In our continuing series of guest posts, we hear from Lauren Ridgway, a social media marketer from Melbourne, who believes in sharing social media knowledge and using her experiences to help others land a job in the industry.
Facebook as a full-time job
I remember quipping to a colleague back in 2007 “I wish being on Facebook was a full-time job”.
I had just set-up my first social media presence on behalf of an organisation and at the time whilst I was given permission to do it, I was worried about being ‘caught’ with Facebook.com on my computer screen at work.
Five years down the track and I’ve been a social media manager for three years, for three different companies, as well as consulted to countless organisations through my own freelance services, workshops and conference presentations.
Facebook is now open on my computer screen all day, every day at work, alongside Twitter, Tweetdeck, Google Reader, Bit.ly, WordPress, LinkedIn, news websites, and many more websites I once would’ve quickly minimised for fear of being mistaken as ‘slacking off’.
Social Media Jobs
Being such a new industry, when I first started out in social media marketing I relied on reading a lot of blogs alongside trial & error, and apart from a marketing degree am completely self-taught in my profession. I went to as many networking events as possible – most of which still run today with about 10x the number of participants – and met a small number of people making a living through social media whose advice & knowledge I soaked up like a sponge.
My ‘big break’ was creating a social media video on YouTube with a colleague that went viral in Australia back in 2010. This has been followed by many other highlights including having my work featured in Mashable and my blog being featured on the WordPress homepage.
Giving back to the industry and being a resource for others looking to break-in or further their career has been really important to me. Two and a half years ago I launched my blog, misscoca.com, which has published a regular social media jobs post since its inception. I have on many occasions received feedback from people I don’t know letting me know they found their current employment through SocialJobs (previously JobOps). This year I also started SocialJobs on Twitter, which offers links to social media jobs straight to people’s Twitter feeds and has proved to be a popular endeavour.
I ran Melbourne Girls Tweetup at Madame Brussels back in 2010 and was involved in organising Mash-Up Melbourne in 2011. I started the Social Media Australia group on Facebook only a month ago and it now has more than 400 members. I’ve had coffees with dozens of young people looking to get into the industry and provided advice. There is a real thirst for social media knowledge in this country and I am honoured to be in a position where I can contribute to growing this profession locally.
After working in the education sector for almost 8 years, I have a real passion for continuous learning and empowering people through knowledge. I try to learn at least 5 new things every day, and I hope that I am sharing and giving just as much as I receive.
As for what’s next, well who knows! misscoca.com could use a makeover so I’d really like to work on that over the next 12 months. One thing is for sure – I’m committed to helping people when I can, afterall what is social media without social good?
Follow Lauren on Twitter
Follow SocialJobs on Twitter
Lauren Ridgway is a social media marketer from Melbourne who believes in sharing social media knowledge and not keeping it all to yourself. She is also passionate about helping people break into the industry through both being a mentor and her initiative SocialJobs.