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Thinking About a Career in Social Media?

December 12, 2010

When I walked down the stage stairs after receiving my diploma thoughts were rushing through my head. What am I going to do next? Do I want to work in-house or at an agency? I had been on tours of both in Boston and New York with my PRSSA chapter, but I still wasn’t sure.

I ended up taking a paid internship starting right after I graduated, about 30 minutes from my school. Turning into a full time social media gig I still have to explain to most people what it is exactly that I do. Positions such as Community Manager, Social Media Engineer, and Social Media Marketing Strategist are becoming more in demand as companies realize they need to have a social media strategy in place as times are changing and the consumer’s opinion is being formed online. The professions of public relations and marketing are slowly but surely being integrated in to the tasks of a social media position. As many bright graduates are studying communications in their last years of college, it is important to start leveraging social media now, before you get out of school, especially if your university does not offer such a course.

Here are five pieces of advice a student who is looking into social media as a career should consider:

  1. Start leveraging social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn, are not just to chat with friends but to start networking. Start learning from following others on the best practices of social media in the workplace are, and what opportunities are out there for up and coming graduates.
  2. Bookmark, read, and read some more. There are so many social media blogs on the internet and many professionals already in the business writing about their ventures. Social media is so new to so many people that reading as much as possible will not only help you learn, but give you ideas.
  3. Intern. Many companies are hiring social media interns part time to help them with promoting their product or business, and connecting with specific communities. You can learn a lot by immersing yourself in a position that calls for you to learn and teach yourself.
  4. Start blogging. Start your own blog. I suggest WordPress but you can use platforms such as Blogger or Tumblr as well. Blogging will help you get experience with back-linking, writing content, and building a community. Also being able to show a blog at an interview or provide the link on your resume shows you have experience already.
  5. Participate in Twitter Chats. There is a list of twitter chats that has all the times and topics. You can listen and join in on conversations about public relations, social media, social media metrics, marketing, and more. Participating in these chats gives you direct access to knowledge and advice being shared about social topics, and gives you the change to ask questions and connect with those already working in the industry.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 3:26 am

    I agree 100% with you. I was in the same boat when I graduated university. However it is also very important to understand the nature of social media and digital media. Reading blogs, staying up-to-date with trends (Mashable.com) are great places to start. Also knowledge of coding, HTML, Flash and web analytics can set you apart from the rest.

    • December 28, 2010 5:40 pm

      Ahmed, thanks for the response. I agree. Once I started I realized that knowledge of HTML, keyword research and SEO, and even some paid search became part of the job. Filling your mind with all things digital marketing can always help in a social position!

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