Social media marketing professionals aren’t ninjas, gurus or wizards—but they’re also more than just managers. What was once an individual role is now enough work for a whole crew, and the list of possible social media job titles keeps growing.

As the marketing landscape continues to shift, it’s increasingly clear that social is a team effort. Brands looking to take advantage of all the channel has to offer need to think seriously about social media career progression. Investing in your team today can drive acquisition, loyalty and growth tomorrow.

In this list of social media job titles and descriptions, we cover all the positions you need on your core team. We also included a round up of emerging titles forward-thinking companies are hiring for to secure a social-first competitive advantage.

Core social media job titles

The speed of social impacts more than just what cut of jeans are currently in style. It can have real, tangible impacts on consumer expectations, market share and of course, marketing careers.

If you have tenured social media professionals on your team, chances are their jobs have evolved far beyond whatever they were hired to do. Whether you’re looking to redistribute responsibilities with new hires or you’re just in need of a refresher, here are the essential roles you need on your social media team.

Social media manager 

Social media manager roles vary by industry and team size. For example, a social media manager at a global retail brand will have a very different day-to-day than a social media manager working at a regional insurance company.

A LinkedIn post from social media consultant Jon-Stephen Stansel. In the post, Stansel points out that social media managers are often thought of as one in the same, even though responsibilities vary based on organization size, industry and social maturity.

That said, there are still some common threads that connect social media managers across the board. Aside from strategic and creative chops, a good social media manager will also advise internal stakeholders on evolving best practices, trends and data insights. These analog skills are essential to embedding the value of social across a business.

Social media director

 If you work for a brand that has multiple franchises, locations or business units, you need a social media director.

This individual is responsible for building a vision and execution plan for how your brand shows up on social media. Their work serves to unite teams together around a cohesive strategy that creates a unique, singular brand voice across several profiles and networks. Beyond marketing, they also act as a connection point for stakeholders across sales, merchandising, customer service, research and development and more.

Without this key role, brands risk relegating valuable social data into a marketing silo which can result in a disjointed brand presence across markets.

Social media specialist

 Social media specialists are junior employees who work alongside social media managers to expand organic reach through content creation and social media monitoring efforts.

An ideal hire for this role would be someone with a demonstrated passion for the channel. Here’s what that can look like in absence of solid professional experience:

  • A keen understanding of each social media network—best practices, trends, engagement norms, etc.
  • Informed opinions on the current and future state of social media
  • A grasp on brand marketing basics like voice and tone, design, brand personality and positioning

 Paid media specialist

Managing Meta Business Suite is a full-time job.

Just kidding—kind of. The truth is, paid social is complex across the board. It requires a keen eye for detail and the ability to adjust on the fly. Any marketing strategy that relies on a robust paid social arm needs dedicated resources to manage spend and optimization rituals, especially if you’re running ads across multiple social platforms.

An ideal paid media specialist is incredibly detail and process-oriented. No UTMs are missed on their watch, and the findings from A/B tests are always stored away for future reference.

Community manager

What’s the difference between a community manager and a social media manager? A social media manager oversees an owned profile strategy, while a community manager focuses on engaging audiences across social media networks to increase brand loyalty and grow authentic connections.

In the vast landscape of social media, this work can take many different shapes. A social media community manager’s day-to-day might include tasks like closed community moderation (think a private Facebook group or a Discord chat), proactive engagement duties and fan appreciation initiatives to name a few.

For example, Oatly Community Manager Paula Perez drives connection by participating in the comment sections of TikToks relevant to the coffee and food space.

A LinkedIn post from Oatly Community Manager Paula Perez. In the post, Perez breaks down Oatly's outbound engagement strategy on TikTok. The brand proactively engages with coffee and food-related content, milk discourse and other content their fans might engage with. The post includes four screenshots of well-received TikTok comments from the Oatly brand account. One comment even earned more than 18,000 likes.

This work supports Oatly’s goal of being the first plant-based brand to show up in relevant conversations to create more dedicated fans.

Influencer marketing strategist

Behind every #sponsored post is weeks—if not months—worth of contract negotiations, creative brief revisions, content feedback sessions and campaign strategy work. It takes a lot to get influencer content over the finish line. No buts about it, any company that routinely works with creators or influencers absolutely needs a dedicated influencer marketing role.

More brands are buying into the creator economy, meaning the race to court high-value influencers is on. Your ideal influencer marketing strategist will have a keen eye for identifying and cultivating relationships with individuals that meet your business’s unique criteria for brand fit and reach.

Influencer marketing also involves a considerable amount of account management. Influencers can vary in the amount of support and direction needed throughout the partnership process, from early negotiation to the day content is published. Influencer marketing professionals manage these relationships while collaborating with internal stakeholders to ensure strategic alignment and maximize ROI.

4 emerging social media marketing job titles (and what they mean)

Cutting-edge brands aren’t letting social media outpace their strategy. Instead, they’re experimenting with new titles and team structures that support evolving marketing standards. Here are four emerging social media job titles on their way to becoming industry standards:

Social media intelligence analyst

Important conversations don’t happen in a single place or platform—they span across all corners of the web. It’s the role of a social media intelligence analyst to identify and monitor the conversations that can move the needle on your brand reputation with social listening and reporting tools.

Allocating dedicated resources to finding and distributing social insights can increase the channel’s impact on your business strategy exponentially. We can’t say for certain what the future of social has in store, but our forecast says this will become a core role sooner rather than later.

Consider hiring for this role if: You have your foundational social media roles covered and you’re looking to take your strategy to the next level.

Social media engagement manager

A social media engagement manager is the architect of your brand’s overall engagement strategy, from community management all the way to social customer care. They’re responsible for implementing the tools and workflows that create better audience experiences for current and future customers alike—that can mean case routing, surprise and delight initiatives, cross-functional reporting standards and more. Think of them as the connection point between marketing and customer service teams. 

Consider hiring for this role if: You know there’s more you can do on the social customer care front, but capitalizing on those opportunities consistently gets pushed to the back burner.

Content producer 

Content production roles are showing up under a variety of titles—content producer, content editor, creator-in-residence or simply content creator. This is a creative role that is responsible for ideating, producing and editing platform-specific content that delights and engages online communities.

Consider hiring for this role if: You’re trying to push your brand further into the social entertainment era through innovative, authentic storytelling.

Social operations manager

This digital project management position is a must-have for brands looking to consolidate content and resource planning under a single, incredibly well-organized individual. Depending on your needs, that might include budget planning, distribution timelines, tech procurement and team rituals. Leadership from a social operations manager allows creatives and strategists on your team to focus on the work they do best as efficiently as possible.

Consider hiring this role if: The number of stakeholders involved in your social strategy is starting to cause workflow hiccups.

How to get buy-in for social media team headcount

Justifying an increase in headcount is always difficult, especially when you’re meeting your goals. Between salaries, benefits and equipment, staffing costs add up fast. To get the green light, marketers must sell a data-informed vision of what your team could accomplish with more hands on deck.

If headcount woes are what’s standing in between your brand and a stand-out social media strategy, here’s how you can make a hiring case to your leadership team:

  • Start from a solid foundation: A big part of advocating for social media teams is educating senior leaders on the nuances and needs of the channel. To lay a solid foundation for your ask, proactively share the hurdles and opportunities that arise from the shifting social landscape.
  • Provide competitive context: Conduct a social media competitive analysis to better understand how your brand stacks up against competitors in your market. Opportunities—or gaps—can make the benefits of additional headcount more tangible.
  • Highlight the urgency: Your social media presence plays a critical role in your brand safety efforts, especially given social’s growing role in customer care. As you make your case, be sure to highlight the brand reputation risks that come with under-equipping your social team.

What do social media job titles say about the future of marketing?

When you peel back the layers of daily responsibilities, social media job titles say a lot about where the marketing profession is headed. Behind every emerging title is a useful clue that can help you forecast what’s coming down the industry pipeline.

The marketers who keep up with the changing tides are uniquely positioned to push their businesses into their next stages of growth. Stay ahead of the trends by checking out this interactive article on future-proofing your social media team.