Q. I'm a full-time student trying to get a part time job for money and experience. I am very interested in a job for a small fire recovery contractor. I have all the technology skills required including Word, Excel and Access, but one thing has me stumped: "social marketing." I have a Facebook page, I send formal Emails and I could probably figure out Twitter if I had any reason to use it. That said, I'm not an SEO expert or social media guru. What are the employer’s expectations and how can I convince the company that I can meet them?
A. Having experience as a job seeker will differentiate you to all potential employers. Understanding how social media works and why companies invest in social marketing is important for job seekers, consumers, employees and company leaders to know. Developing your expertise in this area will prove valuable in your long- term career.
Many job seekers are being asked to show portfolios, write reports, approach a problem or demonstrate skills as part of the interview process. This can be a time intensive investment and can be the differentiator to getting the offer. The effective use of social media for company growth is essential and this is a growing area of opportunity for full and part time jobs.
To prove your capability, consider developing and submitting a social marketing proposal. You will need to include a summary, competitor analysis, goals and objectives, strategies and tactics and a timeline.
The summary should outline what the company does and why social marketing is important to utilize; why should the company invest in social marketing? Make sure to include the company’s current use of social marketing. Does the company already have a Facebook page? How many fans have liked the page? How often is content posted?
Next, is a competitor analysis. This level of research makes all job seekers more knowledgeable and you can gather inspiration for the strategies and tactics you will want to utilize. First, conduct research to find out who the company’s competitors are. Review what these competitors use in terms of social media. Make sure to note all use of: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, RSS Feed, Google + and mobile apps.
Offer concrete goals with four or five measurable objectives. For example, an objective might be to increase Twitter followers by 15 percent by December 31, 2013.
Investigate and communicate the social media platforms the company should use. If the company should be using Twitter, provide sample tweets you would use. If the company should be monitoring its social media presence and industry trends, how will social media platforms be used to do so?
Finally, create a timeline. This demonstrates how you would approach all activities at work and with a thorough approach, showing added value should help you get the offer. By taking the time to create a social media proposal, the company will see that you are serious about the job and that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to exceed expectations.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.