While it may seem like the internet and social media have existed since the beginning of time, the industry is still in its infancy. Social media has paved the way for a host of new job opportunities across a variety of fields.
Companies, organizations and even some high-profile individuals are looking for candidates to handle their social media presence today. Social media professionals are in high demand, with responsibilities ranging from blogging and posting updates to channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to devising and implementing social media campaigns. The following jobs often include a social media component, with some of the roles focused entirely on social media:
- Content Manager
- Social Media Strategist/Coordinator
- Marketing Strategist
- Public Relations Manager
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manager
- E-Commerce Manager
Salary.com places the average yearly pay for entry-level jobs in social media at $52,146 with managers averaging $101,816 (March 2020). The public relations industry, which includes social media careers, is expected to add 6% more jobs for PR specialists through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the social media industry grows, the skills needed to succeed will no doubt change as well. The Muse names five key skills for social media jobs:
- Knowledge of targeted communication. Knowing what type of information to share on each social media platform is crucial to establishing and boosting social media presence. For instance, what is appropriate for Facebook might not work on Instagram or Twitter.
- Creativity. In addition to strong writing skills, the ability to integrate visual assets like images, videos and landing pages into social media campaigns can help a brand or organization stand out.
- An understanding of marketing and advertising. A career in social media will always include interacting with current and potential customers, so it's important to know how to speak to the various audiences.
- Intuition. Learning how to glean actionable insights from data and identifying which marketing efforts to pursue are examples of responsibilities that build the intuitive side of working in social media.
- Critical thinking. The ability to use analytics tools for gauging social media performance and then applying those insights to future strategies and tactics is crucial for advancing to leadership roles in the social media sphere.
In completing coursework for Southern Utah University's Master of Arts in Professional Communication online program, students will:
- Study the impact of social media and technology on the communication process.
- Develop a social media plan that includes objectives, strategies, tactics and key performance indicators.
- Explore advanced issues in advertising and PR and learn best practices.
- Complete a thesis or capstone project.
The social media field is adding jobs at a rapid rate, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting "ample opportunities for work" while noting that the popularity of social media could mean "competition for those jobs." Adding expertise in professional communication is one way to stand out.
A master's degree focused on professional communication can help you develop the skills base, knowledge of contemporary issues, and critical thinking skills that social media careers call for.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.