Social Media Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Consulting Trends

by | Dec 28, 2023 | Career | 0 comments

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

When it comes to salaries in the social media (SM) realm, what is fair pay, and what is trending?

I am Becca Adams, NISM Advisory Board Member and Social Media Director in the field of higher education.

In the past, professionals who entered the social media job world when it was not yet a “need” for businesses, were often considered voluntary, or underpaid. Throughout the years, however, positive changes occurred as many recognized the amount of work required for effective social media and the value of having a social media team or manager in a formal position.  Below is a discussion regarding salary benchmarks and trends within entry, mid, and senior-level SM positions.

Consultation salaries:  

You can set your own rate depending on what you believe your time and expertise are worth. It is important for you to provide a SOW (scope of work) for your clients detailing what you will do for them. I recommend either charging a total project fee, if it is a one-time consult, or a monthly fee if the consultation will be ongoing. I have seen monthly figures ranging from $1500 (minimum) to $5500 (full service). Another option is to charge per hour, although in my experience, this option may become complicated due to showing accountability for each hour billed, e.g. 40 hours billed versus 30 hours billed. 

When establishing a salary, there are additional considerations that need to be examined, such as where the job is located, and if the work will be done remotely, or in the office.  The cost of living in Spearfish, South Dakota differs greatly from that in Los Angeles, California. Expenses and overhead vary if the work is performed in an office, versus work done remotely.   

Professional social media (company) salaries: 

You will notice that these salaries vary depending on the formal title, job description, number of clients, content/pages, workload, required hours, and travel.

Entry Level Social Media Specialist or Coordinator – $45,000 – $60,000 or $20+/- hourly 

Mid-Level Social Media Manager – $55,000 – $78,000 or $30-$40+/- hourly 

Senior Level/Social Media Director – $79,000 – $120,000+ or $40-$60+/- hourly 

Reference: ZipRecruiter – “As of Nov 30, 2023, the average hourly pay for the Social Media Marketing jobs category in the United States is $31.18 an hour.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $52.64, and as low as $11.78, the majority of wages within the Social Media Marketing jobs category currently range between $22.84 (25th percentile) to $36.78 (75th percentile) across the United States. The average pay range for a Social Media Marketing job varies greatly (by as much as $13.94), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement, and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.”

Reference: GlassDoor – $51,000 – $94,000 is the current range and base pay is $45,000 – $81,000; there may be additional pay, such as bonus/incentive/travel equaling $7,000 – $12,000. The total pay trajectory for a Social Media Manager is $64,216; Senior or Lead Social Media Manager is $78,589; and Director of Social Media is $82,876.

If my current salary is not aligned with the data above, how do I ask for an increase?

As a reminder, sometimes a yearly review of your work performance can garner adding a “senior” title to a job, as well as increased pay.  Explore the many resources online with a Google search, such as, Ask for that raise – show the data! 

Be sure you are using, or subscribing to, a trusted platform, like Sprout Social, or other reliable social media management programs. Always keep track of your benchmarks and successes, crisis management occurrences, and analytics during late nights and weekends. Additionally, ensure you are documenting growth in your client’s social media, as well as your response times to messages and comments. If you are diligent in showing your development and progress in your weekly, monthly, and/or yearly reporting, it will be evident that you are on track for a raise. 

What is a breakdown of responsibilities in each social media position? 

Specific job descriptions will vary due to company size, budget, and the number of support employees, such as content writers, analytics team, creative team/graphic designers, as well as other SM roles within the company. That being said, please find a general guide below:

Entry Level/Social Media Specialist or Coordinator:

  • Help to manage SM presence and pages 
  • Create content 
  • Complete delegations from manager 
  • Work with and take direction from other marketing team members and leaders 

Mid-Level/Social Media Manager:

  • Develop strategy
  • Lead gen/drive sales or INQs
  • Review analytics and reporting 
  • Create content and/ or approve it/content calendar 
  • Monitor/reply to comments and DMs
  • Manage platforms 
  • Advance brand awareness 
  • Take direction from CMO or SM Director 

Senior Level/Social Media Director: 

  • Oversee all social media responsibilities 
  • Supervise the development of all strategies and campaigns
  • Achieve most or all social fold into overall marketing goals 
  • Manage SM team and all of their responsibilities (coordinator/manager/designer/videographer…)
  • Take direction from CMO or given boss 
  • Evaluate and assess reporting 
  • Ensure overall PR, comms, and marketing partnerships are seamless 
  • Ensure consistent messaging 



Account Media Limited’s 2023 Salary Guide for Marketing Professionals

ZipRecruiter Insights

Glassdoor Insights


About the Author: Rebecca Adams

Rebecca (Becca) Adams has worked in the higher education industry for the past twelve years, and is currently the Director of Social Media for Studio EnterpriseThe Art Institutes, and South University.  She manages over 50 social media pages, and specializes in crisis management, compliance, communications, creative content, events, public relations, and organic social media. Previously, Becca managed the social media for 4 colleges and their branch campuses, totaling over 100 social media pages for 75 campuses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Media from Bowling Green State University, was a collegiate lacrosse player and captain, and earned her Master of Arts degree in education, in 2010.

Prior to working in the field of social media, Becca was employed as a college admissions and academic leader, an elementary school teacher (Teacher of the Year 2008), professional development presenter, and an adjunct college instructor. Her passion remains in education – mentoring others, and as a lifelong learner.

Additional leadership positions Becca held include retail management, the hospitality industry, and a sports coach. In 2015, she pursued her creative interest in interior design and decorating and earned an Interior Design and Home Styling Certificate.

Becca resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised. Her personal interests include a love for traveling, all things Peloton, attending concerts, and everything fashion; she cherishes her time with family and friends.


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