Why work in Social Media?

Forget the myth that social media managers are young internet whiz kids getting paid to do what normal people do in their spare time. They don’t just  spend their working hours on Facebook and Twitter passing the next viral video around. Here are some figures on why social media is a legitimate career venture for anyone flirting with the idea:

  • According to Nielsen (June, 2010) 22.7% of our time is spent on social networking sites; compared to 15.8% in 2009 which shows a 43% increase in time spent online.
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes each month on Facebook. 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is spent on the popular networking site. (Unfortunately, there aren’t any figures available on how much time people have spent tweaking their privacy settings with every security update Zuckerberg and his team has released.)
  • So far, there are 3 million active Fan Pages on Facebook with 1.5 million dedicated to local businesses. As of 2010, Pages have created 5.3 billion fans.
  • In a survey of over 1500 consumers by Chadwick Martin Bailey in 2010, upto 67% of consumers were more likely to recommend or buy products from a brand after following it on a social networking site.
  • 28% of U.S. online holiday shoppers are influenced by social media.
  • According to a new white paper from Webtrends, out of the 44 companies they examined, about 40% exhibited extremely high traffic to their Facebook store front compared to their websites. Not only were their websites accounting for fewer unique visits than Facebook, but many were also showing a decline in visits over a three-month period. Facebook commerce conversion rates range from 2% to 4% and are on par with e-Commerce websites.
  • 74% of marketers who have been using social media for years, indicated that it helped them close business.
  • In 2008, $716 million was spent on social media. In 2014, social media spending is expected to rise by a compound annual growth rate of 24%, which means that spending in this area is growing faster than any other interactive marketing category.

So what kind of jobs are available and who are they available to?

  • According to Payscale.com, the current salary for a Social Media Manager ranges from  $34,432 – $56, 571.
  • 62% of social media manager candidates are females with 1 -4 years of experience, with males making up only 38% of the talent pool.
  • In terms of years on the job, newbies with less than a year’s experience account for 6% of social media professionals while 71% have 1-4 years under their belt. Individuals with 5-9 years experience only make up 15% of the demographic and those with 10-20 years making up even less at 7%.

Sentiments and ideals aside, the statistics show a steady rise in social media spending which would logically lead to more jobs available and hopefully more opportunities for graduates looking for employment. With the rapid growth of the industry, there is ample opportunity to hire talents willing not only to sustain growth but also to push the boundaries of convention and possibility.


About Maebellyne Ventura

Maebellyne Ventura is a digital marketing professional writing about social media practices. She is also a founder of the online start-up Clever Biscuit. Follow her on Twitter @Maebellyne
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