Social media is no longer just a space to virtually engage with friends and family. As social media continues to become more and more mainstream, many people are now deciding to pursue a career within the field.
Whether you are an influencer, entrepreneur, or established businessperson, understanding how to effectively utilize social media can do wonders in shaping your career.
Keep reading this guide to learn how to use social media to advance in your career.
What Exactly Is Social Media?
Social media consists of various online platforms that allow individuals and communities to create, share, and exchange information and content such as images, videos, audio, and text posts.
These social media platforms allow us to stay connected with our friends, family, and co-workers in a convenient and personalized way. Many people now even use social media to meet their potential partners or build connections with like-minded strangers from all around the world.
Here are the most popular social media platforms for personal and business use:
How Does Social Media Work?
Social media platforms use technology, user-generated content, and different interactive features.
Most social media platforms allow users to create profiles using a unique username and password. From here, the user can go on to build their personal or business profile and connect with friends and family through online conversations, exchanging photos and videos, or even audio calls and video chats.
Common ways to initiate contact on social media include sending friend or follower requests and liking, commenting, sharing, and reposting content.
Another thing that makes social media platforms unique is that they use algorithms to organize and display content to users based on their interests, preferences, and online behavior. These algorithms determine which posts, updates, or advertisements appear on the user’s feed. This gives each social media user a unique and personalized experience.
Social media platforms also offer additional features such as messaging systems, group or community pages, event listings, and advertising tools for businesses. These features bring like-minded groups of people together where they can plan events, promote their content or products, or engage in discussions.
Social media also works as a marketing tool for businesses and influencers to promote themselves. Most platforms provide specific insight into the user’s engagement and growth, allowing them to learn how to market themselves more effectively.
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What Is the Current State of Social Media Careers?
There is no better time to pursue a career in social media than now. Large and small businesses are relying on social media as a way to boost their customer base and draw in more revenue.
Not to mention, social media is constantly evolving, making it a growing, in-demand industry to work in.
While most of us are familiar with basic social media navigation, marketing your business on social media is a whole different story that requires talent, skill, and time. That’s why now more than ever, businesses are seeking qualified social media managers, copywriters, and digital marketers to advance their growth.
By hiring professionals to take on social media-related tasks, businesses will not have to worry about taking on these time-consuming and tedious duties themselves, so they can focus solely on their business.
Likewise, many people have built their own careers via social media. This especially applies to influencers and entrepreneurs who utilize social media to market their voices, opinions, services, products, and more. The most popular platforms for these groups of people include Instagram and TikTok, where engagement is straightforward and appeals to a younger audience familiar with emerging trends.
How Can Social Media Impact Your Career?
Social media is a great tool for people to grow their network and find job opportunities. Platforms like LinkedIn provide a space to connect with colleagues, industry experts, and future employers. By engaging in meaningful discussions, showcasing your talents and strengths, and sharing valuable content, you could receive incredible career opportunities you may not have had access to before.
With that said, social media can also have negative consequences if used carelessly. Inappropriate or unprofessional content can affect one’s reputation and even ruin future career opportunities. It’s also important to keep in mind that employers often review social media profiles during the hiring process, and controversial posts or offensive language can create a negative impression and jeopardize the chances of you landing the job. Therefore, you should always strive to maintain a professional image on your public profiles and be cautious about the things you choose to post.
Many people will also make the mistake of oversharing personal information on social media or start conflicts with other co-workers, which could potentially lead to a hostile work environment. That’s why it’s always in your best interest to think twice about what you post and not engage in public arguments with colleagues.
What Skills Do Social Media Careers Require?
|Copywriting||Copywriters are responsible for writing persuasive and engaging content for web, print, and social media. Their role is to create effective content through writing geared towards the voice of the client and their tailored audience.|
|Industry-Specific Skills||To excel in the field of social media, many industry-specific skills are required. This includes how to navigate social media management platforms and how to schedule and publish content, analyze data and insights, engage with followers, and manage multiple social media accounts.|
|Data Analysis||Data analysis is another social media skill. It involves collecting and interpreting large amounts of data from various social media platforms and taking note of insights, patterns, and trends for better marketing decisions.|
|Customer Service||Those in customer service are responsible for providing personal care and assistance to customers to help them troubleshoot specific issues relating to social media or a business.|
How to Leverage Social Media for Better Career Opportunities
- Build Your Professional Network
If you’re someone who wants better career opportunities, you will want to build your professional network on social media by posting engaging content that relates to your talent, interests, and strengths. It is also helpful to engage with others in your industry via social media and showcase your skills, work experience, or even a portfolio if necessary.
- Find Jobs Using Social Media
Platforms like LinkedIn are the most ideal for networking and applying for jobs. Be sure to connect and engage with employees of any company you desire to work at, and always be on the lookout for job openings.
- Use Social Media to Expand Your Knowledge
Watching the way others utilize social media could help you on your path. You could also view content produced by creators with similar interests to expand your knowledge in specific areas.
- Create an Online Presence
Creating an online presence will help you stand out to potential employers. Try posting as much as possible with content that educates and engages others. This will help build your following and open up more doors for you career-wise.
- Stay Updated About Current Technology and Trends
Since social media is constantly changing, a good way to market yourself is to stay up-to-date with current trends. This will draw more people to your social media platforms and showcase your knowledge of social media.
Top 3 Social Media Careers to Explore
- Social Media Specialist and Social Media Manager
A social media specialist is responsible for trying out different social media strategies and communicating with the audience of the brand. A social media manager is more on the marketing side of social media and focuses on strategies, goals, and metrics.
Both are fantastic career paths that will fully immerse the employee in the field of social media.
- Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a career for influencers who already have a substantial following. Their job is to partner with brands and create content promoting their products or services.
- Content Creator
A content creator develops digital content on social media platforms based on their individual interests. This content is usually showcased on blogs, videos, podcasts, and more.
Start Your Career at the Erie Institute of Technology
Do you wish to further your knowledge of technology? Erie Institute of Technology has you covered with our Web Design and Social Media Marketing Program, which can be completed in as little as 15 months.
Kickstart your career and learn more about our programs today or contact us on our website for more information.
Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.