Around 4.6 billion people use social media daily – that’s over 56% of the world’s total population. Primarily used to connect with new people and keep in contact with friends and family, social media has revolutionised several aspects of life, including careers.

Gone are the days where being a lawyer, doctor, or engineer were some of the career choices to aspire to. Today, the digital era creates limitless opportunities including new categories of jobs that are in high demand – especially for Millennials and Gen Z.

In the first of this two-part series, we’ll explore the rise of social media jobs that your children might aspire to. Whether it’s Tik Tok or Instagram, we’ve put together jobs in the digital marketing space where scrolling, liking, and sharing is a big part of a 9 to 5.

  • Social Media Marketing Manager

Social media marketing managers work with a team to develop and manage social media pages. They target, track, and introduce their followers to content they enjoy, pushing them to interact more with a brand.

  • SEO Specialist

SEO is known as Search Engine Optimisation. Think of it as a library. Perhaps you’re looking for a specific book on cooking. The librarian would ask specific information about cooking to give you the right books or magazines. That’s how SEO works. These keyword kings and queens use specific words to increase the chances of a brand or organisation’s social media post or website being viewed.

  • Social Media Content Strategist

These content gurus must keep up to date with the latest social media trends to get their job done. Social media strategists create quality content for a company’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They identify target audiences and schedule posts to maximise social media exposure.

  • Social Media Community Manager

Social media community managers act as the voice of the brand on all social media platforms. They represent the link between a brand or organisation and its audience or followers. Their daily tasks involve commenting on posts and participating in discussions, posting content, and answering messages from online community members.

  • GIF Designer

Every day, people use animated images of trending reactions – usually by celebrities – to perfectly match their mood or responses on social media. These moving images usually reference iconic moments in pop culture, and current affairs. It’s because of this great demand that GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) designers have become experts who can create unique customised content for a variety of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and WhatsApp.

  • Social Media Influencer / Brand Ambassador

Influencers are online and media personalities with a large following who impact their followers’ buying decisions based on the content they create and promote online. This profession is easily the most sought after but also the most frowned down upon because of unethical practices such as not specifying paid advertised content by brands on their accounts. South Africa’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) now requires social media influencers to disclose when they are promoting sponsored products.

Social media marketing careers have grown unbelievably fast in the past decade, with brands realising how important it is to connect with their customers in meaningful ways. The rise of these digital jobs has created a demand and continues to open up employment opportunities for future generations. In the second part of the series, we can prepare our kids for a tech-filled future.