Marketing: Social Media Specialist


marketing is one of the fastest growing job paths

Marketing is everywhere around you. It’s written on the billboards you see on your commute, through ads on Facebook and Instagram and in the emails you receive. We are surrounded by marketing messages all day long from consumer companies like Apple and Nike and enterprise companies like Microsoft and Oracle. This is exactly why Marketing is a great job path. Every company, big and small, selling any type of product or service, relies on marketing to attract buyers and convert them into long term customers.

Over the years, the role of marketing has expanded from mostly advertising, as we see portrayed in Mad Men, to many different areas including data analytics and reporting, pricing and sales, social media marketing, market research, communications, merchandising, partnerships, community building and the list goes on and on. This is another reason marketing is a great job path. In marketing, there are lots of types of jobs that run the gamut from analytical jobs to operations to creative jobs and everything in between.

One of the best jobs to get started in marketing is in social media. In this post, we’ll walk through what we like about it and how you can acquire the skills to get started in this job. We’ll review a real job description and outline what a typical day in the life might look like in this job.

getting started in marketing as a social media specialist

Social media marketing is one of the best jobs to get started in marketing because you probably already have skills using social media from your personal life and it’s easy to transfer those skills to business. For companies, social media marketing generally involves creating and maintaining a brand presence on the largest social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It also involves creating great social media posts or stories through writing, photography and video. If you enjoy creating great stories for your own pages on social media, this could be a great way for you to get started in Marketing.

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Here are a few parts of a job description for a Social Media Specialist at Qualtrics. This is an entry level job in Social Media. Qualtrics helps businesses, small and large, create online and mobile surveys for customer feedback.

Qualtrics does a really nice job describing their company and what a day in the life of a Social Media Specialist might look like:

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From reading the responsibilities and daily life description from Qualtrics, we’re able to summarize what this job entails and which skills you would be using regularly.

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The job description asks that candidates have 1+ years of experience managing social media for a brand and using creative tools like Adobe Creative Suite. What do you do if you don’t have this exact experience? We’re going to share a few ideas you can use to start to build this experience and the skill sets that social media job descriptions ask for.

how to acquire skills for a job in social media

To get started on the path to becoming a Social Media Specialist, there are a few things you can do to build up your experience.

  1. Start to actively manage your own accounts on social media. To do this, make a list of a few things you want to be known for. These could be hobbies you already have, or topics you are passionate about. As long as they are appropriate for a wide audience and therefore would be appropriate in a job interview in the future, most hobbies and topics are suitable. A few examples could be cooking, a healthy lifestyle, fashion, photography, cool sneakers or a specific music genre. Pick about three of those things and post regularly on those topics, in addition to your own personal posts. The most important platforms for your job will likely be Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you already have skills in producing videos, YouTube could also be a good channel. Pick at least one and focus on growing your followers and engagement by regularly liking, following and commenting on posts by influencers in each of those topics. Here’s a great guide to get started building your personal social media brand.
  2. Offer to manage social media accounts for a friend or small business. Do you have any friends that are trying to grow their personal brand? You could offer to do it for them. Do you have friends or family that run a small business, association or group? Examples could be a local restaurant, hair salon or an association or group from a local school, band or church. Maybe a dance school or martial arts center. Ask around and see if anyone you know needs help building their social media pages. Any work you do for another company or group can be related experience you include in a future resume or job application.
  3. Play with content creation tools. Every social media marketing job requires that you are comfortable using photo and video creation tools. Get started by using free tools to create awesome photo and video posts for your pages. One free video tool you can use that we really like is and here is a great list of the top 85 apps & tools you can use to create content for Instagram, including photo, video and hashtag tools. Plus, they have a great blog you can review to find other helpful ideas. The job description we reviewed in this blog post asks for familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite, which is a popular suite of photo and video software. If you are a student, you can take advantage of their student pricing. If you aren’t a student and Adobe Creative Suite is too expensive, that’s ok too. You can master free tools and list your experience with the free tools on your resume. You can also play with Adobe Creative Suite using the free trials. Finally, if you do help a small business or community group with their social pages, ask them if they will help you by paying for a subscription to the Adobe products. Know of other free photo and video creation tools to recommend to the Ox community? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

the best jobs to get started in marketing

Social media marketing is just one of the best jobs to get started in marketing. It’s a good one because it’s very likely that you already have experience managing your own social media accounts and you can translate your personal experience into work experience. Also, so many small businesses and groups have social media pages that you can help manage. By asking a few people if you can help them manage their pages, you can build up actual work experience very quickly.

Other jobs that are great to get started in marketing include event planning, content marketing and digital marketing. For an overview of marketing, the skills that are the most in demand, and a few jobs that are great first steps in marketing, read our Job Hunter’s Field Guide to Marketing post. If you are interested in learning more about entry level marketing jobs, please join us for this live video session on June 12th.

Ox guides help you get started in marketing

If you’d like some help getting started on a marketing job path, an Ox Guide can help. Schedule a personal video chat session with an Ox Guide to help you identify the skills you have that can help you get there. Ox Guides are helpful people with years of experience in marketing to help you navigate. Join the community to meet your guide.