Interested in a job in social media? Lemme see your footprint!

hiremeThese days everyone wants a job in social media.  It is hip, cool and evidently very fun.  Tweeting and checking Facebook all day sounds good to me!  With this all too common misconception, everyone I know in social media has been bombarded by folks who want to join the field.  This is by no means a knock to any of those people because I’ve actually had conversations with a few people who I think would be GREAT in social media (you know who you are).

There are tons of great articles about being a great social media manager, community manager, social marketing manager, or any terminology you’d prefer.  I thought about assembling them all in this post, but didn’t because honestly, if you can’t find those articles…social media will not come easy to you.

My best advice to a friend or enemy wanting to get into social media is the same…show me your footprint (I wear size 15 shoes and naturally leave a nice sized mark behind).

What do I mean by footprint?

  • What have you done to build your personal brand?
    • Good: I have a personal blog where I try to post at least weekly and I engage friends/users on Twitter.
    • Bad: What do you mean? Oh yeah, I have Facebook and Myspace.
  • How focused/constant is your personal blog?
    • Good: I’m interested in social media and sports. I’d guess over 90% of my posts fall in those two topics and I try to post weekly.
    • Bad: What is a blog? I don’t have a blog, but I tweet to win free stuff and have lots of status updates and friends on Facebook.
  • Do you actively use social media networks? Which ones? How? Why?
    • Good: I have my blog at WordPress which pushes to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.  That helps me keep a constant stream of updates in various places.  I also use Digg for strong content and Delicious to manage my personal bookmarks.  Twitter is the network I engage the most on because of the vast number of people with similar interests.
    • Bad: I use Facebook, Twitter and Myspace because my friends are on them and they are popular.
  • What social media policies have you enacted?
    • Good: I haven’t had an opportunity to enact policies with a company, but I have a standard for myself.  I use Facebook more for personal use and LinkedIn and Twitter for professional use.  With any outlet, I follow one simple rule: “Am I okay with my boss, mom, and significant other reading/seeing this.”
    • Bad: Huh?
  • Why social media?
    • Good: I have had a personal interest as you can see by what we’ve already covered.  I know that this is a great fit for my skills and personalities and I’m not afraid of working as hard as I can to prove that.
    • Bad: I’m on Facebook and Twitter all the time.

I’m by no means an expert, but I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach.  If you truly have interest in a topic, I believe that you will do your homework and be prepared to demonstrate that interest…which naturally leads to a footprint.

For many marketing and social media jobs, the resume walk-through is being replaced by your personal stamp or footprint.  You will be “Googled, Facebooked, Twittered, and probably Myspaced” and you should adjust accordingly.