You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t on social media these days. From Facebook to TikTok, it seems that there’s something online for every age group and cohort. Businesses have taken notice as well.
More than ever, positions are available on social media for those with the appropriate skillset. While a large percentage of these “jobs” pay less than a living wage, there are jobs on social media that offer the chance to make a decent living.
Do Social Media Jobs Pay Next to Nothing?
Ignorance might be bliss, but knowledge gets you paid. If you’re not finding the right social media jobs, there are two simple reasons why that might be the case.
Reason 1: You Don’t Have What It Takes
Working on social media might sound like heaven, but let’s not forget that we are still talking about work. Like any other job, you will need experience with certain skills to be successful.
Back to School, Social Media Style
It might be stating the obvious, but working in social media means familiarity with using social media platforms. Businesses want to hire someone who is familiar with the most popular platforms. “Familiarity” means knowing how to navigate the system smoothly and execute actions as requested, not simply having the ability to send a tweet or record a video on Snapchat.
Understanding how to automate posting on multiple platforms or how to write up a post to make sure that hyperlinks are published properly are technical skills that you’ll be expected to know about for some positions.
Make it Pretty, Or At Least Make Sure It Works
Companies are looking for people who are able to add value to their social media accounts. This could be someone who is a great photographer with a thing for all the right angles or an artist who’s able to put together a visual post in Adobe Photoshop on the fly.
Being visually appealing is a key aspect of social media, so not having at least basic proficiency in image or video editing is not going to work in your favor. Another area you might be asked to contribute to is the backend of things, as someone who can program. As social media platforms get increasingly complex, the ability to understand and creatively implement code is something else that might be holding you back from successfully landing that dream gig.
Reason 2: You’re Looking in the Wrong Place
A job being offered by Facebook might not be advertised on the same platform, although that might seem like the obvious place to look. While you might find the occasional job post this way, you’re probably not finding a really good job because that’s not where they’re usually listed.
Link Up with LinkedIn
When we hear the phrase “social media,” who thinks of LinkedIn? With more CEOs than A-listers, the business platform gets overlooked because its content might be considered less interesting, but this is exactly where you should be looking.
The social connection aspect of LinkedIn means that it’s not only a job application website but an opportunity to connect with businesses that you are interested in working for, places that might not be advertising openly for someone to work on social media but might be interested in hiring people able with those skills.
How to Locate the Jobs
When you’ve got the skills and are ready to work, these are the keywords to the jobs you really want, aka the ones that bring in the money. The job title might vary between “social media consultant” or “social media manager” or, most frequently, “social media analyst,” but the job description is almost always the same.
The role of an analyst boils down to someone familiar with social media who can optimize online content, read analytics, and knows how to tweak material to maximize traffic and user interaction.
Organizations with a social media presence like local government or restaurants will look to hire someone for this position. These positions might not be publicly listed under “social media” but on the organization’s website or government job site looking for an “Internet-savvy analyst.”
1. Social Media Influencers
For better or worse, we’ve all been exposed to the world of influencers. Some use their powers for good, exposing the evil of the world and promoting good (as well as the latest make-up tips), while others make the evening news for their antics.
Companies want exposure, and influencers do exactly that – for a price. One way to get paid on social media is to build up your social media with content that promotes what you’re passionate about. Companies will pay for you to sponsor their products and promote their services. If you feel that you don’t have the time or energy to be an influencer and maintain that level of a social media following, search for jobs related to “marketing” or “advertiser.”
The job description will likely look for someone who is creative, able to stay on the pulse of the market, and knows how to make content that is eye-catching and appealing to the target audience.
2. Public Relations
The online world is as susceptible as the real world to public relations disasters. It might be an intern who posts a story before it’s supposed to break or a photo posted to a private online account that incites the wrong sort of reaction.
PR is a position of great responsibility, and it’d require someone with equal experience in social media and how to handle public relations.
Someone with the ability to write professional statements that are appropriate to the digital and online format and who has experience with troubleshooting or resolving conflict would be a good candidate for this sort of position.
The company might also opt to give the responsibility of handling social media PR to its public relations department, meaning you would be applying for the position of “public relations manager.”
3. SEO Editor
Ever wonder why it seems like it’s always the same websites that come up when you search for a keyword online? SEO likely has something to do with that. SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process of editing online text or website content to cater to search engine algorithms.
An SEO editor would ensure that the company’s website appears as high up as possible by creating or editing content that makes the company page visible to searches for relevant key terms.
If this all sounds foreign, there’s nothing to worry about: SEO is not something that’s impossible to master, but it does take practice and understanding to know what you’re looking for. Online training platforms like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning have SEO courses, so that would be a great place to begin. Aside from that, this position would require someone with a proficient level of language usage, someone able to think up appropriate alternatives to words and phrases and be able to use them effectively online.
Having a rudimentary understanding of programming, which would allow you to work in web design as well, couldn’t hurt either.
4. Content Creation
The term might not be “writer,” but you might see positions advertising for a “content manager” or “content creator.” If you’ve got a website, you will need someone to fill it with something meaningful; if it’s a social media page, that becomes an ongoing task that someone has to do.
Enter the content manager!
The ideal candidate would be able to write engaging text on the fly, plus be able to handle basic tasks on design software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
On platforms that have different components – think Instagram’s story and post features – the content manager would likely be responsible for keeping up with more frequent, time-sensitive updates and also plan for more substantial data-driven posts on a scheduled basis.
5. Community Manager
User engagement on social media, which is the ability to have visitors active and responsive on your social media page, is invaluable to a company’s ability to maintain online visibility.
Engagement, while usually positive, can descend into mayhem if not kept in check, but it is great for someone who likes the idea of policing the wild west of social media pages. The term that’s likely to come up is “community manager” or “moderator.” It requires someone with a calm head on their shoulders, a knack for keeping the peace, and also decision-making ability.
Companies with online social media pages that encourage user interaction – media outlets that allow comments on published articles, for instance – will be searching for individuals to be their eyes and ears online.
So it’s possible to get paid quite a fair bit while on social media for the right person in the right position. Look for these postings by doing a proper job search through the company’s website or a job search website like LinkedIn, and you might end up getting paid to be on Facebook all day.
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