How to "Like" Your Job: 5 Tips for Breaking into a Career in Social Media

iPad social media

Considering about one-third of life is spent at work and the time people spend on social media is constantly increasing, it makes sense for some people to combine the two by becoming a social media manager.

Social media managers work to create content that will go on social media platforms for companies and non-profits. Those people who have great success as a social media professional have a passion for the medium and a desire to stay up-to-date with trends and hashtags in their industry.

Social media managers interact with people through their company's chosen social media channels by pushing out content related to their business and by answering questions and concerns their customers post online. Finally, social media managers analyze their posts to measures which ones are most successful.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly wage for social media managers was $56,770 in 2015 but salary varies greatly depending on your experience level and location. Research positions in your area using a salary calculator to get a more accurate idea of what you might earn as a social media manager.

If you have a passion for social media and excellent written communication skills, being a social media manager might be the perfect role for you. But how do you get started? Read on for five simple tips for laying the groundwork for a career in social media:

Establish an online presence

Presumably, if you are interested in a career in social media you have already immersed yourself in the world of social media. But are you familiar with how to use all of the popular channels?

The national survey of 1,520 adults found that almost 8-in-10 Americans with online access use Facebook, as opposed to those who use Twitter (24%), Pinterest (31%), Instagram (32%) or LinkedIn (29%). Keeping these numbers in mind, start by creating personal accounts for yourself on the top social media sites.

Be consistent

When it comes to building experience in social media, slow but steady wins the race because it takes time to build a high-quality following. Start by identifying industries that interest you and set aside time every day devoted to building a social media network in that area. Identify thought leaders, industry publications, companies and professional and amateur photographers you admire and connect with them online. If you're feeling ambitious, start a blog on the topic, or create an instructional YouTube videos to share with your network. Aim to publish a mix of shared and original content on your social media sites a few times a week.

Keep it classy

Curate your social pages so that they appeal to - not repel - recruiters and hiring managers. Do so by making sure all of your content and photos are befitting a professional. To be hired in the field of social media you must be able to prove to an employer that you have sound judgment when it comes to what should and should not be shared on social media. That starts with your personal pages, so do some housekeeping.

Volunteer your time

One way to get a foot in the door when you are looking for an entry-level social media role is to volunteer your time to an organization. Offer to do the social media for your college's alumni association, or contact your local animal shelter to see if they might need help. Or ask your favorite charity if you could take over the social media promotion for their next fundraiser. Offering up your time for free is a win-win for both parties. Organizations that might not be able to afford a staff person will benefit from your help while you build up relevant experience that will help you build a social media resume.

Create a social media resume and cover letter

Once you have some experience under your belt, it's time to write a social media resume and cover letter. There are some great examples online that can help you outline your job skills and qualifications on your resume and find the right key works and descriptions to use in your cover letter. Using a website like LiveCareer, which has examples of social media resumes and cover letters, is a great place for beginners to get started. Breaking into a new industry isn't easy, but LiveCareer can help!