Careers In Social Media

Consider this my primer to tonight’s talk at UMass Dartmouth about Careers in Social Media.

I was invited by Dr. Steven White to speak with Lauren Barber and Elizabeth Grenier on this fast moving topic. The audience is his class of Marketing 670 students and will be held at the UMass Charlton College of Business.

I’m going to take a look at 3 skills or tools (or rules in this case) that help you dive into this highly competitive career path.

I say it’s highly competitive because on the internet – everyone is a Social Media “expert.” Hopefully some of these fundamental rules I bring up set you apart from the pack.

Before we begin, my many different Social Media outlets:

Rule #1: Social Media Is About Being Social

“Hi, my name is Matt, I’m co-founder of Slocum Design Studio a local new media digital marketing studio. Do you need help making the web work for you?”

“Hi, my name is Jon Doe, I’m a basement contractor. Did you know that the rainy spring season is coming and most basement floods cost homeowners five to ten thousand dollars?”

“Hi, my name is Jane Doe, I’m developing a Portugese Cookbook. Did you know that the best Portuguese cheeses come from the Azores?”

So how hard was that? Be social.

It’s not rocket science.

Talk about what others want to hear. Sure there is opportunity to sell – but don’t make that your primary goal.

Connect with your fans, customers, or followers on a more intimate and real-time level. Make it your opportunity to educate them and learn from them at the same time.

If you’re working for someone else, manage responses and reviews quickly and effectively. Hold surveys and share what the company or brand is doing.

You are the new age PR position.

Rule #2: Tools For Social Media

You have  a passion, a business or a cause and you want to tell people about it. Social Media isn’t about Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN – they are just the tools.

They are the platforms for connecting us to the outside world. It’s up to us to use them effectively. It’s also important to remember, there are a lot more tools out there. The following are just a few that I promote regularly.

Your Social Media Tools

  • Your Web Presence (website, microsite, promo site, etc)
  • YouTube or Vimeo channel
  • Your Facebook page
  • Your Twitter stream
  • Your LinkedIN profile
  • Your Blog
  • Your Flickr account

Let’s not forget, there are tools for tools!

Most major social media platforms are focused on a user being logged into their interface. Facebook for example, wants you to be logged in to see photos, questions, relationships and so on.

Most importantly – their ads.

But what do you do if you’re making a living out of social media? You can’t be in multiple accounts at once. Enter in my favorite: Hootsuite.

I won’t dwell on all of the functionality, but it’s a great web based app that allows you to control many accounts at once, see statistics, track links etc. Available on the web, iPad, and iPhone.

Tools For Tools

  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck
  • Seesmic
  • Bit.ly
  • Ping.fm
  • Plenty more

Rule #3: It’s A 2-Part Game

So you know to be social and you have a plethora of tools available – what do you do next?

Better yet, how do you do it right?

There is no exact science to social media. There are different paths you can take if you’re building your personal brand or if you’re building a client’s brand.

You need to become human.

You need to react in real-time.

You need to tell a story.

You need to be become engaging.

You need to say thank you.

You need to be you.

Some folks can talk about what they had for breakfast and their followers will love it. Others could care less. Some brands can talk about details of their product and service and no one will care. Connect with your community and see what works and what doesn’t.

Then track the progress or loss with the tools you’ve equipped yourself with.

Remember: Everyone is an expert. Break out from that generic know-it-all become someone different.

Are You Ready To Pursue Your Career in Social Media?

Are you consulting in the market now? Are you looking to break out with your own niche? Possibly starting to market your own brand?

If you consider the internet to be in it’s “teen” years – social media is still a child.

Now is the time to carve out your niche and pave the way for your own Social Media management success. There is no de-facto authority on any of this. Make your career your own way. There’s enough creativity to go around.

I want to hear about you and your story. Comment below and keep me posted!

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