Most people try to stay off of social-media websites such as Facebook or Twitter while working, knowing that if their boss catches them, they'll get lectured about putting more time and effort into their work. But what if your job required you to be on Facebook, interacting with friends and getting paid for having the most retweets?
You're in luck: This workplace daydream is a career reality. Demand for social-media jobs is growing as more companies want to join the social-media community. "The world's dependency on technology, the pervasiveness of social media and the need to drive sales and expand into new markets are all driving double-digit growth across a variety of fields," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2010-20 projections show the same, stating, "The growth of social media will result in the need for more workers to maintain an organization's public image."
Here are eight jobs that either directly relate to or involve social media:
1. Advertising, promotions and marketing manager: Advertising, promotions and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents and financial staff members. According to the BLS, "Advertising and promotions managers will be needed to plan, direct and coordinate advertising and promotion campaigns, as well as to introduce new products to the marketplace. They will also be needed to manage digital media campaigns, which often target customers through the use of websites, social media and live chats."
Pay: According to the BLS, the median annual pay for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is $108,260.
2. Blogger: According to The Creative Group's guide for social-media job descriptions, bloggers are "responsible for opinionated, stylish writing and frequently posting new content to the Internet. Duties may also include developing and/or revising text for other venues, including online communities, press releases, Web articles and video blogs."
Pay: The median annual pay for bloggers is $55,420, according to the BLS.
3. Community manager: "Community managers create and execute social-media strategies designed to accomplish real business objectives for brands," says Katherine Leonard, digital-content developer at lonelybrand, a digital marketing agency in Chicago.
Pay: According to social-media education company Social Fresh, the average annual pay for a community manager is $61,800.
4. Content-marketing manager: "I spend my days writing and promoting business blogs, e-books and white papers," says Jasmine Henry, content-marketing manager for Inbound Marketing Agents in Nashville, Tenn. "No blog does well in a bubble, so being able to parse pithy quotes and pick topics that are going to inspire shares and retweets on major social-media channels is critical to our clients' success. I typically spend a great deal of time watching conversations on Twitter to figure out which topics are driving conversations, writing blog articles about these topics and then responding to questions and retweets."
Pay: According to CBSalary.com, the national average salary for content-marketing managers is $56,752.
5. Meeting, convention and event planner: Meeting, convention and event planners coordinate all aspects of professional meetings and events. They choose locations, arrange transportation and coordinate other details. The BLS states that "planners must be familiar with computers, database software, budgets and online social media."
Pay: According to the BLS, the median annual pay for this role is $45,260.
6. Public-relations manager and specialist: PR managers and specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for their employer or client. They write material for media releases, plan and direct PR programs and raise money for their organizations. "Growth of both will be driven by the need for organizations to maintain their public image in a high-information age and with the growth of social media," notes the BLS.
Pay: According to the BLS, the median annual pay for PR managers and specialists is $57,550.
7. Social-networking analyst: "A good portion of time is spent engaging with customers and acquiring new followers and fans," says Giselle Gonzales, social-media analyst at Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm in Chicago. "We also scour the Web finding content that is most relevant to our follower base and will help us get a good conversation started."
Pay: According to CBSalary.com, the national average salary is $82,020.
8. Social-media manager: "Social-media managers are responsible for deciding what content to feature on our social-media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn," says Jodey Smith, Web and social-media manager for SeaVentures Inc. in Alpharetta, Ga. "Daily tasks include posting, responding to community discussions and combating spam. Ongoing testing and various strategies and techniques make up a large part of the day."
Pay: According to CBSalary.com, the national average salary for social-media managers is $106,160.