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How to turn your social media obsession into a career

By Fi Darby | 10 August 2018

With half of all Australians enjoying a daily Facebook fix, there can be no doubt that, as a nation, we love social media. We also love buying online, and in 2017, 59% of Australians made an online purchase. When you consider these statistics alongside the strong growth and low unemployment expected within the Advertising, Public Relations and Sales industry, it is small wonder that a social media career such as a social media manager is appealing to so many people. Adult Australians spend an average of 3.3 hours a day using social media but if your enjoyment and grasp goes further than that, you might want to consider turning your social media savvy into a great way to earn a living. If you’re interested in a career in social media, read on, we have some great tips on how to make sure you land that job and turn your hobby into something a bit more lucrative.


Take your first social media career steps

Obviously keeping your own social media channels in tip top condition is a given if you are hoping for a career in social media but there are other steps that you should be taking if you want to be taken seriously in your social media applications, particularly if you are applying for posts as a social media manager. Employers in this field will be looking for experience and evidence of that experience. If you’re serious about a social media career, you should be considering:

social media concept


  • Writing and managing your own blog (easy with WordPress and a great way to gain followers)
  • Upskilling via an online course (look for specialist courses in social media marketing)
  • Connecting with experts (look for relevant people on Twitter and LinkedIn)
  • Creating a portfolio (ideally online)
  • Reading up to date articles (check LinkedIn)


Understand the latest social media marketing trends

The world of digital marketing turns so fast that a good social media manager will always have their eye on forthcoming trends. This means that, as a job candidate for a social media career, you’ll be expected to have some knowledge and experience of the latest developments. For example, content marketing (sharing informative online material) is predicted to maintain its importance during 2018, whereas affiliate marketing (where online retailers pay commission for sales generated by external websites) has become less popular.  If you want a career in social media, keep ahead of the game and be prepared to vary your social media activity in order to demonstrate your prowess to prospective employers.

Understand how analytics work

Organisations are interested in ROI (Return On Investment) and analytics are the tools that enable social media managers to investigate the impact of their marketing campaigns. Without analytics, the benefit of social media marketing is difficult to prove and, more importantly, analytics allow a social media manager to track the success of different campaigns and marketing styles. There are some complex analytics tools out there for business but the good news is that analytics for FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Pinterest are all free and available to help you gain some understanding of just how useful analytics can be. Learn how to find out about demographics, audience behaviours and how people engage and be prepared to impress at your social media career interview.


Vary your social media experience

Most of us have a favourite social media platform. Becoming an expert in your favourite is great but it’s worth remembering that social media is as fast changing as the rest of technology and, if you are interested in becoming a social media manager, you need to have a working understanding of a variety of social media platforms and content types. Keeping your eye out for and investigating new social media platforms will stand you in good stead when it comes to job applications for that social media career.  So make sure you learn how to tell your hangouts from your livestreams and, even better, consider how these might appeal to different demographic groups and industries.

social media signs


Develop your social listening skills

Adding regular and successful content to social media is all very well but if you want a career in social media or one day want to move into working as a social media manager, you also need to work on your social listening. By monitoring what people are saying online, particularly when a piece of content has gone viral, you can make sure you create the kind of content your target market wants and generate ideas for your own social media marketing campaigns. Social listening includes activities such as tracking mentions and notifications, analysing contexts and larger trends and monitoring hash tags and keywords. Larger organisations will buy in software to help with this but getting an understanding of the topic will give you a head start over other job candidates.


Learn to speak ‘social media’

Like anything related to technology, social media has a host of terms and acronyms. If you’re looking for a social media career, you’ll need a basic understanding of these. There’s plenty of information about social media terms out there so we recommend you start doing your homework and find out what the ones below mean.

dark skinned woman using smartphone on public transport


  • Inbound marketing
  • PPC (pay per click)
  • CPC (cost per click)
  • Conversion funnel
  • Clickthrough rate
  • Native advertising
  • Newsjacking
  • Social selling


Get online and formalise your knowledge via study

One of the best ways to really immerse yourself in the world of business-related social media is to study towards qualifications. Studying for a social media career via flexible online courses can be really beneficial and will always impress a potential employer. Around half of managers in the Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers career sector have a qualification to Bachelor Degree level or higher but a Marketing Diploma or Advanced Diploma would be a great place to start. If you aren’t sure whether or not online learning is for you, consider a social media short course, which will help you formalise your knowledge and prepare you for both a social media career move and further study.

Social media marketing is a fast-paced and exciting industry that’s growing all the time. Careers in social media are available for those with experience of existing social media, a thirst for new social media and a willingness to learn. Social media managers can earn around $58,366 a yearbut other roles such as, marketing coordinator, marketing assistant and digital marketing specialist are available. If one of those sounds like you, get onto the tasks above quickly, you won’t be the only one chasing a social media career!

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