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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Teaching the Next Generation of Social Media Marketers

    Posted by Jennifer Kardell

    Have You Considered Volunteering With and Mentoring Marketing Students? Maybe You Should.


    One of the greatest things about social media is how busy it keeps us, whether it’s entertaining us for hours with mindless scrolling of the news feeds on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or researching the constant change in new ways of optimizing our marketing efforts.

    These platforms are important to staying on top of news and in touch with our digital friends. But one of the often forgettn benefits of social media is getting involved with various organizations. By networking with others who run social platforms for their jobs, you can gain a new insight on how others really handle their social media efforts and reciprocate the favor by offering your own success stories. 

    For another installment of Social Saturday, let's take a look at several ways to learn from others, including those who learn everyday--students! 

    Start with Social Media 101

    No matter what career path any of us choose, we have to start somewhere. With that said, it is very important to reach out to those that were once in your position. Reaching out to college students provides a great opportunity for them to have a mentor. The student is not the only one to benefit; you will learn too!

    The younger generation will be exposed to various new and upcoming social media efforts. They can also give you insight on their demographic if your business or your clients cater to millenials. Offering your insight as a mentor could be one of the best experiences and educational resources for our next generation of marketers. Building rapport will open doors for students to ask questions to experts like you that they may not be able to ask in a classroom.

    Get Involved

    One of the best things about college is a chance to join on-campus groups that provide numerous opportunities and experiences you won’t get after graduation. Encourage the next generation of marketers to dive in to the on-campus culture within their major. Student organizations like Public Relations Student Society is a great opportunity for students to dive into many outlets of the communications industry. One extra benefit of this organization is that they can stay involved even after college transferring into a membership with Public Relations Society of America.

    When working with students keep these things in mind:

    • What are their goals? What were your own goals?
    • What is something you wish you had known before going into social media that you know now?
    • What organizations are you currently involved in that would benefit a student?
    • Are there any online groups that would prove to be an asset to their learning?
    • Why did you choose your career path? What are you most proud of that you have done that can inspire learning?
    • If there was only one piece of advice you could give them, what would it be?

    Share More Than Just Social

    Students are exactly that: students. They are still learning and may not know what they should know or shouldn’t know because some marketing topics are not covered in their curricula. This is where you can step in again with getting involved with our marketers-in-training. Working in social media doesn’t limit you to just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    You must be versatile in your marketing abilities to help in the success of your company by offering a multitude of marketing skills. Helping with the blogging, email marketing, or client's overall goals are crucial to a successful company. There is a life outside of social media that students need to be prepared for. More than likely, something new was learned in your career path in social media, and this could be one less step for them. Again, you are the expert, they are the student. You are a great resource providing the biggest key element in their education.

    One last forgotten element of social media…

    The main point here is to help educate our upcoming marketers while expanding your skill set and continually learning along the way. However, the most successful way of doing this is to also keep yourself educated by staying involved yourself. Seek resources available in your community for ways to offer your marketing services. Don’t wait for colleges or organizations to ask you for your services. Stay up on current events in your community and reach out to various event directors to see if they have interns who could use help in promoting details on social media. You could even volunteer yourself.

    Education never stops in our world of marketing. Get out and explore other opportunities and you will find that there is more information out there waiting for you to find it to improve your own skill set. Just don’t forget you once were a blank slate and there are upcoming marketers in that position now. Be willing to help. Don’t limit yourself to just learning about the new upcoming ways to optimize Facebook or Twitter. Learn how to optimize yourself as your own personal brand.

    Join the Conversation

    photo: Graham Lavender via cc

    Topics: Social Media