What are the career prospects for someone currently involved in Social Media Marketing or Management at a small scale?
I have managed social media accounts for organizations, just as a side hustle, but how could I go one step further? Do I need to get a degree in marketing?
#social-media #social-media-marketing #digital-marketing #marketing
I don't have a directly relevant degree but started my career in social media as a Community Manager for a start-up digital media agency, managing client social channels.
I'm not sure the extent of your responsibilities with your side hustle, but a big initial realization for me was learning how much more there is beyond just creating and publishing content. Post/campaign/channel reporting was a large part of the job and what I needed to be able to communicate with clients. This involved using native social channel or third-party reporting tools to analyze and communicate performance. Clients want to make sure they're getting a good ROI from their social media program.
In my time as a Community Manager I also gained some experience in developing organic/paid digital campaigns, familiarity with utilizing paid media and ads across different social channels, and performing social listening to get a better understanding of how the brand or its industry is being talked about beyond just what their fans post on the brand social accounts. I would recommend finding some online trainings around these topics or some free tools when possible (for things like social listening).
Because we were an agency, when clients began to take their community management in-house our team of community managers grew into these more specialized areas like high-level content/channel strategy, paid media, and social listening, to name a few. While sticking with community management is still a viable option, they're able to use their experience from a bigger picture perspective now.
While a degree can often help get a foot in the door, so too does results. To build on a client base, I would showing propsective clients the results your management of account has driven and perhaps provide them examples. You could meet with the prospective client to understand their needs and determine if you have the experience in the social media platform(s) they would like manage. Then, I would follow up with a 2nd meeting to present a targeted social media plan and include how you will measure success of the campaign for them.
You do not necessarily need a degree in marketing though something related always helps. Economics, Business, Finance, Statistics can all be applied.
I would look into ad tech and the tools that are available for social media managers. There are quite a few out there that help you aggregate and manage campaigns at scale. Perhaps you're already familiar with some!
I say this all the time but having a good understanding of data analytics will help you move from side hustle to career.
Good to hear that you're currently involved in Management on a small scale. On a resume I would clearly define this, as well as precisely how this involvement increased profitability or revenue in whatever area, including Social Media Marketing, you are involved. If you have not already, define what you can quantitatively measure TODAY that can be compared with what you can quantitatively measure TOMORROW, and connect anything that you do to positive changes in this metric. If you can create a "picture of success," from these inputs, then your career prospects will be excellent.