Writers Market as a Means to Social Media Manager Gigs
Social Media Management positions involve much text work.
One trick that social media managers use to find clients (companies that need their assistance) is to use a paper directory such as a phone book or yellow pages.
For example, freelance writers might use a Writer's Market directory - which contains submission guidelines and editorial contact information normally meant for independent and freelance writers - to search for magazines and publishing companies that need social media managers.
Alternately, you can Google a magazine’s name - or Google the phrase (insert magazine name) submission guidelines - or the phrase (insert magazine name) editorial guidelines - to find an online edition of a magazine to see if the usual social media suspects are present at their web sites. If they have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn buttons plastered all over their web pages, look for one that does not.
Or, maybe not.
If you run across one that does not appear to be properly leveraging social media - if they just have Facebook Like and Twitter tweet buttons on their web pages, but no other social media presence - feel free to contact the magazine to see if they need assistance. This can work especially well if you're still in contact with one of your old magazine editors, right? Right.
For the purpose of this article, I looked up Time magazine. Time has been pretty consistent over the years in not accepting freelance submissions - their entire magazine is written by staff writers (which I think is one of their weaknesses, because it's not very, um, social).
However, Time's contact information is listed in Writer's Market, so you can go to their online edition to confirm they are correctly using social media tools (as are most mainstream business entities in America that are interested in generating additional revenue to pull us out of the ongoing recession). In other words, Time has buttons that invite readers to “Fan TIME on Facebook” and “Follow TIME on Twitter" - so they rather obviously have hired a social media manager (or have morphed an equivalent duty position somewhere in their organization).
But don't give up just because you can't get a new media manager job at Time.
Another favorite magazine, Outside, caters to non-couch-potato-types (or, non-couch-potatoe-types, for you former vice presidents) - and has “Like” (Facebook) and “Tweet” (Twitter) buttons on their online edition, so they may also employee a Social Media Manager.
My first browse through Writer’s Market notes there are many magazines, trade journals, and publishing companies that have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buttons on various web pages at their online editions and web sites. And yet - and yet - social media buttons do not a social Media Manager make.
Anybody can copy and paste snippets of HTML into a web page.
What companies need these days is someone who is a competent writer and sophisticated synchronizer of the plethora of social media web sites that exist. Someone who knows how to persist through the process of authorizing a LinkedIn account to automatically tweet when a business owner “Shares an Update” in the “Network Activity” section of their LinkedIn account.
Businesses need independent operators who have been using social media tools such as Amazon's Associates Program and Google's AdSense / AdWords advertising programs for years - because these skill sets provide them with an understanding of how Web 2.0 user-generated content and social media actually function.
They need real Social Media Managers, savvy people who can talk the talk and walk the walk.
Don't be surprised if you land your first Social Media Manager job after using a directory of some variety to find a business, contact the business, and explain to them what you want to do. Use the LinkedIn / Twitter synchronization thing described above to warm them up, if need be.
Tell them you can call them on the telephone and explain how to synchronize the two sites.
That's how you land your first Social Media Manager gig.
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