By Dr. Todd Bacile | October 9, 2013
Want a Social Media Job? Get a Blog
I often hear the following question: ‘What can I do to land a social media job?’ My answer: write and maintain your own blog. My work as a marketing professor puts me in a unique position of working with people who have big dreams, yet limited professional experience. Working in social media as a career is appealing to many students. Having a blog is a great first step for several reasons.
A Blog Showcases Writing Skills
A knock against many young people — and U.S. business students in particular — is that writing and communication skills are lacking. Authoring blog posts with some degree of frequency is one way to showcase writing skills. In this way, a blog serves as a portfolio of not only topical areas of expertise, but also the ability to write well.
Writing in Micro-bursts is a Talent
Sociocultural shifts change how information is disseminated and digested. For example, one of the founding principles for USA Today in 1982 was to write stories geared toward consumers who grew up in TV’s soundbite era. This shift in writing style to shorter stories and inserting more images was a huge win for USA Today. We no longer live in 1982, but similar evolutions in media consumption are occurring.
Media consumption is moving toward micro-bursts of information dissemination. Old “rules” are dying. You need shorter stories. Shorter paragraphs. Shorter sentences. For example, many blogging professionals suggest very brief paragraphs in a blog post. I strive for 60-70 words. Look at something you have recently written: do you write in 60-70 word paragraphs? This is one example of how blogs are unique to traditional writing. It’s a talent to be honed.
The World Needs Content Creators
One of the more popular entry-level positions in social media marketing and public relations is as a ‘content creator / writer‘. Your blog illustrates to prospective employers that you have the baseline skills and knowledge to create compelling content people want to read and share with others. A personal mantra I live by is to ‘Go where the jobs are!’.
A Blog is a Networking Tool
The more you blog, the more connections you will make. How or what you make of your network is up to you. Every comment, retweet, Like, +1, and/or the action of sharing one of your posts has the opportunity to build your social capital. In this manner, the content you write serves as a valuable springboard to turn posts into conversations; and conversations into meaningful relationships.
The rest is up to you
The beauty of the social web is that there are many experienced people willing to share success stories and helpful social media resources. If you are not an expert, do not get discouraged. Seek out helpful tips and tutorials. You learn by gaining hands-on experience. Writing a blog is no different.
Dr. Todd Bacile (@toddbacile) is a Marketing Professor at Loyola University New Orleans and holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Florida State University. Social Media Marketing Magazine ranks him as one of the Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter. Have a question or comment? Post it here and you will receive a response.