Social Media Career Guide

How to land a job in social media

Social media is everywhere, and no matter where you go, there seems to be no escaping it. Whether you're abroad, shopping in your local town or at work, people and businesses worldwide are using social media platforms every single day. And with such high customer demand, comes a need for social media experts and fresh career opportunities.

From managing influencers to running ad campaigns, there are various paths and experiences on offer. But how do you get there? This guide will explore the different career paths, what experience you may need and all the tips and tricks you need to secure the job!

Do you need qualifications to work in social media?

One major thing that attracts people to working in social media is that it's modern, lucrative and easily accessible. Being able to use different social platforms and create content are modern skills that are easily obtainable through your own time or online courses. There are multiple sites available which allow you to schedule posts, create graphics and track analytics, all of which can be done without any qualifications but are a primary part of any social media role.

Saying that having a qualification under your belt is always a good thing and maybe a requirement in the future for larger corporations or managerial roles. Obtaining a college or university qualification is always good for adaptability too. Many creative roles overlap, so having something that covers multiple bases will allow you to venture out further in your career and go down different paths. Here are some courses/qualifications that could help with a career in social media.

  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Media Studies
  • Business Management
  • Advertisement and Public Relations
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design/Digital Design
  • Journalism

Gaining experience in the social media industry

When it comes to the creative industry, many people see experience as a more valuable asset. But what if you don't have the experience?

Many people looking to get into the world of social media will simply create their own portfolio using fake templates, briefs and case studies for their favourite brands. Even if it isn't legitimate work, you are still showing the key qualities and skill sets required.

There is also plenty of room for interns and assistants, or you could offer free, local services to small businesses. For example, you could offer a free package of Instagram graphics for a salon and use this in your portfolio as an experience. For a case study, you could create a selection of materials for a brand, including new branding, video edits, an infographic and a series of social media post ideas.

Key skills you need as a social media expert

Depending on the specific role you take on, there will be a different set of skills required. But all in all, social media experts possess the same type of skills and professionalism as well as a genuine interest in the social world. Here are some of the key skills you will want to present if you're looking for a job in social media.

  • Copywriting
  • Data Analysis
  • Creativity
  • Customer Servicer
  • An eye for detail
  • Organisation
  • Research and analytics

With all these skills also comes the need for digital knowledge as the majority of social media tasks will be done online using modern softwares and platforms. Businesses will more than likely use different resources, but having a basic understanding of the most common ones can help develop your skills further and be more valuable to a company, For example, many social media roles may require you to have an understanding of Adobe suite, scheduling platforms and video editing softwares.

Social Media Job Roles

With social media growing at such a rapid pace, this also means the job sector is growing with it. What once was a need for a social media manager, we are now seeing businesses branch out even further, crafting more specific job roles. If you're looking to land a job in social, here are some of the main job tiles you will want to look out for.

  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Assistant/Executive/Expert
  • Content Creator
  • Community Manager
  • Influencer Marketing Export
  • Marketing Assistant/Executive/Export
  • Platform-specific e.g TikTok Specialist
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Social Media Consultant

Another thing to consider would be to go solo and do freelance work. This could either mean using an online platform to find available work, or to build a brand and find some clients yourself! As social media is so accessible, freelance work is simple to do, but finding clients can prove difficult.

Roles and Responsibilities in Social Media

Anyone working within social media has the main responsibility for developing and executing social media strategies for a brand, client or business with the main objective of helping them grow or promote a service or product. This might include creating engaging content, analysing progress, communicating with customers or managing ad campaigns. Like most jobs, different businesses will have different tasks they need you to carry out. This could depend on the needs of the company, other employees, their budget or their current position in the market. When working in social media, you should expect to do any of the following:

  • Content Creation
  • Digital Copywriting
  • Content Scheduling
  • Customer Service
  • Analytics and Data Reports
  • Branding and Design
  • Photography and Videography
  • SEO and PPC

How to become a Social Media Manager

Understanding the role of a social media manager and how to achieve the right credentials can help you secure employment and build up your experience. Many companies recruit social media managers to manage their or their client's presence online, or, you might be looking to go down the freelancer route and become a social media manager for others. This job role is one of the most popular in the industry and is a career which has seen a huge amount of growth and success over the last few years.

As a social media manager, you will: develop creative strategies for different social media platforms, create calendars and content schedules, push content, collaborate with influencers, navigate PR and ads, respond to customer feedback and queries, track content through metrics and analytics, present findings to wider teams, stay up to date with trends and collaborate with other businesses.

Tips for becoming a Social Media Manager

  • Establish your online presense with a personal brand
  • Create a blog or multimedia platform examples
  • Gain professional knowledge through courses, education or placements
  • Apply for an entry-level position
  • Earn a post-graduate qualification
  • Complete free online workshops and courses
  • Have a genuine interest and passion
  • Take on free projects