4 Things to Know About Having a Career in Social Media

social-media-career I love to learn. I read constantly, listen carefully and take all the advice I’m given to heart. Public relations is my passion, but even more so, I love social media. I utilize it everyday for personal and professional reasons and hope to one day put my knowledge and skills to the test as a social media strategist. But in the meantime, I continue learning from the best.

Long before I got the courage to start my own blog, I began reading the blogs of seasoned public relations professionals, such as Ragan’s PR Daily, Social Media Examiner, ComPRehension and many others. I can definitely say that by reading these posts, I’ve learned a lot about the industry and have been inspired to write several of my own public relations blog posts.

Since I have found an unrequited love for social media and would prefer to spend my professional career working with it, I read a lot, some might say even too much, about it. I was trying to do enough research for my own blog post on social media careers, but I found that a recent post on Ragan’s PR Daily said everything much better than I could have. And since I loved the post so much, I am going to share it on my blog. So here it is. (100% credit goes to Ragan’s PR Daily.)

4 Things to Know About Having a Social Media Career

1. Understand different facets of social media careers. Working in social media isn’t just writing clever tweets. It’s a lot more than that, and there are different facets to these kinds of jobs. Some of these positions are separate, but often if you’re working at a smaller company, you’ll fill several of these roles:

Community manager: Community managers both internally and externally build a reputation for the company and extend its reach online. This includes creating a Twitter chat for your industry or company to lead, organizing offline networking events, moderating and participating in a forum your organization runs, and more. Most community managers are excellent at emulating the company voice as well as efficiently and calmly handling any complaints or issues that may arise.

Social strategist: As a social strategist, you’ll create social campaigns and strategies to meet certain goals for your organization (or, if you work at an agency, your organization’s clients). You will need to know how to track success on social media and target social messaging for audiences. Social strategists should be able to take advantage of tools that improve audience engagement, know how to use and interpret analytics tools, and be able to think innovatively when using social media to promote goals. You can also look into other social media roles such as content programmers, bloggers, social networking analysts and social media developers to decide which is the best fit for you.

2. Getting a job in social media requires more than just an impressive résumé.

A great résumé helps, but when you’re interviewing for a social media position, you need to bring your A-game. Companies are looking for someone who can not only speak to a community online, but who are also personable and social offline, because you may be meeting with clients and attending conferences or events. You’ll also want to display your creativity; doing so in your cover letter or elsewhere in your application can boost you to the top of the interview list. Use good judgment, and be natural. Don’t be too out there. Trying too hard or appearing insane will turn off potential employers. Be prepared to answer questions on the spot as to what you would do for that company to improve their social presence. The best candidates already come with suggestions as to how to boost a company’s social success.

3. Expect to be on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week—but get major perks.

Social media doesn’t sleep. This doesn’t mean you don’t get any shut-eye, but it does mean thatyou should be prepared to handle whatever comes at you, even if you’re not in the office. Crisis situations and customer complaints should be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. Don’t jump the gun on resolving what could be a volatile situation—if necessary, call your boss. It might be the weekend, but he will appreciate that you asked for his input before making a rash decision. However, not everything you handle in your off hours will be negative. Your company hired you to work in social media, so they want you to be social. You might get to travel to attend social media conferences and networking events to meet and learn from others in your industry. Also, if your company is hosting an event, you will be the eyes and ears for those unable to attend.

4. Harness the power to innovate and inspire others in your industry.

Although you may be learning from other social media professionals when you get started, don’t mistake this communication as one-sided. Because the industry is ever changing, you will discover new ways to innovate the social space; your company, as well as the connections you’ve made, will give you the platform to share your insights. Social media is a field in which you not only get to participate and create, but also shape the future.

If you’re interested in a social media career, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. You can read the original post from Ragan’s PR Daily here.

Photo credit: Ragan’s PR Daily

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