Just like anyone can create and use a social media account, anyone can be a social media marketer as well. Yes, you don’t even need a college degree for this career – but learning how to fake a diploma and generate a strong resume can definitely help you land projects.
Follow this step by step guide to fast-track your social media marketing career. Before that, however, let’s talk about what social media marketing really is and what a career in this field entails.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the use of platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to create and manage online relationships between companies and their target customers. This also involves content creation, community building, lead generation, and sales.
A career in social media marketing requires creativity, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well under pressure. As a social media marketer, you will be responsible for tasks like:
- Creating and managing social media accounts for businesses
- Planning and executing social media campaigns
- Generating content for social media platforms
- Engaging with customers and followers on social media
- Monitoring social media analytics
- Reporting on social media performance
These are just a few of the responsibilities that come with the job. Social media marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing field, so it’s important to be able to adapt quickly and think on your feet.
How to Become a Social Media Marketer
Now that you know a little bit more about what social media marketing is, let’s move on to the guide on how you can start your social media marketing career.
1. Select and start with one social media platform
Social media marketing has evolved to such as extent that each platform now has its own ad guidelines, features, and best practices. For example, Facebook Ads are very different from LinkedIn Ads. Advertising on Twitter requires an entire set of different skills than advertising on Instagram.
If you try to be a jack-of-all-trades, you will quickly get overwhelmed and end up being a master of none. Instead, select one social media platform to start with and study everything you can about it. Then, try to apply for job posts calling for social media marketing experience on that specific platform.
Once you’re confident and have a strong portfolio on one platform, you can start expanding your skillset to other social media platforms.
2. Don’t rule out volunteer positions
The fact that anyone can be a social media marketer is a double-edged sword: that also means that there are countless social media managers who have no idea what they’re doing. As a result, businesses are starting to become more selective with who they hire for social media marketing positions.
If you don’t have any relevant work experience, volunteer or intern for a company in a related field. For example, if you’re interested in social media marketing for a non-profit, look for volunteer opportunities with non-profits in your area. You can also reach out to big companies and offer to exchange social media marketing services for free in exchange for experience.
Not only will this give you some much-needed experience, but it will also help you network and build relationships with professionals in your field.
3. Get a social media marketing certification
While a college degree is not required to be a social media marketer, certification can certainly give you an edge over the competition. A social media marketing certification says a few things about you:
- You’re knowledgeable in the latest social media marketing trends and best practices
- You’re willing to invest time and money in your education
- You’re serious about a career in social media marketing
There are many different social media marketing certification programs available, both online and offline. Many of them are free as well, so don’t let the cost be a deterrent. If you’re not sure where to start, try Googling “social media marketing certification” and seeing what comes up.
4. Explore social media marketing tactics on your own
The best way to learn social media marketing is by doing it. Experiment with different content types, strategies, and platforms to see what works best. You can hit two birds with one stone using this tactic: establish your personal brand while also refining your skills as a social media marketer.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Start a social media marketing blog and document your experiments
- Manage the social media accounts for a friend or family member’s business
- Participate in social media marketing challenges and case studies
Not only will you get real-world experience with social media marketing, but you’ll also have something to show for your efforts when applying for jobs.
These four steps are by no means exhaustive, but they will give you a solid foundation on which to build your social media marketing career. Best of luck!