Social Media Advice for the Graduating Class of 2014

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a sponsor for UMSL’s Digital Marketing Conference. In case you weren’t aware, the University of Missouri St. Louis has a fantastic Digital Media Marketing program in their School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and host an annual conference discussing the State of Digital Media, job advice, and more. My company, Twist St. Louis, had a booth at the conference, providing me with the opportunity to meet and talk with a ton of fantastic professionals and students.

Twist St. Louis's booth at #UMSLDigital
Our booth at #UMSLDigital!

One of the most frequently asked questions at the conference, “what skills do I need to get into digital marketing?” struck a cord with me – digital marketing wasn’t an official term when I graduated in 2010. I fell into social media as a person who was always connected and loved to write.

To help the future graduates of America, I’ve compiled my own list of skills needed for an internship (we ARE looking for awesome interns) or entry-level position in Social Media.

  • A passion for writing. In my opinion, content is the most important piece of a social media plan. And it’s not just about knowing APA Style. The best social media posts start a conversation, which leads me to my next skill…
  • A strong conversationalist. You can teach someone to write in a certain style, but being a good conversationalist is something you need to inherit. I’ve never had a problem talking with a stranger, and as a social media manager, I talk to thousands of strangers each day for my clients.
  • Curiosity. It may seem like an odd “skill,” but social media and digital marketing are always evolving. Not everyone enjoys keeping up with the latest technology, tricks, Facebook page designs and FTC guidelines. Those of us who do will prevail.
  • Organizational skills. I manage over 20 clients across five different platforms. Without an organized system, you may be accidentally reading about horses on your favorite local hotel.
  • Professionalism. This is a hard sell for many ad students. A lot of agencies are full of flip-flop wearing, ping-pong playing hipsters, but you don’t see them attending new business meetings. Digital marketing is a fun industry, but you have to be business-savvy to survive.

What skills do you think digital marketers need? 

A note on professionalism: As the social media representative for your company or client, you are seen as the most knowledgeable about social media in your agency, company or department. Don’t forget that! When you make a mistake (i.e. threatening tweets, risque photos, etc.) on your personal social media networks, it very well can affect your job. Be smart! 🙂 

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