If you’re looking for a career that allows you to exercise your creativity and utilize your social media skills, you might consider earning an online social media marketing degree.
This degree is also a strategic option for anyone who is interested in developing their marketing skills to help build and grow a business.
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Social media marketing skills are applicable in a variety of areas, including content creation, marketing management, and research analytics.
Online Social Media Marketing Degrees
Like the title suggests, a social media marketing degree tackles aspects of marketing specific to social media. This can include using social media to drive a company’s traffic, spread brand awareness, or interact with various online communities.
In a social media marketing program, you’ll often find traditional marketing courses combined with classes targeted toward using social media to drive overall sales. Here are some of the topics you can expect to cover as part of your degree:
- Social media strategy
- Effective content marketing
- Social listening and community management
- Fundamentals of consumer behavior
- Digital analysis
- Social media management
How does this translate to the current job market? There are many avenues that you can pursue with a social media marketing degree. Because we live in a world that relies ever more on online advertising and consumerism to function, experience in social media marketing is a sought-after skill.
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Here are just a few of the career paths related to this growing sector:
- Content manager
- Brand manager
- Digital marketing manager
- Social media strategist
- Social media analyst
- Social media specialist
- Public relations manager
You might also have options regarding the size and mission of the company you’d like to work for. While some big-name companies may quickly come to mind, there are many smaller organizations looking to hire people with these skill sets as well. Some marketing professionals also choose to be self-employed, working as a contractor for various companies.
Social Media and Marketing Careers & Salaries
A career in the world of social media and marketing can look many different ways. For example, you may choose to focus more on content creation and content management.
Some professionals are experts at setting and meeting company goals, and their future may lie in marketing management. Others have strengths in interpreting and analyzing data and become market research analysts. Degrees for social media marketing can often be tailored to fit your desired work environment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the median annual salaries for various careers related to social media and marketing:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising and Promotions Managers||$127,150|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$119,860|
|Writers and Authors||$69,510|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,920|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,800|
|Advertising Sales Agents||$52,340|
The average salaries for jobs in marketing and social media fields range quite a bit. Your own salary can depend on a variety of factors, such as your work experience, your area of expertise, your employer, and your geographic location.
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Since many businesses and companies hire for multiple positions, there’s often the potential for growth from within. This may allow you to start at an entry-level position and work your way up as you gain experience.
Social Media Marketing Major Curriculum & Courses
While every university is unique in the curriculum they offer, there are some common course topics you’ll likely come across as you pursue your degree.
Here are some examples of courses that are common for marketing and social media majors:
- Marketing Research: This course is an in-depth look at the consumer and how to drive sales by creating a sense of urgency.
- Social Media Marketing and Strategy: This course is an overview of the available social media tools and sites and how to optimize them to reach your target group.
- Consumer Behavior: You’ll explore why a consumer buys or rejects a product and how to plan for future challenges.
- Strategic Marketing Planning: This course is designed to help you evaluate and create effective marketing strategies to address your target demographic.
- Digital Advertising: You’ll delve into the different ways to connect with target audiences online.
- Theories of Persuasion: You’ll study how to sway and influence human behavior and thought.
- Writing for New Media: This course focuses on creating content for a variety of digital platforms.
- Content Marketing: You’ll review ways to retain customers through writing quality copy and building a trusted brand.
- Social Media Campaign: You’ll learn how to use social media in order to meet a company’s marketing goals.
- Digital Audience Research and Analysis: You’ll explore decision-making through an ethical and data-driven lens.
Though this is not an exhaustive list of every course you will take, it does provide a glimpse into what your university’s curriculum could cover. In addition, you might also be asked to complete an internship.
Online Social Media Marketing Degree Admissions Requirements
Here are some of the typical requirements for admission into an online social media marketing degree program:
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- High school diploma or GED equivalent
- Official transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.5, on average
- Application form and potential fee
In addition to these criteria, you may also be asked to present further documents, such as letters of recommendation or personal essays. It’s beneficial to check the specific admission requirements for your schools of interest because they will be unique to each institution.
Similar to many other organizations, colleges and universities are evaluated by a set of standards to determine if they provide quality services. This process of evaluation is called accreditation.
School accreditation is composed of both an internal and external reflection and evaluation. Electing to participate in the accreditation process ensures that colleges and universities are doing all they can to review and improve the education that they provide their students. If you attend a non-accredited institution, employers cannot be certain that you’ve received an education that’s up to par with industry standards.
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You can visit the US Department of Education’s website to check whether the schools you are applying to are accredited.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If an online social media marketing program is not in your budget right now, you may want to explore your options in terms of financial aid and scholarship opportunities. You can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you are eligible for federal or state aid. The amount of assistance you’re eligible for can vary depending on your personal financial situation.
Many schools also offer scholarships specific to their institution. In addition, some employers offer an educational benefit in their employee compensation package. When you sign on with this type of company, you may be eligible for tuition assistance. It can be helpful to review your financial situation before researching assistance opportunities. This allows you to make an educated and informed choice before applying.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of social media tools to market specific goods or services offered by a company. People working in this area are often building up brand trust, interacting with a target audience, and improving overall business.
Considered a specific focus of a larger digital marketing title, social media marketing hones in on improving sales through engaging with social media users. In addition to employees who have earned a professional sales degree, there is an increasing demand for professionals who have a developed understanding of internet marketing and online advertising.
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Social Media Manager?
If you’re applying to be a social media manager, you can expect one of the required qualifications to be a bachelor’s degree. For this position, companies typically prefer a bachelors in communications, marketing, or journalism. This is because work in the social media field requires strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
Social media managers also need to have a solid understanding of marketing strategies and techniques. Employers want to know that you’ve spent time studying these areas and that you can be a reliable and creative team member.
What Can You Do with a Social Media Marketing Degree?
A degree in social media marketing can open up many doors. Completing this degree suggests that you are proficient in the world of social media and have a foundation in marketing techniques.
Many graduates pursue careers as advertising, marketing, or promotion managers. Others end up in content creation and editing. Common careers in this field also include public relations specialist, social media specialist, and market research analyst.
Your specific career path and salary will be unique to you and your circumstances, such as your experience level and employer. Some professionals in the field decide to continue their educations and earn an online social media masters or one on campus.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Social Media Marketing Degree Online?
If you attend school full-time and follow a traditional 16 week semester, it will generally take 4 years to earn your bachelor’s degree.
Some marketing degree online programs offer shorter terms that last 6 weeks to 8 weeks. If you choose to stay enrolled year-round and full-time, attending a program with 8 week semesters can often allow you to finish in less time. On the other hand, while studying part-time may help you balance your various responsibilities, it can often take you longer to complete your degree.
What’s the Difference Between Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a subcategory that falls under the umbrella of digital marketing.
|Digital Marketing||Social Media Marketing|
Many of the long-term goals of digital marketing and social media marketing—such as building brand awareness—overlap. Social media marketing focuses on reaching these goals through the use of social media channels, though, as opposed to a variety of digital media channels.
Is a Social Media Marketing Degree Worth It?
Yes, a social media marketing degree is worth it for many students. Positions related to social media marketing are in high demand. Companies are looking for experts to navigate these virtual waters and help their product rise to the top.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the employment of advertising, promotion, and marketing managers is projected to grow 10% over the next ten years. Media and communication occupations overall are expected to see 14% job growth.
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With the continuous growth in users, social media channels are reaching more people each day. This provides businesses with a fast and reliable way to connect with thousands of potential buyers. The strategy behind that outreach is where you can come in.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Social Media Marketing Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Digital Audiences. Courses are just 7.5 weeks long. Class options include The Digital Audience, Digital Audience Analysis, and Digital Audience Growth. The program is designed to be useful for those wanting to become fundraising consultants, market research analysts, or marketing associates.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arkansas State University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication with a Social Media Management certification. Coursework includes Social Media in Strategic Communications and Social Media Measurement. It is designed to help student gain skills in Google Ads and HootSuite as well. Up to 90 qualifying credits can be transferred into the program.
Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Bellevue College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Marketing. The program can be completed entirely online or through a mix of online and in-person courses. The program also includes a capstone project in which students get to apply their knowledge by developing a market strategy for a real client.
Bellevue College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Cambridge College Global offers a Bachelor’s in Digital Marketing with a concentration in Virtual Marketing. The program covers viral marketing, digital advertising, online content marketing, and strategic planning and decision making. Class sizes are small, and the courses can be completed 100% online.
Cambridge College Global is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Colorado Technical University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Digital Marketing.
CTU Fast Track exams are available to give students the opportunity to earn credit for knowledge and experience they already have. The program covers search engine optimization, data analysis, email and social media marketing, customer relationship management, branding, visual marketing, and digital strategy.
Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Grand Canyon University offers a BA in Social Media that can be earned on campus or online. Courses are taught by seasoned experts. They cover topics such as social media data analytics, social media reputation management, advertising copywriting, photography and video for social media, and production methods.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Johnson and Wales University offers a 100% online program for a Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing and Social Media. Courses are 8 weeks long, and the student-to-faculty ratio is just 16:1. Courses include Digital Media Planning, Search Engine Marketing, Data-Driven Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Marketing Analytics.
JWU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Kutztown University offers a Bachelor of Science in Social Media Theory and Strategy. This one-of-a-kind program combines Business, English, and Communication Studies. The program covers best practices for search engine optimization and how to use social media strategically to meet business objectives. The degree can be earned on campus or 100% online.
Kutztown University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Liberty University offers a BS in Strategic Communication – Social Media Management. Courses are 100% online and just 8 weeks long. Students take on average 3.5 years to graduate. Courses include Digital, Social, and Mobile Communication Strategies, Social Media Development, Creating Affiliate Loyalty in a Digital Age, and more.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Lindenwood University offers an online BS in Digital Marketing program. It is designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers in a growing industry and includes a practicum course and a capstone course. There is also a wide range of electives available. All courses are asynchronous to provide maximum flexibility.
Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Louisiana State University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a concentration in Digital Marketing. Classes are taught by the same instructors who teach on campus, but the format allows for more flexibility. Potential courses include Introductory Financial Accounting, Consumer Analysis and Behavior, and Marketing Analytics.
Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The online Bachelor’s in Digital Media program from Maryville University is designed to prepare students for careers in advertising, UX design, print production, and more. The curriculum aims to provide a strong foundation in art and interactive design. Students have the opportunity to create a portfolio and receive professional feedback. No campus visits are required.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Minnesota State University—Moorhead offers a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Management. The program offers four areas of emphasis: Advertising and Public Relations, Graphics, Marketing, and Project Management. The interdisciplinary curriculum was formed in close collaboration with industry partners. Students also have access to internship opportunities to gain real-world experience.
Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
North Central University offers a Digital Media degree program that is entirely online and can be completed at a student’s own pace. The curriculum includes technical, communication, and business courses. Online students have opportunities to receive tutoring and participate in virtual live chapel. Internships are available at a variety of companies.
North Central University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Old Dominion University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Digital Marketing. Courses include Marketing on the Internet, Multi-National Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. Prospective students must apply to Old Dominion first and then apply to the Digital Marketing program at the end of their sophomore year.
ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Point Park University offers a B.A. in Social Media Management. Class options include Principles of Marketing, Media Ethics and Responsibilities, Communication Law and Regulation, Digital Marketing, Introduction to Ad and PR, and more. Courses are just 8 weeks long, and Point Park offers a Prior Learning Assessment and Experiential Learning Credit opportunities to potentially further accelerate earning the degree.
Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Regent University offers a B.A. in Communication Studies – Internet and Social Media. The degree is available both online and on campus. Courses include Introduction to Digital Art, Marketing Principles, Writing for Strategic Communication, Introduction to Information Systems, and more.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online degree program in social media marketing. It includes courses such as Social Media Marketing Strategy, Social Media Campaign, Digital Advertising, and Writing for New Media. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in social media management, search engine optimization, marketing, and related fields.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Strayer University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Business Administration in Social Media Marketing. It covers the fundamentals of consumer behavior, social media strategies and campaigns, and digital analysis. The degree consists of 40 courses that are 11 weeks long. Most of these courses require 10 to 14 hours of work weekly.
Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Utah Valley University offers an online digital marketing degree program. It covers a combination of web analytics, content creation, and marketing strategy. Classes are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. UVU is an open-admission institution that serves many adult learners and non-traditional students.
Utah Valley University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Degree in Social Media Marketing Degree Online
If you have a strong interest in marketing and the world of social media, you might consider earning your marketing and social media degree online.
If you wish to further your education beyond an undergrad degree, it may be worth noting that a number of universities also offer an online MBA in marketing, for example. Many professionals with digital media degrees online or on campus go on to impact the way a business markets its product and communicates with consumers. This field offers a wide variety of career opportunities, a range of salaries, and room for growth.
To get started, you can begin exploring accredited schools that offer social media degree programs online.