If you’re just starting out in marketing, you may feel a bit daunted because the industry moves so quickly. Using social media correctly is one of the best ways to advance your marketing career. This does not mean just creating a profile on LinkedIn.
Using social media correctly means engaging with an audience, reading, and learning, writing content, studying analytics, and much more. There is no standard career path in the field of marketing, so it makes sense to develop some invaluable skills.
1. Acquire industry knowledge
To truly succeed in marketing, you need to embrace the industry. The best marketers learn incessantly. The social media platforms they use to reach their target audiences are evolving all the time – the tactics used to achieve the results one month may not work the next.
The most successful marketers keep up with the latest trends and developments. The only way to keep abreast of these is to follow the blogs of industry leaders, listen to podcasts and more.
Keep content you find helpful organized so you can easily refer to it when necessary. Five helpful places to begin with are:
- Moz – invaluable insights on SEO. Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Fridays are one of the best SEO resources.
- Quick Sprout – complex information about growing your traffic in easy to follow language.
- Copyblogger – a wealth of information for marketers
- Buffer – intuitive social media management
- Seth Godin – short, highly digestible marketing lessons
2. Develop your digital presence
Most recruiters research candidates online. They will check your LinkedIn profile first, but they are likely to go further than that and look at your overall online presence. At the very least, you need to write a good bio on LinkedIn.
All your photos and updates on social media should reflect how you want to be thought about in real life.
Social media interactions with potential and existing customers will be part of your role as a marketer. You need to be mindful that you are always representing your brand in your social media interactions.
3. Make connections with influencers
Building relationships with influencers mean that you can extend your social reach through them. This may lead to possible partnerships with your company.
Connections with influencers can also help you to stay up to date with the latest, insightful information about your industry.
4. Practice basic skills required in marketing
Some people advise you to diversify to be successful in marketing and others believe that the route to success is to specialize.
Marketing teams are often built around individual core strengths, but team members will also have the base knowledge and foundational marketing skills.
Some basic skills invaluable to marketers are:
- Working on software
Social media interaction provides the perfect ground to develop these skills.
5. Strengthen your writing muscle
Whether its blog posts, captions for videos, copy for landing pages – writing will always be a key skill for marketers. As a marketer, you will always need to have great content to share. If you can write your own engaging, relevant content, this is an invaluable skill.
Writing is a muscle that needs strengthening – you need to be able to research and produce insight on your research that communicates clearly and engages your audience. Daily practice is essential and taking an online copywriting course can’t hurt.
6. Develop your core strengths
When you realize that as a marketer you need to understand analytics, copywriting, advertising, SEO and much more it can be intimidating. To be a successful marketer, you don’t necessarily have to become an expert in all of these areas although a basic understanding is important.
It may take some experimentation in different areas of marketing to find out where you excel. Some of these fields are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of spreading brand awareness - improved Google ranking will give your brand a larger audience. Any SEO experts will work in your favor.
- Video marketing remains very important on social media as companies use videos to share company culture, product information, industry knowledge and more. If you develop your skills in video production, you can’t go wrong.
7. Understand social media analytics and tools
Measuring engagement and reach is essential to understand whether your message is coming across to the target audience. If you want to track metrics, you need to become familiar with the analytics offered on different social media channels.
Learning what types of tools are available for helping you to implement, maintain and measure the success of your social media strategies is essential.
For example, scheduling tools can help you to keep up a consistency in posting that is not possible manually. Analytics of video engagement is essential if you want to keep tweaking video marketing strategies.
In marketing, you have to ask questions. You need to ask yourself why one post or video is performing better than another (which you can only see by studying analytics). Then you need to find out more about what caused the increased traffic flow, where the traffic is coming from and why so you can repeat the success.
Presentation skills are also necessary if you want to be able to convey what you’ve learned from the analytics in an engaging manner.
8. Figure out what content to post and how to engage
Social media engagement is one of the factors that Google looks at when it comes to ranking. For example, it uses comments on articles or blog posts to gauge popularity. The more the great content you post on social media and the more engagement you get with it, the higher Google will rank it.
Knowing your target audience and which social media platforms they’re using is key to figuring out what to post and how to engage. It’s easier to write social media posts with a persona in mind.
Writing a post to appeal to ‘millennials’ is far more difficult than writing a post to appeal to ‘Matthew’ that he’d be likely to comment on. It’s a skill to understand your persona and what appeals to him or her.
Engaging customers in ways that add value to their lives requires creativity. Some popular ways to engage with them on social media include:
- debates on current topics
9. Understand that each social media platform is different
Every platform is different, and this influences what type of content to post and how you communicate. For example, LinkedIn has a more professional tone where you can post your industry-related content. Twitter is more casual, and Facebook is more suited to photo-centric or video content.
The only social media platforms you need to engage with are those where your target audience is found. When posting on any social media platform, you will learn how to avoid sales pitches.
You will learn more about your audience and build up meaningful relationships that lead to trust, credibility and more sales in the long run. Guy Kawasaki’s book “The Art of Social Media” is worth a read.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional marketer, social media forms an integral part of your role. Using it in the correct ways can have a significant impact on your career trajectory.
In this fast-moving industry, marketers have to keep learning and picking up new skills. The upside of this is that a career in marketing is never boring because you’re involved in a constantly evolving field.