Case study

Social media executive — Robert Bone

Robert's media studies degree gave him a great start to his career in social media and now he shares his tips on how to get into a similar role

What degree did you study?

I did BA Media Studies at the University of Brighton and graduated in 2017. I then went on to complete an MA in Public Relations at the University of Westminster and graduated in 2018.

How did you get your job?

Following six work experience placements (one as part of an undergraduate module, five during my own free time), I applied for various entry level roles in the last few months of my Masters. I was rejected by many, until I spotted one employer, The PHA Group, who was offering entry roles all in one go in many of their departments. Following an intensive day with many other applicants, I was informed I didn't get the job, however they thought I would be suitable for another job opening, a social media assistant. Now I can't imagine doing anything else.

How relevant is your degree?

My course prepared my cohort to have an introduction into many fields including video production and journalism. This is the perfect option for someone who loves media but isn't sure what media specifically their future will be in. It was relevant in helping me have a head start by being well rounded already in many fields; understanding and analysing the media landscape, presenting in front of groups, and creating documentary content, for example.

What's a typical working day like?

In the morning:

  • Scanning the news agenda and current social media trends.
  • Checking on the efficiency of social media adverts I'm running across Facebook and Instagram and tweaking them as needed.
  • Researching and negotiating with influencers on a gifted basis across a range of sectors including cleaning and food.
  • Video calling on a group brainstorm for campaign ideas for a different team's client.

After lunch:

  • Heading to a meeting with a client, or going to shoot content on my iPhone at an event or product launch.
  • Writing and shooting the next fortnight of content plans for different clients. For example, this could be for brands which sell exercise bikes, resistance bands or gift boxes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Brainstorming. Working in an agency with multiple teams is great as you have access to fresh minds who are always happy to lend an idea or two. Seeing everyone bounce off each other and ultimately an idea blossoming into reality, is really satisfying.

What are the challenges?

Social media is a numbers game and we have KPIs that our clients expect us to reach. We're in constant internal discussions over what types of content are performing and the resources we have available from each client and ourselves at home, that we can use to try new things. You'd assume in social media you could sit back but I've always got my eyes open.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

The world is my oyster. I currently work for an agency so would love to try social media in house. A dream would be to run the social strategy for a museum, however realistically they would only have overall marketing roles and so I'm going to need to expand my skills. Following this, London and beyond is exciting. I'm always checking what else is out there.

What advice can you give to others?

  • If you're looking for your first course-specific job, apply for everything. Take time with the applications that mean a lot to you and just press send on literally anything remotely linked to you otherwise. It doesn't matter if you ultimately want that job, all those interviews along the way will give you the real-life experience for the one that matters.
  • Let your individuality shine. Talking about the dumb, niche and wacky topics that you're interested in will clearly show your passion for life and anyone - friends and employers alike - will respect this. I was remembered at the job interview for the role I have currently as I chose WKD as my dream client, while others chose more standard Apple, Disney, etc.
  • Even if you want to keep your personal social media private, having some sort of public social presence, which you update with all your regular personal and professional achievements is important to showcase your flare. You never know who will follow you.

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