Social media marketing is the single greatest Internet marketing discovery since email lists. Social media pages are free—so you have the choice of paying for advertising through the site or relying on your followers to share the page, thus creating a web of social communication surrounding your business.
For most companies, the decision of whether to pay for advertising or reach out on their own depends on whether they have the help of a social media marketing specialist.
What is a Social Media Marketing Specialist?
Social media marketing specialists have the training and experience to promote a business on virtually all social media forums, without the increasing costs of traditional advertising. The majority of small to medium-sized businesses in America rely solely on social media marketing, because it not only promotes their company, but also builds a dedicated customer base and allows for easy interaction.
The industry term is Social Media Marketer. A professional in this role works to:
- Attract online traffic to company websites through social media networks
- Create engaging, interactive content
- Post content on a consistent basis to create stability on social media sites
- Understand and apply traditional marketing ideas in social media forums
- Have a firm grasp on web-specific marketing tools
- Grow the company’s customer base by expanding/strengthening the existing Internet presence
Education Requirements for a Social Media Marketer
Traditional marketers have tried to keep up with the ever-changing online marketing world, but the explosion of social media in the last five years has called for a wave of trained specialists. With the position being relatively new to the industry, there are very few educational requirements differing between that of a Social Media Marketer and traditional marketers.
A Social Media Marketer needs a minimum of a high school diploma and three years of social media marketing experience to be able to work as an industry professional. The majority has a degree in marketing or at least five years of experience in traditional or Internet marketing.
Acceptable degrees include at least a Bachelor’s in:
- Public Relations
- Business Administration
Considering the growing market, these schools are now offering marketing courses and degrees specific to social media:
- Rutgers Business School
- Public Relations
- Excelsior College
- New England College
How Much Does A Social Media Marketer Make?
Due to the newness of the profession, there are not yet solid statistics for the Social Media Marketer. However, most companies looking for a Social Media Marketer will list it under the title of Marketing Manager or Public Relations Manager with an emphasis on Social Media. The job descriptions are similar, as are the salaries.
As of 2012, Marketing Managers were reported to make an average of $120,000 annually. Public Relations Managers earned $95,000 annually on average.
The need for Social Media Marketers is growing every day, as more companies attempt to navigate the complex terrain of Internet marketing. For those interested, now is the time to start working toward a career in social media marketing. It is estimated that in the next five years, the need for specialists in this field will more than double, with salary increases expected as the economy continues to rebound.