Social Media Marketing

Advertise brands by posting promotional content and connecting with your customer base on social media platforms.
Ivy Simon
Editorial Writer
Advertise brands by posting promotional content and connecting with your customer base on social media platforms.

As the name implies, social media marketing uses social media platforms to strengthen and grow the brand of an organisation or promote its products and services. This is more than just posting glamour shots, rubbing shoulders with influencers, or sharing memes, though! It is a line of work that involves a variety of creative, analytical, and managerial responsibilities. 

Some companies may have dedicated social marketing teams or staff. However, others may not have a dedicated social media marketing team, and will share those responsibilities among a broader digital marketing team instead. Social media marketing work can also be outsourced to external marketing agencies, so keep an eye out for opportunities there as well.  

Life on the job

The primary duties of social media marketing professionals include planning and managing marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok. Typical tasks can include:

  • Producing social media content, whether in text, visual, or video formats
  • Ensuring the company’s social media presence is consistent with its business goals and the brand image it wishes to portray
  • Utilising tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck to plan and schedule social media posts
  • Interacting with other social media users and responding to relevant enquiries
  • Managing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and promotional campaigns on social media 
  • Planning social media campaigns and then monitoring data to evaluate their effectiveness
  • Liaising with clients and other creative stakeholders (such as social media influencers) for potential digital marketing opportunities

Though this is an incredibly popular line of work among graduates, social media marketing is in fact a highly demanding career path. You will need a combination of creativity, excellent interpersonal skills, and emotional and mental resilience to succeed in such jobs.

Given the wildly unpredictable nature of social media, you need to be constantly experimenting with new campaigns, content, and promotional approaches until you get satisfactory results. This will be a true test of your creativity. In general, expect to go through long seasons of low engagement before you finally chance on something that clicks with your audience.

Engaging with other users on social media is its own challenge as well. Social media audiences are generally quite wary of corporate brand presences, and interactions can range from apathetic or skeptical to highly toxic. You will have to put in a significant amount of work to nurture a desired brand reputation and relationship with your audience.

On the flip side, given the wide reach and prevalence of social media, it can be very satisfying to see the work you do have an outsized effect on your company’s brand presence. And if you do manage to secure a loyal following of customers and users on such platforms, then interacting with them can often be incredibly enjoyable as well.

Required qualifications and skills

Employers typically have no hard requirements for degree disciplines in this of work. However, candidates from marketing, business, media, or communications disciplines are often prioritised since there is a higher chance of them possessing the necessary knowledge and skills for this type of work.   

You should be well-versed in the main social media channels and their ins-and-outs, as well as the instruments and applications used to operate and evaluate social media campaigns. Good communication and writing abilities are required as well  ̶  you will be doing a lot of content writing and interacting with users, after all.

There is also an increasing trend towards all-in-one social media managers who can produce photo and video content on their own. Basic photography, videography, image editing, and video editing skills will thus give you a huge advantage over other candidates.

Much harder to acquire, however, is broader commercial awareness about what topics are trending on social media at any point in time, and which social media platforms are on the rise and worth prioritising. You will need to keep yourself constantly updated on market and social media trends, in conjunction with whatever data you gather from the campaigns you run.     

As mentioned above, other key skills include creativity, resilience, and great interpersonal skills. You must also be good at working with numbers and being able to spot and analyse trends in data.

Hands-on experience makes a huge difference in this line of work. Make an active effort to pursue relevant internship or work experience opportunities which let you try your hand at social media marketing. You can also try running social media campaigns of your own to promote your own portfolio or side business – those can win you points with potential employers too.