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As full-time roles in social media marketing continue to evolve, so too does the career path for the people in those positions. A strong online presence is crucial for every brand, and the demand for good content writers has never been higher, and an increasing number of industries are seeking skilled social media experts to join their teams.
The career progression for those in social media is relatively straightforward. Copywriting and Content Executive positions are considered the entry level roles, relying exclusively on the writing of content rather than creation of 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 a Social Media Executive before moving into a managerial role.
|Social Media Executive||AED10,000 - AED15,000 per month|
|Social Media Manager||AED18,000 - AED24,000 per month|
|Head of Social Media||AED35,000+ per month|
Looking at the engagement and impression numbers of social media platforms and the amount of social shares of trending blogs, it is not surprising 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 great 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.
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 online content, 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.
Lately, the IT and retail sectors consistently hire many professionals working in this field. Regardless of the industry, social media roles allow brands to engage on a personal level with customers and potential customers alike. High-quality social media posts create a direct connection with a brand’s customer base, improving user experience and giving a company a clear edge over its competitors.
The last few years have seen brands fully understanding the power of social media as tools to drive acquisition and engagement of customers. This had 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 is 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 do not only have to produce interesting, newsworthy and engaging content but also have to respond to potentially bad word of mouth.
Social media experts who specialise in digital media do not have to worry about their future career opportunities as their skillset will be highly in-demand for the foreseeable future. Digital marketing is becoming the foundation for social media marketing, so knowledge of this field is a future proof asset.
Beyond simply writing social media posts, however, career progression can come in the form of leading and developing social media strategies. This involves the timely production of campaigns which come in response to public events, holidays or other trending content, and measuring any resulting ROI and web traffic which comes from these posts.
Social media marketing jobs require a solid understanding of established and emerging social platforms, as well as the ability to tailor content to match each. Good English skills and a personable attitude can also go a long way when interacting with a brand’s user base. An understanding of SEO and video or photo editing software are also often desirable. Beyond tech savvy, 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 vacancies nowadays, it is important to stand out with a well-written CV. One thing you should definitely include are links to your social media profiles or content platforms (e.g. blogs, 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 usually do not have the time to read through the whole CV to find relevant qualifications amongst the rest of your experience and skillset. Thirdly, add some concrete statistics around goal completions (e.g. % of engagement level increase), as it makes your work experience more relevant and credible. Lastly, include your broader digital marketing skills, as these are required for social media marketing.
Interviewers tend to ask qualitative and not quantitative questions when they recruit for social media marketing jobs. The qualitative questions themselves always depend on the respective company. We conducted some research to summarise the 6 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 to raise brand awareness?
4) What 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 social media marketing, a degree is not really a requirement to land 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.
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