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Marketing Career Focus: Social Media Marketing

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Each of these Marketing Career Focus posts will cover a specific track or specialty track within the MS in Marketing degree program. is a good job search site because at a glance it shows average salaries, years of experience for many mid-level positions, the quantity of available jobs, as well as locations. I looked at 10 to 15 customer insights job descriptions from major companies and frequently mentioned skills at such employers as JCPenney, Universal Studios, American Airlines, and others. However, there is NO substitute for doing your own searches and analyses.

What does a social media manager do?

Jayson DeMers, a pioneer in this area of marketing, summed it up in Forbes: “Social media management isn’t just about posting content to a business’s social channels. … [It] has become a complex, multifaceted role that operates to help a business achieve its highest-level goals.”

DeMers identifies five skills that are mandatory for an effective manager in this field.

1) Graphics Production — the skill to conceive and create effective images for posting

2) An aptitude for writing

3) A customer-service mindset

4) A solid understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing

5) Social advertising experience

MS Marketing –Digital Advertising and Marketing specialty track. See the MS in Marketing degree plan for details.

Average years of experience and salary average

Three years for manager-level position. Salaries range from $35,000 to $80,000.

(Note: Students requiring visa sponsorship tend to receive less money, and there are few sponsorship opportunities in digital marketing for international students.)

What is the market size?

“Social media marketing” returns some 39,000 jobs. However, there is a wide pay range in this field, given that some jobs are mainly customer service roles or low-level blog-creation positions. When you add “manager” to “Social media marketing,” results return about 22,000 jobs with salaries ranging from $35,000 to $80,000.

The charts shown below from and provide examples for this specialty and average salaries in the career area.


Typical job description (from a Universal Studios posting for “social media analyst”)

• Lead and develop the use of social media data and analytics to tell the larger omni-channel story and empower the team in the development of future strategies.

• Link social at the guest level to other channels such as CRM, paid media, and web to track and enhance the customer journey.

• Leverage social data as a tool to test and optimize creative and messaging. Determine creative ways to leverage social data and analytics as a means to track awareness, guest feedback, and forecast trends.

• Utilize existing social measurement tools such as Sprinklr as well as identify new or emerging tools to help articulate social performance.

• Act as a storyteller, translating complex analytical work into easy-to-understand analysis and recommendations.


• 4-year degree in Business, Marketing, Finance, Economics, Mathematics, or related areas of study or equivalent work experience.

• 3-5 years of social media analytics (preferred) or web, ecommerce, digital product, or channel strategy experience. Strong analytical skills coupled with the ability to form hypotheses and draw meaningful insights from disparate data sources. Social Listening experience a must-have.

• Must be able to clearly articulate and present findings and recommendations to team members and management, and to technical and non-technical audiences.

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting


Courses of special relevance – see course syllabi for the exact lineup of skills as not all covered in each instance

Customer Behavior, Influencers, Contagion, Viral

MKT 6310 Consumer Behavior

Analytics Platforms, Content

MKT 6343 Social Media Marketing and Insights

MIS 6373 Social Media and Business
This course is mainly high-level strategy and Harvard Business School cases.

Content Creation, Creative Development, Appeals

MKT 6332 Advertising and Promotional Strategy

This course covers many key elements this profession uses.

Web Analytics

MKT 6352 Marketing Web Analytics and Insights

MIS 6344 Web Analytics
This course is structured to cover one-third web analytics, one-third PPC and one-third SEO, so this class is good if a student wants a general overview. However, it does not provide depth in any one area.

Digital Marketing, Including

Basics of Social Media

MKT 6321 Interactive and Digital Marketing

DFW Associations and Meetups

Social Media Dallas

Social Media Meetups in Dallas

Social Media Software/Platforms (To manage multiple platforms or add specific functionality)

• Buffer

• Hootsuite

• There are more than 50 different social media tools. Social Media Examiner has a good list.

• Watson Analytics

• Netbase

• Sysomos

• Brandwatch

Conferences in 2018

Pubcon Las Vegas - October 1-18

Newsletters and Websites:


Social Media Examiner

Popular Books on Social Media Marketing

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 6th edition, by David Meerman Scott (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2017)

The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand, by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio (New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015)

Likeable Social Media, Revised and Expanded: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and More, by Dave Kerpen, Carrie Kerpen, Mallorie Rosenbluth and Meg Riedinger (New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015)

Alex Edsel

Alex Edsel

Alexander Edsel is the director of the MS in Marketing program and faculty member who teaches courses in digital marketing. Topics include e-commerce platforms, marketing automation, mobile apps, search-engine optimization, pay-per-click and web analytics. Read more articles

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