesses also follow the approach of raising awareness or sharing alerts due to the larger user base they have on social media. These noble acts positively impact a brand’s reputation in the market.

During the tough times of covid, social media career options grew. The old traditional companies also understood the importance and power of social media. If earlier there was a limited pool of employers, today the pool has grown big.

What are the Job Roles in Social Media?

The factors, as mentioned above, are mainly contributing to the boom in social media career opportunities, as companies need people who can help manage and boost their social media presence. It is not just a marketing agency that now needs social media, but even startups, enterprises, non-profits, and government agencies are hunting talented and social-savvy people. This has made a career in social media lucrative and is in high demand even in times of crisis.

1. Social Media Managers

Source

As the title suggests, a social media manager is someone who administers every activity for the company or individual that is related to social media. A career in social media needs a good knowledge of several online platforms, but the manager is directly responsible for the creation, updation, and reaction of all social media activities.

Some of the critical skills needed to be a social media manager are:

  1. Excellent communication skills and fluency especially in English, since it is the most used language online.
  2. Ability to understand and monitor social media metrics.
  3. Development of a brand strategy for social media.
  4. Sustenance and generation of leads or inbound traffic.
  5. Proper understanding of the product and services of the page they are managing to be able to publish relevant, original, and high-quality content.
  6. Knowledge of social media tools to plan and schedule post-promotion.
  7. Excellent knowledge of social media advertising and the ability to successfully execute ad campaigns based on defined objectives.
  8. Ability to integrate social media marketing with other marketing channels (content marketing, email, digital marketing, print, SEO).

The social media managers are responsible for the brand image. They influence the perception of people towards the brand. Due to their efforts, they are able to make a customer stick to the brand, acquire new customers and most importantly generate more leads that help in the company’s growth and revenue.

The social media managers are also responsible for building brand recognition, increasing traffic, relationship building and creating engaging content. 

The demand is high which leads to higher pay and various employers hiring for the position. On average the salary of a social media manager is 4.1 lakhs per annum. The salary ranges from 1.2 lakhs per annum to 10.5 lakhs per annum (Source). The compensation bracket may vary owing to various factors such as skill sets, experience, location, etc.

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2. Social Media Analyst

Data is essential, and this is true even when it comes to social media. While most of the basic analytics and tracking is done by social media managers and the marketing team, few organizations have specialized experts for this purpose. The social media analyst is primarily required to monitor the social media initiatives of the company and provide deep insights to create a holistic approach.

This position is one of the recent developments in social media career opportunities, as brands are only now realizing the importance of social media metrics, brand awareness, and the effectiveness of digital marketing.

The primary skills required to become a social media analyst are:

  1. Strong knowledge of analytics and understanding of key metrics that are to be tracked to create a report on social media traffic.
  2. Familiarity with SEO and social media strategies to optimize keywords and content.
  3. Knowledge of social media analytics tools (Google Analytics, Buffer, Hootsuite, and others).
  4. In-depth understanding of analytical tools for detailed analysis and data crunching.
  5. Ability to work with other teams and multitasking skills.

There is robust importance for the social media analyst.  The social media analysts enable the organisation to assess the data and success of any social media campaigns, uploads, etc. It is due to their efforts that businesses are able to make use of the data and create strategies that hold the customers.

The analysis works with the data and helps the companies understand what customers require, according to that innovations take place in the products or services. Strategies to get ahead of the competition are another useful measure taken care of by the social media analyst.

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3. Social Media Community Manager

If you are great with social media engagement and creating viral content, there are several social media career opportunities like becoming a brand manager or community manager. While this may seem very similar to the social media manager job title, there are a few stark differences.

Social Media ManagerCommunity Manager/ Brand Ambassador
Responsible for creating posts that are the voice of the brand and posted on the official social media profiles of the brand.Responsible for publicizing the brand or enterprise in the community using their own social media channels.
It writes responses and creates engagement as the voice of the brand.It creates engagement within the community to help promote the brand indirectly.
It cannot have individual opinions and has to write keeping in mind the totality of the brand.It has individual opinions but which are in line with the brand image and can help to create engagement that is positive for the brand.
Communicates brand messages from within.Advocates brand messages from outside the organizational boundaries by being part of the community/target audience group.

As you can see from the difference, social media community managers require a unique skill set while being part of an overall digital marketing strategy for the organization. 

Community managers and social media managers often report to the global marketing head or CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and have similar targets but different approaches. 

Some of the essential skills required to become a social media community manager are:

  1. Strong understanding of the community or target audience to be able to blend in with them.
  2. Good knowledge of social media branding to be able to communicate this message effectively in an individual capacity.
  3. Interpersonal skills to hold conversations and interact with the community.
  4. Ability to create engaging content that gets the community interested in the brand’s products or services.
  5. Alignment with brand strategy and understanding of analytics to be able to perform actions that are in line with the requirements.

The ability to maintain what and how the brand thinks, speaks is the task of the social media community manager. They make sure the brand remains visible across the platforms. 

Moreover, the community managers are also responsible for promoting the content that is relatable to the target group which increases engagement and eventually increases the pool of potential customers.

Maintaining the unique identity of a brand that separates it from the crowd or its competitors is another set of tasks to be implemented by social media managers.

They are required to follow various strategies in order to meet their goal. For example, conducting events, PR campaigns, online contests, networking, promotion on all social media channels, etc.

With more experience and high skill sets, social media careers reap huge benefits. On average the social media community manager procures a salary of 4.7 lakhs per annum. The salary bracket ranges from 2.4 lakhs per annum to 12.4 lakhs per annum (Source).

Other Digital Marketing & Social Media Career Opportunities

While social media managers and analysts are some of the typical job roles in the field, there are diverse responsibilities and specializations in the area. 

Social media is usually a part of the overall marketing function and can have some of the following job titles as well, like

  1. Copywriter
  2. Brand Ambassador
  3. Blogger
  4. Public Relations Manager
  5. Digital Marketing Manager
  6. Social Media Strategist
  7. Social Media Consultant
  8. Public Relations & Social Media Strategist
  9. Director of Marketing & Social Media
  10. Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Read: Social Media Marketing Salary

Which are the Essential Skills Required to Kickstart a Career in Social Media?

While starting a career in social media, one should have the desired skillsets and knowledge to ace the role. 

Each role with have its unique requirements, but overall, a career in social media will require some of the essential skills like

  • Mastering the platforms and the tools: A career in social media requires familiarity and mastery of some of the leading social media platforms and tools. While platforms vary with each organization, one needs to know tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, Buffer, Google Analytics, and others to be able to create and manage social media posts effectively.
  • Being fluent in your communication: There may be times when a copywriter or a specialized individual can help with content creation, but most of the interactions still rest with social media specialists. This requires strong communication skills and fluency in the language. It is also necessary that people in these roles understand what the brand does and have an in-depth understanding of the products and services that are being marketed.
  • Knowing social media and marketing analytics: Social media is more than just posting content or interactions, it requires a strategic approach that is tracked using social media and marketing metrics. Having an understanding of these metrics and how they impact the overall objective is essential for a career in social media.
  • Ability to think strategically: Lastly, for advancing in the role, one needs a strategic vision of how social media can be effectively leveraged to enable the overall marketing and lead generation for the brand. There are several social media career opportunities to choose from, but each role needs a strategic vision to be able to scale up the ladder. 

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Average Salary and Requirements

Average Salary Junior LevelAverage Salary Senior Level
Rs. 5+ lakhRs. 14 lakh

Source

Although there are several streams and specializations within social media career opportunities, social media manager is the general job position at most companies. The salary can range from $37,000 to $72,000 as per the estimates by Glassdoor, with the average wage being around $50,000. The salary one can earn is dependent on the company, location, and experience of the candidate.

What’s more, if you transition from social media manager to diversifying in a role as a digital marketer, you can expect to earn around $61,000 as a base salary given the impressive job prospects and skills required. So, if you wish to explore a career in social media or digital marketing, it is essential to keep track of each social media platform and gain a unique combination of analytical and creative skills. 

Also Read: Social Media Project Ideas & Topics

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Conclusion

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The certification, which is also in collaboration with the MICA School of Ideas provides an outcome-oriented curriculum in social media and digital marketing with self-learning and hands-on experience with  over 20 tools.

To kickstart your career in digital marketing and find incredible social media career opportunities to meet your future prospects, explore more about the certification. You can also venture into various other courses offered by upGrad in social media marketing. 

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Dilip Guru

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He is a Growth Hacker, Digital Marketer & Blogger. He loves solving problems of scale and long term digital strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is social media specialist a good career option?

Yes, a career in social media is now a lucrative option as companies of all sizes and scales are spending huge resources on ramping up their social media presence. And, the role of the social media specialist becomes very crucial here.
With people spending a significant part of their day online and preferring online purchases over visiting stores, for companies it has become important to build their social identity and use the channels efficiently to drive sales.
According to payscale, the average base salary of a social media manager with 1-4 years of experience in India is Rs 345,831.

2What are the skills I need to learn to kickstart my career in social media?

To kickstart your career or become an expert as a social media specialist, the following are the skills you need to have:
1. Communication: You need to have excellent communication skills on social media, with your boss & managers, and with the team to efficiently deliver messages
2. Writing: You should have excellent copywriting skills that can spark conversations about the brand
3. Creativity: You should be a creative person with a strong visual aesthetic.
4. Knowledge of different social media analytics tools: You should be able to use, read and analyse data to measure social performance around KPIs
5. Strategic thinking ability: You should have a strategic vision of how a specific social media platform can be leveraged for lead generation

3Is social media hard to learn?

No, social media is not hard, but it requires you to be a continuous learner and must be aware of the latest trends in the market, new tech, new platforms, and changing demographics.
With more companies trying to crack the social media puzzle to gain the attraction of people, you need to think out of the box, keep on applying new learnings to your social media strategy and need to maintain a consistent social presence.
In the social media space, there are only two ways to stay ahead in the game, going with the latest trend and following a data-driven approach.

4How do I get a social media job with no experience?

If you do not have experience, you must empower yourself with skill sets. Understand which kind of skills are required in the industry and begin with acquiring basic skills. Get enrolled yourself in a foundational course, get certified and apply for jobs.

5Can you have a career in social media?

Yes definitely, you can have a career in social media. There are various opportunities and options available in the social media industry. You can become a social media manager, PR manager, social media analyst, brand manager, etc.

6What should you not post on social media?

The type of promotional content that should not be posted on social media are mentioned below- 1) Irrelevant content, 2) Overly promotional, 3) Vulgar content, 4) Derogatory content,

7Can I be a social media manager without a degree?

With relevant skill sets and experience, one can become a social media manager. Skills in marketing, sales and other journalism skill sets are a must to become a social media manager.

8Are social media managers in demand?

Yes, social media managers are in demand. With the advent of social media, the demand for social media managers is also increasing.

9How do I start a social media career?

To begin a career in social media, one must invest in acquiring a degree that helps in building foundations. Another step is to understand which skills the market demand and acquire those skill sets. Once that is done, they should network and land a job that helps in growth.

10What do social media managers get paid?

With more experience and skill set the compensation grows for social media managers. On average the social media managers are paid 4.1 lakhs per annum. The average salary ranges from 1.2 lakhs per annum to 10.5 lakhs per annum.

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