By Brooks Briz, David Rose

If you’re seeking a career in social media, it’s a good idea to know where that might take you. How do you do that? Well, it’s a good idea to know the current trends. So, what are some of the biggest trends and opportunities for 2015?

  • Social media advertising: The main revenue driver with engines such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is advertising. The larger social media networks constantly get more effective. This job opportunity becomes larger when considering networks such as Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Google+ emerging with their advertising platforms. A social media advertising professional should be well versed in copywriting, graphic design, and social media analytics.

  • Realtime marketing: Real time is versus reactive marketing, which happens after the fact and doesn’t involve two‐way conversation. You can use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for real‐time marketing, which includes brands monitoring and participating in trends. You can target large and small current events to specific audiences. For example, the Grammy’s produced huge net results for Arby’s and Quaker Oats, which jumped into a Twitter conversation with witty banter; multiple media sources were talking about the brands.

  • Content marketing: Social media pros create and distribute valuable, relevant content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience for this marketing technique. Content marketing’s ultimate objective is to drive profitable customer action. An opportunity exists in the storytelling process around the user rather than the product. Brands have jumped onto platforms like medium.com, where stories can be told with beautiful imagery and create a more enjoyable reading experience for the end user.

    Check here for great examples of content marketing and how to optimize this methodology.

  • Data aggregation and analysis: Can you synthesize social media information and turn it into actionable data for brands? A professional who knows how to use social media data and turn it into sales is valuable to organizations.

Be aware of your own strengths and talents when considering opportunities. Don’t take a big data job if the monotony bores you to tears. The money and benefits will never outweigh the happiness that you get from work.

To be prepared for the impending changes, continually do the following:

  • Know what’s happening in the social media trenches. Be part of the work that is going on, even if you are in a management capacity.

  • Learn. Block out at least one hour per day to brush up on articles or tutorials and engage with other social media professionals about best practices, tips, strategy and so forth. Create Google Calendar reminders to stay on schedule. When you let a day or two of study go by, the sooner you’re likely to give up this tactic.

Be transparent (share) about your responsibilities at work to give back to the social media pro community — as long as your employer allows it and it doesn’t violate your employment agreement — and try to provide as much value as you can to other social media professionals.