How to get a job in Social Media

If you’ve ever looked at your favourite brand on Twitter and thought that you’d love to update their account and work within social media, then I’m going to provide some useful tips to help you that job! My advice and tips are based on over two years of experience within social media, firstly as a social media intern during my placement year at university, then as a Social Media Manager for a leading charity drinks brand and now as a Community Manager for one of the biggest drinks brands in the world. Although I’m only 24 having worked for over a couple of years, and been in the process twice of searching for a social media role, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience already!

One of the biggest and most obvious things is relevant experience within social media, marketing, PR, media or digital. If you don’t have any experience within these fields you’re likely to not get through the CV screening phase. Even if your role is an editor on a website or marketing assistant or a copywriter, you’ve got essential skills already for a social media role.

One thing that annoys me is people that think anyone can run a social media account for a business. Time after time you’ll see people apply for social media roles based on the fact ‘they use social media everyday’. I mean yes being a social media manager for instance requires that you use social media, but the fact you update your own Twitter account or post pics of food on your Instagram means NOTHING when it comes to applying for a social media role. Some people assume because they spend their entire life on social media, they could quite easily run a multinationals social media channels. But as we know that’s far from the truth.

So experience is so crucial if you want to get into a social media role. If you’ve left college or university and want to get into social media, try to get a social media internship at a small brand or local business. You’re more likely to get a role within a small business if you use social media in your personal life than a larger brand. An internship is a start as this gets you crucial social media skills like coming up with creative content for a brands platform, updating an account and engaging with an audience. My first role was a social media intern. and for the first 4 months it was unpaid, so there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Experience for me is more important than earning money when you have a CV that’s quite empty.

Also having a relevant degree can help you get into a social media role quicker, as you’ve already picked up some skills within that education. So any degree whether that’s Media, Business Management or Journalism is useful for a social media role. This will get you through the CV screening for sure.

it’s very important if you want to get into social media that you have a few social media projects going on in your personal life. This could be anything from your own blog about your hobbies to a Facebook page you run to your own YouTube channel. This shows that you can come up with ideas for content and have experience in both using a social media platform and engaging with an audience. I write this blog as well as running a few fun social media accounts on some of my passions just to get me more experience and learn new things about each platform.

If possible running a website is another wonderful way to help you gain valuable skills for a social media role. This could be a blog or maybe a website to do with anything you love. In order to promote your website you might have social media accounts for it, again fantastic skills and experience that a social media employer will love.

I’d say one of the most important ways to ensure your social media experiences is right for a role is to be up to date with the industry. This might be something very simple like reading digital marketing or social media news sites everyday like Mashable, The Drum or Marketing Week just to get a feel about new platforms and ways social is being utilised by brands and users. One question I’ve been asked a lot in interviews is on what I think are the best channels to use or which channel is growing or how do you see social developing over the next few years. These questions can be answered really well if you are clued up and wired in to the industry and everything happening in and around it. It also illustrates you’re proactive and passionate about the space as well as willing to develop your skills.

So just to recap. The main things you need to do to increase your chances of getting a social media role are; have experience, a relevant degree, an online personality, running a website if possible and keeping up to date with the industry. If you achieve even one of these, you’ll be on your way to that perfect role!

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing and social media news please follow this blog or me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.

Advertisements

WhatsApp Facebook? Buy the Competition or Diversify

So this week saw the quite surprising news that Facebook is set to acquire messaging service WhatsApp for a reported $19 billion, not much then! But for me it does pose the question in the social media and mobile landscape of whether Facebook’s major acquisitions are simply a ploy to buy the competition, or diversify into other areas and markets.

Taking that first theory, Facebook has a reputation of trying to buy out mobile platforms, most notably their successful acquisition of Instagram and again a few months ago with their failed bid for Snapchat. So you could argue that Facebook sees WhatsApp as a threat to their Facebook chat service, or any potential mobile platform that they might be developing in the future. Therefore, instead of sitting idle and watching WhatsApp rake in the money and become a competitor, they simply buy them! I mean it’s clever of Facebook to do this, as they clearly know what the market is doing and what’s (App) popular with consumers, and growing. But is this strategy a good one? I do feel Facebook is trying to become too embellished and wanting to become too much, and have their finger in all these pies. This could come to their detriment if they take their eye off their main channel, and basically the one thing they’re known for. So I suppose the saying would be. ‘If you can’t beat them, buy them’!

However, another school of thought is that it’s quite ingenuous of Facebook to buy out these companies, as they don’t have the skill, nor the user base to compete or create something such as a messaging app, or a photo sharing app in the case of Instagram. Facebook has tried and failed to diversify its platform into photo sharing and messaging, so the next best thing is to buy an established player. Acquiring WhatsApp is a smart move as here you have a very popular service that’s used by millions and growing everyday. Facebook doesn’t have to invest in R&D, product development or marketing, as the value of the WhatsApp branding  will do that automatically for them. Thus, these diversification strategies increase Facebooks market presence and tap into knowledge and well-established brands to take them to the next level.

But what of the future of WhatsApp. Facebook say that nothing will change, and it will remain as it is. Well, it’s maybe only a matter of time before advertising comes into the picture! I do actually believe Facebook a bit when they say they’ll keep everything the same, as they’ve not radically changed Instagram, as so many thought they would.

To finish, here’s one final thought. Apparently looking back on the founder of WhatsApp’s tweets, Brain Acton was turned down by Twitter and Facebook for a job in 2009. Oh the irony.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. In the meantime please follow this blog and me on Twitter @DigitalStuart 

Social Networking Sites at a Glance

Here for your enjoyment is a quick glance at some social networking site facts!

Facebook

Launched: 2004

Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 1.19 billion (active)

What can you do?: Create a profile, share status updates, photos and videos, create events, post on someone’s Timeline, Like pages, join groups, send messages, hashtag trends

Twitter

Launched: 2006

Founders: Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams and Biz Stone

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 500 million (200+ active users)

What can you do?: Create a profile and bio, share status updates (tweets) in 140 characters, follow and be followed by users, follow hashtag trends, retweet, send direct messages

LinkedIn

Launched: 2003

Founders:  Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant

Headquarters: Mountain View, California, USA

Number of users: 259 million

What can you do?: Create an online CV, connect with fellow professionals to increase your network, search for jobs, follow companies, join groups, send messages, search for news stories, update your status

Google+

Launched: 2011

Founders:  Owned by Google; their founders: Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 540 million (300+ active users)

What can you do?: Create a profile and bio, add users to your circles, create hangouts, join Google+ pages, join communities, +1 something, share photos and videos, create events, hashtag trends, use Google search, message users

(For the pros and cons of Google+, please see: ‘Google Plus or Google Minus’)

Pinterest

Launched: 2010

Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 70 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, create ‘boards’, ‘pin’ photos of your hobbies and interests on those boards, follow other users boards and repin their posts

Tumblr

Launched: 2007

Founder: David Karp (Owned by Yahoo!)

Headquarters: New York City, USA

Number of users: 216.3 million monthly visitors

What can you do?:  Create a profile, write blog posts, follow and be followed by other users

WordPress

Launched: 2003

Founders: Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 73 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, write blog posts, follow and be followed by other users

Flickr

Launched: 2004

Founders: Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake (Owned by Yahoo!)

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, USA

Number of users: 87 million

What can you do?:  Create a profile, share photos and videos

YouTube

Launched: 2005

Founders: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim (Owned by Google)

Headquarters: San Bruno, California, USA

Number of users: 1 billion

What can you do?:  Create a profile, share videos, follow other users channels, have others follow your channels

Instagram

Launched: 2010

Founders: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (Owned by Facebook)

Headquarters:, Menlo Park, California, USA

Number of users: 150 million

What can you do?: A mobile app that enables you to create a profile bio, share photos, follow and be followed by other users, hashtag trends, send direct messages

Snapchat

Launched: 2011

Founders: Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy

Headquarters:, Menlo Park, California, USA – (Stanford, California)

Number of users: 350 million

What can you do?:  A mobile app that enables you to create a username, send photos and videos whilst adding text and drawings to them; the snaps are sent like text messages and will be accessible for one to ten seconds

Vine

Launched: 2013

Founders: Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll (Owned by Twitter)

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of users: 40 million

What can you do?:  A mobile app that enables you to post short video clips for a maximum of six seconds

So there you have it. That’s a quick overview of the details of all the main social networking sites. Hope you liked all those facts! Please follow my blog for more digital marketing posts or my Twitter account @DigitalStuart

Thanks for reading 🙂