Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How to hire a social media specialist

A look at the social media specialist role and what you should expect regarding skills, experience, responsibilities and salary

Article comments

As more businesses continue to increase their presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks, social media jobs, too, are predicted to rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social media jobs will jump by 21% in 2013. That's a lot of hiring.

Social media specialists - sometimes referred to as social media managers or social media marketers - bring a bevy skills to businesses looking to beef up their presence and results on social networks.

"Anyone can build a Facebook page, but it doesn't mean it's successful. These people go deeper and rely on analytics to run good campaigns, tying it all back to ROI," says Gina Oliveri, senior consultant with executive staffing firm Bowdoin Group.

Here's a look at what social media specialists do, including the skills they bring to the table, their responsibilities, typical salaries and more.


Social media specialists are responsible for generating and maintaining a presence on social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, as well building an audience through campaigns, ads and updates, Oliveri says.

Just as important as the campaigns they run are the data points they derive. Social media specialists are often tasked with making the connection between statistics and how they translate to a campaign's success, branding and, of course, money.

Social media specialists likely reside within the marketing department, but usually work with a number of the business units. Job candidates often come from a junior or entry-level marketing or advertising position.


Social media specialists should have a deep and personal familiarity with the two big social networks: Facebook and Twitter. But beyond that, they should have knowledge of other social networking platforms, such as Foursquare, Digg and Stumbleupon, Oliveri says.

It's also important that candidates understand the business's audience - such as its demographics and interests, in order to target posts appropriately. Strong writing and presentation skills are also key as social media communications are customer-facing whether the specialist manages external or internal networks.

Lastly, data analytics skills are becoming more necessary. "Social media specialists need to know not only how to run campaigns and ads, they need to know how it all ties back to ROI and how the business can generate revenue from it," Oliveri says. "You need to be a number-cruncher at some level - put on headphones and look at the data, then come back with intelligent insight so the business knows what to do next."


Like most careers, salaries for social media professionals will range widely based on a number of factors, including the size of the company, location, experience level required and more. Generally, Oliveri says, social media specialists should expect to be paid around £30,000 for an entry-level position all the way up to low six-figures for a more experienced managerial position at a large company.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *