Looking at the engagement and impression numbers of social media platforms, and the number of social shares of trending blogs, it’s no surprise that social media job opportunities are vast. The number of people who are specialists in this field is also pretty large, and as new social media platforms emerge alongside changing priorities for more established ones, evolving roles will continue to emerge.
However, despite the growing number of social media experts, recruiters often struggle to find candidates who are able to express the identity of their business in the right way. This ends up leading to too many jobs being available for a small pool of suitable talent.
As full-time roles in social media marketing continue to evolve, so too does the career path for the staff within those teams. A strong online presence is crucial for every brand, and the demand for good content writers has never been higher. This has led to an increasing number of industries creating social media jobs, and in some cases departments, to encourage skilled digital natives to join their teams.
The career progression for people working in social media is relatively straightforward. Copywriting and Content Executive positions are considered entry-level roles, as they rely exclusively on the creation of content rather than devising a strategy. From there, candidates can move into an editorial role or executive positions within a content department. Alternatively, they could pivot into the social media side of things, working first as an executive before moving into a role as a social media manager.
Popular industries for content & social media positions
The power of social media is forcing almost all industries to employ experts in these fields. Many businesses see the benefits of publishing their own unique content online, whether they’re household brands or B2B companies. Most opportunities are offered by the marketing, media and sales industry, particularly by dedicated social media marketing agencies. However, as the sector becomes more critical, these experts will be increasingly needed in any industry.
IT and retail have become the most recent sectors to consistently hire professionals working in this field. However, regardless of the industry, creating social media jobs allows brands to engage with customers and potential customers alike on a targeted, personal level. High-quality social media posts create a direct connection with a brand’s customer base, improving user experience and giving companies a clear edge over their competitors.
Recent changes to the sector
The last few years have seen brands coming to fully understand the power of social media as tools to drive acquisition and engagement of customers. This led many of them to hire social media professionals to produce editorial content, insightful blog posts and white papers, and ‘stop you in your tracks’ social media campaigns. Consider KFC’s savvy decision to sponsor negative posts about the quality of their french fries as an organic roll-out to their new and improved chips.
One of the biggest changes for the social media industry is that the production and distribution of certain content pieces are no longer controllable. This is because content is mostly shared online (via social media platforms and the “dark social” likes of instant messaging services), and cannot be reviewed before it goes live to millions of people. In other words, social media marketers not only have to produce interesting, newsworthy and engaging content but be able to respond to potentially negative word of mouth feedback.
Social media experts who specialise in digital media do not have to worry about their future career opportunities, as their skillset will continue to be highly in-demand. Digital marketing is the foundation for all social media marketing, so a wider knowledge of this field is a future-proof asset.
Career progression in the social media sector takes candidates beyond simply writing social media posts, and can come in the form of leading and developing social media strategies. This requires the timely production of campaigns in response to public events, holidays or other trending content, and measuring any resulting ROI and web traffic which comes from these posts.
Jobs in social media require a solid understanding of established and emerging social platforms, as well as the ability to tailor content to suit each. Solid communication skills and a personable attitude can also go a long way when interacting with a brand’s user base in their target language. An understanding of SEO and video or photo editing software is also often desirable. Beyond tech-savvy, industry professionals are also expected to have essential soft skills, such as an ability to solve problems, to negotiate and be a team leader.
Since there is so much competition for social media jobs nowadays, it is important to stand out with a well-written CV. You should be sure to include links to your personal social media profiles or content platforms (e.g. blogs and websites) so that companies can gain an understanding of your ability to write and use the internet.
Secondly, try to use industry-specific keywords, as hiring managers will usually not have the time to read through an entire CV to find relevant qualifications among the rest of your experience and skillset. Thirdly, add some concrete statistics to quantify how your goal has been completed—such as the percentage of engagement level increase—as it makes your work experience more relevant and credible. Lastly, include your broader digital marketing skills, as these will be required for any social media job.
Interviewers tend to ask qualitative, rather than quantitative, questions when they recruit for social media marketing jobs. These will depend on the respective company but, based on our research, these are the six most important interview questions in this field:
1. How do you measure social ROI
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of platforms such as Hootsuite?
3. Which social channel is best for raising brand awareness?
4. Which content marketing software have you been using and why?
5. What are your favourite blogs and why?
6. What qualities do you need to be a content marketing specialist?
For jobs in social media marketing, a degree is not really a requirement for landing a job, though marketing, journalism and humanities qualifications are often stepping stones to this career path. Employers prefer to see your portfolio (also in digital format, e.g. blog, microsite) and real-life examples of your work. Another useful step is to attend industry courses to learn about the latest trends in this ever-changing sector.
Our client is a global digital intelligence consultancy that provides marketing analytics and conversion rate optimisation services. They had expanded their operations to Asia and actively growing the team to…