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The rise of the digital age has created a need for social media job positions that companies are desperately searching for. What was once designed to be a space to share photos of your dog with friends has transformed into an array of platforms that bring serious verification to local businesses and companies.

If you’re on the hunt for an exciting new career and know your way around Facebook and Instagram, social media management could be for you. You can expect to focus on building a social media following through posting likable content, running ads, analyzing user data, and staying on top of insta-worthy events.

However, most companies expect proof that you are a social media wizard before they hire you and put their public image in your hands. So how do you gain this type of experience so you can land the job? We’ve outlined how to do it yourself below.

First, know what businesses are really looking for in a Social Media Manager:

1. Creative Thinking Skills

Content that truly stands apart from the rest has to be unique. To excel in social media management, you need an eye for what looks good on the screen, as well as the ability to anticipate the next big things in social media. You’ll get hired as a social media manager if your creativity and passion can be applied to the social media world.

We recommend spending some time searching through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find posts that inspire your creative side. Use them as a springboard into new post ideas!

2. Strong Writing Skills

Social media managers are responsible for writing most of the content published on a company’s social media pages. Strong writers bode well for these positions, as content riddled with typos or incorrect grammar reflects badly on the company.

Find some tips for writing a strong cover letter and apply them in order to showcase your strong writing skills before they even meet you!

3. Proficient Multitasking Skills

The ability to act quickly on your feet is crucial to this position, as you’ll be posting on multiple pages a day, tracking all of the content on each page, and brainstorming future posts for each page as well. Another aspect to consider is that social media crises need to be solved ASAP since posts are publicized to the world as soon as you press “post.” If you can keep multiple balls rolling at the same time, we recommend this position for you.

4. Efficient Time Management Skills

Part of your job description as a social media manager is to continually produce engaging content on all social media platforms. On top of that, when and where you post matters as well. The timeliness of your content is important to get optimal engagement from your audience. So plan to have a strong handle on your schedule in this role, as even an hour of delay can matter with social media.

5. Strategic Money Management Skills

With social media, you get more bang for your buck with campaigns curated for your audience. Learn the ropes on audience targeting and the types of content that will best reach your social circles. The more you can nail this aspect of social media, the better you will be able to utilize your social media budgets — and seriously impress your employer!

Then, learn the basics:

1. Build your own online community

Create your own pages on all major social media platforms, including at least Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and SnapChat. Use these pages to practice building, engaging and maintaining an online community. Actions often speak louder than words, so this is a great conversation topic to have under your belt in an interview.

2. Take an online social media marketing course

In addition to learning social media by doing, find online or in-person courses tailored to social media management. Some topics we recommend focusing on are analyzing user data and best practices for SEO. Having even a basic understanding of these concepts will seriously benefit you in a social media management role. Plus, this will give you the grounds to ask better questions in job interviews.

3. Do your research on social media management tools

In social media, you’re only as good as the tools you employ. Research ahead of time on the best ways to save time and money by implementing social media management tools. These can help manage content calendars, schedule posts for you ahead of time, and alert you if anything comes up that needs your immediate attention. Walking into a job interview with recommendations for the most efficient tools out there will impress potential employers.

4. Get your GED — or, better yet, a college degree

This is not necessarily required for all social media management positions, but it will give you a leg up in this highly saturated job market. Adding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to your resume shows you have the dedication to finish difficult tasks and expertise in your chosen major subject.

Now land the job:

1. Network in person and online

Seek out and follow brands you admire online. Nowadays, many companies post on social media if they’re hiring. So start commenting, liking, and sharing the content of companies you truly admire so that they are familiar with you before they are ready to hire.

Reach out to friends for contacts, join your school's alumni networks for connections, and reach out to businesses personally through direct messaging. Be clear that you are looking for a social media management job, and ask for advice or referrals to get hired.

2. Take any opportunity you can get, no matter how small

A great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at social media management is by picking up gigs here and there that are related to social media management. Don’t underestimate the power of experience here, as even small opportunities can show a company their need for social media management.

3. Volunteer to manage social media for a nonprofit or small business

If you are able, build a resume for your first job as a social media manager and volunteer for the position first. Oftentimes, smaller nonprofits and businesses need help in social media but don’t have the budget to hire for it. This can give you the space to learn the needs of the position, as well as build your experience in the digital space.

4. Start in a related entry-level position

Find a marketing job in your area and you’ll likely be exposed to elements of the social media management job position. Jobs don’t always have “social media” in their titles, so finding jobs in marketing or digital marketing often include similar duties. 

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