#SproutChat Recap: Launching & Advancing Your Career in Social Media

Whether you’re just beginning your career in social media or you’re a longtime vet, it’s good to know what skills and tactics you need to hone in on for career advancement. Knowing where to start and how to continue your professional development are just two elements in boosting your career.

In this week’s #SproutChat, we were joined by Sprout Social’s own Social Media Manager, Rachael Samuels.

Rachael shared best practices for getting started on networking through social and highlighted important skills to include on your resume.

Jump-Start Job Hunting

Before you start applying to jobs left and right, it’s best to take a step back and make sure that your name and brand are well represented.

We discuss personal brand often in social, but it’s important to audit this before you take a leap and put yourself out there in the candidate pool.

A1: I’ll admit it – the first thing I do is google myself. Make sure my LinkedIn is on point, my social profiles are up to speed, SFW, and relevant. I also like to highlight a quirk of mine that sets me apart. Anyone notice I have a thing for Squirrels? #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/aSuZCUQNcB

— Rachael Samuels 🐿 (@RachaelSamuels) January 10, 2018

A1: Use a consistent photo on your profiles so no matter where someone finds you, they know you’re you! I also like to keep a consistent color scheme on my website and any collateral I make/send. #branding #SproutChat

— e. (@voellercoaster) January 10, 2018

A1: The best way to prep for job hunting is to do research on the skills you’ll need for that dream job. You can do this by looking at job descriptions for one title at different companies. Do you see common skills required by both companies? #SproutChat https://t.co/NIUQUEH07F

— Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) January 10, 2018

A1 Do an audit:
1. Have an updated LinkedIn summary/profile
2. Link to your portfolio or site on your social channels
3. A visible avatar
4. Google yourself to see how you appear online
5. Attend networking events
6. Participate in online forums + publish content #sproutchat

— Nancy Casanova (@nancycasanova) January 10, 2018

A1: Be authentic, add value and be part of the conversation in your online community, and look for opportunities to network.

You have to have both online and offline skills #SprouChat

— Taylor J. Hall (@taylorjhall) January 10, 2018

A1: Use a consistent photo on your profiles so no matter where someone finds you, they know you’re you! I also like to keep a consistent color scheme on my website and any collateral I make/send. #branding #SproutChat

— e. (@voellercoaster) January 10, 2018

A1. Updated LinkedIn, good references in order and always be ready to jump on opportunities. #SproutChat

— Patricia Weigle (@SocialTruffles) January 10, 2018

Highlight Skills on Your Resume

Every good social media manager should have excellent communication skills at the very least, but take note of what these participants shared. Skills will shift for each job you apply to, but knowing what to highlight is key.

A3: Organization is a key skill when it comes to social. Also, boldness and creativity are the qualities that help give you an edge. I actually wrote a full on piece about the attributes someone in social should have! #SproutChat https://t.co/Ugm7NjRAtS

— Rachael Samuels 🐿 (@RachaelSamuels) January 10, 2018

A3: Copywriting/editing; empathy; ability to work in dynamic, fast-paced environment. Also don’t be afraid 2 think outside the box abt your talents and experience! That first-job, whether scooping ice cream or earwax (lol), might have provided transferrable skills! #SproutChat

— Jenny S. West (@jennyswest) January 10, 2018

A3: I think the following skills are mandatory for #socialmedia position –
Innovative, analytic (analyze audience behavior), creative (out of the box thinking) & adjustable #SproutChat

— Benny Gelbendorf (@BGelbendorf) January 10, 2018

A3: You want someone with creativity and who has experience in the social media field. Experience makes a huge difference! #SproutChat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) January 10, 2018

A3 Skills that are needed for Social Media jobs are organization, analyzing, a willingness and passion to learn from others about new trends, a passion to connect to other individuals, a strategic mind, branding, strategy, and a real passion for social media. #SproutChat https://t.co/ouDeFjI6D6

— Tri-County Young Professionals Network (@tricountyypn) January 10, 2018

A3: Simply be active on social media platforms yourself, outside of working hours, to get a feel for the conversations taking place and the types of content people react to! Consider it field research. #SproutChat

— e. (@voellercoaster) January 10, 2018

A3. Attention to detail, curiosity, pragmatism, proactivity and organisation. 💪🏻 #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/4JNML2C6R2

— Lisa 👩🏼‍💻 Social Media Manager (@lisaboylesmedia) January 10, 2018

Networking Means Consistent Engagement

Making connections via social can be highly beneficial, especially if you yourself are in the field of social media. If you network in person, be sure to follow up on social media to maintain consistent engagement and foster relationships.

A4: It’s so much easier for me to network on social than it is in real life. I’m a thespian too so I can’t really understand WHY I become introverted at events. My advice: 1. Say hi! and 2. Use bios for convo starters. Seriously, someone. Ask me about Squirrels. #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/yyV4Gu3ZGr

— Rachael Samuels 🐿 (@RachaelSamuels) January 10, 2018

A4: Use social media to research and bring it in-person. For instance, use LinkedIn to find out if your connections know anyone at the brand you want to apply for. Ask that person to introduce you, then set up an in-person meeting. #SproutChat https://t.co/tozNwX3ba8

— Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) January 10, 2018

Be outgoing. It’s pretty rare to find people that excel at social media that aren’t social offline too. #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/IG3GUkDQuy

— Contentologist: Content, Research & Slice of life (@Contentologist) January 10, 2018

A4 I like chiming in on conversations that are applicable to me or where I feel I can add value. I make time to engage in Twitter chats, send some DMs and network IRL. I’m a chameleon when it comes to networking. 🙂 #sproutchat

— Nancy Casanova (@nancycasanova) January 10, 2018

A4: Be yourself! And don’t be afraid to reach out to new people and start making connections. Don’t wait for people to come to you. #SproutChat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) January 10, 2018

A4. As an anti-social person, social media is where I do my networking! 😂

Follow and engage with those with similar expertise, interests and career goals. #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/sBCos6A7Np

— Lisa 👩🏼‍💻 Social Media Manager (@lisaboylesmedia) January 10, 2018

A4: Give something (even if just kudos) before you ask for anything. Don’t be a stalker. Give credit when tweeting/sharing an article or link you found from them. #sproutchat

— Kathleen Gormley (@KathGorm) January 10, 2018

Maintain Knowledge Across the Board

Even if you’re just getting your footing in the industry it’s best to have knowledge of all platforms. Understanding how they work and best practices is ideal. You can hone in on your knowledge of a particular network if you plan on specializing in one.

A5: Social platforms will come and go (#ripvine) but the principles behind what “works” in social media are the same across the board. Feel free to know a certain audience type more than the other, but I encourage some familiarity with all platforms. #SproutChat pic.twitter.com/xouljdacof

— Rachael Samuels 🐿 (@RachaelSamuels) January 10, 2018

A5 I believe being knowledgable of multiple aspects of social media is best. Who knows if the aspect that you were an expert at will be there in a year. Social Media is always evolving. So you need to evolve with it and keep learning new skills. #SproutChat https://t.co/H3jAJxhP8x

— Tri-County Young Professionals Network (@tricountyypn) January 10, 2018

A5 – to be a Social Media expert you need to understand pro’s and cons of all the platforms IMHO #sproutchat

— Steven Dickens (@StevenDickens3) January 10, 2018

A5. Awareness and familiarity of best practices with all is the way to go. But everyone has a favorite child. #sproutchat pic.twitter.com/RcCmGF8fp3

— Kathleen Gormley (@KathGorm) January 10, 2018

A5) Taking a multiple channel approach to understanding social media is best; very few clients want just “a Twitter guy” (although they *do* want someone with paid & organic experience) #sproutchat

— Gordon – Very Stable Genius (@gordondym) January 10, 2018

Join us next week, January 17 at 2 P.M. CST, to chat with Sprout’s SEO Strategist, Dominique Jackson, about the basics of SEO.

For more career growth opportunities be sure to check out Sprout Sessions, Sprout’s free digital conference, January 22-26.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Launching & Advancing Your Career in Social Media originally appeared on Sprout Social.