In a world dominated by social media these days, a dream scenario for some is to get paid spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. All companies are indeed looking to turn social media into a valuable asset, and social media content creators can help with that.
Since it is such a new job title with the world and social media changing all the time, one of the biggest struggles is getting into the industry. How easy is it to become a social media content creator, and where are the jobs found? With a little bit of creativity and persistence, there will be opportunities available for anyone looking to go down this road professionally.
What do social media content creators do?
If the job title social media content creator sounds a bit vague, it is by design. The truth of the matter is, no two businesses are going to use their content creators the same. That is because, for some companies, the goal is to make direct sales with the content created. In other instances, it is more about advertising and building brand awareness so that people are more likely to do business in the future.
The universal skills needed include knowing the value of social media, being able to come up with creative opportunities to reach different audiences, and showing overall consistency. If a company fails to have a consistent social media presence, they are not going to be able to maximize its total reach in the long run.
Creators do not have to know a ton about specific optimization tactics necessarily, but enough to have that in mind. It might not necessarily be the job of the content creator to optimize everything really, but it certainly helps to have that adequately handled.
Other essential skills like attention to detail, organization, and creativity are all keys for people trying to land a job. It also is necessary to know the specific business inside and out. This will allow creators to come up with ideas from all different angles.
Where are the best places to find social media content creator jobs?
If it seems a little too obvious that social media is a great place to look for a social media-related job, do not overthink things. Indeed, a lot of people get their start working in social media for a company by reaching out and interacting. Doing something that can catch the attention of the brand not only shows interest but can give a taste of what to expect in the future.
Since the job is becoming a little more standardized, there are also opportunities through more traditional open job websites. Most do not bother posting a job listing offline since the position requires so much knowledge on the internet. Huge sites like Mashable, Indeed, LinkedIn, and more have plenty of content creator opportunities, but developing a relationship through social media might be the best overall bet.
What skills are needed to have success as a social media content creator?
Content creators looking to maximize their presents on social media needs to have a few types of skills that show results pretty quickly. Many look at it as a bit of a thankless job in the beginning, as most content creators are just throwing stuff together and seeing what works. It is not until later on that people start to develop a formula that works.
What other characteristics are employers looking for out of content creators? This is a list that makes a lot of sense for professionals out there.
It takes a different type of communication skill to reach an audience online. This is where it helps a lot for people to grow up with social media and have a general idea about what people are looking for in general. There is a disconnect at times between individual businesses and their followers online, so finding a way to bridge the gap and communicate compellingly makes a lot of sense.
Social media is notoriously fast, which means that content creators need to be opportunistic, or they blow a chance of capitalizing on a trend. Understand that not everything is going to go as planned, and having the flexibility to change things on the go is vital.
It is also essential to pay attention to the current climate, and not post content without any regard to what is going on. A brand that comes off as tone-deaf could do some significant damage to the reputation in a matter of minutes.
With excellent working relationships with different businesses out there, it is easy to benefit from time to time mutually. Building out those relationships as much as possible as a content creator can open up opportunities down the road.
Sometimes this has to do with working with other businesses, while in other cases, it's dealing with influencers. Love them or hate them, they can sway a lot of people at once just by speaking highly of a business. It is worth developing a great relationship with specific influencers to help down the road.
Creativity might seem like a no brainer, but it is enormous in this job. It takes skill to continually connect with followers on social media and not come across as giving one annoying sales pitch. Every business will go about their social media slightly differently, but there will always be opportunities for people to shine creatively.
Being creative enough to come up with content once or twice is one thing, but a content creator must find ways to perform continually. That means paying attention to the trends and seeing what new ways followers are reachable. It is better to have a backlog of ideas to work with instead of always feeling the pressure to come up with something brand new.
People are going to judge any business that has a social media presence. If it comes off as an organized, I can do a lot of damage to the overall reputation. Having everything integrated and professionally done on all platforms is crucial.
There are many different ways to stay organized, but the important thing is to never come off like a single individual handling their profile. When working as a representation of an organization, it must come off more professionally than that.
Seeing the short term and long term value
Businesses will benefit most from social media if content creators have short and long-term success in mind. Maybe a piece of content can provide some quick turnaround value right now, but it should also be building a better brand in the long term.
Do not always be fooled by short term success when creating content. A business or company must prepare to capitalize on the short term success if something goes viral, or it could all be for nothing. Some companies have turned one or two viral creations into a different business by riding the wave well.
How much do social media content creators get paid?
Businesses are still trying to figure out the value of social media content creators, which is one of the biggest reasons why salaries are all over the place. Some companies look at standard content creation as a relatively entry-level job. That means making around $45,000 a year as a starting point. A lot of companies like to see a college degree, but it is not necessary to break into the industries.
The more responsibilities a person picks up, the more opportunities they will receive for creating content for social media. Some companies will use metrics to have an idea of how successful content is. These numbers open up the opportunity for some to get a bonus if they reach specific metrics.
When someone is just starting as a content creator, the recommendation is to do whatever possible to get a foot in the door. Spend less time on negotiating a contract, and more time proving worth. This is a results-driven industry, and the good ones will find a way to rise to the top eventually. It might involve taking a little bit of a small salary in the beginning, but more prominent brands will start to recognize the value.
A final look at being a social media content creator
There is a lot to like about being a social media content creator, especially for those people who enjoy coming up with new ideas regularly. Do not get discouraged early on if jobs are hard to come by. Eventually, those focused enough will get an opportunity to show what is possible. From there, it is about evolving as a creator and coming up with content that resonates with the audience.
Social media is only becoming more and more critical to any business. Content creation is one of the best ways for those businesses to stand out in a crowd.
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.