Careers and Employability Service
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Social media


Working in social media usually involves a combination of managing an online community and building a company reputation through growing a following, blogging and moderating and participating in forums.

It also involves creating social campaigns and strategies to meet organisational goals.

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Working in social media

In small organisations, it could be part of a wider digital marketing role that also includes some analytics, research and maybe even design, so understanding and learning something about other digital roles and skills is a good idea.

Social media is a 24/7 world and while this means that work is flexible and can be done anywhere, you may find that at times you could be online outside of regular office hours.

Typical salaries range from £16,000-£60,000 dependent on experience and job location.

Typical job titles

  • Social media executive
  • Social media manager
  • Head of social/paid media
  • Head of digital communications
  • Head of digital

Developing your skills

While good writing skills seem the most obvious ones to possess, they need to be part of a broader skill set. For example, writing meaningful and impactful tweets in 140 characters takes some practice.

You will need to be familiar with social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Wordpress, Pinterest, Tumblr and Trello, together with Hootsuite to manage those platforms.

It will also impress employers if you have taken time to understand and perhaps apply some of the following to your own social media output: Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.

Even having a bit of basic coding (HTML/CSS) in your armoury will help, as will knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite.

Once you have mastered the functions of social media platforms, try putting your skills into practice. Write your own blog and grow a Twitter following. Offer your social media skills to a student society or a voluntary organisation to run a campaign.

Once you have done this, you will have some impressive evidence to demonstrate to employers that you have the potential to work in social media on a professional basis.


Gaining experience

Internships and work experience

Digital agencies can be found in most large towns and cities across the UK and are usually open to being approached for internships and work experience.

Enquiring about experience will work best if you can show that you developed some relevant skills, and have passion and curiosity about brands, culture and the digital world, along with a willingness to learn.

The Nottingham Internship Scheme is a great way to gain experience with a local employer that can fit around your studies. If you are a masters or PhD student, a postgraduate placement might be useful.

Develop a digital portfolio

Being able to demonstrate examples of writing for the web is essential. Use sites such as Creative Pool to showcase your work and make contacts. Also consider writing articles for publications which have an online presence such as IMPACT or LeftLion, or write a blog. 

You can also enhance your digital portfolio by building a digital profile. Having a presence on Twitter and LinkedIn allows you to follow organisations you would like to work for, keep up to date with industry news and find out about local networking events such as Second Wednesday.

You can also keep up with current trends by reading industry blogs and journals such as Creative ReviewThe Drum, and locally, The Creative Quarter.


Once you have taught yourself some basic skills, get in touch with local voluntary organisations and charities such as Skillsbank, who could do with help in creating web content, communicating with service users and some simple online marketing strategies.

Research local digital agencies

If there is a role that interests you, make contact with the person working in that role, and ask them lots of questions. You never know, a conversation like this could lead to the offer of work experience or mentoring.

Join relevant societies

Societies such as MadSoc may offer training and networking opportunities.

Join the Institute of Digital Marketing (IDM)

The IDM have a DMA Talent website looking to attract people to the sector through mentoring, workshops and training opportunities.

Digital Humanities Centre

The University's Digital Humanities Centre provides training, experience and networking opportunities for humanities students interested in digital media in the arts. You can choose an area of interest, one of which may include PR, marketing and social media.

Join the Nottingham Writers' Studio

The Nottingham Writers' Studio, and other local organisations, sometimes offer courses around blogging and social media.

Sign up for a free online course

Sign up to enhance your existing knowledge, plug any gaps on your CV and even prepare you for job applications. Courses last from a few days to a few weeks and are offered by hundreds of universities around the world.

You can also learn more and boost your digital skills on the Digital Garage.


Unitemps advertise paid temporary roles, many of which are roles within the University and may allow you to become familiar with web content management systems.

Career Mentoring

Consider applying to be mentored by an industry professional and Nottingham alumni by applying to the Career Mentoring scheme.

Professional courses

Doing a professional course is not a pre-requisite for entry to these jobs, and relevant experience is often more important. However, if you wish to consider a course, the following options could be relevant.



Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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