How to Find an In for a Job in Social Media

By Brooks Briz, David Rose

Because social media is so popular, organizations and corporations are being pushed to use it for their outbound communication: companies that are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, private companies, government, education, nonprofits, and religious institutions.

Companies are skeptical of self‐proclaimed “social media gurus.” Stay away from terms such as guru; they’re typically used for shock value. Instead, emphasize that you’re a professional or illustrate a specific skill set.

Internal and external jobs

Social media opportunities exist for internal and external communications. It’s common for brands to have internal social networks (courtesy of vendors such as yammer.com).

They provide these internal networks for several reasons:

  • To help facilitate creativity.

  • To have different departments collaborate on projects.

  • To streamline their brand’s critical activities.

When choosing your career, you also must decide what type of work environment that you prefer. You might also be interested in starting your own business and consulting with brands. You might even want to start your own social media agency where you manage social media for clients.

Regardless of your route, make sure you know what you want out of a job. If you’re not excited to get up in the morning and rush off to work, then you’re probably in the wrong career!

Going where the jobs are

More companies are building context with their customer base rather than advertising. As such, companies are making larger financial commitments to people and systems that help grow and manage their social media presence.

Social media can lead to automated two‐way communication systems. Don’t let it!

However, the emphasis for these brands should be on hiring leaders and building relationships with their customer base. You have even more opportunity if you can help brands reach their target goals.

Some of the immediate opportunities for social media pros are in the following areas:

  • Strategy. How to create the positioning, organizing, and execution of a social media plan.

  • Advertising. Creating, promoting, and continually improving advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

  • Analytics. Metrics that show you how many impressions and sales happen as a result of social media.

  • Referral marketing. These are programs where customers can refer their friends via social media and be given rewards such as money for telling others about a company.

  • Graphic design. As more players rush into the social media space, top‐notch graphic designers are needed to help brands establish a unique, professional style on social media.