"Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble making individual." -- Natalie Clifford Barney

How to Hire a Social Media Specialist

The importance of Social Media

As more businesses continue to increase their presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks, social media jobs, too, are predicted to rise. "Anyone can build a Facebook page, but it doesn't mean it's successful". These people go deeper and rely on analytics to run good campaigns, tying it all back to "Return On Investment" (ROI) for short. Here's a look at what social media specialists do, including the skills they bring to the table, their responsibilities, typical salaries and more.

Social Media Specialist: Responsibilities 

Social media specialists are responsible for generating and maintaining a presence on social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, as well building an audience through campaigns, ads and updates. Just as important as the campaigns they run are the data points they derive. Social media specialists are often tasked with making the connection between statistics and how they translate to a campaign's success, branding and, of course, money. Social media specialists likely reside within the marketing department, but usually work with a number of the business units. Job candidates often come from a junior or entry-level marketing or advertising position.

Social Media Specialist: Skills

Social media specialists should have a deep and personal familiarity with the two big social networks: Facebook and Twitter. But beyond that, they should have knowledge of other social networking platforms, such as Foursquare, Digg and Stumbleupon. It's also important that candidates understand the business's audience—such as its demographics and interests, in order to target posts appropriately. Strong writing and presentation skills are also key as social media communications are customer-facing whether the specialist manages external or internal networks. Lastly, data analytics skills are becoming more necessary. "Social media specialists" need to know not only how to run campaigns and ads, they need to know how it all ties back to ROI and how the business can generate revenue from it,". "You need to be a number-cruncher at some level—put on headphones and look at the data, then come back with intelligent insight so the business knows what to do next." 

Social Media Specialist: Salary

Like most careers, salaries for social media professionals will range widely based on a number of factors, including the size of the company, location, experience level required and more. Generally, social media specialists should expect to be paid around $55,000 for an entry-level position all the way up to low six-figures for a more experienced managerial position at a large company.