5 Tips to Land a Social Media Job

Convincing and converting the C-level

Want to land a job as a social media manager, brand manager or online community facilitator? You’ll need more in your bag of tricks than hundreds of followers. How about showing the C-level decision makers how your following can be an asset to the company?

Social media people are still considered disruptive talent in many organizations. Other than tweeting or facebooking, what exactly do you do? Land the job with a well thought out argument. Keep your job by managing expectations throughout the organization.

Your social media assets

# 1 Your connections

There’s no denying social media humanizes brands and your online community can ramp up a company’s forward-facing image quickly. Arrive at your interview armed with print-outs of conversations on your blog, Facebook or Twitter that you’ve had with friends about the brands you’ve previously represented. If you haven’t represented a brand before, conduct some experiments and take snapshots of your conversations.

Always connectingKeep the job by recording brand engagement conversations you initiate. Find creative ways to share your achievements with the powers that be – make a social media bulletin board, decorate your cubicle, post on your co-worker’s facebook walls. And measure everything – monthly likers, sales, website analytics (pages viewed per visit, time on page, referring sites).

When I work with bloggers, I speak with them at the outset of the relationship – email is not strong enough to make a personal connection. And I maintain that contact afterward as well. After all, social networking is all about making friends, right?

# 2 Your presence

Beauty queen wanna-be’s know their reputation precedes them – and can strip away their winnings before the crown is seated properly. Before your interview, make sure your online presence is devoid of any blemishes (compromising pictures, swearing, etc.). And if the clean-up is extensive, consider your go-forward plan when it comes to what you post online.

Keep the job by being transparent online with your hiring manager and others within the organization. Don’t hide behind a fake Facebook or Twitter profile. Instead, live by the motto that if your mom (kids, grandmother, boss) saw your posting and wouldn’t approve, it shouldn’t be there. Yes, FCUK is a clothing brand but unless you’re talking about a sweet new pair of jeans, don’t bother.

# 3 Your street cred

Your authenticity is your currency on social media. Holding a contest for a free coffee maker and getting 600 entries shows you’re good at online promotions and maybe SEO. How about a contest that gets people talking about the brand (during the contest and after) and then converts those new friends into followers and eventually buyers? Soap & Glory excels at turning customers into fans. Whether you’ve held a contest in the past for a brand or not, bring examples of companies doing it right.

Candy FunKeep your job by understanding the difference between a marketing campaign and growing a community. One results in disciples happy to share your good news with their friends (who may not have heard of your otherwise) – the other might result in a sale, but not necessarily. Try things no one else is doing and live up to your disruptive reputation.

When I decided to build a bedhead campaign, hauling a mattress out the back and getting coworkers to jump on it while we threw candy at it turned out to be a great idea – we doubled our online sales that month. 

# 4 Your crisis management skills

Your ability to stay calm and carry on sets you apart from the panicked luddite who believes a negative review is “the reason we should not have put our company on Facebook in the first place…”

Gather examples of companies who’ve failed miserably during a crisis (remember the Motrin debacle?) as well as companies who embrace negativity as opportunities for improvement.

Keep your position by embracing Land’s End customer guarantee – satisfaction guaranteed, whatever that means to you.

# 5 Your early adoption nature

If your community on Facebook and Twitter is large enough that Klout considers you an influencer, you have a right to your spot on the social media mountain. Be your own cheerleading squad and tell your interviewer why you’re at this interview and then show them what you bring to the table.

Disruptive TalentKeep your new job by continuing to reach. Be fluent in social media speak and know what’s new on the horizon. If you publicly tweet that you can’t figure out how to manage your hootsuite columns, you have a problem…

Social media jobs give creative people a place to stretch traditional marketing boundaries. But they’re hard work to get and to keep. Remember when snowboarding became an official Olympic sport in 1994? Those boarders had to do a lot of work to prove their skills were earned – and could be measured. Social media is no different – a heck of a lot of fun, but completely serious.

Do yourself and other social media strategists a favor when you apply for your next job. Take your career path seriously and be prepared to show relevance and traction to everything you do.

Got social media questions? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.

10 Responses to “5 Tips to Land a Social Media Job”

  1. Rossana Wyatt says:

    Julia, another awesome post. Great tips and information. 🙂

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thanks so much, Rossana – glad you liked it! Know what I love most about this industry? The amount of sharing that we all do and it always makes me feel good to know when my words resonate with others. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!
      Julia

  2. marci says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I was pleased to note that, intuitively, I have already adopted some of these strategies. Many others – like creating a social media bulletin board and Klout – are awesome ideas. Very relevant and tangible! Thanks again!

  3. Robert Smith says:

    Julia, I noticed your tweet a few minutes ago about all the spam that you were receiving, and thought I would take a moment to contribute something of value to your blog.

    The Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, in Lincoln, NE recently offered a new position for a social media manager to connect with our one million members. I was hoping to share that job offering here, but I see that we are no longer seeking additional applicants. Anyway, I’ll be sure to share this blog entry with our Webmaster as decisions are made to fill this new position. I’ve been trying to make the case for this position for about the last year to year & one half.

    My own Klout score is 43 with a true reach of 566. The amplification score is 21 with a network rating of 47.

    Klout considers me to be an Explorer. Since my background is in tree care & planting as a certified arborist, what can you tell me about this rating based on your experience as a social marketing strategist? Any valuable insights that you can offer?

    Anyway…thanks for sharing the nice blog. I plan to take a few minutes and look at some of your past entries.

    Thanks for all that you do to help people like me better connect with people to plant & care for trees.

    Sincerely, Robert Smith
    Arbor Day Foundation
    http://twitter.com/treeplanting

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hey Robert,

      Nice to hear from you – your comment is so much better than the spam I’ve seen today 🙂 Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad to hear my suggestions for playing nice on social media resonate with you.

      As for your question about Klout, that’s a tricky one. My Klout score fluctuates from 66-70, depending on how much I’m on Twitter: Julia’s Klout. But if you’re looking to hire someone for social media, their score matters less than their understanding of it or the quality of what lies beneath.

      First, can they talk about the different platforms and how they add value? Can they identify their influencers and who they influence – and why? Can they chart a path between their tweets and their goals (building a community, sales, etc.)

      Second, look at their social media platforms – are they actually talking to people? Are they adding value to the conversation? What do you think of their online voice – is it something that would work in your company?

      Kout is a tool but a circular saw is a tool too and if you don’t know how to use it, you could end up doing a lot more damage.

      Hope this helps a bit- and good luck!

      Julia

  4. James Mills says:

    Great article that will help me land my dream job!, Thank you!

  5. What a good read. As a software test team lead exploring social media outside of work I am fascinated that these jobs exist, and that one day I could be doing them. As James Mills above me in the comments would agree, a dream job indeed!

    Thanks again,
    Andrew

  6. While your points are valid and I agree with them, I do have to add that in order to speak to the C-Suite you need some dollars and cents speak. Proving how to establish true ROI and tie your social media presence to solid business objectives is a true way to speak to their logical brains.
    Most businesses are no longer looking for straight social media people and have started looking more for good business people with a social media skill set. While social media specialists are great, having a business background allows you to better understand the value you are contributing to the bottom line. And the bottom line is what most C-level execs are concerned about.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Well said, Chris! What I love about a person who has both the social media background and a solid business acumen is that they can teach the C-suite when to measure and when to consider the anecdotal and captured conversations as equally important.

      Thanks for adding your insights!
      Julia


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