Ten Things You Need To Know If You Want A Job In Social Media

Dear potential job applicant,

There’s a lot more to social media – as a profession – than tweets and updating your Facebook status. Every college grad and tween who lives and breathes social media may be considered by most non-digital enthusiasts to be social media “experts” in their own right. I would argue that although the majority of this demographic are top consumers of social content, having a job in the industry is largely different and more complex.

As the Social Media Director at one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies, I get many resumes and enthusiastic candidates interested in a job in our field. Before you come to me wanting a job (or if you are a hiring manager looking for a qualified social media employee), take a look at the top ten things to know before you take a step in to the wild side of corporate social media management.


A qualified social media candidate…

1.  Must understand personal Klout score is insignificant.

I don’t care if you have an impressive social media following and have been retweeted by a celebrity. What I care about is how you would fit into the shoes of one of our clients and best articulate and engage with their audience. You are now no longer @Immabigdeal Twitter handle – you’re the voice behind a brand that trusts in your judgment and strengths to engage in their audience, on their behalf. While thought leadership is important, your focus is on your client’s audiences and not your own.

2.  Must understand time is not your own.

As a social media community and project manager, your thoughts, fears, and anxiety now become that of a PR crisis on one of your brand pages. When you have a free moment, you are hopping on your brand pages and seeing if anyone has mentioned the brand in a tweet, or posted on the brand’s Timeline and needs attention. Your personal channels become inferior in terms of your time and energy.

3.  Must learn to wear many hats.

You may have a handful of clients, each with extreme personalities such a construction equipment company and an all-inclusive Jamaican couples resort. The ability to monitor, engage, and create compelling content at the same time for all of your clients can be a challenge, and warrants creative thinking, organization and flexibility.

4.  Analytics is your friend.

How do you know if you are succeeding on social media? What key success metrics are in place to help you measure success? No social campaign or contract should kick off without knowing how you’re going to measure success or failures. As a social media project manager, it is imperative to understand which pieces of content are eliciting the highest engagement, and which social channels convert the most leads or sales. Understand your social tools and resources and how they can help you tell the story of social success.

5.  Must love to read and learn.

The social media and digital landscape is constantly evolving with new platform updates, rules and regulations, and acquisitions happening every day. To be on the forefront of the headlines and knowledgeable on these updates, it’s your job to read and consume as much information each day as possible. An informed social media manager is an employed social media manager.

6.  Must have high capacity for customer service.

Are you well versed in “rant” and “rave”? How do you handle criticism, unhappy people and generally disgruntled customers? While social media is about brand advocacy and cultivation of brand ambassadors, it is also a hub for complaints and customer service questions. Stay organized and know the appropriate escalation chain of command like the back of your hand. It doesn’t hurt to keep the PR team on speed dial as well, just in case.

7.  Must be nimble.

Community management requires you to be quick on your feet and able to roll with the social media punches. A social network may completely redesign their interface or roll out a new feature that demolishes your previous sweepstakes plan. The only constant in social media is that it is always changing. Think and act quickly, always with the client goals and best interest in mind, and have fun while trying out new tools, processes and platforms.

8.  Must be creative and innovative.

Think outside the box. Have fun with personifying a brand voice and identity, and engage the audience in new pieces of content that are compelling and will resonate with your audience. Cookie cutter content will only go so far. What are some real-world applications or events that you can harness with social? What unique ways can you come up with to harness a platform or social network?

9.  Must be organized.

Perhaps one of the most important traits to be a successful social media project manager is hyper organization. When wearing multiple hats, managing multiple clients, brand personalities, ad campaigns and content projects, templates and processes will be two of your best friends.

10.  Must be social.

This sounds fairly obvious, but is essential. To properly engage with people in digital discussions, it’s important to have real-world knowledge and experience of relevant humor, pop culture, and appropriate slang surfacing today’s world as found in social situations. Be social, but also be sure to put down your smart phone every once and a while. People want to engage with YOU, not watch you engage with your digital audience.


Sound like the gig for you? Shoot me an email at carrie@internetmarketinginc.com and let me know why you would make the ideal job candidate.



Your Potential Employer

Leave a Reply