How to Slide Into The DMs, Professionally

MAY, 2018
Written by Katherine Pendrill
Photographs by Andrew Pieroni
10 years ago, telling someone you work in social media was guaranteed to be met with a lot of blank stares and puzzled looks. Flash forward to 2018 — a time when “Instagram-friendly” has become an everyday descriptor — and telling someone that your title is Social Media Manager is likely to be met with vigorous nods of approval (and maybe even a hint of jealousy). Of course, working in social media is a lot more than retweeting celebs or hamming for the ‘gram — it takes work. To deconstruct the day-to-day life of a social media professional and help people understand how to actually get a job in social, Anomaly’s Director of Social Media Jennifer Stack dropped by Miami Ad School Toronto for a rousing Industry Heroes event.
Jennifer Stack has been in the social media game for more than 10 years, meaning she’s seen a lot of changes since the early days of friend requests and direct messages. For Jennifer, her social media career officially kicked off during her first agency stint here in Toronto. Though social media wasn’t initially part of her role, Jennifer made the case for her unique expertise, and thus she became a Social Media Strategist at a time when social strategy was still in its early days. Anecdotes aside, Jennifer emphasizes the importance of advocating for yourself and working to carve out a social media role where there might not be one already.

While building a social media position from the ground up is not possible at every company, Jennifer is quick to break down a more traditional career path for anyone looking to climb the social media ladder. For those starting from scratch, Jennifer explains that you simply need to be passionate about the social space or a particular category, in order to land your first gig as a Social Media Intern. Seriously, your passion for sneakerhead culture and ‘gramming your fresh kicks could actually help you land that coveted social media role.

“The landscape will keep evolving, and you should too.”

Once you have your foot in the door, Jennifer points that there are a wide variety of roles in the social sphere, with positions ranging from community manager and content creator, to strategist and analyst. Although each role requires a unique set of skills, Jennifer’s advice for getting ahead remains the same: keep learning, keep exploring, keep networking, and keep iterating. As she’s quick to point out, the landscape is constantly evolving, so you should be too.

If you’re interested in taking your social media career from online to IRL (just like Jennifer Stack), check out Miami Ad School’s 12-week Social Media Bootcamp. Applications are due July 1st, 2019 and classes kick off on Sept 3rd, 2019.

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