2022 Best Online Social Media Marketing Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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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.

Best Online Social Media Marketing Degrees

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

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

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
Marketing Managers $142,170
Advertising and Promotions Managers $133,460
Sales Managers $132,290
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
Writers and Authors $67,120
Market Research Analysts $65,810
Editors $63,400
Public Relations Specialist $62,810
Advertising Sales Agent $54,940
Graphic Designers $53,380

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

Social Media Marketing Major

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

Social Media Marketing Degree Admissions

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.

Accreditation

Social Media Marketing Degree Accreditation

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

Social Media Marketing Degree financial aid

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

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. 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?

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.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Social Media Marketing Degree Online?

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
  • Uses digital media channels to drive a business’s sales
  • Interacts with a target audience through a variety of methods
  • May review outcomes and revise selected channels based on that information
  • Uses social media channels to drive sales and promote products
  • Interacts with a target audience through social media channels
  • May create exciting content, engage with followers, and recruit influencers

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?

Social Media Marketing Degrees

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

Arizona State University campus

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University campus

Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bellevue College

Bellevue College campus

Bellevue College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Cambridge College Global

Cambridge College Global campus

Cambridge College Global is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University campus

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University campus

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Johnson and Wales University

Johnson and Wales University campus

JWU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Kutztown University

Kutztown University campus

Kutztown University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Liberty University

Liberty University campus

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University campus

Lindenwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Maryville University

Maryville University campus

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Minnesota State University – Moorhead

Minnesota State University Moorhead campus

Minnesota State University Moorhead is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

North Central University

North Central University campus

North Central University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Point Park University

Point Park University campus

Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Point University

Point University campus

Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Regent University

Regent University campus

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Strayer University

Strayer University campus1

Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University campus

Utah Valley University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Degree in Social Media Marketing Degree Online

Degree in Social Media Marketing

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.

Many professionals in this area 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.

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Molly Doyle
WRITTEN BY
Molly Doyle
Molly holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and a B.A in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A Seattle-based educator, she focuses on student-centered instruction and creating culturally responsive curriculum.