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How to be a… head of social media

Advice from Nicola Steadman, Principal Consultant at Bloom Retail

Kicking off your career as a PR or marketing assistant would be the best route in, having initially studied for a degree with that focus. Social Media is increasingly a module offered at universities, so having that under your belt would be ideal.

Most companies are growing their own social media experts, due to demand outweighing supply for people with these skills. In 2012, most of us are used to managing our own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts so being a guru of at least ‘The Big Four’ will give you a huge advantage.

You’d need to be able to reflect the brand effectively, adopting the correct tone of voice, and really get into the customer’s psyche. Observing and implementing current trends in marketing – to be ahead of the game – will be critical. The role would be fast-paced and see you juggling many tasks, working alongside marketing and PR and liaising closely with the commercial teams to understand what’s hot and what’s selling, or what needs more promoting.

This is a fast developing area, so the market is struggling to create enough head of social media professionals, and increasingly every business needs one. So those operating at this level can charge a competitive rate.

Starting salaries would be from £22,000, rising to £35,000 with experience.

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