Social Media Career Advice From Leading Marketers
It pays to seek expert advice for your career, especially when you work in social media. We asked these social media experts for the best piece of career advice they could offer in 10 seconds or less so you can learn from their industry shaping experiences. Also see our new Social Media Jobs Salary Guide to learn about salary ranges, titles and job markets to aid your social media career.
"Walk the talk. There's no substitute for personal and professional social proof when it comes to careers in social media. Demonstrate first-hand experience with developing approach, tactics, implementation and measurement. Be creative, innovate and stand for something."
Lee Odden, CEO - TopRank Online Marketing
"Build your social media presence on relevant social networks and platforms. Don't just collect people, rather proactively engage and become part of the community."
Heidi Cohen, Actionable Marketing Expert
"Diversify your knowledge in by first understanding the nuances between social media channels and then how different types of businesses that are looking to achieve different types of goals would fit best in their most relevant channels. A branding campaign for a company is going to have a different strategy than a sweepstakes campaign or a recruiting campaign for a B2B. Learn the market and learn the client -- this will open up new social media opportunities that you may have never thought of."
Loren Baker, BlueGlass Interactive, Inc.
"Be well-rounded. While it's great to focus know how all facets of social media work together."
Jordan Kasteler, Author, A to Z: Social Media Marketing
"Be ready to give. (Social media) influence comes with giving back to the community, to your contacts and to people you don't even know. Don't think about getting anything back - become a sincere and authentic giver!"
Ann Smarty, My Blog Guest
"Remember: you can sell in social media simply by being the smartest person in the room. Know what you're bringing to the table, what makes your insights and ideas unique and convey these through a clear, authentic voice that adds value for your audience and community rather than just yourself, your brand or your product."
Matt Charney, Cornerstone OnDemand
"It sounds simple, but focus on talking to people - not just on spreading your message. Add value in these conversations and you will build social credibility. Which leads to more followers and a larger opportunity to influence."
Tim Tyrell-Smith, Tim's Strategy, Marketing Coach and Career Strategist
"Along with being the first of your friends to learn about new social tools/channels that are developed, focus on understanding how they can be used as a business tool. If your mind starts developing ideas for campaigns and business strategies before others, then you're way ahead of the curve."
Rich DeMatteo, Bad Rhino Inc., Co-Founder
"Be present and be visible; in social media, everyone is vying for attention. The best way to get it is to provide value all the time in subjects related to the careers you desire."
Tamar Weinberg, Digital Marketing Strategist
"Exercise empathy at all times. Focus on your audience's needs and desires. If you can do this well, people will respond to you and your brand, which will generate results for your brand and your career."
Suzanne McDonald, Designated Editor
"Spend time really understanding the business goal behind social media marketing and how to measure it. Companies really want to understand the value behind social media, and knowing how your efforts and campaigns will really benefit the company will distinguish you and make you invaluable."
Brent Csutoras, Social Media Consultant
"Steer away from fuzzy metrics and focus on social media marketing tactics that move the needle."
Brian Chappell, Social Search Strategist - Ignite Social Media
"Aspire to change the world. While that might at first sound pie in the sky, consider what you're being tasked with by your clients. You need to be able to have the hard and soft skills - everything from the nuts and bolts of social tools to the art of conversation and being on point in all forms of social interaction. That said, you need to step up to the plate, understand your client like no one else and then be able to amplify their message to change reality. Make their customers love them."
Brian Wallace, President - NowSourcing, Inc.
"You have to find a unique niche. Something you do that no one else can do. Find the blue ocean and own it."
Dan Zarrella, HubSpot's Social Media Scientist
"Use social media to establish your own voice and interact with professionals you find interesting. Follow, subscribe to, and respond to others. Executives active with social media will notice who interacts with them, especially if they have something interesting to say."
David Berkowitz, VP of Emerging Media
"While 'social media' is your focus, you can't be of optimal value to your clients or to yourself if social is your only discipline. A strong social media professional understands SEO, online advertising, email marketing, content marketing and even sees how it all integrates and plugs in with traditional media. The best way to rock it as a social media anything is to be mindful of all the other areas of digital marketing and marketing in general. Then you'll stand out as a social media professional."
Jason Falls, CEO - Social Media Explorer and Author - No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing
"Social Media is equal parts social and media. N00bs often focus on the content, get spammy and forget about the social aspect. Be social and build relationships. Treat social media like a conversation with a friend at a bar. In fact, I always tweet drunk!"
Jerry James Stone, Social Media Editor - Discovery Channel
"If you truly want to work in social Media, you must first be a part of it. Before you can educate others, you must study and learn the craft, and most of all engage with people. Social media consists of sharing content in a social setting - you've got to share content to elicit a discussion. Be careful though - you've got to work hard to continue the conversation using Social Media platforms. Take the time to build a solid and respected reputation with people. The biggest mistake people seeking Social media careers can make is not practicing what you preach."
Susan Cooper, Founder - Buzzedition
"Always be nice to people you meet online, make sure to take the time to get to know them, you will be supirsed how much you can learn from other people and how much it can help you with your work."
Tal Siach, Co-Founder and CMO - Visual.ly
"Building an audience is now the driving force for mainstream media publishers and bloggers to be successful. Social media tools and services are used by the Internet at large. Bringing your content or product to the frontlines of every relevant social channel ultimately delivers attention to new readers or target audience that may not have been searching for that specific content organically."
Greg Voakes, Audience Development Specialist
"Create your presence on social media to be found, heard and respected; otherwise, you won't be."
Susan Beebe, Chief Listener - Dell