Over the last few months, I've noticed a considerable increase in Social Media Manager jobs being advertised. It might just be that LinkedIn has started sending me job ads based on my profile, to which I've accidentally opted in.. (I'm NOT looking for a job right now 😛 ).
More likely, it may genuinely be a sign that the industry has finally matured and accepted that they can't simply give Social Media Manager jobs to their interns (I'm not sure if an intern was responsible for the infamous Vodafone Twitter #Fail from 2010, pictured, but it wouldn't surprise me).
It's almost become a given that a company has to have a Social Media Manager - i.e. someone overall responsible for the social strategy, brand social pages, community management, social media policy, reputation management and so on.
This is also true for other key Digital Marketing roles such as Analytics Manager (although I haven't yet seen the same surge of job ads in that area). It looks like finally, digital marketing has become essential to the successful running of a modern business, which is good news if that's an area you want to work in. There are plenty of opportunities for the right people!
Social Media Manager Jobs - The Facts
While I haven't consulted any in-depth research on this changing jobs market, I've put together some findings that could help you decide whether Social Media Manager could be the job for you.
There is definitely a skills and talent gap, and plenty, PLENTY of talented people are needed right now and in the foreseeable future (say the next 3 years or so), as far as I can see.
Below are my findings - outlining the general state of the jobs market, the average salary for a Social Media Manager, and my attempt at creating a job description (so that you know what skills are required).
(1) Social Media Managers: The Job Market is Great!
While I started this blog post with my 'gut feeling' of noticing more and more Social Media Manager jobs ads, this is in fact corroborated by some research from earlier in the year. Smart Insights, a best practice site for Digital Marketing, recently discussed Digital Marketing Careers outlining what companies are looking for, and they have put key findings into two neat infographics (thanks!).
Social Media came out as one of the most desirable skills required by companies. There was a 27% talent gap - i.e. a 27% gap between what employers are looking for and the skill set of existing employees.This means if you can address and fill this gap, you're very likely to succeed!
In addition, a scrape of LinkedIn Skills [RIP] showed that there had been an increase of 35% of social media marketing skills year-on-year.
Those two figures support my hunch and explains why there are so many Social Media Manager jobs out there, compared to only a couple of years ago. Digital and social continues to be a growth area and I'd urge anyone interested in a career in Marketing to look at Digital and the skills gap and specialise in these areas. After all, it's the
(2) Social Media Manager Salary: £40,000 p.a. (average)
It's fair to suggest that a few years ago, the role and function of social media within the overall marketing and business strategy wasn't taken all that seriously - hence various anecdotes and examples of companies giving their social accounts over to interns. I'd also hazard a guess that as a result, it generally wasn't paid that well, compared to other mid- and senior level marketing roles.
From what I've noticed - monitoring from the periphery - is that this is changing too. Finally it looks like Social Media Manager jobs attract a decent salary!
The average Social Media Manager salary is currently £40,000, according to the Social Media Manager salary tracker on the Guardian website (Dec 13). Again this is great news and should inspire confidence in choosing Digital as a career.
(3) Social Media Manager Job description: An example
I've left the longest section to the end so that it doesn't drag out the post 😀 . I used to collect Social Media Manager JDs in the days when there weren't that many around, to contrast and compare with what I was doing at the time (as VisitScotland's first Social Media Manager).
Most JDs weren't very good, and there was quite a lot of variation. The latter continues to be the case to this day and lately I've noticed an increase in overall digital knowledge and SEO skills being added to the required skill set.
I can't incorporate all of these variations, not just because it would be too long for this blog post. More importantly, the specifics and responsibilities of a Social Media Manager role first and foremost depend on the overall corporate and marketing objectives of each individual company and hence may differ considerably.
I've therefore tried to create a JD that is generic enough to give an idea of what a typical Social Media Manager job description might look like, adapted from a template. For the purpose of this JD, I'm pretending that my site, SocialScotland, is a company - note there is no REAL job going here 🙂
The Social Media Manager will implement SocialScotland’s Social Media Strategy, developing brand awareness, generating inbound traffic and encouraging product adoption. This role coordinates with the internal Marketing and PR teams to support their respective missions, ensuring consistency in voice and cultivating a social media referral network while working towards an integrated digital brand ecosystem for SocialScotland.
- Implement the social media strategy, coordinating with stakeholders across SocialScotland to ensure its effectiveness and encouraging adoption of relevant social media techniques into the corporate culture and into all of SocialScotland’s products and services
- Work with the web development team to ensure social media is integrated effectively into the website and all activity is measured using Digital Analytics
- Manage social media campaigns and day-to-day activities. Duties include online advocacy, thought leadership, writing editorial, blogging, community-outreach efforts, promotions, managing paid social media advertising (e.g. on Facebook) etc.
- Manage presence on social networking channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and other similar community sites, posting on relevant blogs, and seeding content on social channels as needed
- Become an advocate of the company in social media spaces, engaging in dialogues and answering questions where appropriate
- Manage a Blogger outreach program and build an active brand ambassador network to spread the word about the company
- Establish and monitor effective benchmarks for measuring the impact of social media programs, and analyse, review, and report on effectiveness of campaigns and social media ROI
- Regularly feed back insights gained from social media monitoring into the Marketing and Editorial teams, to help them evolve their strategies in a timely fashion
- Monitor trends in social media tools, trends and applications
- Strong project management and organisational skills
- In-depth knowledge and understanding of social media platforms and their respective audiences (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, etc.) and how they can be used effectively to achieve marketing objectives
- Knowledge of blogging ecosystem relevant to SocialScotland’s field
- Ability to effectively communicate information and ideas in written and verbal format, and build and maintain relationships
- Team player, with the confidence to take the lead and guide other departments when necessary
- Good technical understanding with the ability to learn new tools quickly
- Good working knowledge of all digital marketing channels and strategies: SEO / inbound marketing, Analytics (e.g. Google Analytics), PPC incl. Facebook advertising, Email Marketing / CRM, display ad campaigns, etc.
- Public relations, traditional / offline Marketing, Marketing Management and Strategy, Sales, Community Management experience
----> and that is it! Please note that the above isn't a real job ad but just used for illustrative purposes.
I hope this post illustrates the potential and attractiveness of a career in social media and digital marketing!