Career In Online Marketing - Everything You Need To Know To Become a Social Media Specialist

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Social Media is currently one of the fastest-growing branches of online marketing. No wonder more and more companies and creative agencies have decided to hire experts in social media marketing. 

 

Do you find yourself in the world of social networks and dream to try your hand at being a social media specialist? Check what skills every beginner social media ninja needs and what is working in the online marketing industry. We've put together everything you need to know about the career of a social media specialist in our guide.

Why is it worth considering a career related to social media?

The number of social media users worldwide is around 4 billion and is still growing. Social media is a powerful tool for developing an online business, which, when properly used, brings huge sales benefits. Social media marketing is a great communication tool that enables an organization to appeal to people interested in its product or service. Thanks to social media channels, the brand becomes visible to those who don't know its product or service yet. Companies are well aware of the power of social media. That is why hiring a good social media specialist has become so important. 

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing includes activities on social channels that aim to connect with your audience and customers. Through social media, specialists build brand awareness, increase sales and drive traffic to the company's website. They use various advertising techniques and ways to promote products and brands. Online marketing activities aim to strengthen a positive brand image by publishing engaging content on social media.

Social media specialist - job description

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Social media specialists are most often employed in companies marketing agencies or work with individuals as freelancers. When browsing job offers, we can come across many terms of the position of a social media specialist. Communication specialists, content managers, or social media ninja are just some of the names. A social media expert is a relatively new profession. However, the growing demand for social media specialists meant that it is often referred to as the future profession.

What does a social media specialist do?

The goal of a social media specialist is to gradually achieve better customer engagement and increase website traffic, which will translate into sales results. Social media professionals should have a solid understanding of how each social media channel works and optimize content to engage with each channel's users. The social media specialist is also responsible for initiating and moderating discussions with the audience on behalf of the brand. Through conversations in groups and on the company's fan page, the social media expert supports current and potential customers. 

What is a social media specialist job?

The social media work of a social media ninja involves implementing marketing activities on popular social channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Tik Tok. The main task of social media experts is to create a brand image in social media. 

Responsibilities of a social media specialist:

1). Research - that is, collecting information, observing trends, looking for inspiration to create posts on social channels, and analyzing the steps of competition.

 

2.) Creating content - making content and graphics for posts. Each social media ninja should know the specificity of communication on each social networking site and be up to date with the prevailing trends. Expert social media needs to know when to apply the appropriate hashtag or emoji, which tags or markings to use, or to which side redirect recipients.

 

3.) Conducting scheduled posts and publications (the content planning) - the responsibility of the content manager should keep a calendar of pre-planned posts or content to be published. Keeping to the schedule allows for regular publications at specific times. This is important if we want to publish when a particular target group is most often on the portal. What's more, a calendar with a content plan can also be used to communicate with other departments in the company. Tools and platforms that enable content keeping a calendar, scheduling, and automating the publication of posts include: hootsuite, buffer, sproutsocial and loomly.

4.) Using marketing tools of social channels - a good practice of a social media specialist is to manage the publication of posts on social networks. For example, Facebook Business Manager is a tool for detailed content management on corporate Facebook and Instagram. 

 

5.) Cooperation with graphic designers  - communication with the graphic design department is an integral part of the work of a content manager, especially in a larger company or creative agency. For example, a social media specialist creates text and consults with graphics where it should be placed on the graphics. That is why a sense of composition and knowledge of design trends is so necessary in this project.

 

6.) Moderating discussions - there is a reason why a social media expert is called a Communication Specialist or Community Manager in many companies. One of the daily tasks of almost every social media specialist is to initiate and moderate discussions with the company's customers or the community from the brand's industry. It is often done on thematic groups (for example, on Facebook or LinkedIn). The task of a social media specialist is also to regularly reply to comments and questions under posts on the company's fanpage.

7.) Email communication - one of the tasks of a social media specialist or community manager is maintaining contacts with the company's clients. It involves email communication. Often the content manager is also responsible for creating a newsletter and maintaining a mailing database.

 

8.) Cooperation with influencers - work in social media often involves collaboration with influencers (people who set trends in the industry and have a large audience in the form of many followers on their social media accounts). These types of practices support the company's marketing activities. When cooperating with influencers or critical partners of the company, you can create a strategy regarding crossposts (publishing identical posts on different profiles), sharing content, and preparing guest posts with company markings on other profiles. 

 

9.) Preparation of paid advertising campaigns - if a social media specialist has skills in this area of ​​online marketing, he can create campaigns on his own from scratch or cooperate with a Google Ads or Facebook Ads specialist. Most often, however, the content manager sets the budget, prepares an idea for graphic creation, describes the target group, and controls the duration of the advertising campaign.

10.) Promotional activities on social channels - a social media specialist co-creates or creates the concept of brand promotion on various social media channels. Very often, in the area of ​​activities of a social media specialist, there is the organization of competitions and events on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. The key here is to plan competitions or events following the regulations of a given social networking site.

 

11.) Analyzing the results - the content manager is responsible for the development of social media channels and the impact of online marketing activities on sales results.

Social media specialist skills

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Are you wondering if working in the online marketing industry is right for you? If social networks have no secrets for you, you are up to date with trends in social media, and additionally, you have an innate sense of aesthetics, and you like to write - perhaps this is your ideal profession. What other qualities and talents should an expert on content and communication in social media have? Here are essential skills that will be useful in the daily work of a social media specialist.

Soft Skills:

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Ingenuity

To get social media going and start doing great, sometimes you need to break patterns. Every social media ninja should have a head full of ideas and be characterized by unconventional thinking. In addition to creativity, you will also need the power of persuasion. If you can convince everyone around you to your ideas, your chances of success in the social media industry will increase quickly.

Communication skills

As a social media specialist, you will constantly contact the company's clients and a broad audience on the company fan page. So you need to use the correct language to appeal to your target audience and gain community engagement with your brand. What's more, as a social media specialist, you will often consult other employees, e.g. graphics or the marketing department. For the cooperation to be practical, you must ensure proper relations with your colleagues.

Organizing

Creating schedules, keeping an eye on the program, and finalizing the details of meetings is everyday life for a social media specialist. If you want to succeed in this industry, you must have high-level organizational skills. As a social media and communication specialist, you need to control the publication of many different content.

Writing  

The work of a social media specialist is largely based on preparing various texts on their own. That is why one of the most valuable skills of a social media channel manager is the efficient use of the written word. Therefore, all copywriting techniques will be helpful in everyday work as a social media specialist. It is worth learning how to create catchy phrases or write substantive articles for your blog. It may also be helpful to use the storytelling technique, thanks to which you will present the history of the brand creatively and engage the recipients.

Sense of aesthetics

A social media specialist does not have to be a graphic designer. Not every content manager will also create all materials from scratch on their own. However, to professionally run social media channels, you need a sense of aesthetics or knowledge of trends in graphic design. This will help communicate with the design team or prepare simple graphics.

Versatility

In smaller companies, a social media specialist must be versatile. Often, the daily duties of a social media specialist and creating content also include contact with customers, issuing invoices, preparing promotional campaigns, developing marketing strategies and sales activities.

The ability to draw conclusions

An essential element in the work of a social media specialist is the analysis of marketing activities and completing on this basis. Testing different ideas in practice and analyzing the results will help you create a truly effective online marketing strategy.

Hard Skills:

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Using Graphics Programs

It's good if the Content Specialist has basic knowledge of simple graphics programs. Daily, social media specialists collaborate with graphic designers and create graphics or films or prepare all the materials themselves.

Data analysis

In the work of a social media specialist, elementary knowledge of operating analytical programs will be helpful Google Analytics or internal analytical tools of each social networking site. Experience with more advanced programs like SoTrender, Brand24 or Ahrefs.

Language knowledge

Starting from the knowledge of the correct spelling rules, which are necessary for the preparation of various forms of text, to language knowledge. Many companies that are geared towards foreign markets create all communication in foreign languages. Contact with customers or brand partners may also require this. Therefore, perfect knowledge of the mother tongue and knowledge of additional foreign languages ​​will sparkle your work in social media.

What are the career levels in the social media marketing industry?

The social media career ladder really depends on the agency or company in question. Most often, beginners start as juniors, assistants, or moderators responsible for editing and helping to prepare content on social media. A more experienced person is defined as a social media specialist. The most experienced in the industry can be promoted to managerial positions, where they manage the entire team, as Communication Manager or Head of Online Marketing. We can also find such nomenclature in smaller companies, but with a slightly different meaning. For example, a Content Manager in a smaller company does not manage a team but has an independent position where he is responsible for creating the entire online marketing strategy of the company. 

What are the directions of development in social media marketing?

There are different paths in the online marketing industry. Depending on your predispositions and skills, you can develop in any direction, e.g. creation, strategy, or management.

  • If you are interested in the PR field, a position will be perfect for you Community / Communication Specialist.

 

 

  • People who want to develop into online marketing can pursue advertising campaign specialists, such as Google or Facebook Ads.

 

 

  • Graduates of journalism, language, or Polish studies who would like to focus on writing texts will find themselves in the role of an editor, moderator, or content manager (Content Editor, Moderator, Manager). 

 

 

  • On the other hand, those who have a technical and artistic flair can specialize as graphic or video creators, e.g., Content Creator. 

 Social media specialist - salary

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Initially, earnings in social media marketing in a junior position are not high. According to the zippia survey, social media professionals in America earn an average of $ 46,824 a year, or about $ 23 an hour. The top 10 percent of earners in this position receive more than $ 61,000 a year. The 10% of the lowest-paid Social Media Professionals with the least experience earn less than $ 35,000 a year. It is worth noting that it is possible to quickly climb the ranks of the pay ladder in this profession. Earnings above two national averages or higher can be achieved depending on skills, length of service, and willingness to develop. 

How to start a career in online marketing? - 7 essential steps to get a social media specialist jobs

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Here are 7 steps you can take to advance your career in the social media industry. The following tips will help you get started quickly as a social media specialist.

1. Gain experience 

Completing a social media marketing internships or apprenticeships is an excellent idea to start, both for students and people who want to change the industry. Gain company experience as a junior and learn from more experienced team members. After a time, you can also do additional jobs as a freelancer and start building your brand. 

2. Develop your skills

Remember to undergo interesting social media marketing courses and training while looking for a job. If you do not have time for additional classes, online courses that you can take at home in your free time will help you. For example, you can find exciting courses for a low price on Udemy, a platform that offers online courses in many fields, including digital marketing. You can also try for free Digital Garage. This course from Google will introduce you to the world of marketing from scratch. It consists of the theoretical part and tests to check your knowledge. Upon completion, each student receives a personal certificate. You may not get advanced knowledge here, but it's an effective way to quickly get to the basics for beginners and refresh yourself for those who already have some experience. 

3. Browse online marketing jobs

Regularly browsing through job offers on job portals will quickly bring results. Add to Favorites popular portals, for example indeed.com or jooble.org. You can use the power of social media to find a job in online marketing. Join Facebook groups that focus on working in the online marketing industry. Find popular channels on Facebook that collect and regularly publish in the marketing industry. You can also browse frequently appearing job offers posted directly by companies on Facebook and LinkedIn. It's also a good idea to talk to HR specialists who are easy to find on LinkedIn. 

4. Create an amazing portfolio 

In addition to a traditional CV, it is worth creating a professional online portfolio that will show your experience interestingly. An online portfolio is significant, especially in the creative and digital marketing industries. So if you are a candidate for the position of a social media expert, nothing will convince future employers as much as a fantastic portfolio. Are you wondering how to create a unique portfolio that will impress recruiters? From our guide, you will learn how to create a professional portfolio. And later in this article, we'll present some tips on what exactly to include in the portfolio of a Social Media Specialist.

5. Develop networking

Participation in industry events will help you acquire valuable contacts and meet interesting people from the world of online marketing. Maybe among them, you will meet a headhunter looking for new talents for the team. It's also a good idea to add recruiters actively looking to your LinkedIn network.

6. Build your personal brand on social media

Nothing will help you get a job in the social media industry better than a well-run profile on social networks. So take care of your presence on Facebook or LinkedIn to prove that you are a proper social media expert. Aesthetic photos and substantive posts on your profile will quickly convince the recorders that you know what you are doing.



7. Show off your hobby

A social media specialist does not have to limit his interests to the field of online marketing. Various hobbies signify to headhunters that you are versatile and curious about the world, which is desirable in a social media specialist. Are you interested in photography, traveling, or cooking? So it's a good idea to create a separate account (on Instagram or Facebook) dedicated to your passion. Or maybe you are passionate about graphics or drawing? Show off your creations and include links to, for example, Dribbble or Behance in your portfolio.

What to include in the Content Manager portfolio? - 4 essential tips 

Online portfolio template from BOWWE

An online portfolio is your best online business card that will allow you to show off your achievements in an interactive way or show some samples of your skills. You can post here everything that is most important to a social media expert: case studies, examples of posts with graphics, links to articles, or files with a newsletter. Below are some tips to help you build a complete portfolio of a qualified Social Media Specialist. 

Prepare all the materials

If you already have experience, think about every project you have worked on and gather all relevant materials that you can include in your portfolio. As you go through each project, keep copies of your reports and as much accurate data as possible. It's a good idea to keep a work journal to record your greatest achievements. You don't have any projects on your account yet? Create sample content, e.g. social media posts, and include them in your portfolio as samples of your skills. 

Gain approval for publication and customer feedback

Before you include any screenshots from previous projects in your portfolio, consult with your customers and ask them for permission to use the material for business purposes. Also, contact clients with a request for recommendations and write positive opinions regarding your cooperation. 

Support your achievements with numbers

The numbers will show the results of your work. So let's take screenshots of posts for customers and statistics on social media channels. Also, prepare excerpts from case studies that will show how you managed to improve the sales results of a given company. What if you don't have experience yet? Describe your professional goals and aspirations. For the future employer, it will be a sign that you know what areas you want to focus on. 

Use data visualizations and infographics

Infographics are a great way to visually showcase your achievements as numerical data in each Content Manager's portfolio. Thanks to this, your portfolio will be pleasing to the eye, and the most important data will not escape the attention of recruiters. Such a procedure will quickly distinguish you from the crowd of candidates. Moreover, you will prove that you are a creative person with a well-developed visual sense.


Are you ready to create a portfolio? Find out how to do it efficiently here. 


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Social media specialist job requirements - is this job for you?

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Managing social media is an activity that has evolved over several years and is now becoming more and more popular! Being a social media specialist is not just about managing your company's Facebook profile. The responsibilities of a Content Specialist cover many areas of online marketing, from creating a company's marketing strategy to analyzing statistical data. Today, many different skills are required from a social media expert. The visual sense, the use of content management tools, or knowledge in the field of PR are just examples. No wonder companies are looking for competent employees with heads full of ideas and experience in the world of social media. If you are determined to pursue a career in this direction, use the above tips. Thanks to them, you will spread your wings in online marketing and attract the attention of headhunters!

Do you want to know more about social media? Read:

Karol Andruszków
CEO BOWWE

Karol is a serial entrepreneur and founder of 3 startups, as part of which he has advised several hundred companies. He was also responsible for projects of the largest financial institutions in Europe, worth over EUR 50 million. He has two master's degrees, one in computer science and the other in management, obtained during his studies in Poland and Portugal. He gained experience in Silicon Valley and while running companies in many countries, including Poland, Portugal, the United States, and Great Britain. For over ten years, he has been helping startups, financial institutions,  small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their functioning through digitization. 

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