Four ways to turn your social media addiction into a successful career
Get smart and use social media to get the career you dreamed of. You no doubt may have used social media platforms as a means for procrastination and idle chatter during your more carefree days as a student, you should now be thinking about using them as a channel for your professional and creative endeavours, and a stepping stone to a career.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll be aware that social media is now one of the most powerful forces in the modern world. It’s the biggest source for knowledge and news with more of us using the internet for news updates and information over newspapers these days. Content has the ability to go viral in a matter of hours. What’s more, more money is spent on online adverts than print.
On top of this, ecommerce is now fast taking over from retail in the commercial sector, meaning jobs in digital marketing and social media are increasingly popular. If you, like many other twenty-something’s spend a lot of time on the internet, satisfying your thirst for knowledge and multi-media, you should consider the following steps…
Step 1: Read and share industry news
Media, PR, marketing, design, advertising, finance, fashion… The list is endless. They’re fast paced industries which require quick minds with a great grasp on technological advancements. ‘Social media literally never sleeps’ says Roxanne Nejad, head of social media at boohoo.com, one of the UK’s leading online fashion retailers. Alex is responsible for managing boohoo’s twitter, Polyvore, Google+, Pinterest and Vine accounts, as well as liaising with bloggers. ‘There are always new trends, new apps, new opinions, and new social media platforms, so we have to make sure that we’re there first to jump on them.’
It’s therefore imperative to keep abreast of any new developments in the industry you’d like to work in via online channels and social sharing. Always keep up to date on relevant industry news websites and share your findings and opinions with others on your own social media channels.
A simple share or retweet of a fantastic article you found and a comment below it can scream engagement and fascination to your followers, as well as get you noticed by the people who published the article in the first place.
Step 2: Network, network, network!
Who you know can speak volumes, and can of course be one of the most important factors when getting that all important job interview. Although, we’re not saying you need to sashay around the most important industry events and conferences, making friends with everyone. It starts at humble beginnings: your social media friends and followers lists.
Step 3: Blog
So how do you really go the extra mile to get noticed? It’s simple, and very fun.
We’re sure you’ve heard the term ‘Brand You’ before. Try to imagine yourself as the perfect successful brand, and then promote that brand through a blog!
The biggest way of showing your passion for your chosen career and your capabilities within that realm, as well as an overall zest for life, is indeed to broadcast it through a blog you create. Treat it as your portfolio. For example, you should showcase all your ideas, writing, inspiration and creative work if you have any. If you were looking for a career in fashion you could showcase your style by uploading outfits on your blog in order to attract attention from the marketing teams of the brands you want to work closely with, or for.
You could even analyse successful PR stunts from big-name brands, or case studies from your chosen career-area that you’ve found whilst researching the internet.
Astute prospective employers will realise that the more social media shares, ‘likes’ and comments a blog post you write elicits, the more successful your tactics and campaigns will be once they award you the job; so bring your blog’s high social interaction to their attention in your applications and interviews for social media and digital marketing based roles!
Alex Blythin, social media assistant at boohoo is proof that blogging works: ‘I write a blog, called www.alexalamode.tumblr.com which can give employers a better idea of your creativity, and helps you stand out over other candidates. ’
Step 4: Gain that valuable experience!
Having experience is key to winning that dream job! Employers need to see that you have gone one step further and sought out valuable work experience. Whether it be a short internship or spending the summer working as an assistant, it’s important to be able to have a background and overall knowledge in the career you want. This way you know what to expect and can hit the ground running! Employers will want to see you have a clear understanding of what is needed to fulfil the job role, with the right experience you can be safe assured it will make your c.v. more desirable.
Sophie Lockard, the Online Marketing Manager at boohoo.com continues, ‘Applicants for jobs in social media at boohoo who can show they have a sound knowledge and interest in lots of social channels as well as gaining valuable experience will go straight to the top of the pile. It shows you have drive and an actual passion for the business outside of the workplace – there’s nothing more important than that’.
- Whereas social media can be your best friend and most important tool in your quest for success, it could turn you into your own worst enemy if your account contains shameful photos of long-forgotten nights out and swearword-ridden tweets. Clean up your profile or assure your privacy settings are adequate.
- Never underestimate to power of Google. If you’re unsure what we mean by this, put yourself in your recruiter’s shoes and Google your name to assess what is unearthed. Old MySpace photos of that holiday in Kavos? That ‘test’ blog you made six years ago and then forgot all about? Get rid.