5 Ways to Get More Experience in Social Media

People ask me all the time how they can get experience working in social media, and while there are a variety of answers, I thought I’d offer up five ways that I would suggest gaining such experience.

Social Media Channels1. Set up your own accounts.

While I hope that this would be a given, I’m surprised at how many students want to work in social media, but don’t even have a personal Twitter account. Therefore, one of the best ways you can increase your knowledge of social media channels is to leverage them for yourself. Not only will you learn how to use each channel, and discover the unique features of each, but you can then position your own channels to market yourself for jobs. And coming from someone who has hired and recruited social media interns and community managers, having an impressive and professional online presence is very important. I’m not keen to hire you if I can’t even find you online.

2. Offer to manage accounts for a small business or student org.

This is actually how I started getting experience in social media. Find a family member or friend who has a small business, and volunteer to manage their social media presence. Don’t expect to be paid, just do your best to practice developing a strategy, maintaining their accounts, and measuring results. If you can’t find an opportunity, try to create one. Get involved with a student organization on campus, or perhaps an office on campus, that is struggling with their social media, and offer your help. Once you do this, make sure to showcase your experience on LinkedIn and get a recommendation from whoever you worked with.

3. Look for a social media internship.

With social media becoming more and more influential in the business world, thousands of companies are jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, and seeking help with their social media. Larger companies are most often already in the game, and looking for seasoned social media professionals, but small businesses just need some help. Although many of these smaller internships are unpaid, there are many where you can work remotely, and require minimal hours per week. Look for one of these and apply! Here are some resources to look for internships:

4. Take advantage of unique opportunities.

HootCampusBesides a traditional internship, there are other unique opportunities that are popping up all over the web. One such opportunity is the HootSuite Campus Ambassador program. Once accepted in this program, you assume a role on your campus in which you help promote the many uses and functions of HootSuite and social media. Not only do you gain invaluable experience, but you also get to add a well-known and reputable company to your network and resume. Read more about my involvement with this program here: A Hoot-Tastic Opportunity.

5. Follow SocialMediaForStudents.com.

Ok, so this might seem like an obvious plug, but I’ve worked hard to include many helpful resources, tips, and interviews on this site to help students of social media learn how to develop their knowledge and skills. For example, make sure you check out the Social Media Marketing 101 page for ideas on how to navigate all of the information about social media, as well as the Important Links page for blogs and sites to follow. To make sure you stay on track, subscribe to SMFS by email through the field in the sidebar!

Do you have questions? Other tips to share? Please add them in the comments!

Advertisements

3 Unique Ways to Create Visual Content

Now more than ever visual content is dominating the web and social media. Facebook has announced that they are going to place more emphasis on photos and videos, Pinterest just plain exists, and even YouTube has revamped their profile design to include channel art. Beyond that, users are more likely to engage with visual content, so really, if you aren’t sharing visual content, you aren’t getting the best exposure. Here are 3 easy and unique ways to create visual content to share with your community:

1. Create an infographic of your Twitter account.

Visual.ly, a website that helps you create your own infographics has come out with a new template that will create a visual representation of any twitter account.

Twitter Infographic

2. Transform quotes with Quozio.

Quozio is a fantastic and free tool that allows you to create images with quotes in mere seconds. You can use the website to create a visual quote, or you can add their handy bookmarklet to your favorite browser.

Quozio image

3. Edit any image with Pixlr Express.

This free online image editor allows you to edit any image, create collages, overlay text on an image and much more.

Pixlr image

Do you have other awesome ways of creating visual content? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Atlas Sliced

Atlas Sliced Interview: Sharing Social Media Tips with the World

Last week I had the honor of being featured in Slice #61 on Atlas Sliced, the web’s only travel show that offers advice for those looking to work and live abroad. In the interview, Alexa Hart, founder of Atlas Sliced, asks me questions about why social media is important, as well as how it can help you in your career, and even help you go abroad. Watch the full episode below to get some tips on using social media to promote yourself positively and professionally.

EPISODE SLICE #61: Using Your Travels & Social Media to Create a Positive Online Persona


A big shout-out and thank you to Alexa for having me on the show! Be sure to check out Atlas Sliced on Facebook & Twitter.

The Future of Social Media

There is a series of articles hosted by Gist, titled Future Of Social Media Series that explores the roles social media is expected to play in various fields of business.  I was particulary interested in the article How Job Seekers May Use Social Media in the Future.  Not only are students like me learning how to market themselves for jobs using social media, but companies are beginning to use social media for recruiting.  LinkedIn is a great example of this; however, I was surprised to read that some companies have their employees post on their Twitter and Facebook accounts that the company is hiring, in hopes of recruiting potential hires that are friends of friends.

Note to self: Never underestimate social media as a job seeking tool!