Hello all! This is my last blog post as part of my Social Media Marketing class at St. Edward’s. I graduate with my MBA in 23 days! CAN. NOT. WAIT.
Throughout the course, we have had several professionals that work in social media visit our class and share their experiences working in such a dynamic field. Each presented a unique perspective and listening to all of their presentations gave us a tiny glimpse of what we could expect if we chose to work in social media after graduation or beyond. They also provided a few ‘tips and tricks’ that many of us could use in our current endeavors, whether that was in a social media capacity, general marketing, or could even be applied into other aspects of work and life. I detail a few of those helpful takeaways below.
- Takeaway 1: You don’t have to have an educational background in social media to succeed. Yes, having background and experience in a field is a critical part of becoming an ‘expert’ in any subject, but other relate-able experience may work just as well. Many, if not all, of our guest speakers had background and technical training in other fields than social media. PR, marketing, digital media, etc. are just a few examples. While these are similar in nature, the stories we heard involved the folks being exposed to social media, and then they fell in love with it enough to stick with it. Also, social media is still relatively new and will continue to evolve as time passes. Being able to pivot when needed is an attractive characteristic to have and understanding social media, at least on a high-level, is critical to success. I plan to apply my skills gained through this course, no matter if I am in a social media specific field, general marketing role, or any job that requires relationship building.
- Takeaway 2: Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it! Building on Takeaway 1, this piece of advice is really applicable to many different situations, not just social media. However, relating specifically to the top at hand, many of our speakers detailed their individual stories about their backgrounds and several involved them uncovering a passion and pursuing it to where they are currently. For example, the Social Media Manager for Hops & Grain brewery had an interest in beer and saw the need for her to apply her skills and passions to help the company. She simply emailed the owner and explained how she could help the business. One thing lead to another, and she’s in an awesome role loving what she does.
- Takeaway 3: There is a method behind the madness of social media. If you are anything like me, sometimes it feels (especially several years ago when social media was still being developed) that companies and organizations gain success (or failure in some circumstances) by doing very little. A video ‘happens’ to go viral and everything booms into popularity at an accelerated rate. While this may be true, most companies and effective social media campaigns have a lot of thought and data that the plan is based upon. Several of our speakers, especially the ladies from McGarrah Jessee, spoke about all the different parts of a successful and cohesive plan. This is something I believe strongly in and thus was something I enjoyed hearing about. I think it is very important to understand how different divisions, campaigns, techniques, etc. have to work together in order to drive the same goals and have effective results.
While my future in social media is uncertain, I do know I will use several of the skills learned through this course in my current endeavors (as Social Media Manager for the Texas Czech Genealogical Society) and hope to continue working with these platforms throughout my career. I also feel more confident in my consulting capabilities and would love to become a Social Media Consultant of sorts for small businesses or whomever needed my services. In addition, I also am excited about some of the aspects I learned that can be applied to my personal brand and social media profiles. This will help build credibility in the marketplace and hopefully will lead to additional career opportunities in the future.