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How To Start Your Career in Social Media Marketing

Updated on January 17, 2016
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Get A Job In Social Media Marketing And Find Your New Career Path

Starting a career in social media marketing today is a smart move considering that all companies (modern and traditional) have a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence.

Traditional companies are laying off people because they can't manage to pay their monthly wages. Newly graduating students will find it difficult to get a good job - or any job for the matter. At the same time social media is slowly becoming a giant force to be reckoned with, one which we shouldn't simply ignore.

Businesses have started using social networking platforms as part of their regular marketing campaigns and while established companies can afford to train their employees in the ways of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, smaller start-up companies are now opening a new set of jobs for people who have a deep knowledge in this very aspect of online marketing to help their business.

This is a great opportunity for many unemployed people, along with those who want to do a meaningful career change, one that allows them to do something creative, interesting and fun, while also getting generously paid for it as well.

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Why Should You Get A Job In Social Media?

Social media marketing is big. It is in fact so big that more people know about how to at least briefly navigate the social networking platforms than ever before. I personally know of an elderly couple who are barely familiar with the very basics of browsing the internet mainly through checking their emails, but they both have a Facebook account to keep in touch with their family scattered all over the world. They know to post to their timeline, upload family photos and add friends.

For many people hanging out at the various social networking sites is a hobby. They have most of their friends on Facebook and Twitter. For them it is simply a dream come true situation when they are able to get a job that allows them to do the very same thing that they enjoy doing so much already - and get paid for it too!

Prominent bloggers have created some really strong networks on the various social media platforms, and businesses are actively seeking them because they know that these networks can help them in their own regular marketing and promotion, not to mention the fact that these bloggers often need no additional training in their new role at the organization.

While there are several experts who offer social media marketing training as part of their curriculum, since they recognize that there is currently a shortcoming with regards to relevant skills in the workforce, the proper training is in fact quite costly and it takes time as well.

So if you know your way around platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, are familiar with the current IM chatting software, such as Skype, AOL Instant Messenger and Google Chat and you have done an online webinar or two, you might be just the perfect candidate for a company who is searching for people with extensive knowledge in this area and have built a following in these online networking circles.

Can You See Yourself Having A Career In This Area Of Business?

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What Are Some Of The Best Social Media Job Titles That I Could Go After?

If you think that you might have what it takes to enter the social media job market arena, the next step is to be aware of what all is available and how to navigate the maze that is the collection of social media job titles that are available right now.

When you're checking various job boards related to social media, you'll soon notice that many job titles are extremely similar to each other and it seems that there are actually endless job titles out there today without any streamlined criteria.

While everyone knows pretty much what a plumber does, or a banker for the matter, there seems to be little guidelines in what the various job titles for social media marketing positions actually mean.

So here are briefly a few explanations of what various job titles mean. While we can't possibly go into each and every title added by every company at their whim, the ones listed here are pretty much standard everywhere.

  • Online blogger - an online blogger is usually responsible for adding and maintaining content online evolving around the company and promoting it through their blogs and the various social media outlets. The blogger will be familiar with most blogging platforms and will have an engaging style that catches the attention of visitors.
  • Community manager - A community manager is usually a person who has knowledge and experience in the various social media channels, knows to interact with the customers of the company and is active on the online social platforms, including online forums. Basically he or she will have as part of their job description to defend the company brand from slander when necessary and be the eyes and ears of the organization.
  • Social media analyst - A social media analyst will generally have the job of tracking and analyzing the social campaigns data and track their success. He or she will have insights and offer proposals to the organization managers based on their analysis of where the company stands with its social presence.
  • SEO/SEM specialist - This is a person responsible for the search engine optimization and marketing using keywords and meta tags that are competitive online. They will help the brand gaining a strong organic search presence in the main search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. Will have a good working knowledge of Adwords and PPC, along with Google Analytics for measuring and tracking the progress. Usually this person will have a strong presence in the social media community and the various online SEO forums.

These are just some of the most popular job titles offered on the social media job marketing boards, however you will see many more that actually overlap somewhat in their description and required qualification. Some examples of such jobs include the titles: social media expert, social media manager, digital product manager, social media strategist, social media specialist - you get the idea.

The most important thing to remember is that right now regardless of the many types of job names listed, there are really only so many things that a social media position will require - and most will evolve around the need to bring the company's brand to online recognition and to market the brand through the various social media channels using the tools readily available online.

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Popular Online Social Networking Platforms That You Should Have A Good Working Knowledge Of

These are the minimum sites that you should know about when applying for a social media position with any company

  • Facebook

    The most popular social networking platform. This one is a must, so know it well.

  • Twitter

    Twitter is another popular social media platform that any person who is seeking employment in the social media arena should be familiar with. Know about tweeting, retweeing and hashtags.

  • LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is also very important especially when searching for a job. It is in fact used more for business purposes than for fun (unlike Facebook which is just the opposite)

  • Pinterest

    Many people consider Pinterest a time waster, something that is only useful for fun recipes, DIY stuff and beautiful wedding dress pictures. However Pinterest can be a huge traffic referral to a website promoting products and having a following there can be only helpful. Make sure you have an account there and know how to use the site.

  • Youtube

    Youtube is actually a social networking site for videos. You might be asked as part of your job description to create videos and upload them to Youtube to drive traffic to the company and bring further awareness to the main brand.

  • Google Plus

    This is a relative newcommer to the social media range of sites, but one that is becoming quite the force. It is a great marketing tool, one that more and more businesses are starting to employ.

Overall Responsibilities For Social Media Marketing Positions

As I mentioned above, there are literally hundreds of different job titles in the field of social media, however overall there are not that many job responsibilities usually associated with positions in this area, and many are overlapping quite nicely. You can turn this to your advantage if you know what kind of responsibilities are required. Here are some of them listed below.

* Develop relevant social media strategies that push the company and brand forward

* Establish social media profiles for the organization and make it the brand well known online

* Create and/or manage a positive online reputation for the brand

* Create and promote daily content as blog posts, articles, tweets to the various online platforms and social networking sites

* Be the point of contact for the various interactive online platforms

* Give proposals to managers on going forward with increasing brand awareness online to add to the existing customer base

Some Basic Tips On Getting A Job In The Social Media Arena

When all is said and done, how you do go about finding a job in social media and actually getting the highly rewarding position?

Here are a few tips that should help. No article can give you as much information as an entire book devoted to the topic, but these pointers should get you started in the right direction.

  1. First make sure that social media marketing is the field that you are really interested in. It might be fun to hang out at Facebook and tweet your heart out every day to friends, but can you imagine doing this at a 9-5 job every day?
  2. If the answer to the previous question is a resounding YES, then you need to start your research. There are tons of companies actively searching for qualified personnel, so how do you go about finding the right one for you? One of the best ways to go about it is to search the various online job boards for positions in your area. One of the most popular job search board is Indeed.com. There are tons of jobs offered on a daily basis and navigating through the site is easy. In addition you can check your local newspaper for job positions offered. And let's not forget the various social media platforms that have jobs offered, including at some of the popular employment LinkedIn groups.
  3. Once you found a handful of companies that you would like to work at, start making your research about them. Check their websites and read every page (trust me, this will come up at your job interview anyway, so better get familiar with the organization right from the start). Search on the web for these companies by putting their name in the search engine and see what hits you get. Check the various social media platforms for any news or rumors about the organizations. Eliminate the ones that don't meet your criteria.
  4. Do more indepth research by reading relevant online magazines, publications and journals related to the business. Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazines are great places to start. Are your favorite companies listed anywhere or talked about in these journals?
  5. Use social media itself to your advantage. Many of these companies will have a Facebook page already created, so start following them. Do they have a Twitter or LinkedIn presence? See what they tweet and post and how regularly. You might even find yourself an entry point during the interview in case the company lacks a strong social media presence by proposing to help with this and this and this (all learned through your careful research from before).
  6. Contact some of these companies and send your resume (or CV) through the email that is listed in the Jobs (or About us) page on their website. Make sure you write a careful and proper cover letter explaining why you think you are best for the position you are applying for.
  7. A job interview is a book in itself on how to be your best - and be better than your competitors going after the same job. The very first book I mentioned above (Social Media Jobs Guide) has an entire section dealing with how to conduct a proper job interview and ensuring that you get the job over others.

Even If You Decide Not To Pursue A Career In Social Media

Even if you decide that social media as a job is not for you, having a working knowledge of the various social network platforms can greatly help you land any job anywhere. You can use social media for self-marketing and for researching other types of jobs.

Just knowing how to research the proper company, how to find the few gems among the ones that are not worth bothering with, how to prepare for a great job interview and how to use the social media sites to your advantage can mean the difference between being unemployed/having a boring job that simply pays the bills, and having a fulfilling position that you enjoy, one that you found simply because you searched where not many others did and knew more than other candidates applying for the very same position.

Don't forget: knowledge is power, and the more knowledge you have, the better your chances at finding the dream job that not only pays well, but is also fulfilling in itself.

© 2014 Marika

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    • kislanyk profile image
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      Marika 3 years ago from Cyprus

      You've got that right FlourishAnyway!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good advice for launching a career in social media. If you truly love what you do for a living, it doesn't seem like work.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 3 years ago from Cyprus

      Wow awesome Anamika, I love meeting people who are working in social media. One of my best friends is as well (managing the online portfolio of a software company) and she loves it (she does what he loves doing anyway, and gets paid for it too)

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 3 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I think starting a career in Social Media is the smartest thing I have done. I started with managing the Social Media profiles of a TV actor and now I am more into Online Reputation Management.