Social Media Jobs: 6 Roles to Explore

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Social media marketing is a critical part of any organisation’s business strategy as it’s often the front line for communicating directly with new and potential consumers.

[Featured image] A woman working as a social media manager stands by a window with her tablet.

Working in social media typically requires a combination of creativity, communication, strategy, and analysis. Thanks to online activity, social media is an area of marketing that continues to grow. In the UK, 62 million people are active on social media [1], while globally, 5.17 billion people use social media [2].  

Whether you’re interested in finding an entry-level social media job or advancing your social media career, there are several roles you can explore. Social media can also help you develop versatile skills that you can apply to other aspects of marketing, such as digital marketing, as well as related careers in communications and public relations.   

3 entry-level social media jobs

Beginning a career in social media often means creating content and contributing to campaigns that will help a company stand out on various platforms. It also requires knowledge of the major social media platforms (and familiarity with emerging platforms) and their users, as well as what type of content works best for each. 

1. Social media specialist 

Sometimes called a social media marketing assistant or coordinator, a social media specialist typically helps a social media team create, schedule, and post content (written posts, images, graphics, and video), analyse posts for effectiveness and engagement, and monitor channels.  

  • Average annual base salary: £27,927 [3]

  • Required skills may include: Copywriting, graphic design, video production, knowledge of social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and social media scheduling and monitoring tools (Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Talkwalker, Mention, Tweetdeck)  

2. Social media analyst

Marketers rely on research to help them determine what customers want, need, and think—and social media delivers that data in droves. Social media analysts pore over an organisation’s social media posts and metrics, gathering information about likes, shares, and click-through rates (CTR). They develop recommendations to help improve a company’s marketing and business strategies on social media. 

  • Average annual base salary: £28,860 [4

  • Skills: Knowledge of trends, audiences, engagement tactics, and SEO; proficiency in media monitoring tools (Sprinklr, Khoros, Meltwater) 

3. Marketing communications associate  

Sometimes called a “marketing communications specialist,” a marketing communications associate typically supports a marketing team’s communication and content efforts across several channels. Their work tends to involve a lot of writing, which may be applied to social media, emails, websites, or blogs. They may also assist more senior team members. 

  • Average annual base salary: £35,367 [5]

  • Skills: Writing and editing; generating ideas and content; knowledge of content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), and SEO; understanding of social media monitoring and listening tools   

3 advanced social media jobs

Advancing in your social media career means taking on more managerial-level roles. In these cases, you’ll likely be doing less content creation and more content oversight, managing junior social media marketing team members, approving their posts, developing campaign strategies, and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

1. Social media manager

Social media managers are primarily responsible for executing their team's social strategy and managing all channels. They may also contribute research to campaign development, make sure all content aligns with a company’s brand identity, identify ways to increase engagement and drive traffic, and monitor channels for important developments.  

  • Experience: 3–5 years

  • Average annual base salary: £34,971 [6]

  • Skills: Advanced knowledge of all social media platforms and major listening tools, writing and editing, content strategy, attention to detail, management, and analytics reporting 

Paid social media is a growing area focusing on developing specific advertising campaigns or sponsored messaging for social platforms. Salaries for paid social media managers tend to be higher. According to Glassdoor, the average UK base salary for a paid social media manager is £40,713 [7].


2. Community manager 

Developing engaged and respectful communities is a key part of social media marketing, and it requires a savvy community manager who can ensure that followers feel connected to a company and vice versa. Community managers spend their time on a company’s channels, listening to what’s being said, responding directly when necessary, and fostering customer relationships where possible. 

  • Experience: 3–7 years 

  • Average annual base salary: £36,239 [8

  • Skills: Customer relationship management (CRM), active listening and empathy, content development, writing and editing, proficiency in all social media platforms, and knowledge of social media listening tools  

3. Social media consultant

A social media consultant tends to be a freelance or contractual role that handles many of the same responsibilities as a social media analyst or social media strategist. They tend to be savvy social media marketers who can jump in and help companies improve their social presence through various strategic recommendations.  

  • Experience: 4–7 years 

  • Average annual base salary: £40,033 [9]  

  • Skills: Social and audience strategy, proficiency in all social media platforms, and in-depth knowledge of social media listening tools 

As you grow, you can also look for roles like brand manager, digital content manager, and audience engagement manager. The skills you’ve developed while working directly in social media should prepare you to take on the responsibilities of other marketing jobs. 


Social media jobs outlook

In 2023, more than 4.29 billion people were using social media worldwide, projected to increase to almost 6 billion in 2028 [2]. The demand for social media skills has only increased in recent years. In a 2020 analysis of content marketing-related jobs in the UK, social media skills were ranked most in demand [10].

Nearly all companies, organisations, and entities have a social media presence to communicate directly with consumers. This makes working in social media a versatile career choice. You can find opportunities at agencies where you’re responsible for handling multiple brands, going ‘brand-side’ and working in-house for a specific company, or working as a consultant for an organisation that most interests you. 

Get started in social media. 

If you’re interested in beginning or pivoting to a career in social media, learn about industry-specific practices. Consider Meta's Professional Certificates in social media marketing and social media management. You’ll learn how to establish an online presence and manage social accounts, among other skills.

Article sources

1. Statista. "Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts," Accessed May 20, 2024.

2. Statista. "Number of social media users worldwide from 2017 to 2027," Accessed May 20, 2024.

3. Glassdoor. "Social Media Specialist Salaries in United Kingdom,,23.htm." Accessed May 20, 2024.

4. Glassdoor. "Social Media Analyst Salaries in United Kingdom,,20.htm?clickSource=searchBtn." Accessed May 20, 2024.

5. Glassdoor, "Marketing Communications Associate Salaries in United Kingdom,,2_IN2_KO3,37.htm?clickSource=searchBtn." Accessed May 20, 2024.

6. Glassdoor. "Social Media Managers Salaries in United Kingdom,,2_IN2_KO3,23.htm?clickSource=searchBtn." Accessed May 20, 2024.

7. Glassdoor. "Paid Social Manager Salaries in United Kingdom,,2_IN2_KO3,28.htm?clickSource=searchBtn." Accessed May 20, 2024.

8. Glassdoor. "Social Media Community Manager Salaries in United Kingdom,,30.htm." Accessed May 20, 2024. 

9. Glassdoor. "Social Media Consultant Salaries in United Kingdom.,23.htm." Accessed May 20, 2024.

10. Statista. "Most in-demand Skills Related to Content Marketing in the United Kingdom (UK) as of September 2020, Based on Job Ads," Accessed May 20, 2024.

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