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

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Social media marketers use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote a company and its products.

[Featured image] Man at computer working on marketing plan

Social media marketers are 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.

The role affords much in the way of flexibility. Social media marketers can work in-house in a dedicated role within a company or work as freelancers hired to work for an hourly rate.

Social media manager vs. social media marketer: What's the difference?

Social media managers and marketers have very similar roles, and the two titles are often used interchangeably. However, the term marketer is more commonly used for freelance specialists.


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 practices

  • 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

Do social media marketers put out paid ads for companies?

Generally, social media marketers don’t orchestrate the paid ads you might see on Facebook or Twitter. Other marketing roles like advertising specialists, paid media specialists, and marketing coordinators typically oversee paid ad efforts. However, you may see smaller companies blend the usually distinct roles.


How much do social media marketers make?

Jobs in social media are projected to grow as social media usage for individuals and businesses continues to increase. In 2023, there is an estimated 4.83 billion social media users worldwide [1].

According to Payscale, social media marketers in India make an average salary of ₹4,15,000 [2].

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. Facebook is the most popular platform in India, with more than 50 per cent of traffic in the country. Instagram has just over 5 per cent of the traffic [3]. However, companies may also use Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Tiktok, LinkedIn, and others depending on their audience. You’ll want to know what kinds of posts do well on each platform, the audiences' differences, 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 allow you 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 associate

  • Social media analyst

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

Volunteer: Volunteer opportunities may have less stringent requirements. Look for local or remote opportunities through volunteer search sites like VolunteerMatch.

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 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 an excellent way to learn more about job opportunities, get job-search advice, and gain knowledge about the field. Your network might include friends, family, alums 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 job postings, familiarize you with the job landscape, and help you research how people landed the jobs they have. 

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 or the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate. You’ll learn how to create posts, manage accounts, develop advertising campaigns, and assess results.

Article sources


Sprout Social. "41 of the most important social media marketing statistics for 2022, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/." Accessed August 2, 2023.

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