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How to Become a Social Media Marketing Specialist

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Social media has become one of the most utilized innovations in human history. As a result, it is now considered as one of the most essential instruments in any business marketing strategy. You may already know, social media platforms help businesses connect with their customers, increase brand awareness, increase sales, and even target specific customers. The importance of social media in business marketing cannot be overemphasized as over three billion people use social media every month.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing describes the activities that involve using social media platforms to connect with the audience/customers to build brand awareness, increase sales, and drive traffic to a website. It refers to techniques that social media users employ to promote products and brands.

Social media marketing is a communication tool that makes an organization accessible to those individuals who are interested in its product or service. It also helps a business become visible to those who do not know about its product or service yet. Social media marketing activities usually involve establishing a social media presence and creating engaging content.

Who is a Social Media Marketing Specialist?

A Social Media Marketing Specialist is a professional working with or within an organization and is trusted with monitoring, executing, filtering, and measuring the social media marketing efforts and presence of a product, brand, corporation, or even individuals. They create and maintain brand promotions, company information, and marketing campaigns for their employer across several different social media networks. Social Media Marketing Specialists oversee producing new content for their company’s social media platforms, constantly innovating to push new ideas and plans, and measuring how well those ideas perform.

Responsibilities of a Social Media Marketing Specialist

  1. As a Social Media Marketing Specialist, one of your primary responsibilities is strategizing. This means that you are responsible for defining, developing, and implementing a social media marketing strategy for your employer. You can develop a good strategy by identifying and analyzing the elements that competitors use, aligning social media goals with broader marketing objectives, creating a guide for the social media marketing strategy, and choosing the appropriate social media platforms for implementation.
  2. You will also be responsible for advertising. It has become important for businesses to have a budget for social media advertisements, hence, they need professionals to use the budget the right way. A Social Media Marketing Specialist is a reliable professional that organizations employ to carry out social media advertisements.
  3. Understanding the dynamic nature of social platforms is quite necessary. It is your responsibility to stay ahead of social media trends and developments. This is because these trends need to be used to communicate the business’s messages.
  4. It is the responsibility of a Social Media Marketing Specialist to create the content for various social media platforms and adequately distribute them. Content is key to a healthy social media presence, and a Social Media Marketing Specialist is tasked with creating the proper content to drive engagements.
  5. As a Social Media Marketing Specialist, you are also responsible for developing and managing the online reputation of your employer. This means you serve the company and community. A good Social media Marketing Specialist does this by:
  • Promoting the business and brand on a variety of social networks and platform,
  • Proactively engaging and interacting with the online community and to-be customers,
  • Employing brand-specific messaging to maintain quick response time and service,
  • Creating, implementing, and reassessing community management strategies,
  • And using crowdsourcing and market research to learn about customer experiences.
  1. It is the responsibility of the Social Media Marketing Specialist to report the social media marketing efforts to stakeholders in their organization. For a company to know how effective their social media marketing efforts have been, they need to be able to measure it. The Social Media Marketing Specialist is responsible for measuring, reporting, and optimizing the social media marketing investment for effective performance.

Skills of a Social Media Marketing Specialist

Communication skills: Written and spoken communication skills are very important for a Social Media Marketing Specialist. This is because Social Media Marketing Specialists do a lot of writing, some make more than a dozen posts a day. You must understand that every social media platform has a slightly different tone that must reflect in your style of writing for that platform. For instance, LinkedIn has a professional tone, and as such, everything you write for LinkedIn must be professional. Your spoken communication skills are useful when you need to report to stakeholders.

Research Skills: As a Social Media Marketing Specialist, you must stay up to date with all the trends of social media and learn about the new measurement tools competitors are using, as well as what they are posting. Most Social Media Marketing Specialists use Google Alerts to keep up with popular topics and other tools like Feedly and BuzzSumo to know trending content.

Flexibility: In every marketing role, it is important to be adaptive. This is even more important for a Social Media Marketing Specialist. Social media moves very quickly and trends constantly change, therefore it is not enough to schedule posts. As a Social Media Marketing Specialist, you must be ready to switch things up at any time, you must try out new features and continue working with trends for your posts.

Social Media Expertise: This may seem obvious, but it is still very important for a Social Media Marketing Specialist to have social media skills. This expertise can be gathered over time through research and experimentation. You need to know what type of content works best on what platform, how to engage your audience through social media posts, and how to optimize content for specific social media platforms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Skills: Good Social Media Marketing Specialists know that SEO has a great impact on social media activities. Therefore, embracing SEO as part of your social media strategy gets you a larger audience that translates into more potential customers.

Other skills you will need are:

  • Time management skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Critical thinking/problem-solving skills
  • Multitasking skills.

Social Media Marketing Specialist checking out Facebook Page

Educational Requirements and Career Development for a Social Media Marketing Specialist

Most Social Media Marketing Specialists need at least a bachelor’s degree in communications, business, or marketing to break into the field. Here are some reputable universities where you can bag any of these degrees.

  1. Brunel University in the United Kingdom: Offers a Business and Management (Marketing) BSc. The tuition for international students is £17,355, with an option to study for 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with placement. You get to explore the principles and practices of modern-day marketing, such as market research, database marketing, digital marketing, and the marketing of not-for-profit services.
  2. Carleton University in Canada: Offers a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree. The program teaches how the ever-changing mediascape affects the understanding of our society and our ability to shape its future. It also focuses on how living in a media society saturated by media images, technologies, and texts influences how we live and work. The duration of the program is 4 years and the tuition for international students is $27,300.
  3. Dublin Business School in Ireland offers a BA (Hons) Business degree. The tuition for international students is €9,850. The degree is available in full-time study mode for 3 years. The program provides structured business education for students, preparing them for success in a business career.

Social Media Marketing Specialist is an entry-level position. In larger organizations, they report to Social Media Director or the Head of Content.

Salary and Job Outlook for a Social Media Marketing Specialist

  • Payscale estimates the salary of an entry-level Social Media Marketing Specialist in the United Kingdom at an average of £21,917. A mid-career Social Media Marketing Specialist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average of £28,158 per year.
  • According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Social Media Marketing Specialist in the United States of America is $54,268.
  • According to Neuvoo, the average Social Media Specialist salary in Canada is $50,000 per year.
  • According to Invoice, the average salary for a Social Media Marketing Specialist is ₦120,000 in Nigeria.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have comprehensive data for Social Media Marketing Specialists. However, an 8% job growth is expected for marketing managers from 2018 to 2028.

Typical Employers of a Social Media Marketing Specialist

Social Media Marketing Specialists can work in organizations, promoting brands, or marketing agencies where they manage the social media presence of their clients. Social Media Marketing Specialists typically find employment in:

  • Art and entertainment industries
  • IT companies
  • Finance and insurance companies
  • Retail industries

Postgraduate Options for a Social Media Marketing Specialist

Masters in Marketing Social Media from Universitat de Lleida in Spain: This is a business administration and ICT program. It offers dynamic and topical knowledge and interest to a growing need, where institutions and companies need personnel with specialized knowledge in digital marketing, technology use, management, and data analysis around social media. The degree is taught in English, Spanish on Campus, or online. It offers part-time and full-time options for 1 year. The tuition is EUR 2,700.

Social Media Marketing master’s program from Saint Leo University in the United States of America: This program teaches advanced marketing data analysis tools and frameworks. It also teaches students how to conduct traditional marketing research, as well as web and social media analytics, using the latest data mining techniques. The tuition for international students is $740 per credit. The duration of the program is 12 months either online or on campus.

Careers Similar to Social Media Marketing

Brand Specialist: A Brand Specialist is a professional that provides general and in-depth marketing expertise, brand analysis, and solutions to a company to help them successfully sell their products attaining the business goals and objectives. Research, design, and strategy are key in the work of a Brand Specialist. A brand specialist focuses on certain target segments, applies psychological principles, and employs the three key methods to help a company establish strong relationships.

Market Research Analyst: A market research analyst is a business expert who consults different sets of individuals or products, collecting, processing, and translating business-related information for their employers or clients. An analyst writes reports of their findings in a spreadsheet. Some of these can be business opportunities for business owners, details about the nature of a market or users, the areas where a product or service will thrive, consumers’ actual needs, and some other factors that can influence sales.

Sales Development Representative: A Sales Development Representative is a sales representative that focuses on outreach, prospecting, and lead qualification. They move leads through the sales pipeline. They connect and learn about their businesses and needs. If a prospect is a good fit, Sales Development Representatives schedule the next steps with sales representatives higher in the organization.

Professional Certifications for Social Media Marketing Specialists

Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification: you can earn this certification by passing a 60-question online exam, testing your knowledge of the core principles of social media marketing. The exam is based on a comprehensive series of easy-to-follow video tutorials covering everything from creating a social media strategy and optimizing your social profiles to creating and sharing effective social content and effective social media ads. The price of the examination is $190.

Google Analytics Certification: the certification demonstrates that you are effective at utilizing Google Analytics within your organization and can help others use the tool. The certification is free. To earn it, you must take and pass the Google Analytics exam. Google recommends you have hands-on experience using Google Analytics but it is not required. You can review the study materials and take the exam for free. If you do not pass the exam at the first trial, you can re-take it again in seven days.


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