How To Keep Up With Social Media So You're Hire-able

Photo Credit: Pexels

By Lynn Carroll

READ MORE: Career advice, Job search, Social media, Fairygodboss Inc.

A Fairygodboss reader who is starting a job search for a position in marketing recently confessed that she feels out of touch with the latest social media trends. Aside from using Facebook in her personal life and maintaining a skeletal LinkedIn profile, she isn’t plugged into the overwhelming world of tweets, insta filters and snaps. “To advance my career in the industry, how social should I be?” she asked on a Fairygodboss discussion board.

A decade ago, marketing professionals didn’t have to know very much about social media. The direct mail and print advertising operations were managed completely apart from whatever social media strategy the “tech people” within a company attempted. The left hand neither knew nor cared what the right hand was doing in most workplaces. Abbreviations like BTW weren’t part of our lexicon.

Social media marketing was just a twinkle in the eyes of MySpace executives, while the rest of us struggled to connect to the internet at 56 kbps. (I’m old enough to vividly recall the agonizing screech of the dial-up modem. It’s no wonder marketing pros didn’t think the “information superhighway” had much potential.)

Since high speed internet became the norm and our mobile devices untethered us, it’s clear that marketing has done a complete turnaround. Social media is integrated into every aspect of the marketing plan, and marketers create campaigns that can be infinitely personalized by tapping into a consumer’s most recent internet search. If you’re hoping to be taken seriously in this particular job market, you will want to acquire adequate social media skills and become informed about the marketing pros and cons of each major platform.

Don’t despair! Here’s where we get old school, ’cause that’s how I roll. (Did I say that right? Have I mentioned I’m pretty old myself?) If you’re a pen-and-paper person, get out your notebook and outline a table, or start a new spreadsheet if you prefer. (Grab your reading glasses if you need to, I’m already wearing mine.) In the first column, list each platform or technical skill you’d like to learn or become more proficient in.

Across the top, indicate time intervals that you think are appropriate. You might identify goals with 2-week, 4-week, and 8-week targets that correspond to tasks of different complexity levels. Think of this as a project management exercise, and work backwards if you have an external deadline.

I suggest my coaching clients set goals that are ambitious but realistic, and avoid a prolonged timeline that stretches into months or years. Sticking with the example of gaining social media proficiency, you might aim to learn how marketers use Facebook groups in the next week, give yourself from week 2 until week 4 to get a handle on Twitter and Instagram, and plan week 3 until week 8 to tackle Snapchat and Pinterest.

If you enjoy this kind of project planning, you can also identify tasks within those goals to keep yourself on track. You might plan to send #MyFirstTweet by week 2, aim for 10 followers and 40 tweets by week 3, and hope for 30 followers plus a successful experiment with tweetchats by week 4. Setting measurable benchmarks helps you celebrate your accomplishments for one goal, even if you’re frustrated by what feels like lack of progress in another.

Whenever you feel discouraged—perhaps when someone types faster with only their thumbs than you thought possible—remember that you started from a much different baseline, and you’ve traveled a longer distance than they have. That in itself can be an advantage for an employer hoping to market to multiple generations. Your breadth of experience, combined with current skills in the latest platforms, will be an enormous asset in the job search!

Before you know it, you’ll be tweeting like @GeorgeTakei. He turns 80 this April, so if he can become a social media expert, you can too. (BTW, happy birthday George! #OhMyyy!)

--

Lynn Carroll is a career coach who writes about authenticity in the job search, gender equity in the workplace, and inclusion. Follow her @LynnCareerCoach or check out her latest post at www.lynncareercoach.com.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

Related Articles
Related Community Discussions
I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management

I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management (MBA in Finace and Marketing), process improvement (Six Sigma), project management and research. I have been ranked number 3 in quality performance and recognized by a CEO for my innovativeness. I have taken serval (3) years off from the corporate environment to take care a relative that has significant chronic medical issues. I am ready to go back to work, but I have contraint. I want to be available - so I do not want to travel more than 20%. I do not want to work extreme hours - I want a balanced life. I am trying to relocate to the Raleigh/Durham area in North Carolina, so that I can oversee my relative's care, but I realize that this may not be possible. Watching this health crisis unfold has taught me that I do not need to make 6 figures. I want work that makes a difference and pays well. I am not a spring chicken (59 years olds). I documents that show the quality of my work. Where do I find a company that will provide the mental stimulation and flexibility. I like to think, solve hard problem and significantly change companies in positive way. I like the think tank environment. How do I search for and find a good fit?

Job search guidance

Hi. I have been an Executive Assistant, or some other assistant/operations person for over 30 years. After losing my job of many years due to restructuring, I am looking for a permanent position. I feel as though assistant positions are on the way out, given anecdotal evidence by other assistants as well as executives I've spoken to. Please note that I am in pursuit of my bachelor's, but it is not yet completed. Apparently 30 years of experience doesn't mean anything if I don't have a degree. I've been told that it is recognized that I am intelligent and eager to learn pretty much anything (as well as easy to work with) so do not pigeon-hole myself into going after assistant roles, but I don't know what else I should look into or other keywords to use when searching for positions. Does anyone have any guidance on what kinds of jobs are out there?

Work from Home? Impossible?

I was wondering if any of you ladies have any suggestions on work from home jobs? I really would like to not go back to my 9-5 job and be away from my little. I would greatly appreciate the suggestions. I would like to not have to pay to start and don't want to be selling scentsy, etc. TIA!

Re-entering the workforce

Hi all, I am mid 50's with an AA, and 20+ years experience in tech support and customer service. I have worked for large companies such as Starbucks corporate in Seattle and smaller businesses such as myself. I provide in home computer support - mostly setups, upgrades, virus elimination, etc. But I also provide tutoring to senior citizens on using electronic devices (home computers, printers, tablets, smartphones). I absolutely LOVE what I do and have been doing this for about 5 years, but I'm looking to get back into a corporate and structured setting. I feel as though the senior community is an enormous demographic of people that are being overlooked when it comes to technology and I want to reach as many seniors as possible to show them how they can use technology to their advantage and how it can enhance their daily activities such as general communication with others via social media, video chat, texting, etc. Can anyone recommend a company (companies) that are investing their time and resources in enhancing the lives of seniors through technology? So many companies are so "young" and there are so many seniors that are going back to work either out of necessity or boredom and they don't have the technological skills needed, thus forcing them into positions in which may not be gratifying. I am so passionate about teaching basic to intermediate computer skills to our seniors because the need and the desire is there. Any feedback is welcome. This is my first post. Thank you!

What are women saying about your company?

Popular Articles
Related Community Discussions
I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management

I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management (MBA in Finace and Marketing), process improvement (Six Sigma), project management and research. I have been ranked number 3 in quality performance and recognized by a CEO for my innovativeness. I have taken serval (3) years off from the corporate environment to take care a relative that has significant chronic medical issues. I am ready to go back to work, but I have contraint. I want to be available - so I do not want to travel more than 20%. I do not want to work extreme hours - I want a balanced life. I am trying to relocate to the Raleigh/Durham area in North Carolina, so that I can oversee my relative's care, but I realize that this may not be possible. Watching this health crisis unfold has taught me that I do not need to make 6 figures. I want work that makes a difference and pays well. I am not a spring chicken (59 years olds). I documents that show the quality of my work. Where do I find a company that will provide the mental stimulation and flexibility. I like to think, solve hard problem and significantly change companies in positive way. I like the think tank environment. How do I search for and find a good fit?

Job search guidance

Hi. I have been an Executive Assistant, or some other assistant/operations person for over 30 years. After losing my job of many years due to restructuring, I am looking for a permanent position. I feel as though assistant positions are on the way out, given anecdotal evidence by other assistants as well as executives I've spoken to. Please note that I am in pursuit of my bachelor's, but it is not yet completed. Apparently 30 years of experience doesn't mean anything if I don't have a degree. I've been told that it is recognized that I am intelligent and eager to learn pretty much anything (as well as easy to work with) so do not pigeon-hole myself into going after assistant roles, but I don't know what else I should look into or other keywords to use when searching for positions. Does anyone have any guidance on what kinds of jobs are out there?

Work from Home? Impossible?

I was wondering if any of you ladies have any suggestions on work from home jobs? I really would like to not go back to my 9-5 job and be away from my little. I would greatly appreciate the suggestions. I would like to not have to pay to start and don't want to be selling scentsy, etc. TIA!

Re-entering the workforce

Hi all, I am mid 50's with an AA, and 20+ years experience in tech support and customer service. I have worked for large companies such as Starbucks corporate in Seattle and smaller businesses such as myself. I provide in home computer support - mostly setups, upgrades, virus elimination, etc. But I also provide tutoring to senior citizens on using electronic devices (home computers, printers, tablets, smartphones). I absolutely LOVE what I do and have been doing this for about 5 years, but I'm looking to get back into a corporate and structured setting. I feel as though the senior community is an enormous demographic of people that are being overlooked when it comes to technology and I want to reach as many seniors as possible to show them how they can use technology to their advantage and how it can enhance their daily activities such as general communication with others via social media, video chat, texting, etc. Can anyone recommend a company (companies) that are investing their time and resources in enhancing the lives of seniors through technology? So many companies are so "young" and there are so many seniors that are going back to work either out of necessity or boredom and they don't have the technological skills needed, thus forcing them into positions in which may not be gratifying. I am so passionate about teaching basic to intermediate computer skills to our seniors because the need and the desire is there. Any feedback is welcome. This is my first post. Thank you!