Becoming the Social Media 'Messiah'

When SEO and social media found each other sexy around 2013, joining forces to seduce Google, my next career direction would be to become Social Media Messiah. It’s bearable than guru, ninja, rock star and other messy disrespectful titles some people have invented in LinkedIn.

Finally, I got the job. And as much as I want to add I lived happily ever after, I can’t.

Handling corporate pages and accounts is like taking care of Kim Jong-Un’s cat. One sickly sneeze and there goes your life thrown into prison.

If you’re ready to answer your own social media ‘messiah’ calling, here are five tips:

Envision your dream and remind yourself of it every day
Your dreams fuel your motivation. Motivation fuels the physical and mental. My dearest goal would be to handle the FaceBook page of any of these companies I’m a huge fan of: Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Apple or Coke.

Dare to dream.

There will be days when the fatigue or your office mate’s smelly breath will wear you down, make you question if it’s really worth it, and ultimately seduce you to the dark side (other ventures).

What I do is visit these companies’ websites, and it always rejuvenates my drive to be a part of their team someday. Remind yourself why you have that dream. Every single day.

Improve your writing
Communication is the basis of all social media. Without it, ‘effectiveness’ would be an alien concept.

If writing is not your forte, but your drive is that of a man in his honeymoon, then there is a way. That way is reading. Personally, I learned how to write by reading Harry Potter books.

If reading is not your forte, then make the need to learn how to write your drive.

Think of the recent movie you liked. If you’re lucky, it was adapted from a book. With the interest there, treading through the pages should be breezy.

Companies would never entrust social media to someone who can’t communicate well. It’s one of those hard facts of life, like marijuana being illegal in your country.

Play with social networking sites
Start with the big three: FaceBook, Twitter, and Google+.

After the share and like phase, delve in further by setting-up fan pages (FB), utilizing hash tags (Twitter), or joining communities (G+).

These will give you the technical experience and will guide you during job interviews.

You will be handling several social media projects in the future and things like automation and market analysis are considered basics. You should really know them.

It’s OK to mess up
The great thing about learning on your own is if you mess up, you mess up just yourself. McDonald’s wouldn’t have had to experience another #McDStories fiasco or Starbucks with its #SpreadTheCheer humiliation.

If say, for luck even unknown to Fortuna (Greek Tyche), you got the job with little to no experience, imagine the trouble of not knowing the what/where/when/how of social media interaction and costing your clients sums of money in the process.

Not only would it cost you your squishy lifestyle, but it would also taint your reputation forever.

So experiment on your own, observe and learn, keep tabs on what works and what doesn’t. With experience comes learning, and companies would fight for someone who’s got experience.

Learn the tools
I used to think being a social media ‘messiah’ would be sitting in your desk, writing content with the catchiest headlines in your Mac and blasting it to all of your client’s social media accounts, while sipping your favorite latte.

I was dead wrong.

So dead, in fact, that when I was applying for my first job as a social media specialist, an interviewer asked me if I know Radian6, a tool for monitoring tons of social media activities, I lay silent for five minutes.

I couldn’t lie because I have no idea it was a tool back then. The interviewer said it’s OK because there were lots of tools out there anyway. She was being nice.

The next question sealed the deal, of my doom: What is your Klout Score?

My first impression was ‘blood clotting,’ but then I could be wrong. Again, I said politely that while I don’t know what my Klout score is yet, I will do my best to produce it should we’ll have another interview.

That didn’t happen.
Experience plays a vital role in the selection process. Don’t just share and retweet, read, read and read about social media.

Learn the tools, the tricks, EVERYTHING, because when that interview happens, they will ask questions only an experienced candidate would know.

It’s a big and daunting task, but when you have passion for social media, it becomes a love project.