For most people, social media is just a hobby. Something they look at when they are waiting in line at the grocery store. But for a growing number of job seekers, digital content creation is a viable career path that contains options and opportunities within it.
Someone’s got to create the stuff you look at in line to buy your milk, right?
Social media at the professional level is serious work that involves not just cute Tweets but analytics, customer communication, and branding. In this article, we talk about why social media is a viable career path, what sort of jobs you can get, and what skills they require.
What Kind of Careers Can You Work in Social Media?
Everyone has at least heard of the influencer community people who basically get paid to make social media posts about their lives. However, these people make up only the smallest fraction of professionals who use social media to make a living.
Most social media careers are just an extension of business communications. We will talk a little bit more about that later on, but the premise is simple enough. Modern brands tell the public who they are online these days, and the professionals who are getting this work done do it through social media.
The world of social media is crowded with billions of users. Twitter and Facebook have more users than North America has people, and those numbers only grow with each passing year. It’s natural that many jobs have and will continue to spring from this crowded marketplace.
College graduates have ample opportunity to choose from a wide range of different careers. Below, we take a look at a few popular careers you can explore that involve social media.
Marketing used to be all about cornering the market on television and newspaper advertising. Quaint, right? Now, most people spend significantly more time online than they do with “traditional media,” with a significant portion of their recreation time going to social media.
Modern marketers don’t have to stretch their imaginations very far to understand what this means. Go where the people are, right?
Much of modern marketing happens online. Social media copywriting isn’t just about writing good Tweets. It’s about:
- Interpreting data: Digital marketers need to be able to understand their demographic. They do this by taking a look at the numbers. Men or women? Young or old? What kind of background do they have? Once a digital marketer has answers to these questions they will be able to make highly tailored messages that appeal to their key demographic.
- Staying on brand: At least just as important, however, is the ability to stay on brand. Marketers aren’t just selling products anymore. They are also presenting a company to the public. Social messages don’t just say “buy this thing,” they say “this is who we are, and, by extension, who you are as well for doing business with us.” That’s a lot of pressure to put on a Facebook post, we will grant you, but it’s also an important part of the job.
Customer service jobs have historically happened on phones and computers. There’s still that, to be sure, but businesses are looking for as many as ways as they can to migrate away from this familiar and frankly unpleasant formula.
Businesses have migrated to self-service modules, allowing customers to handle their own basic questions online. They have also started fielding some questions online.
Customers write in on Twitter or Facebook and have their questions resolved publicly. The arrangement is rarely so formal as that AT&T doesn’t say “Have an issue? Follow us on Twitter”. But people do it anyway. And when they write in it’s good for everyone, consumers are able to provide public accountability to a company while the business proves that they care.
Finally, it’s also just a fun, creative career path. The nice thing about working in social media at the highest level is that it combines creativity with other more traditional business skills. Are you Tweeting for a living? Some of the time, sure. And the content you produce can be as fun and creative as your imagination can muster.
This level of inventive flexibility is sure to be deeply enticing for many people. Yet at its core, good social media work hinges on many of the same skills that have been used in business since the beginning of time. Communication. Data interpretation, and customer service.
Not only are you putting yourself out there, but you are interacting with the consuming public, shaping your business’s brand in real time, and always looking for ways to push the envelope a little further.
Interested in Pursuing a Career in Social Media?
There are lots of paths toward a rewarding career in the field of social media. Getting a degree in communications or digital media is probably the most straightforward way to get there. However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that being fluent in social media is a marketable skill even for getting jobs that don’t directly require it.
Workplaces are always looking for employees who can pivot seamlessly into new responsibilities. If you can help with social media-related branding, marketing, or customer communications, it will be a skill that employers take notice of. So brush up. You never know when you might need to take your social media skills to the professional level.