For over two years I have been the social media manager in the marketing department of a large media company. I’ve worked in the field for eight years. In this position I oversee all social media aspects of networking, advertising, and ensuring that our company has a serious presence on the web. This isn’t as easy as making a Facebook page, as some people may think. It often involves helping others set up these pages, ensuring through other social media that these pages are easy to find, and keeping up with the changing needs of customers.
In rating my overall job satisfaction, I would say it is a strong 8 out of 10. There is not much I would change about the position, even though it is hard work. The hard work is just one part of a job that allows me to work with people and platforms that I enjoy, so I guess you could say I’ve found my calling. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and computers, and this position let’s me do both.
Many people don’t start out as young as I did, which in a way makes me unique. I started doing social media marketing with three bands at the age of nineteen. Just from that first experience I learned that you’re never too young to get started, and an internship can lead to great opportunities. My only regret from the internship is that when it was over, I didn’t try to go any further with the company. They offered a continued internship, but at the time I turned it down.
My biggest lesson learned was to keep the bridges you’ve made with other professionals. As I mentioned before, I gave up an internship with the company I started out with. One band I worked with, Rev Theory, started to make waves in the music industry. When I realized this, it hit me that I could have been part of it. I had wasted an opportunity to work with a band I now enjoy.
School teaches a person a lot of things, but just as much is learned in the workforce. My main lesson was that there is absolutely no time to sit back and watch. In the social media world, things happen at the speed of light. Someone in China can post something on their website that’s immediately seen thousands of miles away. With this being my jobsite, there is no time for rest.
The strangest thing that continues to happen is when a person isn’t satisfied with a company, and creates multiple social network accounts to demean the business. These situations are the part of the job that makes me want to rip out my hair. It’s hard to stop this type of attack, so you have to be on your game non-stop. This is why I get up every day; the challenge of taking care of a company that takes care of me. I take pride in training interns, as I get to see them strive to protect the same thing I do.
All factors considered, I’d have to say my job has a medium stress level. Some days there is hardly any stress, other days, it seems insane, but the benefits make it all worthwhile. I receive four weeks of paid vacation yearly. This along with my salary makes my position the most favorable I’ve ever had. Salaries can vary wildly, depending on many factors. I average around $60,000 a year, and would imagine others bring in 40-50, which is by far enough to keep me happy.
In my field, a Bachelor’s degree is often necessary, preferably in public relations or marketing. A company will often want experience in the field of social media managing, so I found it beneficial to work with one company in the field for some time and then move into a managing position when it opened. If I were giving advice to a friend on this line of work, I would say that it’s going to take work. Most people are adept at a big part of the job already: social media. I’d tell them since they’ve already got that covered, to keep beating the bushes and work their way up.
After all is said and done, I love my job, but it’s not where I want to stop. In five years time I want to be with the same company, but working in the corporate office. I get to present new ideas in my position all of the time, but it’s mostly to do with social media. I hope to one day have a hand in making decisions with the company both on and offline.