At the beginning of 2012, I had no idea I wanted to work in social media – to be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure about what “working in social media” meant. Now, 18 months later, I’m just taking on a role at communications agency, Pitch, as a senior social executive and I’m delighted with how my professional career has progressed so far. I graduated from the University of Liverpool last summer and moved into an experimental job with Turnstone Sales, where I developed a social media strategy aimed at increasing followers/likes on the account. As this was always a temporary role, I continued to network and was eventually put in touch with a job at We Are Social by a recruiter I’d been in regular contact with; all on Twitter. Without doubt, this helped me in my eventual hiring.
The number of opportunities in social media is rising by the day, and this is as true with sport as anywhere else. Sporting communities carry conversation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and this makes social media and sport the perfect marriage.
Social media in sport is certainly still in infancy though, and whilst that sounds like a negative, it offers plenty of opportunities for those with little experience, or looking to move into social media. For example, internships and work experience at football clubs are on the cards if you approach them directly, or creatively. Clubs, organisations and athletes are all aware of the potential impact of social media, and know they need some representation on the channels, so opportunities will continue to open up.
What’s important in this industry is demonstrating your influence, and ability to use social media, via your personal channels. A few ways of doing this are:
- Join in conversations in relevant LinkedIn groups (Here is a good start)
- Use Twitter to promote your channels, extend your network and follow industry influencers to learn more about the industry.
- Start a personal blog on a topic of interest. Be willing to write 2 posts a week and be dedicated to it. After a few posts, why not contact a mid-reach blog and offer to write an article. Make it appropriate to your interests, but give it your own spin.
All of these offer outlets to show off, influence others and begin the creation of a personal ‘brand’. In doing this people will take notice and in turn this will help your networking within sport, which is crucial in your career development. The positive of social media is that everything is visible, and this means that (if you’re good) word spreads quickly. You have to be open, transparent but purposeful. Don’t be afraid to take risks, create your own content and provide opinion – these are areas that will grab attention, and eventually help you progress.
Social media is an established industry but it’s still rapidly growing. As marketing budgets and campaigns become more integrated with social media, a role within the field can provide quick promotion opportunities, large responsibility at a young age and great experience for future progression. You might have to start near the bottom of the ladder, but there are plenty of rungs to clutch at, and help you on your way up. It’s an exciting industry and one that should absolutely be considered if you are keen to work within sport.