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How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Media Strategist?
August 21, 2022
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Author : John Gallagher
how to become a social media manager

Did you know that Facebook launched in 2004? It’s been nearly 20 years since the online social platform, originally created as a way for Harvard students to connect with their colleagues, was born.

Today — in addition to Facebook — social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok and others amass more than 4.62 billion global users each year. 

Companies looking to connect with potential consumers across social media often face an uphill battle. Competition for both sponsored and organic messaging is high, as brands vie for limited space in front of your eyes.

That’s where social media strategists come in.

As of 2022, more than 13,216 social media strategists employed across the United States help brands connect with social media users. As social media continues to grow in popularity and more businesses see the value in developing their social media presence, we only expect the number to grow.

Regardless of an employer’s size, companies need an expert in social media to help them craft a strategy, develop online marketing campaigns and build their online presence. If you’re obsessed with the marketing opportunities social media provides, you may be wondering what the career path looks like and how to become a social media manager in the future.

We’re here to walk you through how to land the best social media jobs and get your foot in the door.

Let’s dive in.

What does a social media strategist do?

Social media strategists are responsible for spearheading social media campaigns and improving a brand’s image on different platforms. They help build a brand’s online presence through social media by retaining customers, enhancing brand loyalty and generating traffic back to their website.

As a social media strategist, you’re responsible for crafting long-term strategies, following up with KPIs and thinking of new and innovative ways to curate content.

You’ll notice a heavy focus on finding new opportunities, capitalizing on trends and curating a strategy that makes sense for the business and the industry.

Social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy and will continue to be a dominating marketing channel in the years to come. With a buttoned-up strategy and clear KPIs, businesses can meet their audience across cornerstone social channels, and transform their following into loyal customers.

What skills will I need as a social media strategist?

Social media professionals are always learning.

Platforms continuously roll out new updates and changes that impact businesses’ approach to social media content. Plus, social media is still such a new aspect of marketing! It’s still growing as a digital marketing channel, and we’re constantly changing how we approach content on these platforms.

However, there are a few universal skills which typically characterize the best social media strategists.

Writing

The best social media professionals are also top-notch copywriters. They know how to use language to bring a brand’s voice to life and connect with their followers. They use copy to evoke emotions, build rapport with their audience and develop their online image. They know when to add humor, add a cheeky caption and grab the attention of their followers. They also understand when to adopt a more somber or professional tone.

Digital marketing channels and best practices

Consistency is key when it comes to marketing. Even though the main focus is social media, you’ll also want to understand the different digital marketing channels and how they work together to benefit the business. With a strong understanding of digital marketing best practices, a strategist will be a vital asset to the marketing team. 

Social media platforms

A social media strategist needs to know all of the ins and outs of every social media platform if they want to effectively build out strategies. Knowing how campaigns will perform on each platform is a vital skill that will save the company time and money. You’ll also need to know the major differences between the different social media platforms, such as the content, audience, data and structural difference of the unique platform.

Data and analysis

A strategist is just as hands-on with data as they are with the content. You’ll need a strong understanding of KPIs and how to use data to develop a strategy that positively impacts your bottom line.

Common social media KPIs include:

  • Engagement;
  • Impressions;
  • Follower growth;
  • Conversions;
  • Social shares. 

With the right KPIs, you can show the value of social media marketing and continue to make adjustments that benefit the company’s bottom line.

Design

A great deal of design is incorporated into social media. Content such as images, videos, infographics and other image-based content is typically preferred over text-based content.

Even though your marketing team may have a designer that helps with the creative content, it’s still important for the social media professional to have a keen eye for design.

What education will I need as a social media strategist?

Social media strategist positions have a similar trajectory as any other career in the marketing field. Most require individuals to have some level of experience before they move into an entry-level position. These entry-level positions will provide the skills learners need to advance their careers and eventually take on the title of a social media strategist.

A degree is sometimes the route of choice for aspiring social media strategists, though college degrees can take up years of your life — not to mention tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

That’s why today, more and more aspiring social media professionals trust programs like our Digital Marketing Bootcamp, for high-level instruction that prepares you for the roles today’s companies need. 

What will I earn as a social media strategist?

As of 2022, social media strategists earn an average of $57,200 in the United States. However, the top 10% of highest-paid strategists earned $85,000 or higher.

What steps might I need to follow to become a social media specialist in 2022?

Learning how to become a social media specialist is the first step you need to take before landing a job as a strategist. Before you can develop strategies on your own, you need to get your hands dirty. You’ll need hands-on experience with data, content and different social platforms.

Once you’ve obtained sufficient education, the next step is to secure an entry-level position. Your next natural career progression would be to learn how to become a social media manager. Once you’ve worked hands-on with different companies and industries, you’ll feel more confident about tackling social media strategies to help build a brand’s online presence.

To stay competitive in the field, you’ll want to also consider enrolling in an online digital marketing course that will further your professional development.

Take your digital marketing knowledge to the next level

Learning how to develop social media strategies takes time. Growing into a social media strategist is about having the experience, making connections and knowing how to build a social media strategy a business will benefit from. It’s about keeping an open mind and learning about the latest social media developments and changes.

If you’re ready to start your career in social media, you’ll want to build your skillset and portfolio with a Digital Marketing Bootcamp. At WorkForce Institute, our team can provide the skills and the education you’ll need to accelerate your social media education and land the best social media marketing careers.

Request more information today to see if our Digital Marketing Bootcamp is a good fit for you and your career progression.

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