Social Media

Interview Tips for Securing a Role in Social Media

After I graduated I began searching for many inbound marketing jobs, and  secured an excellent role within a position focused heavily on social media in which I’ll be running campaigns and also managing accounts. It took me a lot of time and effort to get the role I really wanted, so I thought I’d share some tips for recent graduates on getting a job in social media marketing, as I’ve been to plenty of interviews and know the types of questions to expect.

Be able to describe accounts you’ve managed

Having really clear and detailed examples of accounts or campaigns you’ve managed is very important. Most interviewers will ask you about this, and it’s particularly useful if you can describe things like:

  • Challenges you encountered whilst managing campaigns
  • How you overcame these challenges
  • What you learnt from the experiences
  • What you enjoyed the most
  • Something you changed for the better

Most of all, it is important that you describe even negative situations in a positive way, and be able to demonstrate how you can take these experiences and bring positive learning from them to the new role in a way which will benefit the organisation. I found that interviewers didn’t mind that some of the campaigns I’d dealt with weren’t huge, it was more important to focus on what I’d learnt from them, no matter the size.

Have solid examples of campaigns you admire

As well as personal examples of things that work, also think about case studies from some campaigns you admire. What were the best practices you saw from the campaigns? What can you take away from the campaigns and apply elsewhere? Why were they so successful? All these points will help in showing that you have an understanding of social media and when it is beneficial for an organisation. It may be best to use an example that isn’t related to your personal experience; for example if you worked on a B2B campaign previously, you could choose an example that was B2C, to broaden your knowledge.

Be able to describe how you use tools and analytics

Being organised and analysing the work you do on social media campaigns is a real strong point in the eyes of an employer. Data is so important as it directly relates to KPI’s (and therefore ROI) for an organisation.

I won't go into detail about social media and ROI - that’s a subject for another article, but I will say that different organisations will have different KPI’s in mind for their social efforts. Some will focus on gaining followers, some on the conversations etc; and they want to know how these measurable's have an affect on things like sales or visits to websites. This means it must be clear how you used analytics or tools in previous campaigns to measure KPI’s, and how that impacted directly on the organisation.

Even if your tools for measurement were as simple as an Excel spreadsheet - if it worked well for you and you stayed on top of your workload and produced results, then brag about it.

Have knowledge of many networks

This is such a simple point which can be overlooked easily. I found one thing that always impressed employers was my ability to describe why Google+ is so great. It is a great skill if you can look past just Facebook and Twitter and describe why other networks might be worth using and why. For example why is Pinterest so popular with e-commerce or fashion? How do Vine & Instagram provide more human ways of interacting with audiences? Showing that you can be creative with different networks is a really strong skill.

Have predictions for future trends

Employers want to see that you are interested and active in the industry you are trying to break into, and one of the easiest ways to demonstrate this is by following predictions for future trends in social media marketing. The fact that you can show the initiative to be able to follow industry trends will convince the interviewer that you can respond to change and are adaptable. Combine this point with examples of previous campaigns and show how invaluable your knowledge will be to the organisation.

I hope these points are useful, please comment if you feel I've missed anything really obvious out and I'll add it in. I'm also always willing to help out, so get in touch on Twitter @willkennard or on Google+.

Why I love Google+

The past few weeks has seen me pretty much turn back into a Google fanboy again.

I strayed away from their products and services when I got my Macbook Pro and iPhone, as I was using the inbuilt email clients instead. But let’s face it, the native Apple mail can’t compete with Gmail, and the iPhone app looks

gorgeous

. With this I started using Google+ again, and joined some great communities.

These communities are essentially like every other forum/social network ‘group’, but with a few added features. However it’s not really the functionality of the groups that’s great; it’s the level of engagement. Ask a question on the Chromebooks group and there’s an answer in minutes. Drop into the Nexus group and see a bunch of geeky guys positing their awesome homescreen layouts, with a ton of comments to follow. There’s no spam, no (serious) trolling, no fake accounts, just a bunch of people with the same interests, genuinely engaging in interesting conversation.

I would say Google+ is the only social network available with this level of quality engagement. I use Twitter a lot, and still think it’s great, but the conversation isn't quite as complex due to the character limitations, and there are a ton of people who are just collecting followers and are totally disengaged. I only really use Facebook when I want to see fountains of shit spewing from my news feed, it’s a joke how bad it’s become.

So get on Google+, search for your interests on the ‘Communities’ section and start chatting, or even set up your own community.

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Update: in one day, this post has 7 shares, over 20 comments and 54 +1's (and counting) from Google+. Twitter and Facebook have had no engagement.

Where will Social Media be in Ten Years Time?

Although massively popular; Social Media is relatively young technology. Considering Facebook is under 8 years old, 900 million users is a pretty ridiculous amount. But we all know how popular it is, because we all have an account, and so do our friends and family, and pretty much anyone with a smartphone or a computer.

I often think about how social media will be used in the future, so I offer my thoughts here. It'll be interesting to look back at this article and see how wrong I was!

Social Media as a primary communications tool is something which seems to me to be getting more and more evident. As smartphones pretty much dominate the mobile market, it is now affordable for most people to have a device with social networking capabilities, primarily Facebook and Twitter. It often seems easier and more convenient to follow someone on Twitter or add them on Facebook than it does to exchange mobile numbers. I think in the future, Twitter has the potential to be seen as a primary method of communication which we take for granted, much like a text message. This potential is from the fact that Twitter can integrate your contacts interests and favourite brands into one, creating a 'go-to' service when used correctly. If Facebook got their act together with their mobile apps (outside of iOS) then their Messenger could become something useful like Whatsapp is, and again be taken for granted rather than a novelty, but I don't see that happening any time soon...

Social Media shaping traditional news and media is already being seen, and any news and media agencies with a slight bit of sense are allowing people to Tweet their views, have their say on comments sections and interact with live television programs. This can only become more and more of the norm, and Twitter could lead the way in creating a society which is more engaged with local and national issues, having their say through the public social network. But in the long term, I think that this will only fuel more censorship and control from the government and social networks themselves, particularly if Twitter is used to promote negative events such as the London riots. Let's hope I'm wrong.

For business; LinkedIn has a lot of potential. I've found it extremely useful for job hunting and networking. It could become something really special if the majority of businesses saw it as more of an essential business tool than a social network. If LinkedIn can be integrated with tools like Google+ hangouts and Google Docs, whilst utilising their already great tools such as groups and answers; it may just play a big part in the growth of businesses and the development of employee skills and knowledge.

Social Networks with a smaller audience such as Google+, Pinterest and newer networks like Branch have potential, and are often better than Facebook and Twitter (Google+!). However I think they will stay alive with their own communities and loyal users, but will not become much more successful. The sheer amount of people on Facebook and Twitter cannot be ignored, and I often hear friends commenting on joining a new social network as being pointless when so many people use the two most popular so often.

And finally, Social Networks will be used as a main customer service tool. This to me seems obvious, but to many brands it does not. People don't always want to ring an 0800 number and be put through pressing options for 3 minutes just to get an answer to a small query. Social Media can help with these queries, and also promote a good brand image. Social Networks will be seen as an essential part of customer service, and not just an add on for the sake of it. 

What do you think? Am I completely off target? It'll be interesting to hear peoples comments and views.