FAQ: How can someone work in social media?

Working on social media

Me, working on social media!

Periodically, I will select a frequently asked question (FAQ) about social media or online marketing, and make my very best attempt at providing a thoughtful and helpful answer. Make sure to share your FAQs with me via the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter (use hashtag #SM4students).

This FAQ came from my mom (shameless shoutout!). She explained that when she tries to tell her friends and colleagues what I do, she often gets blank stares or confused expressions, or perhaps a, “What? How do you work in social media!?” I realized that I too often have to explain myself when people realize that I get paid to tweet. While the perception might be that I am getting paid to click “Post” on Facebook, the reality is that there is much more to it. So, I’ll try to explain the answer to the question, “How can someone work in social media?” by describing some of the most common social media job descriptions.

Common Types of Social Media Jobs

1. Online Community (or Marketing) Manager – Community managers are most often responsible for monitoring social media networks on behalf of a business or brand. They listen to the community or audience and help translate engagement, questions, comments, etc. into ideas for future strategies, campaigns, and content. It is important for community managers to be able to represent the business in a positive light, as well as proactively respond to negative comments or responses. This requires an intelligent understanding of the brand’s voice, how the business traditionally interacts with customers, and who the target market or markets include, not to mention an intimate working knowledge of all the top social media networks.

2. Social Media Strategist – A person in this role is responsible for working with the marketing team to think up unique and creative campaigns to unleash online. They will also look at which social media channels are most appropriate for the business to have a presence, and which are likely to yield the best benefits. A social media strategist might also be the person responsible for analyzing the results of any social media campaigns through growth metrics, website traffic, or lead conversions.

3. Content Creator or Copywriter – As they say, “Content is King,” and a social media copywriter is responsible for making sure that a business’ content is fresh, creative, appropriate, and written/built to engage their social media community. Honestly, this can be a full time job depending on the size and scope of the organization.

4. Multi-tasking Social Media GeniusOkay, so I made up this job title, but I thought it worth mentioning since it’s pretty much what I do. Since the social media industry is still in its infancy, many social media jobs have different responsibilities attached than what I’ve mentioned and/or there is one to two people that do all of the above as one role. For example, my job includes posting, monitoring, responding, scheduling, listening, strategy and campaign development, content gathering and creation, analysis and reporting, consulting, training…and the list could go on!

Beyond these common positions, there are also many opportunities for Social Media Directors, Coordinators, Managers, etc. – all of which vary in responsibility. And on top of all that, almost every marketing position, and definitely every online marketing position requires knowledge of how to use social media to market a brand (not just how to use your personal Facebook profile to see what your friends are doing Friday night!).

Where are the social media jobs? How much do they pay? Check out this great infographic from Onward Search for some insight:

Social Media Jobs and Salaries Guide
© 2012 Onward Search

Did I answer the question or am I missing something? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “FAQ: How can someone work in social media?

  1. Kayla, I LOVE this post! Very informative. I think a lot of people don’t know what working in social media entails. Glad you answered that question. I also love the infographic you shared and found it super helpful. Bookmarking this post!

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