What is a Social Media Strategist and what do they do? How to become one?

Published February 18, 2021
Last updated February 24, 2021
4 min read

Who is a social media strategist?

Social Media Strategists are social media specialists responsible for preparing, designing, and executing the overall social media strategy of the organization in order to promote and strengthen the online presence and overall digital marketing activities.

What does a social media strategist do?

Social Media Strategists usually have expertise in creating organic content, running paid ads, and engaging with an audience. They communicate across a range of social media channels with customers. They can run paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They directly respond to consumer questions and concerns as well as react to any comment fans post under published content.

How much does a social media strategist make an hour?

As of January 29, 2021, the average hourly salary for a Social Media Strategist in the United States is $25, although the wage usually ranges between $22 and $30. Depending on many important factors – including qualifications, credentials, additional skills, and years of experience – the hourly rate can vary widely. 

It’s important to note that, depending on the region of the world, the wages can be completely different. The average salary of a Strategist in a country such as Thailand can be twice as low as the one in the USA. 

The annual salary of a social media strategist

The majority of Social Media Strategist earnings currently range from $33,500 to $64,500 with top earners in the United States earning $79,000 annually. 

The Social Media Strategist job market in both Chicago, IL, and the surrounding area is very competitive, based on recent job postings on ZipRecruiter. A social media strategist in this region earns $52,364 per year on average or $1,211 (2 %) more than the $51,153 national average annual salary.

What to ask from a social media strategist when you want to hire one?

You’ll definitely want to know about their past experience and achievements. Firstly, you should ask them what companies and brands they have worked for before. Look up the content the person you are interviewing has created.

Secondly, talk about what kind of content they would like to produce, if you ever decided to cooperate. Listen to their ideas, and decide if they make any sense for your brand.

Here’s a shortlist of all the important things you can discuss:

  • Why do they think they’re the expert?

How do they distinguish themselves from everyone else? How did they contribute to a particular brand’s success? 

  • What do they usually do at the beginning of a cooperation with a client?

Finding an agency or a freelancer that can truly tell your story is difficult. You’ll want to make sure they have some experience with onboarding new clients and learning about their industry.

  • What is required of you and what will they provide?

Find out what kind of relationship you’re going to have in the long run. Are they self-sufficient or will they be needing your help regularly? Establish the responsibilities. Discuss who is accountable for what.

It’s definitely going to take some work on your part to tell the right story through the content you’ll be publishing. A good Social Media Strategist should keep the schedule and let you know immediately if they need any additional information.

They should also always keep you up to date on the current progress and tell you about how to move forward.

  • Is there a contract and what does it look like?

Talk about what you can specify in the contract. Discuss also the terms of payment.

  • How often do you get to talk to them?

Is your contact with them limited or can you call them anytime you want? Do they prefer to use email or phone?

  • Have they previously worked in your industry?

Do they have any industry-specific knowledge? Do they know what kind of language to use when addressing your potential clients?

  • Do they have any recommendation letters? What do their other clients say about them?

Ask them to provide some reference letters from their current or past clients. Check what others say about them.

  • Do you have to pay extra for anything?

Find out if there’s anything the price you agreed on doesn’t cover. Determine what additional costs you can encounter.

Are the reports included in the standard price? Can you ask them to make changes for free? Make sure to include staff like this in the contract.

  • How do you measure success?

Establish how their performance will be measured. Decide what constitutes success and what failure looks like. Tell them about your objectives and what you want to accomplish in the next year.

How does one become a Social Media Strategist

Your best bet is to get a bachelor’s degree in marketing, digital advertising, or a very similar field to become a Social Media Strategist. You’ll also need some real-world experience, so you can start experimenting with social media before you finish your degree.

What to highlight on your resume for a Social Media Strategist position

You will need to highlight your knowledge of social media platforms, trends, and analytics on your resume when applying for that role. Include detailed information about all your accomplishments regarding social media.

How to find a good Social Media Strategist

There’s currently a huge demand for effective marketers. When posting a job offer, you’ll want to talk about your brand and how working for your company will differ from working a regular boring job.