Top 5 Things I Learned in Social Media Marketing

This semester, I was enrolled in Social Media Marketing for one of my marketing elective courses. I never thought I would enjoy learning so much about SMM before taking this course. We covered a variety of social media platforms, created a personal blog, and nailed down our career focuses. I took away a lot of great things from the course, but the following are my favorite!

1. Become Hootsuite Certified

Not only will future employers be impressed by your desire to learn, they will be thrilled that you can come into the job with this valuable social media skill. The training is pretty simple to complete but packed full of tips, tricks, and insights on how to use this scheduler most effectively. Hootsuite makes the program self-paced and easy to understand. The final exam has a few tricky questions, so make sure you took good notes and are familiar with the platform.

Pro Tip: Try to get your school or company to pay for the exam!

2. Build a Personal Learning Network

If you think Twitter is dead, you aren’t using it correctly. Building Twitter Lists is the best way to find relevant content in your career focus. Following industry leaders is not only informative, but also inspiring. Engaging with them is even better. Check out my lists here.

Feedly is another great way to build your PLN. Subscribe to any blog in your career focus and monitor their activity in a user-friendly format.

Pro Tip: Add the Feedly extension to your Google Chrome.

3. Create a Personal Branding Strategy

Decide how you want to stand out from the crowd. Do you want to be well known in your industry? First, create a blog as your home base. Then, be present across all social channels. You don’t have to be active every day in all of them, pick three of your favorites and be consistent with your posting. Be sure to engage with others in your industry and even feature them on your channels, too.

Pro Tip: Keep a journal with you and jot down ideas for blog posts. Digital Marketer gives a great list of some ideas if you get stuck!

4. LinkedIn is Better Than Your Resume

I’m not the only one who thinks this! Denny McCorkle writes about LinkedIn being the place where your resume goes to die. I’ve found this to be true in the job search process.

In several interviews, I was asked questions directly off my LinkedIn profile. If this social channel isn’t up to date, I would recommend starting here. Create a headline that clearly defines who you are and what your career focus is. Then, tell your story on your extended profile. Be sure to add some personality here. Next, fill out all career-relevant experience, work history, education, and certifications. Don’t forget your skills! These should be professional skills you have listed on your resume. Ask people who have worked with to endorse you.

Pro Tip: Get someone to write a review about you on LinkedIn. This builds your reputation and reinforces your personal brand.

5. Be Authentic

People don’t want to follow a robot. Don’t just copy and paste URLs and Tweet them out. Find something valuable in every blog post and add a relevant comment.

Show your followers what you’re really up to. Some of my best posts were of my most sincere moments (see my LinkedIn post about studying in the hotel lobby). People love to see that you are capable of achieving success in your career while doing normal human things.

Pro Tip: Go the extra mile to find out who the author of the blog is and tag their @Name in your Tweet or social post.

Last Words

Overall, taking Social Media Marketing was not only helpful for understanding how to use social platforms but helpful in developing my personal brand. My biggest takeaway was to decide how  I wanted to be seen in my career focus. The most important brand you can work for is YOU.

How have you worked on your personal branding? What are your favorite social media platforms to use to build your PLN? I can’t wait to see what you have done in the comments below!

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