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10 essential career tips if you’re just starting out with social media management

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Social media management is a career field full of limitless possibilities in our increasingly digital world. More companies than ever are looking for tech-savvy social media managers who can improve their social media content and reach a wider audience.

In a competitive, trending industry, knowing how to stand out and put your best foot forward is critical. For professionals just starting out as a social media manager, 10 Council for Young Entrepreneurs members give their best advice below.

1. Work on other skills too

Offer more in your repertoire than just social media management. Few companies are going to offer full-time positions that only work in social media, and it’s not a particularly high-level skill on its own. Be prepared and willing to offer a wider range of content marketing opportunities, including the ability to write case studies, publish longer-form articles, and create visual assets or content for marketing brochures or websites. You are more likely to find a good marketing opportunity where social media is a part of the job, potentially leading to a more focused role. † Jake Goldman10up Inc.

2. Find Mentors

Find people who are doing well and having success with social media. Follow them and use them as a guide. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel and trying to find your own way of doing it. If it works for them, follow their trends and apply them to your market. That’s the easiest way to keep up to date with the changes with social media. † Lisa CollumWrite high score

3. Get creative with engagement

If you want to succeed as a social media manager, I encourage you to find creative ways to engage with your audience. For example, you could host a caption contest or giveaway for customers who share user-generated content. You also want to have at least one live stream every month. Take this opportunity to ask your followers questions and get to know your business through you. I’ve noticed that people are constantly looking for fun and interactive content. Think outside the box and you will have no problem increasing your social presence. † John TurnerSeedProd LLC

4. Recycle and Reuse Content

Keep in mind that you don’t have to constantly produce new material. It’s totally okay to recycle content. If you do your job well, you should be earning new followers pretty consistently anyway. This means that the seemingly recycled content may be brand new to some of your followers. The last thing you want is a burnout because you feel like you’re constantly reinventing the wheel. Also, recycling old content doesn’t necessarily mean posting the exact same things. You can easily take inspiration from some of the older stuff on your social media channels. It can convey the same message and maybe even use some of the images that were originally used. Remember that your main focus is driving engagement. † Nick VendittiaStitchGolf

5. Provide clear brand messages

Understand the message of the brands behind the platform. Social media is so much more than likes and comments. It’s a way for brands to have a voice and personality as an extension of their website. Be clear in your messaging and tailor your social media presence to include that message. You attract more customers who stay loyal to the brand because of that message. † Mary HarcourtCosmoGlo

6. Be human

When speaking on behalf of the brand, use the voice of one person, not what you think “brands” sound like. Don’t be overly political-sounding with idiosyncratic jargon. Social media management is a phenomenal way to have cool one-on-one interactions with old or new customers. Acting like one person is talking to another makes your brand sound human. If you act like a ‘brand’ you run the risk of sounding a bit stodgy and forced. Insist on top-notch design for social feeds and bulletproof grammar and spelling, but remember that social media is also the place to vent, get a little crazy and have fun with your customers. † Tyler BrayTK Trailer Parts

7. Create Playful Content

Make your content as playful as possible. It’s important to be professional, but you also want to show some personality. This will make your content more engaging and help you build a stronger relationship with your audience. In addition, don’t be afraid to experiment with different content formats and strategies. The only way to find out what works best is to try new things. † Syed BalkanWPBeginner

8. Factor in constructive feedback

Don’t ignore legitimate criticism. There are many companies with ongoing controversy and serious decline in quality. If you look at their social media page, you would think they are better than ever with no problems in the world. This disconnect from reality will lead to people having a negative reaction when they see your brand name appearing in their feed. Instead, learn how to communicate with your audience, maintain a crystal-clear line of communication, and address any questions or concerns. † Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

9. Be Selective When Taking Opportunities

Don’t absorb too much too quickly. Social media management seems simple, but it can be time-consuming, especially if you’re just getting started. It’s also tempting to take on a lot of bills because you want to make good money and build a solid career out of it. That could be a mistake as there are learning curves to go through and you don’t want to make mistakes with many different clients. Take on two or three accounts and see how they do. That way, you can take the time with each of them to make sure all of your customer’s needs are met and make sure no mistakes are made. If you do well with them and have good management of those clients, hire a few more and grow in your career. † Baruch LabunskicRank Safe

10. Take the time to experiment

My best advice is to have an experimental mindset. While there are social media best practices, there is room for creativity based on your audience, industry, and other factors. It’s best to experiment with content from the start and use split testing in your social media campaigns. Compare ads, try different colors and text, and target different audiences. You get better results when you collect data and build your campaigns based on what you learn. This is the key to a successful social media manager: not throwing things against the wall and hoping something sticks. † Blair WilliamsMembers Press

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