How many hours do you waste at work messing around on social media? It’s probably a lot more than you would like to admit, right? Little did you know, most big companies now have positions that will pay you to manage their social media campaigns. The effectiveness of social media is invaluable to businesses to help them to grow their reach. And out of that, there is a need for tech-savvy employees to post and manage content on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because these positions are so important, the field has become highly competitive with enticing salaries to match. The wild popularity of social media has transitioned what were once fun platforms created to build connections into what is essentially the lifeblood of online marketing for most businesses. It’s hard to believe, but each tweet that a large company makes is labored over and revised over and over again by a team of specialists in order to make every post as effective as possible.
According to a poll conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, the median wage of 218,910 public relations jobs in social media was over $56k per year. So now instead of simply playing around with these formats out of fun, many of the top schools in the country are preparing their students with social media based curriculums to help them land these high paying and in-demand positions. One of these schools is Quinnipiac University who is now offering an online masters program centering around social media management through their School of Communications Graduate program. “Social media has become ubiquitous in our society,” says the program’s director Phillip Simon, “if you have a phone, if you have a computer and you interact with the world you will be doing it through some sort of social media channel or platform.”
With classes that cover both the basics of social media and more complex topics and techniques such as SEO and social media analytics, Simon believes that learning the tricks of the trade should be taken seriously by both businesses and the students in his program. “Anyone who wants to reach people in society now has to think about how they’re going to use social media to do it and that gets complicated on the professional side,” he says, adding “it's not like you throw up a facebook page and hope people come … you really have to think about what you write, when to write it, what’s your schedule what kind of keywords you use.”
Posting the right content can make or break a company based on how it’s received online and managing that output can be an involved process for most companies. “There are whole strategies and campaigns that organizations set up just to manage one channel let alone if you have twitter, facebook and so forth,” says Simon, “it gets very involved and complex.”
But as important as these skills are, Simon feels the need to warn his students before considering posting for a living. “There have been some high profile situations where people have said things they wished they could have pulled back and not said on the internet,” he explains, adding “we tell our students to be very careful but also understand that it is an incredible professional tool so you have to weigh and balance the virtue of it versus being careful.”