How do I Get a Job in Social Media?
Indeed. This is a question I get asked regularly by my students and LinkedIn network alike.
There is no doubt that social media marketing is an exciting industry; however, many young professionals still struggle with getting their foot in the door. This is partly due to the fact that this new field lacks standards and transparency, which makes it more difficult to prove your knowledge.
This is not only my opinion; it is also feedback from a recent social media careers event.
While there is NO one size fits all when it comes to this topic, here is some advice I always give my students when it comes to finding a job in social media marketing.
This advice was written with entry level social media jobs in mind; however, it can also apply to other levels and functions.
Build your professional social media presence
I know this may sound obvious, but I am not taking about your personal Snapchat profile.
It’s really important that you walk your talk, when it comes to social media marketing. It is not only the way that most employers and recruiters will discover you, it is also the way that they will vet you as a prospective employee. I would start with having a complete LinkedIn profile with endorsements and recommendations (few is better than none)
Then, make it a point to engage on the platform regularly – say at least 3x per week. If you have nothing to say, curate content and monitor your network activity. Stand out by leaving a thoughtful comment, and “not just liking” relevant posts.
I would also consider Twitter. It is a public network which makes it easy for people to find you. If you don’t have any original content to share, you can also curate relevant industry content and look for conversation opportunities.
Most importantly, make sure your brand identity is consistent across all your professional channels. This means having a professional photo, branded (or, simple) banners, and a username that makes sense for you.
Network, on and off line
So, in addition to doing your networking on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, it’s important to attend off line events.
Nothing can replace the magic of face to face connections.
If you’re in Vancouver, I encourage you to attend our #YVRSocial events where you can meet up directly with companies, agencies, and recruiters.
Other than that, I would set up a search on Meetup.com and Eventbrite to make sure you don’t miss out on relevant events near you.
Showing up to the event is not enough. Stand out by connecting with the speakers and attendees before the event. Then, at the event, tweet out memorable quotes and show off your social networking skills!
Pre-Event Networking Example
— Amy Scott (@AmyScott48) March 29, 2017
Live Event Networking Example
— Corina Santema (@CorinaSantema) December 1, 2016
Build your portfolio and show results
When I look at most LinkedIn profiles, they tend to sound like a job description.
Anyone can have a job description on their LinkedIn profile but you can stand out by showcasing some of your work and results.
If you don’t have an online portfolio, consider adding media (e.g. images/videos) to your LinkedIn experience. The below example is from Maggie Lin, previously the social media specialist at Vancity Credit Union.
Don’t have any work projects to show for yet? You can also attach school projects. This example is from my past student at the UBC Digital Marketing Communications Program. She now works as a digital marketing associate.
When writing up your results, focus on growth that can be attributed to your work.
Here’s a simple example:
“I managed the online community of business XYZ. In 3 months, I increased the community size by X%, the engagement by Y% and overall social traffic to the website by Z%“
Not all of this may be relevant to you but you get the idea. This sounds much better than something like this:
“I curated content, and interacted with fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram”
You get the idea.
While my portfolio is a work in progress, take a look for some inspiration to get you started.
Take courses and get certified
Other skills you should consider enhancing include marketing, branding, copy writing, design, digital analytics, and reporting.
Some of these courses can also be taken via Lynda.com (and did you know you could get free learning using a Vancouver library card?).
When you do, make sure you add this coursework and these certifications to your LinkedIn profile.
While there is no one secret to this topic and plenty can be said, it comes down to having a strategy and consistency in implementing some of the above tactics. Like anything else, it’s also easier said than done.
If you have any questions, happy to answer them in the comments below, or tweet me @WahibaChair. All the best in your job search!