What Does a Social Media Marketer Do? (With Average Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Social media marketers develop a brand's tone of voice and social media strategy. By generating engaging content tailored to particular audience needs, they can help their clients attract loyal social media followers. If you have a passion for social media, a creative mindset and a desire to develop your own social media strategy, this may be a career for you. In this article, we discuss what a social media marketer does and provide a step guide to becoming one with the essential skills and qualifications.

What does a social media marketer do?

If you're interested in this career, you may wonder, 'what does a social media marketer do each day?' They manage a brand's social media posts and keep track of who and how people engage with the content. Social media marketers help businesses reach a wider audience and expand their customer base. Here are some of the daily roles of a social media marketer:

  • generating content for social media channels

  • deciding what channels are best for which type of content

  • establishing the brand tone of voice

  • maintaining fresh content across all platforms and updating sites

  • boosting site traffic through content

  • engaging with audiences through messages and shares

  • creating campaigns to connect with their audience

  • researching their analytics to better tailor their content to age, gender and location

  • implementing better practices and social media strategies to increase company engagement and profit

  • advertising products

  • researching the current market to find out what type of content is engaging audiences

  • working with influencers to collaborate on projects

Related: What Does a Social Media Manager do? With Skills and Salary

How do social media marketers help companies?

Businesses use social media marketers to generate refreshing and engaging content that reaches wider audiences and as a result, increases their customer base. Social media marketers play an important role in uniting a business with their customer base to foster loyalty and create a regular following that generates profit.

Social media is a tool that brands can use to create a company voice. The tone of voice is a crucial element in brand identity, and social media marketers work hard to ensure that content and collaborations align with the specific company identity. The tone of voice usually dictates the type of following a brand has, so social media marketers model their content strategy to increase engagement and bring like-minded individuals into their customer base.

Related: 8 Marketing Communications Career (Plus Types of Marketing Communications)

Social media marketing salary

The national average salary of a social media specialist is $80,931 per year. Income may vary depending on location, experience and education level. Social media marketers can have multiple income streams by freelancing for multiple companies and by contracting on a project basis.

Social media marketing skills

Social media marketers have a range of skills that allow them to generate creative and engaging content to bring in followers. Employers typically require social media marketers to have excellent written and verbal communication, project management and interpersonal skills to build a network and loyal following. Here is a list of some key social media marketing skills:

Communication and interpersonal skills

Social media marketers spend their working day interacting with colleagues and customers to better a business' social media strategy. Excellent communication skills are crucial for a successful strategy, as marketers may interact with other colleagues and a brand's audience to find out what engages and excites their target market.

Social media marketers may work as part of a team, so good communication is key to effective working environments.

Networking

Social media marketers aim to be leaders in audience engagement and observe other brands' social media strategies to plan their own industry-beating strategies. To do this, social media marketers may work collaboratively with other brands to identify key elements that boost engagement.

Social media marketers may work on behalf of a business to increase their business opportunities by networking with influencers and social media professionals to reach wider audiences.

Creativity

Employers may require social media marketers to generate creative and engaging social media posts involving visuals and audio. Creative branding and social media posts may significantly boost engagement, so social media marketers collaborate to produce content that appeals to all users. Creative content production can include written or visual content. For example, a social media market may elect to work with an influencer on a video or interview to generate more engaging content that reaches a wider audience.

Social media strategy

Having in-depth knowledge about the fundamentals of social media strategy, like user engagement, content and the benefits of shares and clicks, is important for social media marketers. Employers trust marketers to generate content that generates a return on investment. They do primarily this through written and visual content. Social media marketers also know the benefits of collaborating with big names in social media to further boost engagement and reach wider audiences.

Analytical reasoning

Social media marketers keep track of and analyse analytics elements like shares, comments and clicks to identify whether their social media strategy is effective. This includes identifying their primary audiences and finding out whether their audience is predominantly male, female, young or old. Identifying these analytics is important for generating audience-specific content to increase engagement.

Research skills

Research skills are essential for a social media marketer to find prominent examples of successful social media strategies to inspire their own strategy. Marketers may also research the wider online market to find out what topics are of interest and what subjects are gaining the most attention on social media. By using this knowledge, social media marketers can model their social media strategy accordingly and significantly boost engagement.

Technical skills

This role may require the use of software to generate content that is SEO (search engine optimisation) orientated. Because of the nature of social media, social media marketers work with technology and social media platforms, so it's essential to be proficient and confident when using and navigating sites. Candidates may require technical skills when analysing engagement rates and types of audience.

Project management

Social media marketers may manage multiple social media projects at once, so good organisation and excellent project management are important. This ensures that each project receives the correct amount of attention and marketers meet deadlines efficiently and effectively. Good project management also keeps stress levels low and streamlines the company process.

Related: 12 Essential Marketing Resume Skills (With Examples)

How to become a social media marketer

Social media marketers benefit from a formal education and certification process that shows reliability and professionalism to an employer. Social media marketing candidates may improve their chances of success by providing their employer with a portfolio of previous work to demonstrate the type of content generated and employers may ask candidates to expand on their previous experience in projects during an interview. Below is a step guide on how to become a social media marketer:

1. Get a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree in marketing, public relations or related subject is a valuable tool for a potential social media marketing candidate as it may better equip you for your career. A degree typically teaches you the basic theories of marketing, consumer habits and how to engage your target market, which may give you a competitive edge during an application process.

A degree may place you in a more desirable position, as employers may be more likely to hire degree educated marketers over others. A marketing degree may provide you with a better starting point to develop your own industry-beating social media strategy.

2. Create a blog for your portfolio

Creating a blog is a great way to demonstrate your competence as a content creator and social media specialist to an employer. Adding a written blog as part of your portfolio provides an employer with evidence that you can grasp the basic concepts of brand tone of voice and write for target markets. Having some previous exposure to content creation may better equip you to develop a good social media strategy that benefits a business.

3. Get certified

You may wish to seek certification in social media marketing to better appeal to employers. Candidates can get certifications for specific social media tools or generic social media marketing certificates. Certification demonstrates professionalism, credibility and reliability to an employer.

4. Apply for entry-level positions

Once qualified, you may wish to get an entry-level position in marketing. Social media managers typically oversee junior social media marketers and delegate content production tasks across their teams. Try to find an entry-level position that caters to your content speciality.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles