“How do I get a job in social media?” This is a question we are often asked at our events and workshops across the UK.

Social media is an increasingly popular career choice and it’s easy to see why. If you love spending your time on social media sites you may be considering turning this passion into a career. But there is much more to working in social media than discovering, sharing, and liking.

Social media is still a relatively new field and landing your perfect job in the field can be different to other areas where having a “proven track record” is often considered essential.

Whilst having experience in more traditional forms of marketing is often beneficial there are many other ways you can stand out from the crowd.

Here are 4 of our top tips if you’re looking to land your perfect job in social media:

1.     Ask yourself – is a job in social media right for me?

If you’re after a steady job with no surprises, a career in social media may not be the best choice for you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Social media is constantly evolving. Updates and algorithm changes happen all the time which means what was considered best practice last week could look very different today. Can you stay on top of the latest developments, or will constant change cause frustration?
  • Social media roles typically require you to work outside of normal business hours, when social platforms see most traffic. If you’re looking for a job which is strictly 9 to 5, then it’s not for you!
  • Social media is all about relationships. The better you are at nurturing relationships, the better your results will be. Success depends on your ability to build connections with your potential customers.
  • Are you able to balance personal and professional? Social media is a chance to humanise your brand and customers like to know that they’re interacting with another human, not a robot. There is an art to keeping conversations professional and credible though – representing a brand is not like chatting with your mates on WhatsApp.

2.     Familiarise yourself with platforms

This may seem downright obvious, but proficiency across at least 4-5 different social media platforms is essential. There is much more to working in social media than simply posting content and interacting with clients. Having a broad understanding of the full functionality of each platform is highly desirable to employees. With this in mind, some platforms, like Facebook, offer free online courses.

It’s also useful to familiarise yourself with the language specific to the sector and learn about the programs and applications which will add to your skill set, like HTML, Buffer and Hootsuite.

3.     Educate yourself

There are a plethora of social media courses and qualifications now available. Knowing which one (if any) is right for you can be a near impossible task. Accredited social media courses vary in length from a couple of days to a three-year degree course.

General Assembly offers a fantastic 10-week course in digital marketing as well as highly valuable short courses such as our social media evening classes.

Professional diplomas and short courses can vary dramatically in terms of duration, cost, and quality. If you’re seeking a professional diploma then it’s worth checking out; The Digital Marketing Institute, The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) and The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Academic degrees are offered by a number of universities including; University of West London, University of Winchester and University of Huddersfield. They typically cost £9,000 per year.

Whilst formal qualifications aren’t a prerequisite for all jobs in social media they will help set you apart from others as well as providing you with a deeper understanding.

Our team does not have any social media qualifications – but have valuable experience in the field, having worked with large brands since 2008. Think about how you can gain knowledge and experience by running social media sites for businesses.

4.     Build your personal brand and grow your network

You probably already have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, but if you now want to use these platforms professionally it is probably time to have a tidy up. Ditch the drunken university pictures and start showcasing meaningful content that will gain you followers and relevant interaction.

It would also be a good idea to extend your network by connecting industry experts and those in the know. Not only is being well-connected a definite advantage working in social media, but their expertise and connections could also prove invaluable to you!

If you’re looking for a career in social media then join us for a free event on 24th October at General Assembly in London

How to Land your Perfect Career in Social Media will feature a panel of industry experts including; Drew Benvie, Founder and MD of Battenhall and Jennifer Nadeau, Social Media & Digital Consultant at Digital Gurus.