How to Start Your Career in Social Media Marketing - Social Media Explorer
How to Start Your Career in Social Media Marketing
How to Start Your Career in Social Media Marketing

Would you like to develop effective social media strategies that will help brands achieve their desired results? Would you enjoy creating eye-catching and engaging content that will enable businesses to promote their products and services? And would you be interested in reviewing social media insights and discovering ways to improve a company’s ongoing social media performance?

Social media marketing is an exciting career path, with a diverse range of opportunities. You’ll certainly never get bored, with new platforms appearing, more features being regularly added and endless best practices to stay on top of. You’ll have a wide variety of important social media activities to perform within your role too.

Before you jump into this industry, there is a lot to consider. This article shares advice, things to think about and hopefully helps you to decide whether social media marketing is a good career fit for you.

1. What type of role are you looking for?

There are several types of role that you could consider as a Social Media Marketer. What you choose will really depend on your personality, skills, and personal preference

  1. Business – If you’d like to live and breathe one single brand, then you may want to consider working within the marketing team of a company. With social media being used across all industries and in B2B and B2C, you’ll find lots of opportunities to choose from.
  2. Agency – If you’re interested in working with lots of distinct brands on their social media marketing, you could consider working for a digital or social media agency. You’ll get a wide array of experience and work alongside other social media experts.
  3. Freelance – Do you feel confident in your social media abilities and want to have more control over your work? Becoming a Freelance Social Media Marketer could be an exciting path for you to consider. Don’t forget though that as your own business, you’ll have lots of other elements to manage such as filing your taxes, managing your finances, marketing yourself, driving sales and much more. 

2. What does the role involve?

In my experience, no one day is ever the same. The tasks you’ll be expected to perform will also vary depending on your experience level and the specific role you choose. However, here are just some of the main tasks to be aware of:

  • Craft effective social media strategies
  • Write eye-catching social media posts
  • Work with photographers and graphic designers to create a library of images for social media content
  • Perform day-to-day community management of social media accounts
  • Engage with customers effectively and efficiently
  • Report on the performance of social media accounts
  • Set up social media ads
  • Run competitions via social media platforms
  • Report into marketing managers
  • Carefully manage social media budgets

3. Do you have the right skills and knowledge?

There are some essential skills you’ll need to be effective in social media marketing. It goes without saying that you’ll need to be proficient on a computer, be creative, be able to communicate effectively and have excellent organisational skills. Attention to detail is also vital, as well as being someone who enjoys continuous learning.

It’s important to understand that updating your personal social media profiles is a lot different to managing social media for a brand. To perform well in a business setting (and stand out from other Social Media Marketers), you’ll need to develop your social media knowledge. The good news is, there are lots of fantastic social media courses available that you can even carry out online. This will help you understand more complex elements, such as how to be strategic in your activities, what branding and tone of voice mean and what the marketing mix is. You’ll also need to learn how to run social media advertising, how to get a return on investment and many other advanced aspects of social media marketing.

4. What should you do next?

After you’ve read this article, if you’re still confident that social media marketing is the right fit for you, it’s time to take the next steps:

  • To stand out from the competition, you may want to consider getting a work placement. This will give you the necessary experience, help you develop your skills further and will give you an insight into what working as a Social Media Marketer is like.
  • Keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date by continuously reading articles from industry publications (like Social Media Explorer).
  • Update your LinkedIn profile (or set one up if you don’t already have one) to include any social media courses you’ve completed or any experience you’ve gained
  • Consider writing your own blog, articles on LinkedIn, or guest blogs. This will show that you’re staying up-to-date and have a genuine passion for social media.
  • Now it’s time to apply for jobs in the area that you’re most interested in. LinkedIn can be an excellent place to start your search.
  • If you’ve decided to become a freelancer, you’ll need to find your first clients. My advice would be to start off by contacting existing connections to let them know your new career path. They may be able to give you some work, or recommend you to others, to help you get started.

All that remains to be said is “Good Luck” on your journey to becoming a Social Media Marketer! I hope you enjoy this career path as much as I do.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Harmon
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. You can follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon or see more of her writing here.

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