Social Media Secret Sauce

Being a fairly new platform to the marketing landscape, social media has become an incredibly powerful tool to attract customers, and brands. Establishing a career within social media can be appealing for many, especially the Millennial demographic, given their exposure levels to social media. However, this profession can have some grey areas, in terms of what it takes to qualify for any given job under the social media umbrella. Far beyond managing your own personal accounts, it is important to understand what is required for any given type of job within social media.

Entry Level

This is often the typical starting point for many social media professionals. These entry-level roles typically start after one has managed multiple social media accounts for a brand. The basic platforms can include the most popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Those at this level often are in charge of scheduling posts, compiling or editing content, and reviewing basic analytics. At this stage, rudimentary performance analytics can be pulled from the native social media platforms. If you are responsible for producing content or writing copy of social media posts, it’s important that there is considerable thought given on how to produce that engaging content. Following the data is the first step in understanding how your content resonates with your target demographic audience. Popular (and often free!) social media management platforms include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer -- just to name a few. Many of these tools allow you to schedule posts across multiple platforms and dig a bit deeper into the analytics of audience reach and engagement.

Manager Level

As a Social Media Manager, you should be at a point where you have a holistic understanding of not only how social media relates to your overall marketing strategy, but you should also come equipped with skills relating to SEO, Graphic Design, Copywriting, and even Customer Service. At a glance, any given platform can convey that a brand is either trending, visually appealing, and honest, or a brand might be easily dismissed if they do not have relevant, plentiful, or engaging content.

Beyond the general management of all relevant social media platforms, many social media roles at this level will require a comprehensive understanding of how to weave together multiple channels of a brand’s story into one cohesive narrative. Social media can have a significant impact on everything from product launch to company news to general marketing campaigns. The social media story of a company is an ongoing one, and one that often requires an experienced and dedicated professional, or team, to spearhead those efforts. From LinkedIn to Tumblr, and everywhere in between, there are many dots to connect if you wish to be a successful Social Media Manager.

The data at this stage also becomes more complex. At a Manager level, you’ll need to ensure that social media content strategy is consistently able to tie key social metrics back to core business objectives. The data that comes from a brand’s social media presence can play an especially important role in things like user acquisition and eCommerce. We’ve almost all fallen for a sponsored Facebook ad or promoted tweet that’s led us to purchase a product or share a post to our own social network. For many reasons, social media is an effective tool for a variety of industries.

Senior Level

After you’ve mastered all things required of most Social Media Manager roles, you might consider more senior-level opportunities. Some of those might include: Digital Marketing Director, Digital Media Planner, Content Marketing Manager, or Influencer Marketing Manager. A lot of general marketing roles require a significant understanding of social media best practice and strategy. At a senior level, you’ll need an in-depth understanding of how social media initiatives can expand brand awareness and drive customer growth, along with serving as the company’s brand ambassador across all social media platforms. You can think of a career as Social Media Manager as a foundational building block to a career in digital marketing.

Upcoming Trends

Since the marketing power of social media has only come to be a highly utilized tool in the past decade, new trends and job titles continue to emerge. You might see the phrase “Social Listening” or “Influencer Marketing” thrown around as you research various careers in Social Media.

For those interested in social media with an especially data-driven mind, a career as Social Media Analyst might be appropriate. Those roles use social listening tools like Crimson Hexagon, Radian6, or Sprinklr to gather analytics on digital conversations that are happening online. This data allows marketers to gain better insights on what consumers are saying about a specific topic or brand.

Influencer Marketing is another hot branch of marketing that is becoming popular, especially amongst brands that wish to target a younger Millennial audience. There are some myths regarding the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing, however the core strategy remains to be a growing topic of conversation in marketing circles. Many of the biggest digital influencers started with an average Instagram or YouTube account, and grew to millions of followers, landing the opportunity leverage their online presence to catapult brand recognition or increase sales of a product. In an Influencer Marketing position, your job will likely focus on relationshi