Social media has become an every day thing. Individuals use it, professionals use it, heck, even businesses use it. But are there really any job prospects in the field?
Yes. There are many. I’ve written before about how businesses use social media, so I’m sure you can imagine that they need to employ someone to do all these jobs. I used to be that ‘someone’ for a corporate company in London. While working there I managed a variety of social media accounts, wrote some strategies and looked at stats (and stuff). Sound good? You can do it too!
What can I do?
Here are a few social media based roles out there:
Social Media Manager
Companies often employ social media managers to maintain their social networking profiles. This usually involves jobs such as:
- Updating profiles with company news
- Engaging with followers
- Running promotional campaigns
They are also usually tasked with the boring job of measuring and analysing social media stats to establish the company’s return on investment (ROI). The social media usage must match up with the objectives outlined in the company’s social media strategy.
Sometimes really cool things happen, like this.
Social Customer Care Roles
@BadManBugti Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo. LD
— Argos Helpers (@ArgosHelpers) March 8, 2014
Social customer service is another thing I’ve written about before. These are the people who respond to your angry tweets about you not having signal/waiting too long for your food/whatever other bullshit you find to complain about. It’s a tough job, so make sure you’ve got thick skin and big balls if you decide to go into this. Some customers are just brutal.
This role can sometimes be integrated into other social media roles, such as social customer care. It involves interacting with fans/customers, answering questions and helping build a community of people who basically just love (or at least interact with) the company.
The Strategy Guy
I call this role the strategy guy as the person who creates a company’s social media strategy often varies from company to company. Sometimes the marketing department write it for the social media manager to follow, sometimes an agency creates one and sometimes the social media intern just makes one up as they go along (totally me in my last job).
Where do I start?
It’s relatively easy to get started with social media jobs, but may probably going to have to work for free/rubbish wages at the start. Many companies take on interns to manage their social presence and, while this may not pay well (or at all), the experience you get from it will help you get your next (paid) job. Also, if you are unpaid or not paid a lot, it does take a lot of pressure off as they’re not expecting you to be able to run a campaign and suddenly double their Twitter followers.
How much will I get paid?
As I mentioned before, you probably won’t be paid greatly at first, but once you have some experience under you belt salaries do go up, but from what I’ve read there is a bit of a ceiling once you reach a certain level, so having other marketing skills so that you can fulfil other roles too.
Is it really a career?
Many marketing folk will see social media based roles as a career (as will customer service folk for that matter), but the rest of the world will probably continue to think you spend your day on Twitter and Facebook and not really ‘working’. Additionally, the salary ceiling I mentioned earlier also applies to progression. There’s only so much you can really do before you’re doing it all, which is why it’s important to have other skills to make you valuable to an employer. For example, in my previous job I also created newsletters, used SQL to update commercial websites and wrote blog posts.
Are you planning to get a job in social media? Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!