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The Skinny on Working in Social Media

So what’s the deal with social media? Almost everyone these days is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but social media has become much more than a place to post about your day, share photos, and promote your professional self. It has become much more prevalent in our lives since the early days of Facebook.

Social Media’s Presence in Our Lives
Think about it for a minute, how many of you have a smart phone? Social media is incredibly present and accessible these days. With a smart phone you can access any social media site at the click of a button. With mobile social networking apps, it is nothing less than ever-present. Social media is how people communicate with each other, get their news, and express their opinions. It has incredible reach, accessibility, and usability. People of all ages can use social media. It’s also a huge sample of public opinion. Every time you “like” something, you show your support or opinion on the subject.

Immediate
Social media is definitely instant. Unless you’re still using dial-up internet, when you “like” something or post a status, it appears right then and there. Social media really has the upper hand on traditional media in this sense. The time between communications produced by magazines, newspapers, and television can be days, weeks, or even months, whereas social media is capable of virtually instantaneous communication. Another beautiful thing about social media is that it can easily be changed or edited. Anything printed in a magazine or newspaper can’t be changed once it’s published, but when you post a comment on Facebook there is an option in the right corner to edit what you just wrote, and it’s instant.

I Want to Work in Social Media!
If you’re interested in working in social media, that’s great! It’s one of the fasting growing employment fields worldwide. However, you can’t just turn in an application to work for Facebook because you have 3,000+ friends and post regularly. There are some pretty specific skills that go into working in the social media industry. New Futuro’s own social media strategist Yessica Gamboa has this to say about the work she does.

As a social media strategist, part of listening is to understand how and why people communicate with each other through Facebook. Reading posts by people and looking to see how often different types of posts are liked are examples of listening.

"Basically, the goal is to help businesses understand how to best communicate with people who like their page,” she said.

What to Study
You’re getting ready to go to college, you want a job in social media, so what classes do you take? Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just being a social media major. But there are some specific skills you can pursue to make yourself more marketable to these employers. First off, you have to be computer savvy. Our generation tends to be pretty tech-intelligent, but some computer science classes (especially coding and etc.) are probably a good idea if you want to work your way into this field. In addition, social media is all about data and measuring that data. Everything about social media is about measurable findings. Many disciplines offer statistics and other classes on data analysis. Many sociology classes focus highly on data interpretation of trends in human and group views and behavior.

Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a job in these areas, you need to make sure that your profiles are professional.

It’s not enough to just be on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; you need to show that you’ve mastered the skills of these social media outlets on your own. You need to have active profiles on all, and be sure to utilize them to their fullest. Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a job in these areas, you need to make sure that your profiles are professional. That doesn’t mean don’t post on them or only post work things, but make sure you don’t share any content you don’t want an employer to see.

Have a question? Let us know.
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