A Few Tips on Breaking Into the Social Media Biz…

18 Jul

Regardless of what industry you operate within, we all know Social Media is still hot right — and according to reports that I’ve read, the wave doesn’t look to crest for a while. In fact women are leading the way as social media, online community, and digital communications managers as well as continue to be key demographic with purchasing power. (See Mashable “For Women, Social Media is More than ‘Girl Talk‘” and “10 Musts for Marketing to Women on Facebook.“)

I was recently on LinkedIn answering a few questions. Although I’m not as prolific as others, I try to answer a few questions a week and provide a thoughtful responses. I’ve discussed the power of LinkedIn Questions and Answers in: “LinkedIn Q and A: Ask and You Shall Receive.” Also, I have used LI Answers to generate blog pieces, such as: “How To Network in 10 (Somewhat) Easy Steps.”

After receiving a thoughtful thank you from a student at Penn State University looking to break into the Social Media biz, I thought the tips I provided him might be useful for others. My answer to his question is below. Q: How do I go about running a company’s social media page? How can I land a job doing this upon graduating college?

Document Your Work

Start keeping a journal or work log of your online and social media activities. This helps when you review with supervisors, week to week or month to month what you’ve been doing, what’s working and what you should experiment with to refine. You may also consider developing reports about what’s happening on each site monthly.

It can help articulate what you’ve been doing and what value this new endeavor adds. If your supervisors are unfamiliar with Social Media and how it works, it may not be enough to identify how many fans you gained over the past month or how many messages have been retweeted. Try to explain how those gains are significant. Develop an Integrated Strategy

I can tell you that most organizations are excited about social media because someone told them they should be. Many key decision makers have very little understanding of  how to use social media for business. Also, they are not likely to consider dropping their traditional marketing/PR/communications efforts in favor of going social — nor should they.

So, what can be helpful for you is to think about a social media strategy that fully works alongside the ongoing traditional marketing efforts. try to identify ways social media can enhance ongoing communication efforts as well as help diversify what’s already going on. Explore other digital communication areas

More likely than not, you may find yourself doing a number of different digital and virtual work activities, so being diverse in the type of work you can do — yet consistent in the digital space is important too.

If you are using Facebook for the station, consider adding a Twitter account. Perhaps you want to stat a blog for online personalities to contribute to regularly. Maybe the station might benefit from a LinkedIn company page, or a Youtube video account. Consider all the options and which might be most beneficial given some the organization’s specific goals.

Start Personal Branding

If you’re goal is to find a position doing the work of social media marketing, digital communications, or digital marketing when you graduate, then you want to begin branding yourself now. A great example is Hannah DeMilta. Prior to graduating college, she had already demonstrated herself  as someone that is aware, relevant, a thought leader, and producer in the social media space.

So, these are just a few strategies to consider when trying to break into the Social Media biz. If you have others feel free to share in the comments section. Inquiring minds want to know —


Posted by on July 18, 2010 in business, communication, social media


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4 responses to “A Few Tips on Breaking Into the Social Media Biz…

  1. Adam

    November 4, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Great tips Erika. We had an intern last year, and as part of her Internship, I had her start a personal blog. She also had to integrate her blog with her Facebook and Twitter profiles. However, after her internship, she stopped working at it..I recently discovered she is waiting tables at a local dinner..not a great opportunity for a journalism major.

    • Erika Pryor

      November 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

      When I was teaching, I frequently found students that did not take advantage of the internship opportunity while in their position — or just let their good work drop. I agree, it’s a shame. I’m sure in the long run, that student will figure it out. What you can take stock in is that you provided that person with the opportunity to grow and develop professionally — which doesn’t always happen as well. Congrats and helping them maximize that opportunity and I hope you keep up the great work.

  2. Hannah DeMilta

    July 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you so much for kind words Erika. I’m very glad we were able to meet during my time as a student in Columbus and hope our paths cross again in the future. We have social media to keep us connected 😉

    • Erika Pryor

      July 19, 2010 at 1:42 am

      You are so welcome Hannah. As I said, you’re a great example for current college students to look to on the personal branding front..not to mention you’re pretty cool and smart too! Looking forward to seeing you hopefully before you go down under!


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