DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Key Characteristics, Skills a Social Media Professional Needs

Social media has become an integral part of practically every company’s marketing strategy. In an ever-evolving field, companies rely on cutting edge professionals to manage their social media platforms, engage with consumers, and build their brand. If you ever thought that working in social media sounded intriguing, but were unsure how to get started, then you are in the right place.

In order to find a job in social media, it’s important to first understand exactly what a social media coordinator does. Will you be getting paid to hang out on Facebook and Twitter all day? Well…yes, but there is definitely more to it than that. You’ll be managing a company’s social media presence across multiple platforms, most commonly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and LinkedIn. You’ll be responsible for creating and writing interesting and original content on a daily basis, researching audience metrics, and possibly developing other non-written content, including video and audio clips. You’ll also be directly engaging with your audience and looking for ways to expand your brand’s following. You may be asked to find creative ways to build that brand through promotions, contests, or whatever else you can come up with.

Now that you know what working in social media actually means, let’s take a look at some key characteristics or skills you’ll need to get noticed by an employer.

Social media buff and content creator:

If you want to be a company’s social media coordinator, you need to have an impressive social media profile. The first thing an employer will do after receiving your application is review your social media accounts. If your personal social media platforms are stagnant, poorly written or unprofessional, then why would a company trust you to manage their own social media presence? You need to show that you can write original content, engage with your followers, and stay updated on trends in social media.

Tech-savvy trendsetter with a killer instinct for community engagement:

There are a lot of great ways to use social media to your advantage, but for breaking into the field of social media marketing specifically, you should focus on writing original posts, following influencers and actively engaging with those already working in the field. Retweet and reply to posts and articles written by social media professionals in order to start building relationships with people. Make sure you stay well informed on new social media platforms, and know how to use new features that get rolled out on existing services. Remember to use a variety of platforms rather than just one or two. Employers want to see that you are a tech-savvy trendsetter who is eager to learn about and use the latest and greatest tools that are out there.

Guided by analytics, metrics and KPIs:

Consider familiarizing yourself with data utilization software and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Free services like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Twitter Analytics provide detailed breakdowns of your audience and how they are engaging with the social media platforms you run. Make sure you understand not just how they work, but what they actually measure – such as post engagement, impressions, reach, demographics and follower growth.

Designer and blogger:

Market yourself as a jack-of-all-trades; become adept at photo and video editing, some basic html coding, and WordPress. The more you’re capable of doing, the more trust and responsibility you’ll ultimately be given.

Most importantly, you should constantly be writing. If you don’t already have a blog, consider starting one. The more you write, the sharper your writing will become. And, in a field where your primary function is to write clearly and concisely, a large stockpile of writing samples will be your ultimate key to success.

These tips provide a great way to kickstart your career goals, but there is always more to learn. If you have any lingering questions or you’ve done all of the above and want to know what to do next, make an appointment with your DePaul career advisor today!

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