We all know how to post a picture with a creative caption or post a flyer for an event we are planning. With the right resources, however, did you know that you could get paid to do that and more? Social media marketing was a field that was nonexistent to me until this year and it's my newest passion! This is the story of how I got started and it will demonstrate the numerous opportunities that can come from social media marketing. 

How I got started.

In October 2016, I was talking to my mentor, who I've known for the past seven years, and we were checking in on how I was transitioning into college life. I told her that I was searching for a campus job to help with work study and found out that she happened to be the director of community engagement for the college. She told me that they were trying to increase their social media presence, since most of their work consist of emails and things that don't really resonate with our generation. She wanted to create the new position of a social media manager, and I had no idea that social media could be a job. When you hear social media, you think of people posting statuses and pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., but it actually can be used for so much more than that.

I am the first person to have this position on my campus. Throughout this whole year I have been experimenting with things like using Instagram to promote events and programs that student affairs is doing so that our students are aware of what's going on, because we send out mass emails every day about these events but our audience prefers pictures and captions over a lot of text. We have developed a much stronger Internet presence and a lot of my friends have shown interest in our program, and they've also provided feedback on what they want to see and what is currently working. There is a lot that goes into this job. You have to research and look at the analytics of what's engaging your audience best and what is pushing them away. This has been a field of study that a lot of people have taken interest in.

Amara Baptist is my inspiration.

When I told my chamber coach about my job, she told me a story of her friend's daughter, Amara Baptist, who is now the social media producer for the Memphis Grizzlies! She started out as a ballet dancer when she was just 11 years old, but then she developed a chronic back problem which ended her dance career. She thought it would be difficult to find another passion like dance. Then she started looking for careers with sports, and worked with the Dodgers in game-day marketing, eventually moving on to Fox LA and even television.

Amara had no background experience in mass media, only a degree in psychology, but now has a new job that she has a passion for. She gets to interact with the community through Twitter when she's marketing the game. Amara told Fresh U that, "It's like she's watching the game with everyone else," as she tells everyone exciting things that happen during the pre-game. Showing everyone behind the scenes of the player's life shows that they are more than just basketball players: they are caring and take the time to be with their fans and interact with people.

What I've learned.

The whole point of marketing, especially with big companies, is to demonstrate what is going on behind the scenes and how you make your products. This job has had a huge impact on me because social media is something you wouldn't really think could turn into something so big. Through this job and overall experience, even though its only been seven months, I've received an internship over the summer to do marketing at a music festival! I've heard many of my classmates say it's hard to get an internship as a first-year because companies are mainly looking for sophomores and juniors who will generally have more experience. However, by taking advantage of these types of opportunities, my job has turned into something more than I could imagine. 

Honestly, if I was just hearing about social media management and marketing for the first time, I would think, "Isn't that just posting pictures and writing long captions?" Well, yes, but at the same time, not really. It's much more than that. You have to actually dig in to see what else comes with this job. Whether you're well-known known or anonymous, you are connected with students on your campus. When I run this account, I feel like I am connecting with students I haven't even met in person yet, but we are still making a connection through being engaged in our community. It's a wonderful experience to know you are helping the community on your campus to grow just through one post at a time. There are many steps that go into that social media post, but the key is interactions. You can't get the job done without talking to people and getting feedback. In order to make them feel like they are engaged, you need to hear their voices.

Join our community!

If this sounds like something you want to try out, even as a first-year, you should give it a go. I know it sounds like a lot of commitment, but I promise you that it's not as much as you expect. The job is very manageable and there are various apps to help you schedule social media posts ahead of time, like Hootsuite and MyEmma. If you want to try it out, then start by applying to be a social media creator for Fresh U on your campus. I know that I am the only Fresh U writer on my college campus and it's great to be the one to start this trend and spread the word. It's great to know that you are helping your other friends on campus and on other campuses by talking to all of them all at once. Click on this link to apply to be a social media creator on your campus and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact a Fresh U writer. 

Just because you are a first-year doesn't mean you shouldn't go for those opportunities that are placed in front of you, as well as the ones that are a little harder to achieve. Our world is evolving right under our noses, especially technologically, so it's never too early to start looking because you want to be able to keep up with everyone else. To the class of 2021, good luck with this next big step on your journey and to the class of 2020, we're almost there, so finish strong!

Lead Image Credit: Pexels