Four Tips for Getting Started with a Social Media Marketing Career

Where has 2014 gone? It feels like just yesterday (even though it was back in January) that I was setting up shop at my first, post-college job as a social media account manager at StrataBlue. After reflecting back on the fastest seven months of my life, I have learned an unbelievable amount and have added some impressive accomplishments to my résumé. Check out my four tips for someone wanting to get started in the field of social and digital media marketing.

  1. Social Media Doesn’t Sleep

–          I’m only in the office Monday through Friday, but this is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week gig, folks. You’ve got to be on your toes and readily available to deliver breaking news from (and on behalf of) your clients or brand in a timely manner. The same holds true when responding to customer inquiries. During the week, 9 p.m. is a peak activity time for social media users. While I do disconnect from work and focus on different hobbies outside of work, I also have my clients’ social channels send notifications to my iPhone so I’m able to respond to questions at any time.

  1. Time Management is a Must

–          If you prefer a routine schedule, this field is not the one for you. I often have project requests that dominate others in terms of deadlines or importance, not to mention that my day-to-day tasks shift frequently. Working quickly and efficiently under time constraints is something I have learned to adapt to well here at StrataBlue. If you’re taking on a social media function at a company, I recommend making a checklist for the next day before you leave at night, or else write one first thing in the morning. This helps keep me organized and I get an extra boost of motivation every time I check off a box on my list.

  1. Make Your Client Feel Like the ONLY Client

–          Our social media account managers juggle several clients at one time. The difference between StrataBlue and other agencies is that we make each client feel like they are the only client. This goes back to my first tip about being readily available at all times. We have to build trust with our clients and constantly prove that we are able to impact their larger marketing goals. Rule of thumb with clients: “Under promise, over deliver.”

  1. Be a Fast Learner Who is Adaptable to Change

–          Technology is ever changing. What devices or platforms I may have used yesterday could be old news come tomorrow morning. (MySpace anyone?). If you aren’t a self-starter and someone who continually takes the initiative to learn new skills, you are likely to fail in the digital media marketing field. Every day I scan through Social Media Today, Search Engine Watch, Google+ communities and other social media and technology news websites in order to stay ahead of the curve. This can be a challenge, but it’s worth it.

Care to add on to my tips about starting a social media marketing career or to work in the field of digital marketing? Leave a comment below or chat with me on Twitter at @whatupTUT.

Social Media Jobs: In-house or Outsourced?

social media jobs, social media sites

Social media jobs are in demand right now. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs involving social media and PR will grow by 23 percent between now and 2020. The value of investing in social media services to market a brand is undeniable. According to a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, 51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to purchase from a brand that they are a fan of or follow. Every business needs that sort of exposure, no matter how successful.

social media jobs, social media sites, social media strategy

Social media jobs are growing!

When it comes to social media jobs, the real question should be whether these organizations will add someone directly to their staff, or hire an agency to cover social media news for them. Below we will weigh the pros and cons of having social media jobs in-house or outsourced.

In-House

Pros: Hiring people directly for social media jobs means businesses have a bit more control over their selection process. Supervisors can really get to know these employees, and perhaps they can learn something about social media strategy along the way. Having social media in-house also means those responsible for it are at the business site when any news, media or sudden changes happen. All creative ideas and graphics can easily be approved by the business, because the person responsible for making those decisions is always nearby.

Cons: Having a social media employee in-house might seem like a dream come true, but it can also have some serious disadvantages. Unlike many other positions, social media jobs are typically needed by businesses without a lot of knowledge on the topic. An employer is bringing someone into the fold they might have problems coaching on a subject they know little about. While managers can certainly hire extremely experienced and knowledgeable people for their social media jobs, there’s no guarantee staff can stay informed in an extremely mutable field. Resources for those in social media jobs will be limited if they work for a business that doesn’t value marketing too highly.

Outsourced

Pros: Agencies live and breathe social media strategy. By virtue of being so plugged into the field, outsourced social media organizations will have more knowledge when it comes to social media news. Agencies can also get the best talent for their social media jobs, because those applying know they will be appreciated and given the resources they need to do their work correctly. Businesses that outsource their social media sites to agencies don’t have to do it themselves, or find someone they hope can keep up in a competitive field.

Cons: Outsourcing does mean businesses will have less control of their own social media strategy. They will need to find a trusted agency like StrataBlue to control all of their social media sites and identities. Getting information from businesses to agencies can sometimes be troublesome, and often requires a site like Basecamp to exchange information and media.

Is your business currently looking to outsource your social media jobs? Please get in contact with us below in the comments section!

Time Management in Social Media Jobs

Spring has always been a time for renewal and revival. Whether it’s cleaning up your house or preparing for a big summer trip, spring has always been a time to take stock and organize your life. In case you don’t know, StrataBlue is hiring a new social media account manager. What better way to celebrate spring revival than to discuss time management in social media jobs?

Time Management, social media jobs, social media strategy

Time Management is a juggling act!

It’s about time, not tasks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in social media jobs. Before you even consider social media strategy and ROI, look at the basics of the job. You’ll be using various social media sites like Facebook and Google+ to engage and update for your audience. You’ll also probably be working on paid media, such as promoted Twitter posts and Facebook ads. You could also be blogging for a number of your clients. Do you feel overwhelmed yet?

The solution is time management. You have to focus on the time you have for each task, instead of how many tasks you have. Each moment of your work day can be used to complete a task you need to accomplish. Waiting on a Facebook ad to get approved? Schedule some tweets. Have twenty minutes before your next client meeting? Get some blog research done. Once you realize how valuable your hours are in social media jobs, time management will become your best friend.

Lists are your friend. As a working adult, perhaps to-do planners and daily lists are something you remember from college. As a social media employee, you’ll need to pull that daily planner back out. I don’t care how organized your computer is, you’re going to need plain old lined paper to keep your time management goals straight. At the start of your day, write down the big items of the day. Write a blog about lawn mowers. Schedule tweets for the day. These tasks will need to be completed, but I can guarantee you they will quickly be joined by small, pertinent tasks that come up during your day.

It’s about quality AND quantity. As you become more familiar with social media jobs, you may start to notice the heavier workloads sliding your way. Or perhaps another employee will suddenly fall ill or leave your company. No matter the reason, you may find yourself with a new blog or client. You will definitely have to increase quantity, and many social media employees might let the details fall to the wayside. Avoid this at all costs. Adding new responsibilities is where time management really comes in handy. Know your limits. If you need help, there is most likely someone at your company willing to help you. Your employer would much rather help you than let client’s content suffer.

Avoid the social media abyss. It’s so easy to get sucked into social media. I’m not even talking about surfing on Facebook when you should be working. Perhaps you’re working on the completely noble task of researching a local event for a client’s social media strategy. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour reading tweets from the event coordinator for that one last piece of information. Again, keep yourself on track with time management. If you need to research a local event, set a time limit.

What time management tips do you have for social media jobs? Please share them in the comments below!