More and more people as well as firms are becoming famous on social media. Thus, the role of the social media specialist becomes more essential than ever. So, how to become a social media specialist?
This process requires nothing more than your passion and perseverance. Because it does not require a degree, the competitive advantage when applying for this job is the knowledge and skills you learn based on practical experience.
This guide will cover things that will make the process easier for you. You will get this job after following these ten steps!
I will give you an overview of this job to help you know what you will do when working in this role.
A social media specialist is someone who manages and executes a person’s or a company’s social media presence and strategies. The goal is to:
- Increase followings/audiences
- Retain and convert customers
- Increase company revenue
- Raise brand authority and visibility
To do this job well, they need to be creative, good at talking to people online, and know how social media works.
The primary task of these specialists is to create engaging content for social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).
This task includes writing posts and sharing them with followers. They also reply to comments and messages from people interacting with their posts.
Then, these specialists analyze and interpret the likes, shares, and comments and know what people like and don’t.
They sometimes make ads and work with other teams to plan and ensure everything looks great and fits the brand.
Staying updated with the latest trends and algorithm changes is vital, too. They need to ensure the posts are current.
Social media specialists work in different places. They can be in companies, businesses, or even work as freelancers.
Many larger firms have in-house social media teams. There, these specialists team with marketing, communications, and design teams to align their strategies. Smaller firms might hire specialists to manage their online presence.
As a social media specialist, you can choose remote work. So you can work from home or any location with an internet connection.
Without keeping you waiting any longer, I will dive into each step to become a social media specialist. You will know what knowledge you need to learn and what skills you need to hone.
Because social media is a new field, employers often do not require a Bachelor’s degree when hiring for this position. You only need to complete the high school program and learn more about social media to be able to apply for it.
Yet, if you want in-depth knowledge of this field, you can consider a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, or Public Relations. Having a Bachelor’s degree will make you more attractive to employers.
The next thing you need to do is learn the basics of social media. You can begin by understanding the algorithms of popular websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In this step, you need also to learn the basics of identifying and understanding different target audiences. Who uses each platform? What types of content do they engage with? This knowledge is vital when crafting content later on.
Once you’ve learned the basics, you need to decide which platforms you want to focus on. I recommend starting with a couple you’re comfortable with, like Facebook and Instagram.
Then, you can post things you like with different content types and see what gets more engagement. Remember, building a presence takes time. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a huge following right away.
This step is vital because your personal presence can be a small-scale “brand” that reflects your interests, personality, and values. It shows how you can shape and convey an online identity.
One of the most essential skills of a social media specialist is content creation. So, you need to focus on developing this skill as early as possible.
Before creating content, you must know who you’re talking to. What do they like? What are their problems? Then, you can make content they’ll love.
Here are my tips to practice this skill:
- Create different types of content: pictures, videos, and text. Variety keeps things interesting.
- Start with an eye-catching headline or visual to grab people’s attention as they scroll through their feeds.
- Share stories related to your brand or message. It makes your content relatable and memorable.
- Your content should provide value. Teach something, entertain, or solve a problem. Valuable content keeps people coming back.
- Make sure your visuals (pictures and videos) look good. Use good lighting and interesting angles.
- Write in simple language and avoid jargon.
- Post regularly. Consistency keeps your audience engaged and aware of your presence.
If a type of content gets lots of likes or shares, learn from it and make more like that. You should listen to comments and messages because they help you know what your audience likes and dislikes.
Then, keep practicing, learning from your experiences, and adapting your approach based on your audience’s responses.
Staying updated is vital to be a social media specialist because social media changes fast, with new things coming up. Employers look for candidates who can change strategies to keep up and stay visible online.
When you know what’s trendy, you can make posts that people care about. As a result, it helps your posts and company connect with more people.
Besides, being one of the first to use a trend can make you stand out. It shows you’re smart about using new and cool things to get attention.
The next step is to learn data analysis and metrics to measure success, improve engagement, and optimize strategy.
Employers look for candidates who know how to use analytics tools to track metrics, such as the number of likes, shares, comments, clicks, impressions, reach, and more.
These tools help track and analyze the performance of your accounts and content. Some popular analytics tools include Facebook Insights (for Facebook), Instagram Insights (for Instagram), and Twitter Analytics (for Twitter).
While this job will primarily require hands-on experience, having a relevant certification will help you understand the field better and impress employers. Some options include:
- Social Media Marketing Pro Certificate by Meta
- Digital Marketing Certification by Reliablesoft
- Social Media Marketing Specialization by Coursera
- Social Media Marketing Masterclass by Udemy
- Social Media Marketing Certificate by eCornell
To choose the most suitable one, I recommend researching the details of each program to find the one that suits your career goals and areas of interest.
Many people say this job does not need a portfolio because you can show off your skills in interviews. But I don’t think so.
An attractive portfolio will show that you are serious about the job. Employers can also see if your skills suit the position they are hiring for right after reading your application.
To create the best portfolio, gather the most outstanding projects you did in the steps above and pay attention to the layout of the details you include. They should be concise but still show off your skills.
Many online resources can give you unique ideas if you don’t know how to organize a portfolio. Back in the day, I also consulted online templates to create my portfolio.
At this point, I believe you are confident in your knowledge and skills to start searching and applying for this position.
The best places to look for jobs are on job boards like Indeed and Linkedin. You can also easily find this job in recruitment groups on Facebook.
If you like freelancing, you can find work on Upwork or Freelancer. Usually, there are short-term contract jobs there. Yet, many social media specialists I know have signed long-term remote contracts on these platforms.
No matter what platform you apply for, the most important thing is that you fit the job requirements and company culture.
After choosing a suitable job, submit the necessary documents as required in the recruitment post. Don’t forget to include the portfolio.
After that, start preparing for the interviews because companies will contact you for an interview at any time. I recommend reviewing the knowledge and skills you have learned because the interviewer may ask questions about them.
The interview is often the final step to getting the job, and your performance during this session will determine whether you are suitable for the job. So, prepare carefully and perform well!
Even if you already have this position, I recommend continuing to develop yourself to learn more about this field and have opportunities for advancement in the future.
To improve yourself, you should constantly learn from your colleagues and favorite influencers. Also, stay updated with the latest trends related to the field.
Like any other job, this requires a skill set of hard and soft skills related to the job’s duties. Specifically, what skills you need to hone include:
- Create engaging written, visual, and multimedia content tailored to various platforms.
- Use analytics tools to track metrics, interpret data, and make decisions.
- Knowledge of social media ads, including creating and optimizing paid campaigns.
- Basic design skills to create visually appealing graphics for posts.
- Basic video editing skills to create short videos for social media.
- Creativity in creating content.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills to engage effectively with the online community.
- Be willing to change to adapt.
- Efficiently manage multiple tasks, campaigns, and platforms.
- Ability to fix issues, address negative feedback, and manage crises effectively.
Being a social media specialist is exciting in our digital world. Businesses rely a lot on social media, and this job lets you make interesting content, connect with people, and help brands grow. You get to be creative and see what works well.
The job’s future looks good, too, with an 8% growth rate from 2018-2028. There are many job openings (around 47,230), and many people already do this job (around 52,542) in the US.
You’d be part of a big group that shapes how brands show up online and succeed. It’s a chance to do something cool and important.
Think about getting this job if you enjoy using social media platforms, creating content, and engaging with online communities.
First, this job is a good choice if you like making posts, talking with people online, and want to learn about how social media works.
Besides, you might like this job if you’re interested in helping businesses connect with their fans and work with numbers. Also, this position is suitable if you’re excited about a job that’s growing and changing daily.
The time to become a social media specialist varies. Generally, it takes a few months to a year to gain the needed skills.
You can start by learning about social media basics, which takes a few weeks. Then, practicing on your own accounts takes a few more months.
Some people take formal courses ranging from a few weeks to several months. Becoming truly proficient could take a year or more of learning and hands-on experience.
In short, it depends on your starting point, the time you invest, and how quickly you grasp the concepts and skills required for the role.
A social media specialist’s salary varies by location, experience, and employer. In 2023, the average annual pay is around $36,533 to $82,326 in the US.
No, it isn’t inherently hard. This job involves learning, creativity, and staying updated. With practice and the right skills, you will get it.
No. Formal qualifications aren’t required because practical experience, creativity, and understanding of social media platforms are crucial. Yet, having relevant courses or certifications can enhance your skills and job prospects.
I hope you have learned how to become a social media specialist through my 10-step guide above. I’ve shared what you need to achieve in this process, including your knowledge, skills, and experience.
If you’re new, try my tips, and then let me know in the comments how they helped you!