Is your teen hooked to social media? Worry not, as we have got experts to tell your how to turn this addiction into a lucrative career option. Read on to know more.
By Shashwathi Sandeep
Is your teenager forever glued to one social media app or the other? Is she constantly talking about the latest article she read on Facebook or an interesting recipe she saw on Instagram? Is she the go-to person in the family when it comes to coming up with creative hashtags or tweets to make a post interesting?
Then she might just have a great future in the field of social media. Today, the benefits of having a career in social media are quite rewarding. With more and more new social media apps being launched every day, there is a lot to be learnt in this field as well.
Ankrish Bhayana, director of Chatterbox Communication, a digital communication agency in Delhi says, “Social media marketing in this day and age is a business requirement rather than a trend. If your child spends a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media platforms to not only upload pictures but to see what's happening around the world, what his favourite brands are doing, then you can turn this into a career. A career in social media is the best of many worlds!"
Aarti Kapur Singh, an independent writer from Panchkula, who encourages her son to write blogs, explains why a career in social media is exciting. “My son was actually quite interested in stories from a young age. When he returned from his first international trip, I was quite impressed with not just the quality of pictures he took, but also the fact that he had maintained a journal of all the places he had been to and the people he met. Since then there has been no looking back. He ensures he writes at least one article or blog a week - he doesn't have one of his own yet, so I send it to friends who have been equally encouraging of my son's interest and talent. I am glad my son has an alternative career option.”
I love writing. I have written about a dozen articles so far. My favourite things to write about are books or places I go to or movies I watch. Since I write book reviews, I also keep reading more, which is fun. My favourite writers are Ruskin Bond and Roald Dahl. I also help my mom with her Instagram and Twitter accounts. She says I am too young to have my own account, but she allows me to take pictures once in a while and she posts them. I think of the captions and hashtags for the pictures. I want to have my own blog someday. - Angadveer Singh, 10 years, Panchkula
If your child is creative and also loves interacting with people, a career in social media might just be a great option for her. But for having a successful career in social media, she needs certain skills. Following are some of them.
Understanding how social media works: Your child needs to have a clear understanding of the basics of social media – what works and what does not. “Being consistent and original also adds to the uniqueness of the content,” explains Nidhi Joshi, a freelance journalist from Hyderabad and travel and a lifestyle blogger at coinsandmaps.com.
Good communication skills: While some might think that a career in social media does not include a lot of writing, the opposite is true. “Your child needs strong written communication skills, so that she can quickly draft grammatically correct messages. She will also need to summarise longer pieces of information and write the gist in a few words,” says Christopher Higgins, business head of IdeateLabs, a digital marketing company in Mumbai.
SEO skills: If your child is interested in having a job in social media, he needs to be aware of how SEO works. “The ideal candidate must be aware of the SEO techniques. He must also be an avid reader who keeps up with the trends,“ advises Rohit Manglik, CEO, EduGorilla, an online career guidance platform for students in Lucknow.
The ability to find relevant images: A knack for finding the right image is also a skill. Ankrish explains, “Being skilled in making, choosing and managing images is crucial because many social media platforms like Instagram are image-centric. One of the most important functions of social media managers is to know how to use metrics to track the impact of messages on target audiences and strategies.”
If you are sure that your child will love to pursue a career in this field, here are some ways you can help her out.
Encourage her to participate in social media activities
“Your child can volunteer to help an NGO or small business with their social media accounts, including researching best practices, developing a communication plan, and responding to questions. This experience will help build her social media skills and showcase her practical knowledge on the subject,” says Christopher.
Rohit adds, “Teenagers should invest time in understanding how Facebook and other major social media sites work. More importantly, they should strive to understand what works on these social media platforms and how to make content go viral. They should also get in the habit of analysing designs and content that work and influence people.”
Ask him to learn from other social media platforms
“Ask your child to look at companies with great social media platforms – how they use it, what they say and post. This will help him identify the sort of organisation he wants to work with, in the future. Also ask him to read industry websites that carry tips on how businesses can use social media effectively,” informs Christopher.
Ask her to make her own website
“Ask your child to make her own website or blog and exhibit her knowledge in her field of interest or expertise. Tell her to pay attention to her target audience and exercise her own critical analytical skills. When she tweets relevant articles or comments on industry trends in her personal blog, it will show her interest and personal development outside classwork and internships,” says Rohit.
Ask him to connect and build his network
“Social networks offer endless ways to connect with a wide range of people with little effort. Your child should learn to organise those connections — through lists, circles or groups. He should build his network through interaction and conversations. This will help him come upon professional opportunities more frequently,” suggests Ankrish.
“Your child can opt to be a web designer, or become a digital marketing manager. She could also be a PPC (Pay-per-Click) expert, whose job includes designing small ads based on certain keywords and getting leads for the company. She could also become a content marketer or even a graphic designer. Being a film and video editor is another good option as visual content is becoming an integral part of social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. There are also other career options like a public relations specialist and a market research analyst,” Rohit explains.
The digital revolution has brought to the fore many interesting career choices for children today. As parents, we need to be aware of the latest job trends and guide our children on to a career path most suited to them.
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