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5 Tips for Landing a Social Media Job

So you’re look­ing for a social media job, but you aren’t sure what kind of qual­i­fi­ca­tions you might need or what the pay is like? Don’t feel too bad, even many of the com­pa­nies hir­ing a social media man­ag­er can’t answer those ques­tions objec­tive­ly. The truth is that the field is still so new, and still grow­ing and evolv­ing at such a rapid pace, that there real­ly isn’t much objec­tiv­i­ty to go by.

That being said, there are some rock-sol­id tac­tics you can use to try and land that dream job in social media, and some gen­er­al guide­lines for what you can expect to be paid in such a posi­tion. Before we get into the tac­tics, let’s take a quick look at the pay scale.

Part of the prob­lem with set­ting a salary range is that the size of the com­pa­ny plays a big part. Larg­er com­pa­nies tend to pay more, obvi­ous­ly. The oth­er prob­lem is that you may find list­ings for five dif­fer­ent titles, but each one has the exact same require­ments. Social media man­ag­er, social media coor­di­na­tor, social media strate­gist, and so on. There are no def­i­nite titles and descrip­tions estab­lished, so it’s a mat­ter of the com­pa­ny’s pref­er­ence as far as the name.

There are real­ly only two well-estab­lished posi­tions to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between: intern and (fill in the title, some­thing oth­er than intern). Interns gen­er­al­ly earn hourly rates between $10 and $15 per hour on aver­age. “Spe­cial­ists” (again, pick your favorite title) earn any­where from $30,000 to $100,000 per year, depend­ing on the com­pa­ny. The aver­age seems to fall in around the $35,000 to $60,000 range. I know that’s a wide range, but it is what it is.

To land that job, here are 5 tac­tics that will show them that you know what you’re doing.

1. Improve Your Personal Social Media Accounts

What will they see if they vis­it your per­son­al social media accounts? They had bet­ter see a well-opti­mized page with great inter­ac­tion and reg­u­lar post­ings. If you can’t make some­thing out of your own page, why should they believe you can advance theirs? The best exam­ple I’ve heard of was the guy who cre­at­ed a fan­tas­tic land­ing page as a resume and then sent tar­get­ed ads out through Face­book to the com­pa­nies he want­ed to work for.

2. To Get a Social Media Job Show Quantifiable Results

If you’ve got them to show, this is the best proof that you should be hired. Have you worked man­ag­ing social media for a busi­ness before? What kind of results did you have? This is no dif­fer­ent than sales or many oth­er posi­tions. The proof of qual­i­fi­ca­tion is in your pre­vi­ous results. No expe­ri­ence? Maybe you could find a small busi­ness to work with pro bono. If you can pro­duce results, the unpaid time will be very well spent.

3. Get a Degree or Certificate

Many social media com­pa­nies offer online cer­tifi­cates for com­plet­ing their cours­es. This isn’t a col­lege degree, but it shows that you’re inter­est­ed enough to get them and knowl­edge­able enough to have com­plet­ed them. Many col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties also have degree pro­grams in social media, but by the time you com­plete one the field is like­ly to be com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than when you started.

4. Check Your Personality

There are a few cer­tain­ties in social media, and one is that you have to have a stel­lar and out­go­ing per­son­al­i­ty to suc­ceed in the field. If you’re qui­et and reserved or bor­ing, look into account­ing instead.

5. Use LinkedIn

To actu­al­ly find and land the job (once 1–4 are sat­is­fied), fol­low dig­i­tal agen­cies on LinkedIn and find con­nec­tions to talk to. Don’t ask for a job. Ask what their hir­ing process is like and who accepts resumes.

The great thing about social media as a field is that there are always plen­ty of open posi­tions (at this point in his­to­ry). All you have to do is find the com­pa­ny you want to work for and show them you’ve got the stuff they’re look­ing for!

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