Ever feel like a Social Media “Know it All”?

[Inspired by Niki Pocock’s post on going to the next level in a career.]

By Doug Savage

Tired of reading tips on how to manage your online presence? Do you often know more than the presenter on the topic of social media in your profession? What does one do if all of a sudden you are functioning pretty efficiently in real life AND online?

These and other questions have been plaguing me for a little while. I really like this digital culture we are all growing so accustomed to and I’d like to think I am generally pretty good at it. I Google myself and am learning to manage my SEO. I do my best to create good content and share it across multiple networks. I am making connections and sharing ideas. So what do I do when every article I read tells me to “start a twitter account” and “connect with professionals” in my field? What is the next step?

For those who have followed me for a little while (all 5 of you!), you know I am obsessed with PR folks. It always seems like they are ahead of the curve on the new what next and I do my best to take advice as it is given. So here’s the quandary – I am not in PR. I am on track to become a Information Professional and will probably work in a library or museum. I wonder if there are different approaches I should be considering for a job search. Now the Library/Museum world is pretty hip and the tech craze is all the rage there too, but I am starting to get the sense that managing my online profile is one small portion of the work I need to do to land a career. (Do I really have to go to conferences and pass out resumes?)

I have no wisdom to offer here and no real conclusion. I guess the question is how do you take all the effort you have put into social media/online connections and transition that to real life opportunities? Does this work better in some fields and not in others? When can get I my “Ultimate Social Media Guru” badge and how much will that be worth IRL? (JK on that last one!) Tips?

(I am sure some of my PR peeps have written on this very topic, or could direct me to some good posts!)

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5 thoughts on “Ever feel like a Social Media “Know it All”?

  1. Hi, Micah! So honored to have inspired this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    My first love was ballet, but public relations came soon after. My dream job would be to work at a professional ballet company as a communications director, or something of the like – why don’t you combine your interests? You could work in the communications department of a museum or library (probably museum, based on the limit funds of libraries these days). Or, even if you don’t WORK in the communications department, VOLUNTEER in your free time for a small establishment that doesn’t have the money to pay a communications department. That way you will continue to grow your skills and your PR network so you will be ready when that job comes available.

    PR is fantastic because it can be used so many different ways – not all of them involve being employed with a PR agency. Good luck to you!

  2. Hi Micah,

    I really enjoyed this post because it took me back to when I was wading through the social media waters. I have a blogpost that may be helpful. (http://oneguysjourney.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/success-in-social-media-starts-with-you/)

    The bottom line is that “cred” in social media isn’t developed overnight. I think posts like this one help develop credibility. You are asking a question and sparking a conversation. When people respond to this, start following them on Twitter. See what kind of content they are providing.

    Most importantly, carve out your own niche. You are unique. Let everyone know it.

    If I can help further, please reach out!

  3. Hi Micah!

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

    First, you may not have a PR job, but you absolutely understand the value of building relationships with others and brand management — and I definitely think you are staying “ahead of the curve.” It’s true that PR peeps are basically forced to be “social media gurus” to stay relevant…while there are other industries that couldn’t care less about your Twitter influence. I don’t know much about your industry, so I can’t say whether or not you are going to have to attend all those conferences and do the traditional job search.

    But I CAN say that the way you are embracing social media is not pointless. Even if you never get a job out of it or even make a contact in your field, it’s not pointless. Twitter is such a great source of information, and you will continue to learn skills that can be applied to any profession.

    And honestly, you really do seem to have a passion for PR. So you definitely need to be engaging on social media. Who knows? Maybe you will be the PR rep for one of those museums or libraries one day… would that be so bad?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Niki, Jason and Lauren – you all are super inspiring and encouraging. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate the advice and will take it to heart. I have been thinking for a while that I might be good at doing Communications for a Museum-type organization and am starting to look for those types of opportunities. I’d hope that the work I am putting in blogging and trying to learn the biz will get me halfway there. A follow-up question real quick – as pros in the PR field, how difficult do you think it would be for someone without the educational background in communications to gain employment there? I’d love to try my hand at it, but the only real experience I have is what I have made-up or borrowed from following you all!

    Thanks again. Honored to be connected to you all.

    MV

  5. What do you do when you know it all? Start teaching of course! There are still a lot of people who do not understand the fundamentals of social & digital media. Kids often have the technological skills but lack the social savvy; older folks are frequent social media users (see recent Pew study), but don’t know a lot about branding or using these services to promote themselves.

    If you’re still up for service learning at the library, maybe we can put together a short class/clinic? I’ve been planning a “Twit-torial” for some time…

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