A decade ago, no one thought that social media would become an extremely valuable marketing avenue for companies around the world. Fast forward to today, and all big corporations, advertising agencies and brands have directors and entire departments dedicated to all things social media.
Career-wise, the social media industry is now thriving thanks to a continuous rise in platform use, so career growth opportunities in social media are extraordinary.
But how can you ensure career advancement while working in social media?
Let’s discuss 3 ways in which social media professionals in any niche can level up their career:
#1: Always be learning.
– Charles Etoroma, Social Media Manager @ Warby Parker
If you work in social media, then you know that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are tinkering with new features and algorithm formulas on a seemingly daily basis. This is why it’s important to always be learning about what’s happening in the world of social media. Take 10-15 minutes each day to read up on social media news & trends from sites like Social Media Today or Digiday. This way, when it’s time to pitch new ideas to your team or to a client, you’re up-to-speed on the latest news, making you the rockstar in the room.
Aside from reading up on social media news and trends, think about learning a new skill (or strengthening an existing one) every year.
Working in social media often means being a community manager, graphic designer, photographer, copywriter, project manager, strategist and more. You don’t have to be a jack of all trades, but the more versatile your skillset, the more leverage you’ll have in future performance reviews or high-level job interviews.
Websites like Skillshare and MasterClass allow you to learn from experts on topics ranging from mastering TikTok, to email marketing, to using Adobe Illustrator – all for a small monthly fee. Often times, these monthly fees can be covered by your employer, so don’t be afraid to ask. YouTube also offers a wealth of free information for marketers and creatives looking to learn new skills or strengthen existing ones.
As Warby Parker social media manager Charles Etoroma puts it, “build up your curiosity and let it help guide you into new forms of thinking, creating and strategizing.”
#2: Connect with your peers.
Writer, actress and business mogul Issa Rae once said that her favorite way to network is networking across, instead of networking up. And it makes so much sense when you think about it.
Oftentimes, people focus on networking with those who are in positions that they want to be in, instead of networking with people who are in positions similar in experience level. The people who are on your same level are also going to be the ones you can learn from and the ones who can help you grow.
Having a network of peers on social media opens you up to a community of potential co-workers and friends looking to help fill positions (that you may be interested in) and provide resources that you otherwise would miss out on. As a social media professional, tap into #MarketingTwitter and jump into conversations that interest you. Creating organic relationships with those in different industries, but who can also relate to your day-to-day experiences, can be a key to a successful career.
Here’s a 5-person “social experts to follow” Twitter starter-pack:
Jayde I. Powell – Social Media for Sunwink
Bari Rosenstein – Social Media for Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Julian Gamboa – Social Media for Adweek
Alex Lewis – Social Media for Hollister
Kadeem Fletcher – Social Media for Macy’s
#3: Speak up at work.
– Angela Brown, Senior Social Strategist @ The Many
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s very easy to get your job done without truly allowing for your voice to be heard.
When in meetings with cross-functional teams, ask questions that may fall outside of the realm of social media. Show an overall interest in your brand or client’s overall marketing efforts, increasing the potential for you to become a voice that people come to for brainstorming and strategizing.
When performance reviews are on the horizon, be sure to ask your boss or direct report about some things that they’d like to see you improve on in future. Also, ask what their goals are for the next quarter or year, in regards to not only your work, but your team’s work.
Showing that you’re always thinking of how to improve not only yourself, but the overall team, is the initiative that higher-ups look for when it comes to giving promotions and bigger titles.
There is so much more we can build on with this article, and we plan to in the future. Be sure to follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on Slate’s product offerings, and our latest blog posts!
Dante is a social media strategist & photographer based in New Orleans, LA. He’s helped develop and manage social campaigns for dozens of clients including Walmart and New Orleans Tourism. You can connect with him on Instagram @allthingsdante.