5 Tips for Aspiring Social Media Marketers
Within the past few years, it seems that social media positions are popping up everywhere, in all types of organizations, from The New York Times, to Pizza Hut, and even in the White House. Businesses of all types are identifying the need to stay connected with their communities because they recognize the benefits.
Social media marketing is just a slice of the social media industry, but it’s a very important piece of the story. Businesses see social media as a platform for engaging with consumers and informing them of the latest company news and products. Marketers are blazing trails in the social media marketing sector, creating campaigns that are interactive, shareable and inclusive of the online community. For the most innovative of marketers, the focus isn’t on campaigns, but on letting consumers take the reigns in guiding a brand’s social presence.
For aspiring social media marketers, there are no strict rules for becoming successful. But we’ve gathered eight of the brightest minds in the social media industry to elaborate on five helpful tips for landing a job in social media marketing.
In talking with a number of digital entrepreneurs, one tip stood out as the first step towards online success: step away from your computer, meet with professionals in the field you want to work with and join groups of others interested in social media and technology. Damien Basile, communication strategist and founder of Digital Somethings, a monthly digital influencer event series, said it loud and clear, “The old axiom still rings true: It’s who you know, what you know and how much money you have access to.”
Digital Strategist and Co-Founder of Foodspotting, Soraya Darabi, recommends that job seekers looking to break into the social media world get out and meet people in the industry:
“Most careers depend a lot on networks, but the beauty of social media is that you can “meet” most of the people you need to know online. Having said that, I truly appreciate real life conversations, and get great value from the New York Tech Meetup after-events, where like-minded entrepreneurs and digital strategists roam. Create your own networking event if you can’t find a nearby group to suit your interests.”
Joining groups like the New York Tech Meetup and Social Media Club are a great start to getting to know professionals in the industry. Make sure you’re not just attending events, sitting in the back and leaving after the speeches end. Be proactive about meeting new people, learning about what they do and having meaningful conversations.
If you can’t find a fitting group of interesting people nearby, start your own Meetup. Organizing a group of specialized experts is one way to sky-rocket your name to the top.
Joining specialized groups is just the beginning; don’t stop there. When you meet people with interesting stories, get to know them and build a true relationship. Forget the marketing pitches and the elevator speech and leave your resume at home. People can instinctively identify a fraud; be genuine in your mission to understand the industry and what your acquaintances are working on. I like the way Soundcloud Evangelist David Noel puts it, “Don’t be spammy, pushy, sales-y, douchey, or scary.”
The best thing about the social space is that you can continue your relationships online. As Basile puts it, “Comment, interact, blog and re-blog. The more you make yourself heard, the more you will be heard.” Make sure you’re staying active within your network, and don’t forget to listen.
Pedro Sorrentino, MediaMind's marketing and PR coordinator in Brazil, says to remember that “it’s not only about the people you know, it’s about the way you treat them as well. Technology is just a platform and social media is all about sociology, human behavior and status.” He points out that technology can lead way to short, crass communications. Learn how to engage your network in a “clever and polite way.”
Sophia Aladenoye, a digital strategist at Ogilvy Public Relations, stresses the important of embracing the extrovert in you while on your mission to make your connections count:
“My top tip would be to always engage with people. I have seen this, time and time again, that those who are in the social media industry and who wish to break in are individuals who actually like people and like talking to people. Those are the ones who I see thriving in this industry — it is called “social” for a reason. Even if you consider yourself an introvert, there should be a part of yourself that still reaches out to people.”