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What Do Social Media Professionals Need to Know About Today's Industry?

Media Pros

Social Media Specialist. Media Coordinator. Paid Search Manager.

Do any of these professional roles appeal to you?

If so, then you definitely have an interest in the field of digital and social media. You also probably know that today's marketing industry is multifaceted and complex. If you're dedicated to boosting your career in marketing communications with a focus on digital and social media, you need to know about what matters in today's dynamic field.

Social media is one of the most important channels of today's marketing communications industry, but that's also what makes this field incredibly competitive. Despite the competitive nature of this business,  many organizations lack a digital and social media team that can improve their digital and social ROI in ways that are efficient, effective, and data-driven.

So,  how can you use this talent gap to your advantage?

Let's explore some of the industry indicators that explain what's important to know regarding the field of digital and social media in 21st-century marketing. 

Knowing what's new and what's next in the industry is crucial to your success:

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: The field of digital and social media is  always changing. To stay up-to-date on all that is happening in the digital realm, you need to research what's new and what's to come in marketing communications. Consider these resources that are perfect for uncovering the latest marketing research and digital trends:

By committing to staying up-to-date and ahead-of-the-game when it comes to emerging technologies and trends, you'll nurture your innovative-thinking skills. You will also be making your knowledge relevant to the ever-changing field of marketing communications. 

Hex Social Graphic

Understanding how to collaborate between disciplines will significantly increase your worth:

In years past, marketing, sales, design, tech, and digital advertising departments were siloed entities. Those days are over. Industry thought leaders have recognized the need for unified messaging across campaigns and companies. With this change, the collaboration between departments and disciplines is necessary for creating integrated marketing campaigns that stay consistent across a myriad of media channels.

Since social media professionals are responsible for maintaining brand and messaging on several media platforms, they must do so without losing sight of the marketing strategy. Those who can use collaborative thought and make data-driven decisions will make themselves indispensable in the field of marketing communications.  

Refining your skills is essential to landing the career of your dreams: 

Before fully understanding how to research, create, and refine effective digital and social media campaigns, you need to master a variety of skills. You need to understand how to:

  • Maintain consistent social media marketing tactics  within an integrated marketing campaign
  • Develop digital content relevant to target audiences across social media channels
  • Interpret social media metrics and tracking tactics
  • Analyze ROI based on digital and social media results

These are just a few of the many skills you need to understand and master before you can establish yourself as a thought leader in the field of digital and social media.

Note: Later on in this article, we'll discuss how one particular specialization within the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program (offered by WVU's Reed College of Media) that is perfect for teaching marketing professionals how to land a long-term career in digital and social media:  Digital and Social Media Area of Emphasis.

Opportunities are more readily available to professionals who have specialized knowledge:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the  job outlook for marketing managers — a category that includes digital and social media professionals — is projected to grow  10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the national average for all occupations. 

Below are just a few of the many job titles for marketing professionals who have the grit and determination to specialize in the field of digital and social media:

  • Digital Brand Manager: Digital brand managers help create, implement and evaluate the digital vision and strategy for company brands across all digital channels.
  • Media Coordinator: These communications professionals develop and refine communications content to target audiences across a variety of media platforms.
  • Paid Search Manager: The person in this role is responsible for managing multiple paid digital marketing campaigns, potentially across a variety of industries.
  • Social Media Specialist: These strategists often work with several different marketing, communications, and sales teams to create an engaging social media strategy. 
  • Marketing Analyst: This role is often responsible for marketing research analytics, campaign targeting and reporting. 

How to specialize in Digital and Social Media:

Offered within the first-of-its-kind  Integrated Marketing Communications  graduate program at  WVU's  Reed College of Media, the  Digital and Social Media   Area of Emphasis (AOE) gives students the tools they need to succeed in a variety of digital and social media-related careers while maintaining focus on the need for unified marketing strategies. 

Adding an  AOE only adds one class to your  IMC coursework (since the other three classes count for your three required electives). So, by taking just one extra course, IMC students will graduate with a respected and cutting-edge specialization in  Digital and Social Media.


It's your chance to make yourself indispensable in the field of digital and social media. Get started.

Here at West Virginia University's  Reed College of Media, we understand that choosing to enroll in a graduate program is an investment. We also acknowledge that the field of marketing communications needs professionals who are dedicated to academic and professional excellence — professionals like you.

WVU’s  Integrated Marketing Communications  graduate program is designed to prepare marketing communications professionals for career advancement by arming them with the sought-after skills needed to develop, refine and implement marketing campaigns in a unified way.

We encourage you to  contact us today to learn more about the online IMC graduate degree and the AOE in Digital and Social Media!

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