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Market Update: Social Media Marketer demand and salaries in Australia 2022

By Academy Xi

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Are you contemplating a social media marketing career and keen to find out what’s going on in today’s industry? We’ve put together this market update to bring you all the latest social media marketing insights, statistics and trends.

What is social media marketing?

There are now 4.62 billion social media users globally, which translates to 58.4% of the world’s total population. Simply put, social media marketing involves leveraging the popularity of social media to promote brands, goods and services.

Social Media Marketers use original content to stimulate authentic brand conversations and build a community of loyal followers. The art of social media marketing isn’t just about ramping up activity on Facebook, Instagram, or Tiktok. Instead, it’s about planning an end-to-end content strategy, making its success measurable, capturing your audience’s attention and converting as many of them as possible into paying customers.

Added to this, leveraging social media is a great way to increase customer engagement, which is a primary goal for all marketers. Responsive brands that engage in two-way interactions with consumers are better equipped to serve their needs, tap into personalisation and humanise their brand in a way that builds stronger customer connections.

Are Social Media Marketers in demand in Australia?

Social media recently overtook paid search as an advertising channel, with Sprout Social recording 25% year-on-year growth and spending that broke the $137 billion mark (edging the $135 billion spent on paid search).

Following a surge in the industry, there’s currently a sizable skills gap for Social Media Marketers in Australia. This is reflected in the 3,668 roles advertised on Seek.com.au (as of August 2022). Breaking these numbers down by state: 

  • New South Wales offers 1,410 roles 
  • Victoria offers 1,030 roles 
  • Queensland offers 728 roles 
  • Western Australia offers 242 roles
  • The rest of Australia currently offers 258 roles (Seek, August 2022) 

It’s also worth remembering that many social media marketing roles can be fulfilled remotely. Carrying out a remote social media marketing role can be every bit as collaborative and engaging as working in-person.

The Australian Financial Review has predicted the shift toward remote work will continue throughout 2023, with Seek currently advertising 384 remote Social Media Marketer roles throughout Australia.  

Your earning potential as a Social Media Marketer in Australia

The earning potential for Social Media Marketers in Australia is representative of a lucrative industry that’s always on the hunt for new talent. 

The latest stats from Talent.com record the average Social Media Marketer salary in Australia as $90,000. Even Junior Social Media Marketers earn an average annual salary of $78,500, while Senior Social Media Marketers make $117,620 a year on average.   

Which industries most commonly hire Social Media Marketers?

Social Media Marketers have the capabilities to help businesses of any kind turn followers into customers. Far from being just a ‘nice to have’, a strong social media presence is now a core component of any good marketing strategy. Subsequently, Social Media Marketers are highly sought after in most industries. 

Some of the industries that frequently hire Social Media Marketers include:

 

Marketing

Unsurprisingly, the industry that hires by far the most Social Media Marketers is the marketing industry. Currently, 85% of all social media marketing roles advertised on Seek.com.au involve working in a marketing department or for a marketing agency. 

Social media marketing is one of the marketing industry’s fastest growing fields. According to Hootsuite, the cumulative efforts made to reach consumers through social media now accounts for one third of all digital marketing spending.

 

Retail

Bigger Australian retail companies like Kmart and Woolworths have a large following on social channels, but smaller retailers can also make a big impact on socials too. Retailers can use social platforms to build brand awareness quickly and cost-efficiently, with posts potentially reaching an audience of millions.

As well as building a customer base and generating sales, social media efforts offer retailers a steady stream of customer feedback, which can be used to finetune their wider business strategy. As a result, the retail industry is always on the lookout for new social media marketing talent.

 

Education

With the education industry primarily targeting a younger demographic, it’s vital that modern education institutions have a strong social media presence. Because social content is instant, visual and potentially driven by the students themselves, it can encapsulate the student experience like no other medium.

In recent years, many universities and colleges have mastered using organic and paid social media marketing to encourage campus visits and increase enrollments. The same institutions will often use social media for course announcements, as well as maintaining interactions with alumni.

 

Fashion

The fashion industry is all about timeliness and being one step ahead of the latest trends. Because of the lightning-fast speed at which content travels, the fashion industry was one of the early adopters of social media marketing. 

The reach of social media means fashion brands can share new styles and lines with millions of people in just a few clicks. Fashion brands also rely on social media as a research tool, using it to stay up-to-date with what consumers are purchasing and emerging trends.

Visual content is the cornerstone of fashion socials, which means anyone keen to build a career in the industry will need the skills to work with graphics, photos and video content.

What other titles do Social Media Marketers go by?

When you’re searching for Social Media Marketer positions, it’s useful to keep in mind that Social Media Marketers often go by different titles. In some instances, the following job titles can refer to roles that have a remit of social media marketing:

  • Social Media Strategist
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Community Manager
  • Content Strategist

What are the top skills a Social Media Marketer needs?

A successful Social Media Marketer needs a wide range of capabilities, including a mix of hard and soft skills. 

What are the top 5 hard Social Media Marketing skills? 

Strategy 

Being able to plan and execute a content strategy might be the most important skill a Social Media Marketer can have at their disposal. Having a big-picture strategy will ensure your social media marketing efforts are properly aligned with your business’s broader objectives. 

Formulating a social media strategy includes determining your goals, the tactics you will use to reach them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress. It’s wise to then work backwards to create content which reinforces your goals. Another vital component of a social media strategy is selecting which platforms you’ll use, based on the nature of your business and the habits of your target audience.
 

Content creation

In the world of Social Media Marketing, content really is king. The right content can play a pivotal role in helping a business reach its marketing goals, from brand recognition and thought leadership, to audience engagement and lead generation. 

Creating content involves identifying post ideas that will appeal to your target audience and then creating content that addresses their wants and needs. There are a range of creative skills that go into crafting original, attention-grabbing content, including copywriting, graphic design and videography.
 

Calendar management

Social Media Marketers rely on calendar management to proactively plan and schedule their content, coordinating what they will post and when. This will enable you to track deadlines, sync content with seasonal events and manage campaigns that consist of multiple posts.

A Social Media Marketer’s content calendar is the hub of their marketing strategy and it’s vital that you maintain it on a daily basis. Content calendars will normally take the form of spreadsheets, Google calendars or, for those who use social media management tools, interactive dashboards.  
 

Community management 

Community management allows a business to nurture personal relationships, build brand trust and create a larger pool of potential customers. 

In practical terms, social media marketers must constantly monitor posts on their business’s profiles. As well as replying to all the positive feedback, it’s vital that you respond to negative posts quickly, since unanswered complaints can damage a business’s reputation and strengthen the voice of unsatisfied customers. 

Effective community management calls for creativity, a sense of humour and the ability to adopt a brand’s voice. Additionally, you’ll need the analytics skills to sift through social data to identify opportunities and community insights.  
 

Analytics

Social Media Marketers will begin by defining what success looks like for a campaign and then determine a set of metrics that will help them measure its progress. 

Social media platforms offer a wealth of data, shedding light on how users engage with, view, or share content. As a result, social media marketers have to be able to analyse data and use data insights to make adjustments to their content strategies.

Social media marketers also rely on data analysis skills when pinpointing their audience, using data to target people who are likely to have an interest in their product, service or brand. 

What soft skills does a Social Media Marketer need?

While many marketers focus on learning technical skills, there are a range of soft skills that are needed to advance as a Social Media Marketer. Some of the soft skills anyone entering the industry should have include:

  • Creativity – Social media followers will unfollow a brand when its content becomes boring or repetitive. This means Social Media Marketers need to consistently come up with new and creative campaign ideas that help brands stand out from the crowd.
  • Communication – If you want to engage your audience, it’s vital that you have strong communication skills. Social Media Marketers also have to share their strategy ideas with teammates and stakeholders, which means you’ll need public speaking and presentation skills. 
  • Collaboration – An end-to-end social media campaign will often be the result of a collaborative effort, relying on the different ideas and skills that your teammates offer. This means that it’s vital that you’re able to work effectively with your marketing team, or even cross-functionally with other departments.  
  • Flexibility – Social media is constantly evolving and the best Social Media Marketers can quickly adapt to emerging platforms. To ensure their content stays relevant, they’ll also stay up-to-date with the hottest conversations and latest social trends. 

The latest trends in social media marketing

With new platforms and features always pushing the possibilities of social media marketing, it’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry. Here are a few of the biggest social media marketing trends to keep an eye out for throughout the rest of 2022 and beyond. 
 

The rise of TikTok

TikTok recently broke the 3 billion user mark and is now the 5th most popular social media platform (4th, if chat networks are discounted). Although TikTok has a way to go before becoming the most used platform, Sprout Social reports that the number of TikTok users increased by a record-breaking 45% in the last year (compared to 6% for Instagram). Growing at this rate, TikTok seems destined to become the most popular platform. 

Invariably, marketers will adopt the platforms that offer them the largest audience. In short, they go where the users go. As a result, expect more Social Media Marketers to focus their efforts on TikTok as time progresses.
 

Social media commerce

In the coming years, more social media users will not only want, but expect to buy directly through social platforms. According to Insider Intelligence, direct social commerce will reach $80 billion by 2025. In Russia and China, 50% of social media users have already made purchases through social platforms.    

Navigating to a transactional website is not only an extra step in the checkout process, but also a leak in the conversion funnel that businesses want to avoid. As a result, social media companies are now working around the clock to add transactional facilities to their platforms. Expect to see social media purchases take up a much larger proportion of ecommerce in the near future.
 

Audio-only content

Since Clubhouse went live in 2020, audio-only social media content has grown in influence. In June 2021, Facebook joined the trend by launching its Live Audio Rooms, which many businesses have used to publish promotional podcasts. Twitter launched an audio content platform, Spaces, not long after. As well as being used for direct marketing efforts, hosting live video streams has become one of the best ways for companies to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. 

A recent Hootsuite survey on social media trends found that 74% of businesses plan to include audio-only content in their social media marketing strategy throughout the next year. 

Entry points and career pathways in social media marketing

Entering the world of Social Media Marketing might seem intimidating, but getting a foothold in the industry is easier than you might think. 

To launch a career as a Social Media Marketer you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:

  • Get educated – you’ll need to master the essential tactics, tools and practical skills.
  • Get exposed to working with as many platforms as possible – you don’t need to be an expert with all of them, but understanding the basics is essential.
  • Build a portfolio demonstrating your ability to create original content and execute a social media strategy.

When searching for your first role, it’s not uncommon to start as a Junior Social Media Marketer, which will entail:

  • Maintaining content calendars
  • Writing copy for social posts
  • Designing graphic elements for posts 
  • Editing photo and video content
  • Responding to user engagement on social platforms
  • Monitoring social trends 

Once you’ve built up your industry experience, you’ll have the chance to apply for mid-level roles as a fully-fledged Social Media Marketer. 

For those keen to climb the industry ladder, more senior positions include that of a Social Media Manager. As a Social Media Manager, your focus will shift from creating and posting content to managing a team that’s responsible for executing a social media strategy.

Social Media Manager roles typically call for an analytical mindset. You’ll spend plenty of time analysing data to establish what’s working and what’s not. These insights will inform ongoing strategic decisions made by you and your teammates.

For those with big ambitions, it’s possible to move into a consultancy role. As a Social Media Marketing consultant, you’ll maintain multiple client relationships and help a range of businesses deploy social media strategies. You’ll be responsible for helping your clients to build brand awareness, increase website traffic and generate sales.
 

Become a freelance Social Media Marketer

It’s also important to note that many Social Media Marketers go freelance. Clients will hire freelance Social Media Marketers for their unique skillset on a short-term contract or project-basis. 

When you’re working as a freelance Social Media Marketer, no two projects will be the same. That said, there are certain key skills that clients will always look for. 

To kickstart a career as a Social Media Marketer, it’s vital you undertake practical training that helps you to get to grips with the industry’s latest platforms, techniques and tools. 

Ready to harness the power of socials in your career?

Academy Xi now offers a Social Media Marketing course that’s built and taught by industry experts. 

Our Social Media Marketing: Elevate course equips you with the full spectrum of skills and knowledge needed to deliver an effective end-to-end social media strategy. 

This course is ideal for those who want to:

  • Upskill and secure a promotion by learning Social Media Marketing
  • Implement a Social Media Marketing strategy in a current role
  • Use social channels to effectively grow a small business

With a dual focus, this course covers strategy and execution. You’ll learn how to plan a big-picture strategy that’s aligned with your business goals and develop the technical skills needed to put that strategy into action. By graduation, you’ll be able to:

  • Combine social media strategy and execution
  • Choose platforms based on your audience, brand and goals
  • Create context-specific content assets
  • Manage content calendars
  • Measure outcomes and refine your strategy with analytics
  • Use the latest platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn 
  • Use industry tools including Canva, Ad Mockups, Google Analytics and URL Builder   

You’ll walk away with an industry-recognised certification and a stand-out portfolio demonstrating your new skills to employers. 

Want to discuss your transferable skills and course options? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first steps in your Social Media Marketing journey. 

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