How to land a job in Social Media Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing Marketing Tools & Tips Social Media Best Practices

It wasn’t even a few years ago that social media marketing wasn’t taken very seriously. One by one, businesses began to realize that they needed to have a social media presence to stay relevant, but it was unfamiliar territory they didn’t know how to capitalize on. With consumer behavior on social channels, such as Facebook likes, having a significant influence on Google search rankings, social media has established itself as a necessary channel for brands to connect and communicate with consumers.

Roles like “Social Media Marketing Manager”, “Social Community Manager” and “Social Media Strategist” are popping up, and they’re not just for interns anymore. Now that businesses understand how valuable, complex and dynamic managing social media is, these roles are gaining clout. New opportunities are appearing left and right. Think you’d make a great candidate? Learn what you need to know to score a job in social media marketing.


1. Have a personal presence on relevant social media channels

This is absolutely essential. Your potential employer will check this. If you’re not familiar with these channels, then how will you use them to achieve business goals? Read about the most popular social media channels for business in Yahoo’s small business blog.

Bonus: You’ll find most social media job opportunities online. It’s the nature of the beast so use it to your advantage!


2. Be proficient

Simply having a twitter handle and a handful of followers isn’t going to position you as an expert. You need to really understand how to navigate key channels efficiently and recognize which channels are best for achieving your potential employer’s goals (example: B2B vs B2C) and reaching their audience.

Bonus: Understand the hidden gems the average user wouldn’t know about on these platforms.


3. Be Professional – Clean up your personal profiles

Regardless of the job you’re applying to, potential employers always check this. If you haven’t gone through your social profiles–all of them–and taken down those party pics from college and the political activism posts, then now is the time to do it.


4. Be innovative and relevant

Since you’re applying to a social media role, think of everything you post as a portfolio–it’s an example of your interests, creativity, tone and knowledge of the business and industry. Use your portfolio as an opportunity to stand out from others applying for the job. If you have a blog, be creative and incorporate it as a part of your portfolio as well.


5. Demonstrate that you can engage an audience organically

Your social following is an audience who raised their hands and said, “Give me more info! I like what you’re doing!” This group is made up of potential future customers and showing that you can keep the brand top of mind via engagement is gold. If you can do this with your personal audience, it shows that you’re capable of tapping into what your audience cares about. Discuss how you’ll recreate this on the business front, and you’re well on your way to becoming a successful social media manager.


6. Research the business and industry

Most businesses have profiles or accounts with the core channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, your potential employer may use these channels differently depending on how their customers behave there . For example, Facebook may be a place where an audience wants product or business-related information, but Instagram followers might be more playful. By demonstrating that you’ve researched the business and industry and put some thought into how to leverage each channel’s strengths shows that you can think critically about helping the business achieve its goals.

Bonus: Your research will also help you become familiar with the voice and tone of the company so when you interview you’ll speak the language of the hiring team.


7. Analytics, analytics, analytics…

One of the biggest issues surrounding social media marketing is understanding the impact. For some companies, the ability to show return on investment (ROI) is used to measure value, while at another company leads or brand awareness are the most important. Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of social media metrics will be important to landing a job. Every industry has its own set of buzzwords. Know the social media vernacular–CTR, conversion rate, engagement, trendjacking, etc.  Learn what the metrics mean and how they impact the bottom line.


8. Show you’re efficient! (with more analytics!)

Showing that you can be efficient in your work from day one will really leave an impression. The basic analytics are great, but coming in with some experience using more robust tools is even better.

Tools like Buffer are great for post scheduling. They allow you to schedule your posts across all of your social media channels from one place. Other tools, like Rival IQ, saves a ton of time by compiling metrics from all your channels into one place so you don’t have to check every channel, every day. The most useful feature is how it establishes benchmarks relative to your top competitors so metrics, like audience size and engagement rate mean something because you can compare it to your competitors. Otherwise, they’re what we call a “so what?” metric. We have 1500 followers on Facebook… so what? Do we need more? Is that a good amount? These numbers only mean something if you have a benchmark to compare them to.


9. Gain valuable experience on your own

Knowing how to use business manager tools facilitates your ability to make data-driven decisions. Having this experience will set you apart from the pack of interviewees. No experience? No problem! Set up a campaign on your personal account and promote your blog or a piece of content you’ve created! Since you’re looking for work, maybe set up an ad that promotes you. Try target hiring managers at companies you’d like to work for. It’ll cost you a little bit of money, but you’ll gain valuable experience and reach hiring managers in an unconventional and creative way.
Another option to gain more experience is by offering your help to a business for free! Look for an opportunity to help a friends’ or family members’ business by setting up their social accounts and posting on their behalf regularly.


10. Network with industry leaders and influencers!

Your network and connections have value! Your potential employer may be looking for a candidate who has a deep reserve  of connections so they gain your network as an additional asset for hiring you. Go out of your way to connect with industry leaders and influencers in the industry you’re looking for work. Plus, if you’re promoting your content online, you may get noticed by one of them propelling the probability of landing that social media gig even higher!


Are we missing a tip or crucial step? Share your experience and insight in the comments section below. We’d love to hear them!

Danica Benson

Originally from the Portland Metro Area, Danica migrated north to work as a marketer in the startup arena after earning her MBA. She’s a small business advocate bringing her passion to the tech world. Outside of the office, Danica spends her free time on outdoor adventures and exploring the great city of Seattle.

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