Social Media Specialist

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Similar Titles

Social media coordinator, social media manager, social media producer, social media strategist, digital engagement specialist, online community manager

Job Description

Social media specialists work on the overall social media strategies for a business or organization. They communicate with the public through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Solving customer service issues and promoting their employer’s brand online are all part of the day to day work of a social media specialist.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Seeing the excitement one of your posts can create online
  • Helping customers expand their message, mission, or brand
$54,238
The Inside Scoop
Day in the Life
  • Checking posts from the day before to see what worked and what didn’t work
  • Check what’s trending online and see if you can play into it
  • Working on campaigns to promote the company’s brand
  • Writing and scheduling posts
  • Creating graphics
  • Running ads
  • Replying to fans
  • Dealing with customer service issues (if freelance)
Skills Needed
  • Copywriting
  • Design: graphics and video
  • Knowing how to tell a story using elements such as photos and video
  • Customer service/community engagement
  • Behavioral psychology
  • Working with analytics
  • Social media management software (i.e. Hootsuite)
  • Budgeting 
Different Types of Organizations

As social media use grows, more companies are looking for social media specialists to promote and manage their brand online. Social media specialists can find employment in a wide variety of organizations. 

Current Industry Trends

The biggest trend right now is video. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are pushing video through features such as live streaming.

Education and Training Needed

Degree in communication, public relations, marketing or business. 

Things to do during high school/college
  • Keep up with the social media trends. Listen to podcasts or subscribe to SmartBrief for Social Business.
  • Don’t fall behind. Social media changes every day; apps like Snapchat are always updating. Stay on top of how popular social media platforms work but don’t just use them to post selfies! Think of how you could use them to promote a business.
  • Try to land internships that focus on working with a company’s social media team
  • See if your university has anything to offer; some schools have social media jobs for students. Helping run your school’s Instagram account will help you work on your skills and build your portfolio of work.
Typical Roadmap
Social media manager roadmap
How to land your 1st job
  • Landing an internship in a company’s social media department  
  • Networking at business and social media related seminars and events and online through platforms such as Twitter and Linkedin.
  • Making a portfolio that showcases your social media skills. Include photos you’ve posted, examples of work from internships and school projects. If your work during an internship helped boost an organization’s online following, include the numbers in your portfolio.
  • Take a job at the company you’re interested in and learn about its objectives and the audience it wants to reach. This may help you pivot your way into the social media department.
What it really takes to make it and succeed
  • Being well rounded. A social media manager’s tasks include photography, marketing, customer service, web production, design and analytics all while considering the legality of what you’re putting up online.  
  • Must know social media platforms inside and out.
  • Be and stay curious!
Plan B
  • Public Relations Officer 
  • Digital Marketer

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Source: Interviews, Glassdoor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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