Saptashi Bhowmik in Career Guide |   November 23, 2022 . 16 min read

How To Grab Your First Social Media Marketing Job?

(Includes Templates, Interview Questions, and Data)

How often have you come across some social media post of a brand and immediately sighed - “*man, I could have done this better!*”? You might have even closed Instagram after that one post.

Guess what? One of our students enrolled in Kraftshala’s Content & Social Media Copywriting Course gave us this insight. And we don’t blame them. Of course, they feel that way. You people have been using social media since the dawn of time. Regardless of the uncountable algorithm updates on Instagram, you’ve not just stayed relevant to the application but have also thrived on it!

It’s why companies actively look for young people like you to up their social media marketing game.

And this is what the article is about - your gospel to cracking your first social media marketing job!

TLDR;

  1. Understanding How Social Media Marketing Works
  2. Understanding Different Social Media Platforms
  3. Play Time - Creating a Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Brand
  4. Reaching Out to Brands for a Social Media Marketing Role
  5. How to Ace the Social Media Marketing Interviews

But First, Let’s Understand How Social Media Marketing Works

Think of Netflix India . When you go to their Instagram page, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

If you ask us, it feels as though we’re at the right place to be entertained (hold on to this word) by the best pop culture references. Not only that, but Netflix India’s Instagram Page has also become the go-to place for ‘what to watch next’ recommendations.

If you’ve felt the same, it’s because Netflix wants you to feel that. It is how they’ve developed their brand personality on Instagram. And this is precisely how social media marketing works.

Social Media Marketing helps build brand awareness and get your target audience to know about your brand through posts. But that’s not all.

You see, just remembering your brand name isn’t enough (that’s awareness). It’s like someone knowing your name just for the sake of it. Brands want you to remember something about them.

For example, Nike wants you to think of them as this inspirational brand that pushes you to take the leap and just do things in life. Dettol wants to be all about protecting you from harmful germs. And just like that, Nescafe wants to be about fastening the pace of your life and helping you want more from life.

You’ll notice a pattern here. These brands want to be associated with an emotion that humanizes them and connects them to their target audience. This way, their audience remembers them the next time they want something that feels remotely similar to what any of these brands offer.

And social media marketing is one good way to amplify this emotion that relates your brand to your target audience. Your audience then remembers you and recalls your brand through your posts.

Outcome: You attain top-of-the-mind brand awareness.

Now the question arises, how do you do that?

Think from Your Brand’s Perspective: Developing A Brand Strategy

Jeff Bezos says,

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

So, when you devise a brand strategy for social media marketing, you set the stone of how you want to be perceived by others. In Jeff Bezos’ words, building a brand strategy lets you control what people are talking about you when you aren’t in the room.

In today’s era of building a brand and taking off to the digital world, you’ll find almost every other brand, big or small, trying to make a mark on social media, keeping up with trends, and often getting lost in the noise.

So what about the brands, like Netflix, that stand out amidst all the noise?

What you’ll find common to these brands standing out on social media is that they’ve mastered the art of understanding their target audience so they meet their needs. Is that it? Nope.

Let’s take the example of Taylor Swift. Her brand identity is as consistent as ever. She delivers bangers out of songs that her audience relates hard to and cries for. But, she has not only catered to her target audience’s needs.

Throughout her music career, she has stayed true to herself and her experiences. She knows who she is, and what she wants to put out for the world to see - in terms of her interactions with her audience, her songs, her experiences, everything.

How?

Taylor Swift came up with her true brand voice by identifying her goals.

Who am I speaking to? What am I communicating? How am I viewed? What should I do to maintain the tone and grow my audience at the same time?

These were some questions that pondered over her mind, which helped her become the brand she is today. This brings me to :

Define Your Brand Communication - What Is The Big Idea?

Your big idea comprises stories, history, and the people you want to cater to.

Determine what is the one thing that holds true for your brand. It can be an aspirational mission that your brand is trying to solve. It should answer, “this is what my brand stands for”. Simple, relevant to your audience, and often emotional.

The big idea should have a purpose that people relate to and answers why they should care about your brand.

Let’s go back to Netflix’s example.

Netflix has been clear with its communication objectives since the start. Even when they sold DVDs, they were clear that they wanted to entertain the world. Their streaming service started, social media became popular and now their every other post goes viral with this same objective that they want to entertain the world, the world being their audience.

Hence, Netflix’s big idea for social media is - “We want to entertain the world”.

As for Kraftshala, we’re an ed-tech organization. Our approach to educating young graduates helps them land their careers in marketing. We’re obsessed with helping young people upskill in the field of marketing.

And so, our big idea is - Education That Gets You Hired.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Now that you know what your brands stand for, who should you be targeting?

For Netflix, it is people who are young college goers, millennials, and tech-savvy people who want to be entertained and updated with the latest shows, and movies to watch.

So, when you determine your audience for your social media, think along these lines:

  • How does the audience feel and behave online? 
  • What do they do online that is relevant to your brand and big idea? Maybe they binge on memes and like to scroll through reels. Anything.

But it’s social media, right? Everyone can see your post. The more the merrier then? In case you’re wondering along these lines -

Think of the brand as YOU. YOU do not connect with everyone in the world, right? That’s exactly why we need a target audience that gets us.

Simply put, targeting the right audience makes sure that your social media marketing is optimized and that all your brand communication is reaching the people who need it and will appreciate your posts.

Define Your Role for Content

Netflix has made its mission to entertain the world. The big idea says it and their social media says it. In fact, every post of theirs serves the purpose of entertainment. The new launch of a movie on Instagram? Hella entertaining.

It’s almost as if you think of Netflix and you are reminded of entertainment because their brand communication is that consistent.

How, though?

They maintain this consistency through - their role for content.

Say an Instagram user follows your brand for a week and has seen 5-10 posts of yours. Now, what do you want those posts to do for your brand in the mind of that user? Your ‘role for content’ decides that.

Remember when we talked about Nike for taking a leap of faith and just doing things? Dettol for protection and Nescafe for fastening the pace of your life and wanting more from life? They achieved consistency in their brand communication through role for content.

Think of the role for content as - the role your content plays in your audience’s minds.

For example, Netflix’s social media marketing goal is to build long-term relationships with its audience and drive more engagement. So they create content on trending topics that their followers engage with and show that people love and are talking about.

So their Role for Content is - To place Netflix as the most entertaining, iconic, and happening streaming app.

As for Kraftshala, we make India’s most loved marketing and sales training programs with one main objective: to get our students hired by top companies and agencies.

So Kraftshala’s Role for Content is - To place Kraftshala as a team that is obsessed and highly proficient at getting their students hired.

What’s the Editorial Filter?

Once you’ve decided your brand’s big idea and role for content, the editorial filter acts as the literal filter that lets you judge each post you create on the metrics of your brand objectives.

Like, Netflix wants engagement through entertaining content. If they create content around boring stuff, say mutual funds, first, it won’t align with their business (they offer a streaming service for god’s sake) and second, it won’t be entertaining to their audience because they follow Netflix for entertainment.

So, an editorial filter acts as a short-term guardrail that checks every post by the brand’s main communication objective (in Netflix’s case - entertainment) and decides if one should go ahead with the post.

Think along the lines of choosing which story to share on social media. Editorial filters are mostly posed as a question.

For example, Netflix’s possible editorial filter is - is it entertaining to the world?

Let’s circle back to Nike .

By this point, you know Nike wants to inspire people to just do things. How do you think they achieve their goal of communicating that with their target audience?

Look at their Instagram Page. You’ll find that they share stories of everyday athletes who are just winging it. Doing things by taking a leap of faith in them and striving.

Their editorial filter is right in place, helping them express themselves as who they are.

Now, guess what their editorial filter could be?

You guessed it! - “Does this reflect that they just do it?”

Think From Your Target Audience’s Perspective: Passion Points

You’ve seen how Netflix and Taylor Swift have stayed true to their brands while staying relevant to their target audience at the same time. They’ve maintained a balance in terms of staying true to their brand objectives while also delighting their target audience at the same time.

The reason why they’ve maintained that balance in their communication is simple, yet often ignored.

If you only stick to your brand strategy, while completely ignoring the people you want to communicate with, you lose out on making a mark. Fast forward to a few months, and your social media marketing game is dead.

There’s another extreme. If you only plan on delighting your target audience through their passion points, while completely losing focus on your brand strategy, you end up becoming a meme page. So, as you’ve now guessed, maintaining a balance is key to acing your social media marketing game.

So now, how do you delight your audience?

For instance, Taylor Swift.

She creates music out of her experiences, which are not too different from her target audience’s experiences. She speaks their language, and through her storytelling, she makes her fans question - ‘how does she know me so well?’.

This is no different from understanding your target audience well - who they are, what their interests are, what makes them tick, what brings them joy, and what some of their experiences could be.

Take our example again - Netflix.

It’s true that Netflix creates posts that entertain us, but how?

They have researched their target audience well. Like Taylor Swift, Netflix also knows what its audience cares about, and would like to engage with.

So, as we pair our social media posts with what might interest our target audience, we see things from their perspective. This way, we find our target audience’s passion points.

What Are Passion Points?

Passion points, as the name suggests, are things your audience finds interesting that they engage with. Including a passion point aligned with your target audience in your posts makes your content stand out, which your audience stares at for a while, and gasps, “damn, this is goooood”.

Outcome: Consumer delight and more engagement.

In Netflix’s case, its target audience is young people, millennials who work, tech-savvy people who want to stay updated with new shows and movies to watch, etc.

Now, a working professional, no matter how much they love their job, would still want to rest and would want a holiday. That necessity is a plethora of emotions running through their mind. Hence, relatability becomes a passion point.

We want entertainment - a fact. We want to watch something new. Hence, recommendations become another passion point.

We love memes. Always. About anything. This is another passion point.

And so on.

This way, determine passion points for your target audience through research. 

  • find what they’re searching online through social tools like Awario
  • research their online behavior
  • check the kind of social media trends that they resonate with

OR, there is another simple, old-fashioned way of finding out what your target audience likes - by meeting them and asking them what pages they follow. Understand why they follow these pages, and why these pages work. There are some passion points that these pages have that delight them.

When Kraftshala was just beginning their social media marketing on Instagram, they tried to understand their target audience’s passion points through this trick.

The image below is one such example of a post that their target audience engages with.

This post delights our target audience because it benefits them and helps them stay away from common interview mistakes, something that young graduates (Kraftshala’s TG) SHOULD know when they’re starting their marketing careers.

Merge The Two Perspectives - Create Content Pillars

Now that you’ve understood what brand strategy is, and how to create one, all you’re left to do is merge your target audience’s interests with your brand’s objectives and create content pillars.

For starters, content pillars are the overall content categories around which you create content. The pillars hold your social media marketing strategy in place, give structure, and deliver consistency in brand communication.

These content pillars are sets of themes that you can use for creating social media posts that help you connect with your audience while maintaining your brand’s tone, communication, and overall strategy.

For context, Netflix’s content pillars for Instagram are -

What you’ll see in these content pillars is that Netflix’s big idea, “We Want to Entertain The World” and their target audience’s passion points are merged into these content pillars.

Like, celeb-focused posts on popular content are always fun to watch. You want to know what’s happening behind those perfect scenes, in the celebs’ lives. Everybody likes a good laugh. Netflix knows that. This makes up for a content pillar which not only entertains its target audience but also humanizes the brand.

While these content pillars work for Netflix, they may not work for other brands. Hence, the content pillars you choose for your chosen brand should include your brand strategy, but your content strategy should also have your audience’s passion points.

And, once you’ve decided on the content pillars, you’ve decided on your content strategy. All you’re left to do is make a plan of which content pillar to go on which day of the week, create posts, engage with your audience and grow!

Now, Let’s Understand The Different Social Media Platforms to Consider for Your Brand

Social media platforms have distinct personalities. For instance, let’s talk about YOU.

At the core, you’re a person with certain values. But you still show different parts of your personality to different people.

Now, consider “you” to be the brand.

In a broader sense, LinkedIn becomes where you gather with your acquaintances, and Instagram is where you hang out with your closest folks. How different is your personality going to be on these platforms? Probably a lot.

You’re going to be showing your professional persona a lot more on LinkedIn. On Instagram, however, you’re just going to be as human as you are.

This is precisely how these platforms function.

Social Media Marketing on Instagram

Instagram is a consumer-first platform where we try to connect with our followers on a personal level through posts, stories, and even DMs. It won’t come as a surprise to you if we say that the younger generation (Millennials and Gen-Z) are much more active on the platform than others.

Instagram is a place for brands and people to have fun, connect candidly and educate at the same time. And since you’ve already understood by now how Instagram works and how to create a social media marketing strategy for Instagram, let’s summarise what we have learned until now -

  • Create a brand strategy where you’ll highlight what you want to communicate
  • Understand who you’re going to communicate with - your target audience
  • Understand how you’re going to communicate - your role for content
  • Finally, make sure that you’re communicating what you want to communicate to the people you communicate with

Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social media networking platform that works best for professionals and brands targeting business-to-business companies. The age group that stays the most on the platform is 30-49, where they connect with graduates, post-graduates, and various talents to attract and hire for their respective companies.

The kinds of content that work best for LinkedIn are posts that show the brand:

  • is a great place to work at 
  • being transparent about your company values 
  • what’s happening in your company, the milestones hit, challenges faced, customer testimonials, etc 
  • showing employee growth through their stories

Let’s look at how different Netflix’s persona is on LinkedIn.

When you look at their LinkedIn page, you’ll see how they’ve shown their brand from the company’s front. Here’s one post to help you see that.

This post of Netflix shows how far they’ve come since they started - which showcases the milestones they’ve hit, the challenges they faced, and they’ve thanked their fans for coming this far.

So, Netflix’s Role for Content on LinkedIn is - “To place Netflix as the company where the best Creatives of the world push the world forward.”

See how different it is from Netflix’s Role for Content on Instagram.

When we dig deeper, Netflix’s content pillars for LinkedIn are -

Social media marketing strategies like these that show the company front works very well for LinkedIn as people on LinkedIn are there to keep up with their careers.

And so, when you create a social media marketing strategy for LinkedIn, keep in mind the points mentioned above - the desired target audience, showing the company’s side of things, and celebrating the people you work with, and for - customers.

Play Time - Create A Social Media Marketing Strategy for… Dunzo!

Now that you’ve understood how to make a social media marketing plan for a brand, let’s play.

Introducing Dunzo .

An Indian product delivery startup founded in July 2014, Dunzo delivers anything you want, whenever you want. Whether you don’t want to go out, or can’t go out, it understands and has positioned itself to help you by delivering groceries, gifts to someone, food, laundry, and anything you ask, you get.

But there’s more to Dunzo than what meets the eye. We say that because of their exceptional social media presence, especially on Instagram. So, let’s pull out an excel sheet and break down their social media marketing strategy for Instagram .

Starting with Dunzo’s Brand Strategy

Dunzo likes to have fun while being on the move. They want to be your go-to delivery partner that meets your needs with a little fun and a lot more cuteness!

And so their brand strategy on Instagram is -

Next Up, What Are Dunzo’s Target Audience’s Passion Points?

If you’ve not already guessed, Dunzo is here to have fun and make their target audience have fun at the same time. They’ve catered to some of their audience’s passion points, which are -

Last, Dunzo’s Content Pillars

So, now that we’ve created a brand strategy for Dunzo and have understood their target audience’s passion points, we merge these two perspectives into content pillars to create their social media marketing strategy.

Once you’ve created content pillars for Dunzo, you start creating posts catering to each of these content pillars and post them according to what seems to fit particular days of the week.

Reaching Out to Brands for A Social Media Marketing Role

Now that you understand social media marketing fairly and you’ve practiced it on your favorite brand, you’re ready for the next step - reaching out to brands.

If you’re thinking about only applying to the job portals, let us let you in on an open secret - your application gets drowned in hundreds of other applications. So, your chances of getting hired goes down to 0.01 percent.

But when you have the skills for the job, you would want to stand out, right?

Here’s how you can: 

  1. Select the companies you want to work for. 
  2. Go to their social media page. Absorb their social media mood: what they are creating, what their content pillars are. 
  3. Create some content on what they can do better in their social media marketing. 
  4. Share it with them, preferably on LinkedIn. You can even send cold emails to them. But, as Ankur Warikoo says, be persistent with reaching out. It may happen that you do not get a response. That doesn’t mean you’re declined the role. Reach out to them, and state the solutions you have for their social media strategy.

There’s also another way you can get hired for a social media marketing role, this time with more skills and experiences as your leverage.

There’s Kraftshala’s Marketing Launchpad Program that teaches content and social media copywriting . Every piece of content covered in this blog, from creating the brand strategy to creating posts according to the content pillars, and so much more, is practiced by hundreds of students who are now hired for social media marketing roles for brands and agencies like Nykaa, Beaconstac, Schbang just to name a few.

Last Step: Acing Interviews

You’ve learned social media marketing, applied your learning to your favorite brands and reached out to the brands you want to work for. Now, let’s say, you’ve gotten shortlisted for some. Is that it?

Well, you’ve got one thing to do - ace interviews.

How do you showcase what you’ve learned about social media marketing? How do you show that YOU ARE THE FIT?

1. Prepare for questions like -

How is LinkedIn different from Instagram?

How is YouTube different from Instagram?

How do you select a platform for social media marketing?

Hint: Think along the lines of the target audience that the platforms cater to.

2. Do your due diligence

For the brand, you’ll be interviewing for, create content pillars for different platforms (say Instagram) and show how you’ll go forward working for those content pillars. When asked in the interviews, tell them all about it, starting right from how you’ve created a brand strategy to creating the content pillars.

We hope this article helped. If you wish to learn more about acing social media marketing for brands, why don’t you go ahead and enroll in our content and social media copywriting course ? See you!