How to Hone Your Skills to Get a Job in Social Media - dummies

How to Hone Your Skills to Get a Job in Social Media

By Brooks Briz, David Rose

First you have to figure out what your strongest skills are to get a job in social media. Then focus on them. If you’re not sure where you stand, read the descriptions for your ideal positions.

  • Write out your “perfect work day.” This is the best activity for establishing what you enjoy and defining how you could spend your work days. Go into as much detail as you can.

    • Who do you spend time with?

    • What is the corporate culture like?

    • What sort of functional work team are you on?

    • What type of results do you get?

    • Where will you be one year after you’re hired.

    The more detail you describe, the more beneficial it will be for your development.

  • Take online social media skills tests. Lots of tests are out there, but the best place to get started is

  • Ask people what you’re good at. Ask former and current colleagues, a close friend, and family members where your talents lie. Consider the following questions:

    • What do I talk most about?

    • Where does most of my passion lie?

    • What do I spend most of my free time reading about?

    • What type of position do you think I’m best suited for?

    • What skills and abilities am I truly gifted with?



Copywriting typically persuades someone to buy something, or it influences their overall beliefs.

Copywriting is used in online periodicals, social media updates, content descriptions — and virtually anything that a company releases via social media. For more information on effective social media copywriting, consider a leading resource such as

The most effective copywriters do the following tasks to create their writing pieces:

  1. Identify a problem.

    Clearly stating the issue that a potential customer is experiencing is key here. For example, a potential customer’s need for more time and more money would be the problem that your employer can help solve.

  2. Stir up the problem.

    Effectively explain why that problem exists and drive home the negative consequences that the issue causes consumers. From the previous example, a copywriter would emphasize that the lack of time is causing the consumer to miss important events and diminish their quality of life.

  3. Define the solution.

    Offer a definitive solution that’s guaranteed to solve the pain or problem. And finally, your employer will emphasize that the product or service that they offer will solve the problem and is the best possible solution for the consumer.


Graphic design

Another crucial social media skill is that of graphic design which can be summed up as the graphical representation of the brand.


Though it’s important to understand at least one graphic design software, it’s also important to know what results are important to companies.

Graphic designers typically create these deliverables:

  • Pictures.

  • Website development.

  • Infographics.

  • White papers and books.


Graphic designers typically rely on a suite of tools and most commonly use the following programs:

  • Adobe Suite.

  • Microsoft Suite.

  • Free tools. offers a wide range of courses and graphic designers prefer it as a quick, inexpensive knowledge source.

Information technology

Information technology (IT) can take many forms within social media. An IT professional typically serves as the intermediary between copywriters, graphic designers, and the strategists.

Sites like offer the latest and greatest strategies for social media IT.


An IT professional typically specializes in either search engine optimization (SEO), web development, or data, though some positions combine these skills.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) increases the odds that a website will show up higher in a search engine’s results.

Often, people think SEO is at odds with social media because it focuses on creating content and an overall process that’s conducive for search marketing. However, search is becoming heavily influenced by social media and the need for IT professionals to merge the two marketing areas is more important than ever.

Web development

Though most social media platforms don’t require much technical knowledge to use, the web visitors who visit a company’s website should be targeted and presented with information that applies to them.

Some platforms, such as, allow you to develop landing pages that require minimal coding. A landing page is a simple website with limited user actions that visitors start on when clicking an online advertisement or specific web result.


Web development may also include systems necessary for streamlining social media efforts and organizing information efficiently.


The data component in IT can vary from getting (procurement) to synthesizing to interpreting social media efforts and results. There’s a big call for IT professionals who can create systems that can correlate social media efforts to a return on investment (ROI) and brand impressions.

Marketing and sales strategy

Without a thorough plan that includes great copywriting, graphics, and IT, you can’t carry out a successful social media strategy. A person who’s good at creating effective marketing and sales strategy has a firm grasp on how to accomplish the following:

  • Positioning. A strategy should have a clearly defined unique selling proposition (USP) and communicate to consumers, in a consistent voice, what the company does and why it’s worth paying attention to.

  • SMART goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and time related. The more objective these goals are, the more likely they are to achieve a company’s desired results.

  • Clear communication. Other departments should be crystal clear how products, services, and goals are explained within the company and presented to the general public. This strategy has to be consistent across the organization so that everyone’s accountable for their progress. It keeps things efficient

  • Focused on the Four Rights. The strategy should promote the right product to the right audience on the right platform at the right time.