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9 Steps to Become SMM Specialist

Date published: April 17, 2018
Last updated: April 17, 2018

Every career journey starts with education. You do not necessarily have to study related subjects to become a member of some profession. Even though the top-preferred degrees in the field of social media marketing (SMM) are business administration, marketing, psychology, communication, journalism, and information technologies, even a person who holds a degree in some scientific field can change the qualification. Extra skills like writing and computer knowledge may stand you good stead if you plan to switch to SMM eventually.

In general, this field stands for the procedure of obtaining traffic and brand awareness for a product or service via the social media networks. According to The Data & Marketing Association, 45% of marketers expect to increase brand awareness with the help of social media. If you belong to one of them, you should consider several nuances, including education.


Those are popular today:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Disqus
  • Ubermedia
  • MySpace (a bit less used nowadays)

Thousands of social media websites are available today. While some of them are just for fun, others can help you or business organization to achieve professional goals. Facebook shows up to be the leader of the race: famous HuffingtonPost announced that more than a million websites have integrated with this social media website by 2012. It makes sense that the figures are even larger today.

3 Most Popular Positions in the Field of Social Media

The area entails numerous social interactions. As for the education related to SMM, the main purpose is to educate young professionals how to apply different marketing concepts to the social media activities. The majority of related courses teach the ways to develop and implement social media ideas to come up with the effective campaigns across numerous platforms.

The complexity is every separate social media platform requires a different approach even though the principles are the same everywhere.

Look at the table below to have an overall idea of some of the basic careers in the field of SMM. Then, decide on which direction in education to take.

Profession SM Strategist SM Manager SM Sales Rep
Educational background BA in communications, marketing/international marketing, or journalism BA in communications, journalism, or marketing/international marketing BA in communications, journalism, or marketing/international marketing
More requirements Writing and IT skills Writing and IT skills Writing and computer skills
Potential increase in demand 9% (advertising and marketing professionals) 6% (PR experts) -3% (ad sales agents)
Average salary $124,850 $56,770 $48,490

Therefore, perhaps, you should not care only about the social media sales representative if you are still a student or a person already involved in this field. Juniors should think about some other options.

Weigh all pros and cons of becoming SMM specialist. It is possible to find plenty of reliable websites that run global surveys to detect the most perspective and fast-growing careers. Manta team is one of such websites. Its statistics tell that 42% of small-business owners got ¼ of their clients via social media websites we mentioned above. Another important fact is that 38% of small and middle-sized companies invest ¼ of their business networking time into digital channels.

Steps on the way to Cool Social Media Expert: Education

Stage 1: Earn a high school/college degree or bachelor in the fields specified in the table.

Stage 2: A corresponding internship or volunteering activities would be a plus.

Stage 3: Pass additional courses in one of the areas or several fields you do not study in-depth:

  • Public relations (PR)
  • Marketing & International marketing
  • Communication
  • English Composition
  • Journalism
  • Psychology
  • Social sciences
  • Business administration
  • Advertising
  • Management
  • Creative/technical writing
  • Blog posting
  • Link building
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Public affairs
  • Math & Statistics

In other words, the candidate who holds BBA or MBA possess all the necessary skills. They just lack experience at the initial stages, but that is not a huge deal.

Stage 4: Relevant work history in the associated field for at least 2 years. Of course, a student may count on the junior position if he or she can boast excellent skills and knowledge after the graduation. You should still taste both new and “traditional” media.” It does not make any wonder that most of the people today switch from the traditional approaches like outdoor advertising and TV commercials to the digital world ads. Anyway, experience in marketing and PR is always a clue.

Stage 5: Do not stop training! Enter several other courses in, for example, writing and psychology to understand the ways of manipulating masses. Attend the conferences related to your field (or associated areas like search engine optimization or copywriting). Usually, these three fields go hand in hand.

Stage 6: Hire professionals from the target field. Those could be social marketing managers, SEO specialists, content writers, etc. Let them share their experience with you and provide help with the things you do not get. Every successful employee should have a personal guru to inspire and motivate him/her. You may look at the way services that produce essay papers, blog posts, and other types of content function. By cooperating with writing companies, it is possible to grab unique ideas for your career development.

Stage 7: Go on taking notes all the time. No matter whether you attend an important university lecture or a boring conference, you should have a laptop or notebook to take notes of the most important concepts. Even if you do not understand them currently, analyze and explore them at home.

Stage 8: Invest some money into the MBA program. When it comes to SMM, the most recommended MBA programs are:

  • MBA in digital and social media offered by the New England College
  • Virtual mini-MBA in social media marketing from the Rutgers Business School
  • MBA in social media management proposed by the Excelsior College

Stage 9: Move away from being a Creative Ninja Geek! If you are a tech spec who knows everything about the computer science but has no idea when it comes to humanities and social sciences, you should pass a thorny way to the SMM position of your dream. Perhaps, you will need to gain a secondary education or start it all over. Well, if you have cloaked your nerdiness with a creative streak and a huge dash of humanity, you may be the one. Forget about the software and technologies conferences this time – try to become more creative in all aspects of life.

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