What Is a Social Media Marketer? And How to Become One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

The role of social media marketer is to drive engagement with the brand, increase awareness and educate consumers about the brand's value. Learn more with this guide from Coursera, including how to become a social media marketer.

[Featured Image]: Social Media Marketer using social media platforms to promote the company's products.

A social media marketer uses social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote a company and its products.

What is a social media marketer?

Social media marketers are marketing specialists who use social media platforms to promote a company’s offerings. They often use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to reach new customers, engage with current ones, and announce new products or services.

Social media marketers can work in-house in a dedicated role within a company, but many work as freelancers and are hired to work for an hourly rate. Onrek found that almost half of companies in the UK outsourced at least a portion of social media marketing efforts in 2019.

What do social media marketers do?

A social media marketer uses social media to promote a company’s product offerings. Here are some tasks you might do as a social media marketer:


  • Oversee an organisation’s overall social media strategy

  • Work with copywriters and designers to create and publish social media posts

  • Monitor social media metrics to optimise future performance

  • Stay up-to-date with social media trends, technologies, laws, and best practises

  • Respond to and engage with user comments and messages

  • Use social listening tools to understand what people are saying on social media about a company

How much do social media marketers make?

Social media marketers make an average base salary of £25,000 in the UK, according to July 2022 data from Payscale. 

Jobs in social media are projected to grow as social media usage for individuals and businesses continues to increase. Social media users are expected to rise to 4.4 billion globally in 2025, up from 3.6 billion in 2020. Across the job market in the UK, 29% of businesses expect to increase recruitment activity with media, marketing, advertising, and sales leading the way.

How to become a social media marketer

1. Learn social media marketing skills

You’ll want to polish certain skills as you begin your job search. These include:


  • Social media: It’ll be crucial to know a variety of social media platforms well. The most commonly used platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but companies may also WhatsApp, Pinterest, Tiktok, LinkedIn, and others, depending on their audience. You’ll want to know what kinds of posts do well on each platform, as well as the differences in audiences for each and how to capitalise on trends.

  • Analytical tools: Social media marketing analysis tools are used to track performance, analyse trends, and mitigate digital risk. Commonly used tools include Hootsuite, SproutSocial, and HubSpot.

  • Content creation: Creating content for social media can look different depending on the platform, but you’ll generally need some design sensibility and a good grasp of writing skills. 

2. Look for entry-level opportunities

Entry-level opportunities can include jobs, freelancing, or volunteering. Explore different options to see what fits your needs.

Entry-level jobs: An entry-level position generally requires less relevant experience and can provide you with the opportunity to learn about social media marketing on the job. In your job search, keep an eye out for entry-level titles such as:


  • Marketing intern or social media intern

  • Social media coordinator

  • Social media specialist

  • Social media junior

  • Social media analyst

Freelance: Consider freelancing to build up your experience. You can build a portfolio on a freelance website, such as Fiverr or Upwork.

Volunteer: Volunteer opportunities may have less stringent requirements. Look for local or remote opportunities by contacting companies and offering your services. LinkedIn is a great place to approach companies. You can also offer your services at a low rate on freelancer platforms to get some gigs to build your experience.

Build your own social media pages: Sometimes jumping in and doing it yourself is the best way to learn. Create your own Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook business page to learn the ropes of how each works and best practices in content creation. You can also point to these accounts in job applications as well.

3. Expand your professional network

Networking might be intimidating—but it can be a good way to learn more about job opportunities, get job-search advice, and gain knowledge about the field. Your network might include friends, family, alumni of your alma mater, or old coworkers.

If you don’t know where to start, join groups for social media professionals on LinkedIn or Facebook. This can expose you to different job postings, make you more familiar with the job landscape, and help you research how people landed the jobs they have. 

For more advice on networking, check out Coursera’s guide on networking.

Get started in social media marketing

Learning the dynamics of social media is the first step in becoming a social media professional. If you’re looking for a place to start, consider the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate. You’ll learn more about digital marketing strategy. Plus you’ll get a professional credential to add to your CV—and the first week is free.

Article sources

  1. Sprout Social. "36 Essential social media marketing statistics to know for 2021, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/." Accessed October 18, 2021.

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