So you’re looking for a social media job, but you aren’t sure what kind of qualifications you might need or what the pay is like? Don’t feel too bad, even many of the companies hiring a social media manager can’t answer those questions objectively. The truth is that the field is still so new, and still growing and evolving at such a rapid pace, that there really isn’t much objectivity to go by.
That being said, there are some rock-solid tactics you can use to try and land that dream job in social media, and some general guidelines for what you can expect to be paid in such a position. Before we get into the tactics, let’s take a quick look at the pay scale.
Part of the problem with setting a salary range is that the size of the company plays a big part. Larger companies tend to pay more, obviously. The other problem is that you may find listings for five different titles, but each one has the exact same requirements. Social media manager, social media coordinator, social media strategist, and so on. There are no definite titles and descriptions established, so it’s a matter of the company’s preference as far as the name.
There are really only two well-established positions to differentiate between: intern and (fill in the title, something other than intern). Interns generally earn hourly rates between $10 and $15 per hour on average. “Specialists” (again, pick your favorite title) earn anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on the company. The average seems to fall in around the $35,000 to $60,000 range. I know that’s a wide range, but it is what it is.
To land that job, here are 5 tactics that will show them that you know what you’re doing.
1. Improve Your Personal Social Media Accounts
What will they see if they visit your personal social media accounts? They had better see a well-optimized page with great interaction and regular postings. If you can’t make something out of your own page, why should they believe you can advance theirs? The best example I’ve heard of was the guy who created a fantastic landing page as a resume and then sent targeted ads out through Facebook to the companies he wanted to work for.
2. To Get a Social Media Job Show Quantifiable Results
If you’ve got them to show, this is the best proof that you should be hired. Have you worked managing social media for a business before? What kind of results did you have? This is no different than sales or many other positions. The proof of qualification is in your previous results. No experience? Maybe you could find a small business to work with pro bono. If you can produce results, the unpaid time will be very well spent.
3. Get a Degree or Certificate
Many social media companies offer online certificates for completing their courses. This isn’t a college degree, but it shows that you’re interested enough to get them and knowledgeable enough to have completed them. Many colleges and universities also have degree programs in social media, but by the time you complete one the field is likely to be completely different than when you started.
4. Check Your Personality
There are a few certainties in social media, and one is that you have to have a stellar and outgoing personality to succeed in the field. If you’re quiet and reserved or boring, look into accounting instead.
5. Use LinkedIn
To actually find and land the job (once 1–4 are satisfied), follow digital agencies on LinkedIn and find connections to talk to. Don’t ask for a job. Ask what their hiring process is like and who accepts resumes.
The great thing about social media as a field is that there are always plenty of open positions (at this point in history). All you have to do is find the company you want to work for and show them you’ve got the stuff they’re looking for!