How Can Social Media Skills Transfer to My First Job?
In today’s modern work environment, social media management is in high demand. No companies can pass up the opportunity of such high exposure / inexpensive advertising. But how can you turn Tiktok into a career? Or how can you help an employer see how your knowledge of Instagram can benefit their company?
There are many skills one can learn through social media that can be included on your resume. Think about what we are trying to accomplish when any of us use social media. Why did that person post their dinner while someone else posted their dog? And then if you can also look at brands and understand why this brand is more successful than that brand, you are on your way. If you can explain the rationale behind posts, you can help companies in many departments:
- Marketing is the department charged with getting the word out about products
- Sales – those that actually talk about the buying process and close deals
- Customer Service – individuals who deal directly with the customer base
- Account Management – these positions tend to be the bridge between customers and internal departments. It may be sales, tech support, or other departments that need help with communication.
- Human Resources – HR is the department who help employees get the job, keep the job, move up in their career, handle the benefits programs, and other employee-related matters.
- Tech Support – If you like the technical side of social media and can help see why people have done what they do, you can help them solve technical problems.
And there are more! Companies need people who can communicate effectively via technological means.
Branding – While branding is definitely more widely understood today than in the past, many companies need help understanding their own branding and how to get the word out. Identifying the actual brand of a business, the messaging that supports that brand, and finding the right communication tools are all very important to a company.
Communication – There are many ways to communicate, both with those you work with and those outside the organization. Being able to communicate to different audiences through different platforms is invaluable. Also understanding the difference in speaking to someone vs. writing and formal writing vs. informal can really help a company promote their brand. Be sure to talk about your communication ability!
Creativity – It requires real creativity to participate in social media effectively. Your followers don’t want the same thing, over and over, in the same way. Even blogs that are typically one topic will change it up occasionally with product endorsements or other stories. Understanding what goes together, what would be interesting, and what keeps visitors coming back requires creative thinking and doing something unique.
Discipline and Dedication – People have a lot to say about social media, but to be good at it, you have to put in time and be dedicated. Your social media doesn’t shut down when you don’t feel like managing it but you have to be disciplined to not ignore it. You also need to be disciplined to leave it alone from time to time to help yourself have a break. In the same way, if you decide to be on a channel, you are somewhat dedicated to that channel. And while you can walk away, there are people who will notice. Be sure to talk about your social media in those terms and companies will see the value.
Graphic Design – This may not be your area of expertise in social media, but if you have an eye for good graphic design or can create things yourself, this is an important skill. Even if you don’t have a degree or want to do design full time, if you have ability, bring in samples to an interview. You never know when a company might need that help!
Marketing – Marketing is bigger than just branding. A good marketer is someone who pays attention to advertising and thinks broadly about how to reach potential customers. The marketing department in a company “feeds” the sales team leads so they cast a wider audience and make sure messaging is the same everywhere. Understanding marketing can help in many positions throughout a company.
Messaging – How do you craft the words and pictures to get a message across? That is a challenge that has been met by many throughout the ages. In today’s world it is even more challenging with the volume of information available to us and the speed at which it comes at us. Being able to design messages on specific topics is a great skill.
Sales – While marketing tees up the potential customers, sales is all about the close. Never sold anything? We would argue you have! If you ever convinced someone to do something, you’ve been involved in a sale. A sale does not mean money has to change hands. Usually it means you were able to explain that your product or service solved a problem the person had. And every job requires the ability to sell – you may have to sell ideas to coworkers, concepts to management, or products to customers. It is all sales.
Time Management – While many people feel kids today are “on their phones too much”, people who enjoy social media also get other things done. And that means you have to manage your time. Being able to explain to a potential employer how you balance your social media activities with your life can show how you manage your time.