The social media landscape has changed drastically since we started using Facebook in the mid-2000s.
Nowadays, companies rely heavily on social media platforms to connect with their customers and build communities around their brands.
As a result, many people are getting into social media marketing as new opportunities arise and career paths develop. But it can be challenging to know where to start.
What steps should I take to start my career path in social media? Is it possible to become a professional social media marketer without previous experience or a degree?
I’ll answer these questions and more in this social media career guide.
How To Get Started
Like with most career paths, it becomes easier once you know what you’re doing.
The first step is deciding which platforms you want to learn more about, researching, and using them. If you’re already comfortable with and have a profile with specific platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, you should already have a knowledge base.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you should also consider building out your understanding of other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram.
The best way to get started with social media marketing is to build your audience on your profiles. It’s the best place for trial and error. And it will help clarify which platforms you actually want to work on within your career.
Once you understand the different platforms, you can start evolving your social media skill set.
Over the years, businesses have relied upon social networks to gain insights into consumer psychology and gauge public opinion.
This has enabled them to identify trends or changes before they take place. But what skills do you need to identify these trends or create engaging social media posts?
Now I’m not talking about copyright or intellectual property rights. I’m talking about crafting compelling copy to market a brand, product, or service.
Even if you don’t have a background in writing, you can still develop the skills to become an effective copywriter. Pay attention to the ads and social media posts today.
Who’s getting it right, and what brands are clearly missing the mark? You can start practicing copywriting by simply editing brand copy that misses the mark.
While copywriting is a career in itself, it’s important to practice and perfect the art of social media copy.
2. Research And Analysis
Whether you’re researching a brand and its competitors to get the lay of the land or finding the right time to post, becoming a good researcher will save you time and help you with social media marketing.
You’ll also need to be able to interpret the key performance indicators (KPIs) for different brands. This is usually based on the platform’s insights or other programs used to analyze social media performance.
Comprehending and utilizing the insights social media platforms and programs provide are necessary skills to have in this career path. And things change fast online, and that’s no different for social media, so becoming a great researcher and analyst is a beneficial path.
3. Understanding Brand Personality And Tone
If you’re working as a freelance social media manager or with a marketing agency, you’ll need to be able to understand a brand guide.
These guides usually include the brand tone, colors, fonts, and the target market personality.
Surprisingly, not all brands have this, and sometimes, you’ll need to help establish a brand guide for a company.
Understanding and utilizing a brand guide will help you keep the right tone and personality when addressing customers and creating social media copy for brands.
4. Creative Development
You’ll need to develop a creative perspective incorporating the brand identity when producing videos and graphics for a brand’s posts. In addition, staying within the brand’s colors and font types can help create unity across posts.
Now, you don’t need to be an expert graphic designer to create social media posts. There are numerous free platforms out there, like Canva and Adobe Express, that can help you create professional and unique social media posts.
5. Customer Service
If you go the route of social media manager, you’ll also likely be monitoring the comments and direct messages for a brand’s social media accounts.
Customer service generally requires critical thinking and problem-solving, which you’ll also need in this career field.
In addition, it’ll be important to be polite, respond quickly and thoroughly, and know whom to direct your questions to if you can’t answer them yourself.
There are numerous ways to educate yourself on social media marketing, from getting a bachelor’s in social media management, interning and getting some hands-on experience, online courses, and countless free online resources.
If you’re entirely new to the field and are serious about learning about social media management, get a bachelor’s in marketing or social media management. The courses within these programs can lay the foundation to understand the business world and prepare you with the skills you need and practice and excel in the field.
If you’re not entirely sold on the career field or simply want to expand your knowledge, you can take a seminar or course for social media management or a specific skill.
For example, let’s say you want to get better at copywriting. Try the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy (CCA) or Copy Posse.
You will benefit immensely from learning more about copywriting and dealing with brands from the CCA course.
Usually, online courses like these also allow you to join online communities, like private Facebook groups. These groups can help give feedback on coursework, answer questions, and even help you land a job.
You can also read online resources such as ours on Social Media Strategy and Social Media Advertising. There are many excellent and free online articles, tools, and ebooks that can help you stay on top of social media trends and learn more about specific skills and strategies.
Roles Available In Social & Career Path To Follow
Today, social media plays a crucial role in advertising, customer service, and brand management. Social media marketers play a vital role in helping businesses scale and grow.
Several career paths are available, from freelance social media manager to social media strategist. Here are a few career paths you might want to consider:
Social Media Strategist
A social media strategist will help develop the brand’s strategy for each online social media platform.
They will help identify and track the KPIs to ensure the social media strategy stays on track. This could include monitoring incoming followers, likes, shares, mentions, and comments across posts.
This role will likely work with different teams within the brand to create a cohesive and accurate portal of the brand. They will also need to understand search engine optimization (SEO) and how to incorporate it into the social media strategy.
On average, social media strategists make anywhere from $46,000 to $73,000.
Social Media Manager
A social media manager needs to know how to create content for various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. The social media manager must also understand how to optimize each platform and use analytic tools to measure performance.
In addition, a social media manager should be able to communicate effectively with both internal and external audiences.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to use your customer service skills to respond to comments and direct messages on each platform.
Your income could vary depending on whether you are a freelancer or work for an agency, but salaries usually range from $42,000 to $66,000.
Social Media Influencer
People who create content using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are social media influencers or simply influencers. Many companies hire them to promote their brand or products through images, tweets, posts, video clips, blogs, and more.
In addition, they usually pay influencers to post content on their behalf because they want to reach targeted audiences.
This can be a lucrative and unique career path. Like being a freelance social media manager, being an influencer gives you the autonomy to create your career path and solely work with brands that align with your values.
Depending on your following and the brands you work with, a social media influencer could make between $41,000 to $69,000. Now, if you have a Huda Kattan level following, this could extend far past that.
Social Media Consultant
A brand might hire a social media consultant if it needs someone to evaluate its current strategy or social media profiles.
Sometimes getting a fresh set of eyes and an unbiased perspective can help take a brand’s social media presence to the next level. They can also help brands set goals and evaluate their SEO for their platforms.
Social media consultants generally make between $50,000 to $82,000.
Social media has changed our world, from how we interact with our friends, family, and followers to how brands market their products and services.
The career opportunities in social media are only expanding. You can move through different career paths if you practice the skills mentioned in this article and stay on top of social media trends.
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