So, you want to work in social media. Good for you – it’s a fabulous career path where every day differs from the last. But how do you get started? Where do you go? Who do you speak to? We aim to answer those questions, and more, in this post.
When choosing to work in a fast-moving, dynamic industry like social media, you’ll need to be on your toes and ready to learn – constantly. Not a day goes by where a new technique, best practice or entirely new social media service is born.
Hey – that’s given us the perfect starting point for our 5 tips for aspiring social media marketers!
1. Read, read, read
Even hardened, well-established social media marketers will admit that they never cease learning. In order to ready yourself for this career path, you need to completely engross yourself in the world of social media.
Subscribe to every blog related to the topic and begin following influencers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Make your morning read focused on the latest news, trends and happenings in the world of social media.
2. Offer to work for free
It goes without saying that, in order to become a social media marketer, you need a decent social profile of your own. That means creating accounts on all leading social platforms and developing your persona on each. You need to think of yourself as a ‘brand’ in your own right.
Be sensible and present an approachable, non-abrasive demeanour online. Don’t get involved in arguments, but do get involved in discussions and start your own by noting down your thoughts and beliefs on social media and marketing in general.
Connect with as many people as possible and get yourself known – it’ll happen quicker than you think.
3. Offer to work for free
Chances are, if you don’t have an ounce of experience, you’ll struggle to find employers willing to take you on as a social media marketer. Even those who are kind enough to give you a chance will be somewhat less cautious if you can prove you’ve got some work experience under your belt.
The quickest way to gain this is, I’m afraid, to work for free. Speak to local businesses and charities and offer to run their Twitter campaigns free of charge for a couple of months. The experience you gain will be invaluable and you’ll quickly build a portfolio of work you can show potential, paying employers.
4. Start targeting potential employers
Once you feel ready to hunt down that social media job, it’s time to begin sussing out potential employers. Shortlist four or five and begin your research by reading up on their history, values and product offerings.
Follow them on social media and get a feel for what they are – or aren’t – doing online. Make notes of what you like and where you think you can help them and keep those notes in your back pocket for any confirmed interviews.
Don’t wait for jobs to be posted online, either. Be brave and ring your shortlisted businesses. Simply ask if there are any job opportunities going in social media – the worst they can say is ‘no’ and many will be impressed by your proactive approach.
5. Prepare for the interview
The big day! Social media marketing interviews should be treated like any other interview; go prepared and heed basic advice like what not to wear for the interview itself.
Before you go, make some notes about big brands whose social media efforts you greatly admire. List the reasons why they inspire you and why their work has tempted you to tread this career path. Your prospective employer is almost guaranteed to ask a question or two along these lines.
Just remember to take your portfolio of previous work with you and brush up on the current trends and social media marketing tactics, just in case you’re put on the spot.
We hope the above tips have inspired you to go out and find that social media-marketing job. It’s out there and once you’ve found it, you’ll start a career, which will be rewarding, exciting and put you at the cutting edge of marketing.