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How to Become a Social Media Marketer: Education, Experience, Certifications, and More

Business resource Oberlo notes that in 2022, social media use will top 3.96 billion users. By 2025, the number is expected to be 4.41 billion. Working as a social media marketer is certainly a great career choice and one that should be relevant for a long time to come. How do you get started?

Here’s how to kickstart your career and become a social media marketer:

  • Enroll in a credible social media marketing program to gain the right skills
  • Earn digital marketing and social media certifications
  • Pick up some relevant experience
  • Apply for jobs
  • Start your exciting new career

This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of becoming a social media marketer. We’ll discuss whether you need a social media marketing degree, what you’ll learn as part of your education, and which certifications to focus on.

How Do You Become a Social Media Marketer? The Steps to Follow

Enroll in a Credible Social Media Marketing Program

Do you need a social media marketing degree to work as a digital marketer? No, technically, you don’t; however, earning an accredited credential can give you the skills employers needs while building your resume.

Ideally, you’ll want to enroll in an accredited college or university to obtain your social media marketing education and select a program that provides the skills that are aligned with your future career goals.

Can you learn social media marketing online? You most certainly can!

Some online schools such as Bryan University have an accelerated program where you spend less time in the digital classroom and you complete your education from the comfort of home. You’ll still learn all the requisite skills of a social media marketer, but at a faster pace than other programs.

What do you do in a social media marketing class online?

Good question! While this varies by school, at online colleges such as Bryan University, your time in the program will focus on building social media marketing mastery.

Your education will focus on topics and concepts directly applicable to your intended career field such as social media management, search engine marketing, and social media platforms.

Further, you can take courses that will make you a better digital marketer overall. You’ll pick up important skills such as communications, applied digital marketing, management, leadership, and critical thinking.

A social media marketer must also concern themselves with areas such as ethics and compliance, so your marketing campaigns and social media posts are authentic and comply with laws such as Truth in Advertising.

Besides online classroom learning, you'll also learn some of the common social media marketing platforms such as Facebook and Hootsuite.

Because marketing campaigns are data-driven and most use advanced technology like machine learning, you'll also want to sharpen your data analysis skills using tools like Microsoft Excel.

Schools such as Bryan University also provide faculty mentoring, live online classes, and career services to ensure you're ready to apply for a job once you graduate.

Earn Social Media Marketing Certifications

If you simply graduate with a digital marketing degree, you’d be in good shape to work in such roles as a social media coordinator or a digital marketing specialist.

Why not strive to make yourself the most appealing job candidate you can be? After all, this is one popular industry.

The field of digital marketing is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2020 to 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS.

You’ll have some stiff competition for job openings, so whatever advantage you have is one you should use.

Rather than take the time to earn digital marketing certifications after you graduate, an online university might allow you to obtain your certification concurrently with your degree.

Part of your social media marketing education would prepare you to pass the exam that’s required for you to earn a certification.

For example, for social media marketers especially, the Hootsuite Social Media Marketing certification is a bonus, as is the Facebook Blueprint certification.

The Hootsuite Social Marketing certification is a 60-question exam. You’re timed as you answer the questions. Once you earn that certification, it’s yours for life.

You also might be interested in the Microsoft Excel Associate to provide your data analysis skills, or the Google Ads certification to evidence your competency in search engine marketing.

An online university such as Bryan University includes the cost to take two of these exams with the price of your tuition in the Associate Degree in Digital Marketing.

A marketing certification exam can cost several hundred dollars to test a single time, so that’s a significant sum you could shave off.

Acquire Social Media Marketing Experience

You’ve just obtained your associate degree in digital marketing after taking social media marketing courses online. Congratulations are certainly in order!

Perhaps you have a certification or two as well, which warrants more congratulations.

If you had the chance to participate in any internships or gain related experience during your time in academia, that will help bulk up your resume so you look more impressive to hiring managers.

You can always look into a post-grad internship as well. Many colleges and universities such as Bryan University provide you with dedicated Career Services professionals who can assist you with finding job opportunities while sharpening your resume and interviewing skills.

Apply for Digital Marketing Jobs

Now comes the moment that you’ve been waiting for. It’s finally time to update your resume, write a cover letter or two, and begin sending your application to companies that are looking for a social media manager just like you.

What kind of companies hire digital marketers and social media professionals? Just about every industry needs marketing services, so don’t feel like you can only apply to marketing firms or advertising agencies in your area.

Some other leads you can investigate include business consulting groups, insurance firms or finance firms, small to large businesses, service industries, government agencies (on a local, state, or federal level), manufacturing and production facilities, nonprofits, and retailers.

You can even work in a self-employed capacity providing social media marketing services out of your own home office!

Start with your personal social networks as well as the academic social networks you forged while taking social media marketing courses. You never know if someone you know happens to know someone else who can point you in the direction of a potential job lead.

Attend networking events in your area as well and be ready to hand out lots of business cards!

As mentioned above most online colleges such as Bryan University have a helpful career services team that you might take advantage of. You can connect with a career services advisor to help you navigate updating your resume, networking, and interviewing. They'll also help connect you to potential employers.

After using career services, you’ll feel readier to put yourself out there and begin chasing after your dream social media marketing job.

Once you finally land that job, you’ll find yourself regularly using the skills and technologies that you learned from your digital marketing and social media marketing courses online.

Looking for the Best Social Media Marketing Program Online?

Bryan University’s Associate Degree in Digital Marketing program could be the stepping stone you need to get you to your dream career of social media manager or social media marketer.

Our program is accelerated so you can get on the road to an exciting career in social media marketing that much faster. Using learning technology, you’ll improve your rate of learning and knowledge retention.

The faculty at Bryan U support a learning environment that encourages mastery of topics and concepts. If you don’t quite get an assignment right the first time, you can work closely with your instructor and then retake the assignment.

Anytime you need help or a chance to connect, you can use the video software Zoom to link up with student support groups, peers, and faculty. Log in from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

If you need extra help, you can access helpful tutors, success coaches, and peer mentors. Plus, upon graduation, you can take advantage of career services to make you a stellar job candidate.

The best part of your social media marketing education is that you can do it from the comfort and convenience of your home. You won’t have to worry about a commute or residency costs.

Plus, with the price of digital marketing and social media marketing certification exams included with your tuition as well as electronic coursework and book costs, obtaining your associate’s degree in digital marketing at Bryan University is a cost-effective decision!

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