The Ultimate Social Media Specialist Salary Guide for 2021

Marissa Sapega, contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

The role of social media specialist is essential for many organizations, and the job outlook is sunny. Businesses are well aware of social media’s ability to influence buying decisions; the estimated $41 billion they spent on social media ads in 2020 proves that they believe such platforms to be a critical part of their marketing strategy. 

Understanding the job market is essential for negotiating your salary if you’re looking to try your luck as a social media specialist. You’ll also want to be knowledgeable about what you can expect to earn as a social media specialist so you can negotiate fair compensation. 

This article will provide an in-depth look at social media specialist salaries from all over the United States and other countries. You’ll also learn how industry and seniority affect compensation and what the job actually entails.  

We’ll cover:

  1. What does a social media specialist do? A brief overview
  2. What is the average social media specialist salary in the United States?
  3. The average social media specialist salary broken down by state
  4. What is the average social media specialist salary in different countries?
  5. What is the average social media specialist salary across different industries?
  6. How does a social media specialist’s salary vary depending on years of experience?
  7. What are some other social media job titles and their salaries?
  8. Key takeaways and further reading

So get comfortable, grab a snack or a coffee, and let’s go! 

1. What does a social media specialist actually do? A brief overview

A social media specialist is an entry-level, hands-on role in the social media marketing space. They are responsible for creating content for various platforms to support business objectives, like boosting brand awareness and generating sales or leads. Someone in this role is also responsible for measuring campaign results and optimizing them to improve them over time. 

Other responsibilities include building an online community, engaging with followers or fans, social “listening,” and potentially creating assets like videos or graphics. You may collaborate with a social media strategist or social media manager and execute their plans, or you may create your own. It depends on your company’s organizational structure. You’ll find an in-depth description of the role of the social media specialist here.

Social media strategist, social media manager, community manager, and director of social media are all related positions that you may want to pursue as you become more experienced (more on their salaries later). You can learn more about the types of social media jobs that are available (and how to qualify for them) in this guide.

A social media specialist is a dream job for someone who is creative and has excellent communication skills—and who loves posting on social media, of course!  You can learn more about the top skills you’ll need to excel as a social media specialist here. First things first, though: what can you expect in terms of compensation?

A person sitting in a cafe, scrolling on their smartphone, researching the average social media specialist salary

2. What is the average social media specialist salary in the United States?

While geography, company size, and experience all factor into total earnings, it is helpful to have an understanding of the average social media specialist salary in the United States as a benchmark when negotiating for pay. We’ve collected data from top salary data aggregators, but keep in mind that they are estimates. The information these companies provide should serve as a range of what you can expect rather than a guarantee! 

Here’s what the experts say you can expect for a social media specialist salary, on average:

What if you want to dig a little deeper and find out salary estimates for your particular location? We’ve got you covered; read on!

3. Social media specialist salary from state to state

Zippia provides a general overview of salaries for each state, but metro areas often have higher salaries than less populated areas, so we’ve included some stats on salaries in individual cities as well:

  • Alabama: $35,583
  • Alaska: $42,445
  • Arizona: $45,778
  • Phoenix – $45,905
  • Arkansas: $32,065
  • California: $52,121
  • San Francisco: $53,633
  • Colorado: $47,878
  • Fort Collins: $48,009
  • Connecticut: $54,737
  • Delaware: $45,992
  • District of Columbia: $54,545
  • Florida: $38,512
  • Miami: $40,000
  • Georgia: $38,977
  • Atlanta: $49,238
  • Hawaii: $55,766
  • Honolulu: $40,266
  • Idaho: $39,746
  • Illinois: $42,524
  • Indiana: $34,476
  • Iowa: $38,302
  • Kansas: $32,331
  • Kentucky: $34,917
  • Louisiana: $31,717
  • Maine: $43,554
  • Maryland: $46,661
  • Baltimore: $46,891
  • Massachusetts: $46,852
  • Brookline: $46,807
  • Boston: $52,121
  • Michigan: $42,205
  • Detroit: $42,241
  • Minnesota: $42,567
  • Mississippi: $34,128
  • Missouri: $37,080
  • St. Louis: $37,190
  • Montana: $45,654
  • Nebraska: $38,616
  • Nevada: $58,528
  • New Hampshire: $55,253
  • New Jersey: $47,456
  • New Mexico: $33,743
  • New York: $47,914
  • New York City: $56,345
  • North Carolina: $42,314
  • Charlotte: $41,845
  • North Dakota: $46,040
  • Ohio: $41,424
  • Oklahoma: $32,386
  • Oregon: $49,326
  • Pennsylvania: $38,499
  • Philadelphia: $45,038
  • Rhode Island: $42,190
  • South Carolina: $30,119
  • South Dakota: $43,414
  • Tennessee: $36,152
  • Texas: $35,946
  • San Antonio: $36,625
  • Utah: $36,939
  • Salt Lake City: $44,110
  • Vermont: $45,078
  • Virginia: $47,914
  • Richmond: $42,437
  • Washington: $47,794
  • West Virginia: $47,352
  • Wisconsin: $44,603
  • Madison: $37,256
  • Wyoming: $40,478

Though the cost of living heavily influences your compensation, some salaries go further than others when covering expenses, depending on where you live. Say you earn almost $50,000 per year as a social media specialist in Los Angeles and only $42,061 a year in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Your cost of living in Oklahoma City will be significantly less than it would be in LA! (Average rent in Oklahoma City is $849 compared to $2,450 in Los Angeles.)

However, social media specialists can easily perform their job remotely. As more employers become open to hiring for remote positions, many people are accepting offers and moving to cities with low costs of living so they can make the most of a higher salary.  

A person in an office setting, scrolling on their smartphone looking up the average social media specialist salary

4. Social media specialist salaries around the world

Social media specialists are in demand all over the world. With almost 4 billion people on social media worldwide, companies in every country are keen to take advantage of social media’s massive user base. Here’s what you can expect to earn as a social media specialist in different countries and cities:

Germany

Canada 

Russia

Mexico

South Korea

Just like any other job, consider the cost of living in an area before agreeing to a salary. 

A social media specialist sitting at a desk, working on a desktop computer

5. Social media specialist salaries in different industries

Location clearly influences compensation, but industry also has an impact. Not only that, but some industries are more competitive (retail especially!) and faster-growing than others. Take a look at how a social media specialist’s pay varies by industry, courtesy of Zippia:

  • Technology: $55,155
  • Media: $53,189
  • Manufacturing: $52,767
  • Retail: $52,077
  • Healthcare: $51,174
  • Professional: $49,972
  • Hospitality: $49,838

Some industries are also better suited to social media promotion than others. For example, medical device manufacturers may not find Instagram as helpful as companies that sell beautiful clothing or accessories. 

6. The average social media specialist salary based on years of experience

A social media specialist is generally considered an entry-level position, so the differences in salary based on experience may not be too significant. Zippia estimates that social media specialists can expect to earn anywhere from $35,000 to $61,000, and ZipRecruiter’s range is from $19,500 to $74,500 (the latter of which is very much on the high side). Regardless, the variability is most likely due to location, industry, and company size rather than experience level. 

7. What are some other social media job titles and their salaries?

If you like the idea of a career in social media, you can look forward to a variety of jobs under this umbrella. Social media management has many aspects, and many social media jobs allow you to specialize. Here are some other jobs to consider, as well as their salaries:

8. Key takeaways and further reading

Social media is not going away any time soon, which means social media specialists will be in demand for the foreseeable future! If you’re already prolific on various social media platforms and enjoy this type of work, it could be a great career path for you. If you’d like to start a career in the field, follow this guide on how to become a social media specialist.

And, for more marketing insights, check out the following:

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