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Choosing A Salary Level For Your Social Media Strategist

It's been a busy couple of weeks, with the phone ringing off the hook as companies look for social media employees.  A major difference in this year from the last couple seasons is that companies have realistic salary expectations for the positions they are searching for, in comparison to even 2010, when expectations and salary offers for off by 50% and more between candidates and companies. 

In fact, this year, not a single head of HR has blinked at the salaries I have given, as they did their research and have a good sense of what is out there.  That's the sign of a maturing market. 

So what are those numbers?  And if you're a candidate, how much are you worth?



You're going to kill me for this, but of course, the answer depends.  We've delved into grade school math before on this blog, discussing the mean, median, and mode of salary decisions

"When salaries are evaluated throughout the corporation, the relative value of each skillset based on its importance to the company has been established over time. "

In plain language, your salary in a maturing market is based on your perceived value versus other people at the same salary. 

For example, if you're a Vice President of Social Strategy, you're going to receive a similar salary as a Vice President whose budget and responsibilities are the same as yours. 

If you're a Senior Manager of Social Strategy, your salary might be similar a Senior Manager of Digital Strategy or a Director of Onine Marketing. 

What happens is the corporation evaluates the importance of their perceived value of your job, and pays you equally to someone else of equal value. 

It's really quite fair for everyone, as the dirty little truth is they aren't hiring "social" people so much as "Marketing" and "PR" and "Digital" people with social tacked onto their latest accomplishments.  These are of course high value positions - no one is calling me to find social media specialists at $24,000 a year, but then again, that's not so much a position as a title change from Jr. Copywriter.

The one difference I can see is in the Community Manager space, which is more of a pure social play.  Those salaries are still max out at $80,000 (unless you're part of a huge global empire), and go as low as $40,000 for smaller communities. 

If you want to share your salary level, confidentially of course, please forward me a note to jim with an at sign and followed by the domain social media