Social media managers and paid content creators have become one of the “hot jobs” that many graduates hope to land. But, what does it take to become a social media manager in today’s job market?
Landing that dream job isn’t just about having the right degree, it’s also important to be able to demonstrate your ability in real world applications. These five tips should help you in doing just that:
1. Actually manage some accounts
Nothing beats real world experience in any job. If you want to get paid to be on social media, you need to prove that you can manage it, day in and day out. Get involved in a local non-profit or small business and help them manage their social media accounts pro-bono.
You should create a full social media plan for them and provide KPI reports based on their needs. This will help you track your own progress and give you work samples to show to potential employers. Getting “under the hood” of an account and learning the daily grind is key.
2. Clean up your personal social media
It should go without saying that you don’t want embarrassing or inflammatory posts or pictures floating around on your personal social media accounts. But, in this case, I challenge you to think even deeper.
Your personal accounts are a direct reflection of your professional ability in the field. You are welcome to have opinions, but remember that potential employers and other professionals will be looking at your account and your opinions could lead them to not trust you with their company image.
3. Build your network (especially in the industry you want to be in)
If you’re trying to break into a specific industry, start following and engaging with people who work in that field. Look for executives and thought leaders with expertise in the area; ask them questions and share their content. If you help them spread their message, they will take notice (and that could be just the “in” you need!)
Nobody is going to suddenly look you up on Twitter and declare you an expert because of your 140 character snippets of inspiration. Find industry related blogs and newsletters and write engaging articles for them. Share your expertise in a well-written and edited article, then do it again, and again, and again. Once you’ve shown your abilities, you’ll find it easier and easier to share your expertise.
5. Learn to take criticism
The “social” part of social media often takes the form of criticism. People are more likely to take to the Internet to complain than to praise. Remember, you just happen to be the person behind the screen.
We all know that the customer service agent usually isn’t responsible for the poor experience with a retail chain, but they are the first line of defense for righting a problem. Social media managers are no different – we just use the Internet to accomplish it.
Being a social media manager can be very challenging and rewarding. While earning a degree is often the first step, nothing beats real world experience. In the meantime, get to know the “22 Tools and Applications Used by Social Media Professionals”