You may be stressing out because college is winding down and you don’t have a whole lot of experience. Fear not, you can stay on track and gain experience without having a job in college. Let me rephrase that, you will have some sort of a job. Researching, learning, and optimizing are all a job in themselves.
In the rest of this post, I’m going to talk about how you can master each social media platform from a professional standpoint. Plus I’ll include little tips on how to separate yourself from the crowd.
Facebook can be a little tricky to master in a professional sense. However, if used right, it can be used to highlight both your skills and interest because Facebook allows you to include what you like to do in your free time and any skills you have.
You have to be careful though. Even though you don’t have to stick to boring content, you have to make sure you steer clear of anything you wouldn’t want your Grandma seeing. If you can’t avoid posting pictures from the party you just went to last night, make sure you set your privacy settings appropriately.
Twitter is a great place to show a little bit of your marketing skills. If you have a blog (which you should: more on the blog below) you can promote your blog posts and interact with other bloggers to create relationships. This will show future employers you have experience with social media promoting and have already created relationships.
You should use HootSuite to stay organized, schedule tweets, track keywords, and manage all your accounts.
You can easily share information with others on Google+. It even gives you the option to create circles and only post certain things in specific groups. It is an easy way to be professional and social at the same time. Here is a great resource for creating and optimizing your account.
Of course LinkedIn is the best resource when it comes to promoting yourself professionally. It’s basically like an online resume. What a lot of people don’t know though, is how to optimize their profile to get the best results.
The best way to separate yourself from the masses is with your “summary.” Your summary is basically an introduction of who you are. Most people don’t spend a lot of time on it because they treat it like the objective on your resume.
A one page resume doesn’t allow you to take up a lot of room with an introduction but LinkedIn’s summary gives you the room to write and it’s important to use it.
Most importantly, your summary should be told like a story. Detail how you got to where you are and what makes you tick. Again, make sure you add your voice and personality when you write to make your summary unique.
Something worth reading is HubSpot’s eBook: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn.
Take Matters into Your Own Hands
Yes, school is a very valuable tool but it isn’t everything. Most classes don’t teach you about new media tools that have just come on the market. Although textbooks are valuable in some sense, you can’t exactly learn what’s currently happening in the marketing field from a book published in 2004.
Marketing is a fast paced field and in order to stay up-to-date, you have to do a little research at least a couple of times a week. It’s a good idea to create an RSS feed with sites like MOZ, Social Media Examiner, HubSpot, and CopyBlogger to make it easy to find great content.
A big perk about reading an RSS feed is you will be able to talk to other people about things happening. For instance, if you go into a job interview, you could actually discuss new marketing advances which will make you look like an expert.
Competition is fierce in every job field, marketing is no different. Set yourself a part by jazzing up your resume. Although a paper resume is still needed, you should create a resume in multiple formats. Not only will this give everyone the option of choosing which format they prefer, it also shows how versatile you are.
I found a hilarious resume video by Matt Epstein. He makes sure to include his skills but he also adds humor and personality to the message. However, it’s important to make sure to include a link to a traditional resume too.
With all the social media platforms, it’s important to sign up for accounts ASAP. Future employers are looking for people with experience in social media. Even if you don’t have actual job experience, by actually using social media, you will be able to prove you have knowledge and initiative.
Hannah is the Associate Inbound Marketing Strategist at Savvy Panda, as well as a HootSuite Campus Ambassador. She enjoys learning new Inbound strategies and writing blogs, as well as running and playing with her four dogs. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.