Mobile strategy, personalization, and social media marketing are essential tools for business success. An online MBA in social media helps prepare students to navigate data and effectively use social media channels to promote products and services.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising, promotions, and social media marketing jobs are projected to grow 10% between 2020 and 2030, creating more opportunities for business graduates to use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to drive marketing efforts.
Social media MBAs are ideal for people with backgrounds in marketing, sales, consumer behavior, market research, or business communication. This guide takes an in-depth look at degree requirements, possible career options, and how to choose the right program.
Why Enroll in a Social Media MBA Program?
As digital technology increases, social media marketing has become a potentially profitable career field. Companies rely on social media professionals to harness the opportunities presented by big data. A social media MBA graduate can be an asset to a company's marketing department.
An MBA in social media blends an MBA business curriculum with industry-specific skills. Graduates can use social media strategies for maximum return on investment (ROI) as part of a company's digital marketing efforts.
Unlike traditional MBA programs, online MBA programs typically offer greater flexibility for people balancing education with their careers. Students can complete online MBA programs within 12-18 months or 2-3 years.
Notable skills learned from an online social media MBA include:
- Digital Strategy: Digital strategy involves understanding the competitive market and applying digital technology to create opportunities, increase value, and accomplish business goals. Social media marketing forms a vital part of any digital strategy.
- Communication: Good communication sends out a clear message to the consumer and helps keep the team on the same page. Clarity, brevity, empathy, and consistency are some of the key features of effective digital communication.
- Teamwork: Working with a team towards a common goal is essential to social media marketing. An MBA in social media requires professionalsto be adaptable and work well in a group.
- Analysis: MBA programs emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and data analysis skills. By analyzing complex business situations, graduates must address problems and reach ideal solutions.
Why You Should Get Your Social Media MBA Online
Pursuing an MBA online gives working professionals the freedom to take classes on their own time while balancing other responsibilities.
Online social media MBA programs can be completed within 1-2 years, and in some cases, an accelerated MBA program allows students to graduate in 10 months.
Students can choose synchronous classes in real-time or asynchronous classes they can access any time. Online MBA programs are flexible, provide students with access to cutting-edge technology, and offer many resources to support virtual learning.
What to Expect From Online Social Media MBA Programs
An MBA in social media focuses on skills required to create marketing strategies and make business decisions. A social media MBA may suit working professionals that want career advancement or a career switch.
Similar programs can go by different names but still include social media components. For instance, an MBA in internet marketing and an MS in communications both include social media in the curriculum.
Admission for an online MBA program varies. Some institutions require a GMAT while others do not. Many schools have been waiving applicant GMAT scores, instead requiring recommendation letters, advanced education credentials, work experience, and high GPAs.
An MBA in social media combines core business courses like finance, accounting, economics, management, and data analysis with components of digital marketing, social media management, market research, and consumer behavior.
Since online MBA programs lack in-person interaction, schools often organize networking events to help students develop soft skills, connect with industry professionals, and boost motivation. Some online MBA programs may not require a capstone.
Social media MBA curriculum includes aspects of business and digital media. Most programs feature advanced management courses that include leadership, finance, accounting, acquisitions, and business operations topics.
Students can specialize in digital marketing, content development, web analytics, and social media management among others. The sample curriculum below shows common courses in a social media MBA. Courses differ by school and program.
- Search Engine Marketing: This course examines how search engine rankings work and the best techniques to create successful ad campaigns, increase website rankings, accelerate leads and sales, and measure ROI.
- Social Media Marketing: Students learn the best social media tactics for different types of businesses and what factors affect online growth and visibility. Brand awareness, personalized digital experiences, and customer engagement may be part of this course.
- Digital Marketing: This course teaches the best organizational practices to improve digital marketing, application of market segmentation, differentiation between social media, search, and mobile marketing, and research and analysis of market trends. Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality may also be part of this course.
- Content Strategy: Students learn to separate valuable content from "fluff" and the difference between content marketing and other forms of marketing. Learners also study the various social media channels to distribute content and the importance of content strategy.
- Online Customer Acquisition: This course is all about e-commerce sales strategies. Students learn omni-channel and multi-channel retailing, online sales funnels, direct response marketing techniques, and ways to measure online conversions.
Career Opportunities After Graduating
Social media MBA graduates have various career choices, regardless of their prior experience in social media or digital marketing. Mid-senior roles include social media marketer, digital strategist, and content manager.
Graduates can also pursue more advanced roles like advertising manager or communications director. Some professionals may prefer to use their MBA qualification to start or fund their own social media ventures.
Professional social media organizations help graduates expand their network, find career opportunities, and access to continuing education programs. You may need to pay an annual membership fee to join these organizations.
Choosing Between Social Media MBA Programs
Applicants must consider their goals, budget, and time commitment when choosing an online MBA in social media. Some factors to consider include:
- Accreditation: Schools offering MBA degrees hold accreditation. Individual degrees may also be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
- Cost: Some online MBA programs may have a set tuition fee for each semester, which allows students to take as many classes as they want. By cutting out room and board and commuting costs, online programs can be more affordable than in-person programs.
- Capstone or Internship: At the end of the program, capstone projects or internships can significantly boost qualifications. Working professionals can sometimes complete these requirements at their workplace.
- Length: The duration of online MBA programs can vary between one and two years, and accelerated programs can often be completed within a year. Students must consider the length of time they have to invest in the program when choosing an online social media MBA.
Top Five Online MBA Programs in Social Media
Explore our 2022 rankings of the best online MBA programs in social media. Our list includes eight stand-out programs for graduate students to advance their social media marketing skills.
The following link explains our school ranking process in detail.
Founded in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1971, Liberty's campus includes more than 177 facilities on over 7,000 acres. The university has 20 NCAA Division I athletic programs featuring Sparky the Eagle, the beloved Liberty Flames mascot.
Liberty's strategic media and digital content MBA explores the importance of digital tools and marketing strategies. Students use the latest technology to help businesses drive growth, reach their ideal audiences, and gain competitive advantages.
Learners first complete a 33-credit core curriculum covering business research methods, operations management, and contemporary issues in human resource management. The concentration adds 12 credits in strategic media analysis, communication trends, media technologies, and digital best practices.
A policy and strategy in global competition capstone requires students to create and execute actionable strategies using the program's multidisciplinary concepts.
Enrollees may transfer up to 50% of college credits to reduce program costs. Liberty also offers tuition discounts to military personnel, first responders, and small business owners. Liberty has not increased tuition rates for several years.
Program at a Glance
- School Type: Private
- Accreditation: SACSCOC, ACBSP
- Tuition: $565/credit (full time); $615/credit (part time)
- Required Credits: 45 credits
- Program Length: 2 years
- Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
- Process: Applicants must submit college transcripts and meet undergraduate business requirements. Liberty also requires non-native English speakers to submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language scores.
- GPA: 3.0 GPA
- Standardized Tests: N/A
- Cost: $50 application fee
Saint Leo University
Located in Florida since 1889, Saint Leo is the oldest Catholic higher learning institution in the Sunshine State. Saint Leo's long-standing tradition in educating military personnel has led it to continue providing affordable and flexible degrees to active-duty service members and veterans.
Saint Leo's social media marketing MBA concentration aligns with current digital best practices. Enrollees complete general business courses in marketing, managerial economics, and strategic management. Then, the program introduces web analytics, social media marketing, digital storytelling, and gamification applications.
To complete the program in 12 months, learners may take two classes per term. Students pursuing Saint Leo's online MBA program can access valuable career resources from their homes. The university offers career guidance, exclusive job searches, and networking opportunities through events and workshops. Student advisors are also available for online students.
Saint Leo's Affordability
Saint Leo offers scholarships and employment opportunities to assist students in paying their tuition. Learners can also apply for federal loans and grants by submitting the FAFSA or using their eligible military or employer reimbursement benefits.
Program at a Glance
- School Type: Private
- Accreditation: SACSCOC
- Tuition: $750/credit (online); $590/credit (on campus)
- Required Credits: 36 credits
- Program Length: 12 months
- Delivery Format: 100% online and on campus
- Process: Prospective students must submit a resume, official transcripts, GMAT scores, two professional recommendations, and a statement of professional goals.
- Standardized Tests: GMAT
Common Questions About MBA in Social Media
Is social media a good career?
Social media marketing jobs have a projected growth of 10% between 2020 and 2030. Businesses need social media professionals to boost their online presence and digital marketing efforts, making this a demanding and profitable career.
Is social media marketing a major?
A bachelor's degree in journalism, communication, marketing, or public relations may offer social media marketing as a major. Those considering a social media MBA later may benefit from a social media marketing major in college.
What degree is best for a social media manager?
Many employers may prefer to hire candidates with a degree in marketing, journalism, business for social media manager roles. An MBA in social media management can help open doors to higher-paying jobs and senior roles.
What qualifications do I need to work in social media?
The minimum qualification for a career in social media is an undergraduate degree. Communication skills and a strong understanding of the target audience are important for social media professionals. Higher education is not always essential for career advancement, but having an MBA or MS in social media may attract more employers or help open up advanced career opportunities.
Featured Image: Koh Sze Kiat / E+ / Getty Images
Search Programs by Concentration
View schools and degrees from across the country.
Find the right program to advance your career.