The Day-to-Day as a Social Media Strategist
Social Media Strategists design social media blueprints to achieve a client’s or company’s marketing targets. They also create content and manage client or company accounts. They can find jobs remotely, in-house, part-time, full-time, and even freelance. The opportunities are virtually endless for this role with jobs at agencies, tech companies, retailers, restaurants, hospital networks, nonprofits, and more. Some Social Media Strategists work alone, especially if they are freelance, but many work on a team with other digital marketers.
A Social Media Strategist can be found analyzing and tracking your account and competitors accounts, responding to social interactions and increasing community engagement, scheduling posts, creating and executing hashtag strategies, testing and measuring new strategies, tracking trends, collaborating with teammates, creating reports for clients, creating graphics and videos, adapting content for multiple platforms, outreach for amplification, monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), and occasionally meeting with clients.
What Skills Should Social Media Strategists Have?
Social Media Strategists must be good communicators and collaborators. On most projects, they will need to communicate with writers and designers who are creating the copy and graphics for the majority of the posts and they’ll need to be able to work with the marketing and product teams within their client’s or company’s staff. They will also need to be able to demonstrate their results to their client or company. Plus, Social Media Strategists will be engaging with their company or client’s followers and customers through social media and must be able to do so personally and professionally.
Social Media Strategists must be able to analyze and track key performance indicators within their own efforts and their competitors. Passionately following trends and new developments in social media, their industry, and their competitors will be a key foundation for an adaptable social media effort.
Social Media Strategists should be stellar planners. They’ll be architecting strategies for hashtags, growth, engagement, brand story, customer journeys, and more to be successful in this role. They’ll most likely be managing multiple accounts across multiple social media platforms and should have a preferred social media management tool but also be familiar with any tools they may need to use for a specific client or employer. They must be proficient at social media marketing (SMM), Google Analytics, and Google Ads. They should have a solid understanding of digital marketing best practices.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Social Media Strategist
Digital marketing utilizes the internet and web based digital platforms to promote products or services. This includes the use of digital advertisements, social media, brand identities, and more.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms to connect with your target audience or end-user. Social media marketing aims to build brand awareness and loyalty, increase sales, convert leads, and drive website traffic. Social media management can be done through content creation, keyword and target audience research, and the use of social media management platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite.
Google Ads is the new name for Google AdWords. It is an online advertising service that allows advertisers to pay for the display of brief advertisements, video content, listings, and calls to action within the Google Display Network (GDN) to web users. You'll see Google ads on the GDN which includes Google Search, YouTube, and over 2 million other sites.
Social Media Strategist Salaries
A Social Media Strategist in the United States makes, on average, $60,544 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Social Media Strategists vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Social Media Strategist salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $60K source n/a
New York City
- U.S. Average $60K source n/a
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
Typical Qualifications to Become a Social Media Strategist
Many employers and recruiters prefer for their Social Media Strategists to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or a related field. It is possible, however, to land a Social Media Strategist position without a degree as long as they have proof of prior successful social media clients or projects. Social Media Strategists are expected to have some prior experience with demonstrated, quantitative proof.
Searching for Social Media Strategist Jobs
There are many opportunities for Social Media Strategists, especially if they choose to freelance or consult. There are also plenty of in-house positions for Social Media Strategists including part-time, full-time, and remote options. Freelancing and consulting will likely lead to a higher pay-grade for this position, but will also have a steep learning curve and will mean juggling multiple social media accounts and brands. Working in-house will allow a Social Media Strategist to focus on just one company or a few subsidiary brands. A happy-medium between those two options is working for an agency. Agency-employed Social Media Strategists usually work with two or three clients.
Social Media Strategists can find in-house, full-time, and part-time jobs on these sites:
- Authentic Jobs
- Simply Hired
- Super Social Club
- The Muse
Social Media Strategists can find remote, freelance, and consulting gigs on these sites:
Tips to Become a Social Media Strategist
The most common path to a Social Media Strategist career begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in communications or marketing, doing an internship at a marketing firm or within a company’s marketing department, and move into an entry-level position at a marketing firm after graduation. While this is a common path, it is not the only path. If you have no degree and no experience, you can get into social media strategy by educating yourself through online courses, building a portfolio and building your own online presence.
To build your portfolio, volunteer your services to a nonprofit or small business or practice by building your own online presence. Make sure to include the data behind all of the work that you do, an explanation of your strategies, and the outcomes. Publishing a case study for each client or friend that you help will show future employers or recruiters that you are talented enough to do the job! Your online presence should include a search engine ranking website and blog, at least two social media platforms with high engagement, and a portfolio.
While you’re building your online presence, be sure to spend some of your time networking. Whether those efforts are direct messaging other social media and digital marketing professionals on your favorite social media platform to start a conversation, connecting with potential employers and recruiters on LinkedIn, or attending workshops, networking will definitely pay off in the long run. Try asking for an informational interview or coffee date with a Social Media Strategist. They probably have plenty of tips for you, connections to possibly find you a job, or at least shared experiences to make you feel better about your journey. You may even find a mentor out there!
What Job Titles Would a Social Media Strategist Hold?
Social Media Strategist is a well-defined position and is a role that has similar responsibilities at almost every company. Thus, there is not much diversity in job titles.
Social Media Strategists can look for these job titles:
- Social Media Strategist
- Junior Social Media Strategist
- Associate Social Media Strategist
- Social Media Strategist – Intern
Social Media Strategists can use their analytical and creative skills in other marketing roles like Digital Analyst, Digital Marketer, or Digital Strategist positions. They would essentially use similar skills and tactics but for broader marketing and strategy projects. A Social Media Strategist could upskill to one of these broader digital marketing positions with a higher-level understanding of marketing and business best practices, adding some digital marketing tools to their skillset, and focusing on pivoting within an industry they already specialize in.
If they’d prefer to stick to using their analytical and strategy skills with less content creation, a Social Media Strategist might find satisfaction in a Web Optimization Specialist role. A Web Optimization Specialist works to analyze a website or web app and make a strategy to optimize it for advertising, SEO, users, and more. They’ll use analytical tools and strategic planning methods in a way that is very similar to a Social Media Strategist but with a focus on a website or platform instead of content marketing campaigns.
To take a step even further back from content marketing, a Social Media Strategist could employ their analytical skills and strategy to work as a Paid Search Manager or Search Manager. As a Search Manager or Paid Search Manager, they would create and execute marketing campaigns and search engine optimization efforts in ways that are organic or paid, adjusting as they go based on data indicators. Depending on their employer, Social Media Strategists can find higher salaries in any of these positions or by switching to contract-based work.
Salary Comparison to Social Media Strategist
Marketing Managers oversee a team of marketing professionals who find ways to grow the business they're working for, execute those growth ideas through campaigns, and analyze and report on those campaigns.Learn about becoming a Marketing Manager
Paid Search Manager
A paid search manager is tasked with leading search marketing campaigns, generally on Google and Bing Ads. The manager leads the day-to-day strategy, reporting, analysis, and optimization of paid search campaigns. Day-to-day campaign management includes updating bids, adding/removing keywords, monitoring profitability, and more. Strategy and optimization include designing and adjusting paid search strategy to align with overall business goals, running tests to improve performance, and working with other digital partners to develop omnichannel marketing campaigns.Learn about becoming a Paid Search Manager
Digital marketers are responsible for designing, managing, and reviewing digital marketing campaigns. Using their expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, backlinks, and digital ads, digital marketers provide data and demographic-driven marketing strategies. They may also help companies develop content marketing strategies through the use of blogs. Digital marketers also use data analytics to review digital marketing campaign results and provide guidance for future campaigns.Learn about becoming a Digital Marketer
Digital Strategy is the work behind digitally rich projects like websites, social media, SEO content, digital marketing, and more. Digital Strategists identify opportunities for growth and make plans for new website releases, content for their client with a specific end goal in mind, or an advertising campaign.Learn about becoming a Digital Strategist
Digital analysts work with a marketing team to analyze the effectiveness and reach of digital marketing campaigns. They use Google analytics and site tagging tools to harvest user data. This data is analyzed and interpreted to provide insights into how to improve the user experience and the effectiveness of the digital marketing campaign.Learn about becoming a Digital Analyst
Web Optimization Specialist
Web optimization specialists are experts at analyzing web traffic and making targeted recommendations to increase user engagement. Acting as user-surrogates, web optimization specialists analyze data on user behavior and advocate for new features or functionalities to improve the end-user experience. Web optimization specialists often work with web developers and designers to create funnels, web applications, and marketing campaigns. These professionals must have experience with data analysis, user-testing, prototyping and digital marketing development.Learn about becoming a Web Optimization Specialist
A search manager brings expertise with search engines and a deep understanding of how they work to drive results. They will generally work across search from organic search (SEO) to paid search. In this type of role, the manager would oversee both organic and paid search operations, including strategy, optimization, and reporting. In organic search, the manager would be in charge of finding the right keywords to target, improving rank for those keywords, and optimizing the site for SEO. Within paid search, the manager would build the strategy, manage the campaigns, and continually test and optimize for the best performance.Learn about becoming a Search Manager