Career in Social Media: Ultimate Guide [2022]

A career in social media has always been in huge demand since social media plays a crucial role in the way people interact, share information, learn, influence, and do most of their communication. The diverse social media platforms available for users are enabling not just individuals but also companies to engage and connect with their audience. 

But, while we are experiencing a boom in digital marketing and social media jobs, what does the future hold for us? Let’s explore the future of social media and several social media career opportunities available to you.

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What is the Importance of Social Media in 2020?

1. Brands need Social Media to be where their customers are!

According to Statista, there are 3 billion social media users worldwide, which is nearly 50% of the global population. It was also analyzed that an average person spends 2+ hours daily on social networks and messaging apps. Thus, making it integral for brands to devise business strategies that incorporate social media marketing. It is no wonder that a career in social media has always gotten attention.


While the number of global users and the amount of time spent is one thing, there is another critical reason why brands believe social media is essential. The reason being: the presence of their target audience! 

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According to a study by Emarketer in 2019, the active social media users as per their age group was something like:

  1. 90.4% of Millennials
  2. 77.5% of Generation X
  3. 48.2% of Baby Boomers

Read more: Top 10 Benefits of Social Media in the Digital Era

2. The Crisis has Increased Social Media Usage!

The importance of social media was always high, given these statistics. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the importance of social media from integral to essential. With social distancing norms and enterprises struggling with other marketing channels to successfully reach out to its target audience, social media and digital marketing is the only option left for most. 

Although, it is not just the business world and those with a career in social media that are taking notice. The everyday user is spending a massive amount of time online not just for entertainment but also learning, working, or staying updated.


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An analysis of social media behavior and usage since the pandemic showcases:

  1. A surge in engagement rates: Almost every social media channel has seen a 15-20% in posts, while engagement for posts has increased by over 61% according to a survey of 25,000 consumers. The use of messaging across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are up by almost 50%, while Twitter is seeing a 23% rise in daily users compared to last year. People are surely turning to social media in these stressful times, and this makes it essential for businesses to be active and lend support to their customers through social media marketing. 
  2. The use of digital channels to educate: Since the crisis, people are working remotely, and this requires a considerable amount of independent working. In case the user runs into an issue, the likelihood of the user reaching out on social media to get the query resolved is higher now more than ever. This has led to social media marketers creating more content that is in the form of tutorials, guides, tips, and specific to customer problems. 
  3. A rise in ephemeral content: Stories are gaining popularity and have been a part not just of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, but have also been adopted by Twitter, calling this feature ‘Fleet.’ Users are more likely to see a post in the ephemeral form (available for a short time, usually 24-hours) than permanent content in the form of social media posts. For those wanting to explore a career in social media, having the ability to create outstanding visual and straightforward content is vital.
  4. Smartphone usage has risen: Smartphones have slowly taken over the desktop to be the primary consumption channel for social media. Research indicates that around 96% of users access Facebook from their smartphones, while 75% of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices. The rising popularity of social media platforms that are entirely mobile apps like Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram is proof of this.
  5. Video content is highly appealing: Videos are the next big thing, as users are more likely to watch a video than read a lengthy article on a similar topic. Video content has higher conversions and impact, and this can be seen with the popularity of videos not just on Youtube but also on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.

What are the Job Roles in Social Media?

The factors, as mentioned above, are mainly contributing to the boom in social media career opportunities, as companies need people who can help manage and boost their social media presence. It is not just a marketing agency that now needs social media, but even startups, enterprises, non-profits, and government agencies are hunting talented and social-savvy people. This has made a career in social media lucrative and is in high demand even in times of crisis.

1. Social Media Managers


As the title suggests, a social media manager is someone who administers every activity for the company or individual that is related to social media. A career in social media needs a good knowledge of several online platforms, but the manager is directly responsible for the creation, updation, and reaction of all social media activities.

Some of the critical skills needed to be a social media manager are:

  1. Excellent communication skills and fluency especially in English, since it is the most used language online.
  2. Ability to understand and monitor social media metrics.
  3. Development of a brand strategy for social media.
  4. Sustenance and generation of leads or inbound traffic.
  5. Proper understanding of the product and services of the page they are managing to be able to publish relevant, original, and high-quality content.
  6. Knowledge of social media tools to plan and schedule post promotion.
  7. Excellent knowledge of social media advertising and the ability to successfully execute ad campaigns based on defined objectives.
  8. Ability to integrate social media marketing with other marketing channels (content marketing, email, digital marketing, print, SEO).

2. Social Media Analyst

Data is essential, and this is true even when it comes to social media. While most of the basic analytics and tracking is done by the social media managers and the marketing team, few organizations have a specialized expert for this purpose. The social media analyst is primarily required to monitor the social media initiatives of the company and provide deep insights to create a holistic approach.

This position is one of the recent developments in social media career opportunities, as brands are only now realizing the importance of social media metrics, brand awareness, and the effectiveness of digital marketing.

The primary skills required to become a social media analyst are:

  1. Strong knowledge of analytics and understanding of key metrics that are to be tracked to create a report on social media traffic.
  2. Familiarity with SEO and social media strategies to optimize keywords and content.
  3. Knowledge of social media analytics tools (Google Analytics, Buffer, Hootsuite, and others).
  4. In-depth understanding of analytical tools for detailed analysis and data crunching.
  5. Ability to work with other teams and multitasking skills.

3. Social Media Community Manager

If you are great with social media engagement and creating viral content, there are several social media career opportunities like becoming a brand manager or community manager. While this may seem very similar to the social media manager job title, there are a few stark differences.

Social Media Manager Community Manager/ Brand Ambassador
Responsible for creating posts that are the voice of the brand and posted on the official social media profiles of the brand. Responsible for publicizing the brand or enterprise in the community using their own social media channels.
It writes responses and creates engagement as the voice of the brand. It creates engagement within the community to help promote the brand indirectly.
It cannot have individual opinions and has to write keeping in mind the totality of the brand. It has individual opinions but which are in line with the brand image and can help to create engagement that is positive for the brand.
Communicates brand messages from within. Advocates brand messages from outside the organizational boundaries by being part of the community/target audience group.

As you can see from the difference, social media community managers require a unique skill set while being part of an overall digital marketing strategy for the organization. 

Community managers and social media managers often report to the global marketing head or CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and have similar targets but with different approaches. 

Some of the essential skills required to become a social media community manager are:

  1. Strong understanding of the community or target audience to be able to blend in with them.
  2. Good knowledge of social media branding to be able to communicate this message effectively in the individual capacity.
  3. Interpersonal skills to hold conversations and interact with the community.
  4. Ability to create engaging content that gets the community interested in the brand’s products or services.
  5. Alignment with brand strategy and understanding of analytics to be able to perform actions that are in-line with the requirements.

Other Digital Marketing & Social Media Career Opportunities

While social media managers and analysts are some of the typical job roles in the field, there are diverse responsibilities and specializations in the area. 

Social media is usually a part of the overall marketing function and can have some of the following job titles as well, like:

  1. Copywriter
  2. Brand Ambassador
  3. Blogger
  4. Public Relations Manager
  5. Digital Marketing Manager
  6. Social Media Strategist
  7. Social Media Consultant
  8. Public Relations & Social Media Strategist
  9. Director of Marketing & Social Media
  10. Chief Marketing Officer

Read: Social Media Marketing Salary

Which are the Essential Skills Required to Kickstart a Career in Social Media?

While starting a career in social media, one should have the desired skillsets and knowledge to ace the role. 

Each role with have its unique requirements, but overall, a career in social media will require some of the essential skills like:

  • Mastering the platforms and the tools: A career in social media requires familiarity and mastery in some of the leading social media platforms and tools. While platforms vary with each organization, one needs to know tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, Buffer, Google Analytics, and others to be able to create and manage social media posts effectively.
  • Being fluent in your communication: There may be times when a copywriter or a specialized individual can help with content creation, but most of the interactions still rest with social media specialists. This requires strong communication skills and fluency in the language. It is also necessary that people in these roles understand what the brand does and have an in-depth understanding of the products and services that are being marketed.
  • Knowing social media and marketing analytics: Social media is more than just posting content or interactions, it requires a strategic approach that is tracked using social media and marketing metrics. Having an understanding of these metrics and how they impact the overall objective is essential for a career in social media.
  • Ability to think strategically: Lastly, for advancing in the role, one needs a strategic vision on how social media can be effectively leveraged to enable the overall marketing and lead generation for the brand. There are several social media career opportunities to choose from, but each role needs a strategic vision to be able to scale up the ladder. 

Average Salary and Requirements

Average Salary Junior Level Average Salary Senior Level
Rs. 5+ lakh Rs. 14 lakh


Although there are several streams and specializations within social media career opportunities, social media manager is the general job position at most companies. The salary can range from between $37,000 to $72,000 as per the estimates by Glassdoor, with the average wage being around $50,000. The salary one can earn is dependent on the company, location, and the experience of the candidate.

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What’s more, if you transition from social media manager to diversifying in a role as a digital marketer, one can expect to earn around $61,000 as a base salary given the impressive job prospects and skills required. So, if you wish to explore a career in social media or digital marketing, it is essential to keep track of each social media platform and gain a unique combination of analytical and creative skills. 

Also Read: Social Media Project Ideas & Topics


Explore a program that will help you gain various digital marketing skills and specializations like content marketing, branding, social media marketing, public relations, and marketing analytics to be job-ready. For serious learners, upgrad’s Post Graduate Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication is the ideal choice.

The certification, which is also in collaboration with MICA School of Ideas provides an outcome-oriented curriculum in social media and digital marketing with self-learning and hands-on experience of over 20 tools.

To kickstart your career in digital marketing and find incredible social media career opportunities to meet your future prospects, explore more about the certification. You can also venture into various other courses offered by upGrad in social media marketing. 

Is social media specialist a good career option?

Yes, a career in social media is now a lucrative option as companies of all sizes and scales are spending huge resources on ramping up their social media presence. And, the role of social media specialist becomes very crucial here.
With people spending a significant part of their day online and preferring online purchases over visiting stores, for companies it has become important to build their social identity and use the channels efficiently to drive sales.
According to payscale, the average base salary of a social media manager with 1-4 years of experience in India is Rs 345,831.

What are the skills I need to learn to kickstart my career in social media?

To kickstart your career or become an expert as a social media specialist, the following are the skills you need to have:
1. Communication: You need to have excellent communication skills on social media, with your boss & managers, and with the team to efficiently deliver messages
2. Writing: You should have excellent copywriting skills that can spark conversations about the brand
3. Creativity: You should be a creative person with a strong visual aesthetic.
4. Knowledge of different social media analytics tools: You should be able to use, read and analyse data to measure social performance around KPIs
5. Strategic thinking ability: You should have a strategic vision on how a specific social media platform can be leveraged for lead generation

Is social media hard to learn?

No, social media is not hard, but it requires you to be a continuous learner and must be aware of the latest trends in the market, new tech, new platforms, and changing demographics.
With more companies trying to crack the social media puzzle to gain the attraction of people, you need to think out of the box, keep on applying new learnings to your social media strategy and need to maintain a consistent social presence.
In the social media space, there are only two ways to stay ahead in the game, going with the latest trend and following a data-driven approach.

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