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How to Become a Social Media Marketer

The number of social media users worldwide will reach the 3.78 billion mark in 2021, according to a forecast from Statista. As the figure continues to grow, it’s not surprising that more businesses want to tap into this massive pool of potential clients. A lot of them are now adding social media to their marketing strategy and employing social media marketers.  

Career options involving digital marketing across social media platforms have been increasing, especially now that more businesses want to improve their online presence. If you’re thinking of joining this industry and wondering how to become a social media marketer, we’ve prepared a guide to everything you need to know.     

What Is a Social Media Marketer?

A social media marketer is the person in charge of creating marketing strategies for the social media platforms for a company. Before you learn how to become a social media marketer, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what this job entails. 

Most people confuse social media managers with social media marketers, but they are different job roles. Social media managers focus on building brand awareness and widening a company’s reach, but that doesn’t always equate to increased revenue. Social media marketers focus on growing the business, generating leads, and increasing sales.

Social Media Marketer Job Description

Social media marketers are responsible for promoting the products and services of a company on its social media platforms. To ensure their social media presence brings the company a steady flow of clients, they create and carry out a social media marketing strategy that engages their target audience. 

Similar to social media managers, marketers are responsible for creating and scheduling social media posts and blog posts. However, instead of only posting inspiring and entertaining content, marketers target a specific customer base through a sales funnel. They release eye-catching information like news about discounts and deals, hoping to entice clients to click and buy.

Social Media Marketer Salary and Job Outlook

Based on the salary information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of a social media marketing manager is $141,490 in 2021. Some people who make a career out of social media marketing can earn up to $208,000 per year if they’re among the highest-paid 10 percent.

Social media marketing managers fall under the umbrella of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers in the BLS database. According to BLS, we can expect a job growth rate of 6 percent for this career from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than average.

Top Reasons to Become a Social Media Marketer in 2021

There are many reasons to become a social media marketer in 2021. It comes with several benefits that make it an attractive career. Below are some top reasons for pursuing it as a career.

  • You get paid to spend time on social media sites. Part of your duties will involve spending time on social media accounts, keeping an eye on the latest trending content, and creating relevant content from that. It’s something that many people already enjoy doing, but you’re getting paid for it.
  • You can have creative freedom. Your job involves more than just selling a product. They showcase their creativity, tell a story, and create different types of content to attract customers. 
  • You could be the first to know about everything. As someone who will market the brand, there’s a high chance you’ll know about new products and services or changes in the company even before some of your colleagues. 
  • You can work from home. The great thing about this career is that your work can be done from home. This can be convenient and allow more lifestyle flexibility.

Social Media Marketer Job Requirements

As a social media marketer, you’ll have a lot of responsibility. You’ll be dealing with a large audience and your social media strategy will have an impact on the company. That’s why most employers look for the qualities listed below when hiring a social media marketer.

  • Educational background. Most of the time you must have a certificate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in marketing or a related field. Some employers will require you to have a certificate or degree in business, advertising, or journalism.
  • Solid understanding of social media platforms. You need to know how to use these social platforms to connect with your target market.  
  • Experience in digital marketing. Since you’ll be developing the company’s online presence, planning digital campaigns and strategies, and keeping track of consumer data, you’ll need to have built up relevant experience.
  • Good knowledge of social media management tools. Some companies invest in tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to streamline processes and make things easier.

Types of Social Media Marketer Careers

It’s always a good idea to have a specific job in mind before you learn how to become a social media marketer and take any necessary courses. To give you an idea of your options, listed below are a few types of social media marketing careers.

Social Media Marketing Intern

This entry-level position is a great starting point for fresh graduates who want to build a career in social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing Manager

As a social media manager, your daily tasks involve overseeing the company’s social media marketing and ensuring everything is working as expected.

Social Media Marketing Specialist

A social media specialist is a high-responsibility job where you’ll have direct involvement in planning, implementing, and monitoring social media marketing strategies.

Social Media Marketer Meaning: What Does a Social Media Marketer Do?

You might be asking yourself what a social media marketer actually does day to day. Spending your working hours using various social media platforms may seem like an easy task, but you’ll do much more than that. We’ve listed some of the job duties below. 

Researching social media platforms and trends

All social channels each have a unique social media landscape. For example, Instagram is good for promoting visual content, while Facebook’s strong point is building communities. You’ll need to have a firm grasp of the environment in various channels and know what to post and when.    

Understanding the audience

Social media pros identify and understand their target audience on any given social channel. They analyze their activity to improve future marketing campaigns and strategies.  

Crafting targeted content

A large part of the role is to develop a content strategy that informs, entertains, and compels their audience to make a purchase.

Essential Social Media Marketer Skills

The best social media marketers develop a wide range of skills that help them do their job effectively. Below we’ve rounded up some of the most essential qualities you need to have to succeed in this career.

Social media skills

The most crucial skill to have is the ability to use social media to market and grow a brand. You must have a natural knack for social media. 

Analytical skills

One of your tasks is to analyze and interpret data to make informed decisions. It will help you keep track of how well your marketing is working and allow you to improve social media campaigns.   


If you want to represent a brand and effectively market its products and services, you’ll need to communicate and connect with your target audience.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Media Marketer?

Generally speaking, you’ll need to spend four to six years in school and have at least one to two years of relevant experience. There are many different career paths into social media marketing for both university graduates and dropouts. Some employers prefer a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Marketing or a related field for the higher-paying positions.  

Some companies, however, want to see experience more than a college degree. You can attend a short-term digital marketing course, which usually takes three to four months. Once you have a certificate, you’ll want to build your experience and skills for at least a year by joining internship programs or developing your own strong personal brand online.

Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Social Media Marketer?

Yes, some bootcamps offer courses and certificates like digital marketing for those interested in a career in social media marketing. So if you don’t have a degree in marketing and don’t have the time or money for college, you can still pursue this field through coding bootcamps. 

Since these are intensive training programs, it will usually take about three months to a year to learn all the skills necessary for your new career. A lot of tech giants like Microsoft hire bootcamp graduates.

Can I Become A Social Media Marketer From Home?

Given that the nature of the work is mostly online, anyone with the right knowledge and skills can become a social media marketer from home. Before the pandemic, most large companies required you to work in the office, but things have changed. It’s likely that many employers will continue to offer home working. 

How to Become a Social Media Marketer: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re determined to become a social media marketer, below are a few steps you can follow.

Step 1: Pursue a degree or certificate in marketing

As mentioned before, most companies prefer candidates who have a degree in marketing or any related field. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or money for formal education, you can attend a bootcamp and earn a certificate.

Step 2: Develop your soft and technical skills

Once you’ve gained a relevant educational background, it’s time to develop your skills in social media marketing. Take a look at online courses and gain relevant work experience by joining internship programs or marketing your own brand.

Step 3: Apply for social media marketer positions

Competition for social media marketing careers can be fierce. If you have the right education and have built up some relevant experience, you’ll have a higher chance of landing the job. Seeking resume and interview training from a career counsellor can also help.  

Best Schools and Education for a Social Media Marketer Career

The best way to get started in becoming a social media marketer is to get the right education. If you’re planning on getting into this career, you might want to consider enrolling in one of the schools listed below.

Social Media Marketer Bootcamps

Several bootcamps offer intensive training programs and specialized courses where you can learn how to be a social media marketer. This year, several top schools offer a certificate in digital marketing, advertising, and social media management.

Vocational School

Vocational schools also offer certificate and degree programs. You can complete these within one to two years. They offer all kinds of programs from digital marketing to advertising, communications, and even graphic design. If you’re looking for a top vocational school or trade school, you might want to check out SAE Institute or U.S. Career Institute.

Community College

You can also get a degree or certificate by attending a community college. Although some of these institutions offer four-year degree programs, most of them only have two-year courses. Consider checking out Guilford Technical Community College or Northcentral Community College.

Social Media Marketer Degrees

For many employers, a four-year bachelor’s or master’s degree can be viewed favorably. Some of the best schools and universities that offer degrees in digital marketing, advertising, and related majors include Baruch College, California State University Northridge, and Southern New Hampshire University.

The Most Important Social Media Marketer Certificates

Having a certificate shows employers you have up-to-date knowledge. The social media landscape is always changing. Certificates are a great way to update your skills and keep you ahead of the game. Below are some of the best certificates for social media marketers.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google

Even tech giants like Google now host digital marketing certificate courses. This course covers an overview of the digital marketing landscape, SEO, and strategies to develop your own digital marketing plans. It also looks at paid and unpaid search.

Social Marketing Certification by Hootsuite

Created by one of the big names in social media, this industry-recognized social media certification from Hootsuite will be a great addition to your resume. You’ll be required to pass a 60-question exam to earn your certification. 

Facebook Blueprint Certification by Facebook 

Earning this Facebook certification demonstrates you have an advanced level of knowledge of digital marketing through Facebook. There are several levels of certification from associate to professional. You can also earn certifications in specializations such as media buying or creative strategy.  

How to Prepare for Your Social Media Marketer Job Interview

Preparing for a job interview by practicing your answers out loud is always a good idea. It gives you the chance to think of a great response ahead of time and give you a little more confidence. Below are some examples of interview questions that social media marketers may encounter.

Social Media Marketer Job Interview Practice Questions

  • What do you think of our current social media marketing efforts and how could we improve?
  • Tell us about a social media campaign you have run from beginning to end.
  • Which social media channels would you use most for our business? 
  • How do you measure the success of your social media campaigns?

Should I Become a Social Media Marketer in 2021?

Becoming a social media marketer in 2021 is an excellent career path. You will be able to earn a good income doing what you love. The job prospects and career benefits are excellent, from salary to job outlook to work-from-home possibilities. So if you have an interest in marketing and social media, you should definitely consider becoming a social media marketer.


Can You Become a Social Media Marketer Without a Degree?
Yes. You can become a social media marketer as long as you get the right certificates, develop essential skills, and gain some relevant work experience. However, having a degree can make your career journey easier, especially if you’re interested in the top positions.
Is It Hard to Become a Social Media Marketer?
It can be fairly challenging to become a social media marketer. To pursue this career, you’ll typically need a good educational background and to master the use of social media. It’s not as simple as sharing an image with a caption, there’s a lot of data analytics and strategy behind the scenes.
Is Social Media Marketing a Good Job?
Yes, it’s one of the fastest-growing career opportunities because of the increasing number of businesses growing their online presence. It’s a high-responsibility job and comes with an above average paycheck.
How Much Does a Social Media Marketer Make?
According to BLS, the median salary of a social media marketer in 2021 is $141,490.
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