The Future of Social Media Management
Featuring interviews with three college students who plan to work in social.
In Link in Bio I talk a lot about building a more sustainable career path for people who work in social or want to work in social. It’s important that future generations of social media associates/managers/directors/vps/presidents/etc are getting paid what they deserve, given the support they need in their roles, and ultimately aren’t burning out by 30. That’s why today I am talking with that future generation to hear what’s on their minds as they enter this field.
Below you’ll find short interviews with three college students who all plan to work in social as a career. We talk about the brand social accounts they love, the platform they like the least, and what they hope the future of social media looks like.
Name: Maddie Giquinto
What are you studying and where? I am a junior photography student minoring in business at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Are you currently working in social media somewhere? Sort of? One of my best friends, Aidan, runs the social media for a family-run farm market/event venue called Johnson’s Corner Farm in our hometown, and I do all of the photography for them. So we’re always planning shoots and posts together, but he does the actual social media management part. Follow us @johnsonscornerfarm!!
Is working in social media a career path you want to pursue? Absolutely. Ideally, I would want to work in the food industry for restaurants, food-centric businesses, and food publications.
What about working in social media excites you? Since I was a kid, I have always been super invested in pop culture, and I admire the ever-changing nature of social media and the excitement of keeping up with the latest trends (as if using that phrase doesn’t age me at least 15 years). I also really love the idea of helping a growing business thrive, and more importantly, the people behind it.
Is there a moment you can think of that really solidified why you want to work in social? Not a single moment, but living in Philly, I’ve seen the best of what social media can do. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen more than one business grow from selling products out of their house to having a storefront in under a year. I’ve seen community fridges and pantries restocked by volunteers in less than an hour. It’s really beautiful to see the passion and support that the Philly community shows one another.
Which social media platforms are you active on? Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, mostly. I’ll write the occasional Letterboxd review if I’m feeling like it.
Of those, which is your favorite social media platform? Why? Probably Instagram just because of my love for photography (especially food photography, which THRIVES there), but I love Twitter for the jokes and how up to date news is there. I feel like Twitter knows everything a week earlier than everyone else, somehow.
Which social media platforms are you not a fan of? Why? I could talk about my hatred for Facebook for hours. Days, even! It’s got wayyy too many features, the layout is odd, the Metaverse is terrifying, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.
Is there any aspect of working in social media that makes you nervous or hesitant to get in the field? I mean, besides the hoards of faceless trolls with seemingly no critical thinking skills in comment sections everywhere? I guess the one thing would be the unclear hours for a lot of jobs in social. If you’re managing a brand’s socials alone or even if you have help, social media has to be one of the toughest careers to maintain a work/life balance.
What brand—or brands!—stand out to you as having really good social media strategies? Middle Child, a sandwich shop around the corner from me that has melted my tomato-hater heart with its BLTs, has one of the most impressive social media strategies ever, in my opinion. So impressive that I’m not sure they even have a strategy. It’s cohesive yet chaotic, and has one of the strongest personal voices of a brand I’ve ever seen. I have their Instagram notifications on.
What do you think (or hope) the future of social media looks like? I hope it’s a kinder and more inclusive place in the future (sooner rather than later, please!). I love social media because of the power it has to connect people and help people, and I just want to see more of that.
Name: Burake Teshome
What are you studying and where? I’m currently studying Marketing with a minor in New Media and Design at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Are you currently working in social media somewhere? Yes! I’ve been working as a Social Media Intern at Nasdaq since June 2021 within the Social Team, working on organic brand campaigns across Nasdaq’s social channels and a variety of other projects.
Is working in social media a career path you want to pursue? Definitely.
What about working in social media excites you? What excites me the most about social media is its youth—many of the social platforms we use today have only been around for 15-ish years! There's so far yet to go in exploring what social media can provide when utilized for marketing, but also in community building and amongst the influencer space as well.
Is there a moment you can think of that really solidified why you want to work in social? As I became a fan of Glossier, I really took a liking to their social media presence and was so interested in the community they built especially on Instagram. They understood just how important connection with their consumers was and used them as direct partners to improve their products. I used to constantly check the Glossier job boards in high school, and envisioned my career there one day!
Which social media platforms are you active on? I am active on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
Of those, which is your favorite social media platform? Why? TikTok is my favorite both in terms of personal use and professional use, as I admire how many companies have adapted so quickly to utilize the app. It's allowed for a bit of a wall to drop between consumer and company. It’s also just fun to use of course! There are so many incredibly creative people on TikTok and I think despite some issues, it’s a platform that provides users with an amazing amount of freedom to play and explore.
Which social media platforms are you not a fan of? Why? I don’t particularly like Snapchat, as I feel like all other social platforms have worked to evolve and innovate the way users experience their platform, whereas Snapchat has remained stagnant.
Is there any aspect of working in social media that makes you nervous or hesitant to get in the field? I think the ever-changing nature of social media makes me a bit hesitant to get into the field—trends and fads change so incredibly fast and there are new social platforms popping up left and right, which leaves social media professionals having to adapt quickly.
What brand—or brands!—stand out to you as having really good social media strategies? I have to mention Duolingo as they have made quite the splash on TikTok under Zaria Parvez! Her work has truly paved the way for other brands to understand just how vital young people are to the future of social and what allowing a young woman of color to explore her creativity provides. As I mentioned previously, I have always enjoyed Glossier’s trajectory on social and admire the way they recognized that engaging with their consumers was essential to cultivating a strong brand identity. I also love following Fohr on Instagram, an influencer and ambassador marketing company. They're so in tune with today's social trends and understand just how essential influencer marketing is to today's social media landscape. I especially love their Negroni's with Nord series!
What do you think (or hope) the future of social media looks like? I hope the future of social media looks more inclusive and less divisive, and continues to support creativity in all aspects and expands on what made social media so inviting in the first place: community.
Name: Cara Anderson
What are you studying and where? I am an Entertainment and Media Studies major at the University of Georgia, and I have a minor in business.
Are you currently working in social media somewhere? I do work in social media now. I manage a few accounts. Two are for my own simple side gigs where I can create anything I want.
1. @savagethrifts is my thrift business. I have a passion for sustainability, and use social media to host pop-up shops in Athens, GA.
2. @caracharcuterie is my new project that I am launching where I provide charcuterie boards for all different types of events in Atlanta and Athens. I am excited to start this.
Now my actual jobs…
3. @thetabletap is a self-pour technology company that I have been interning with for the last year. I run their social media on Insta, FB, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
4. @lifelongmerchantservices is my newest project. My old boss recruited me to help with social media posts for him.
Is working in social media a career path you want to pursue? I would not say yes... but I would not say no. I have been on Instagram since 2012. I have mixed feelings about social media. I think the platforms are an important space to learn, show, and be your true authentic self. However, many people struggle with social media and the overall flaws of the platforms (this is where I have a hard time). It is important to take breaks, and not rely on it to be the end all be all. I think my ideal social media job is being able to travel, create, and provide content that is actually good, engaging, and gives people a sense of connection.
What about working in social media excites you? I think many things excite me about social media. My top three things would be
Being original. I love seeing things that have never been done before. When content is artistic and one-of-a-kind I can’t get enough of it.
Bringing people together. This point is very important. People want to be connected and stay in touch. Social media is a huge web where everyone can go, explore, and feel connected. I love direct messaging my friends.
Learning something/helping myself. Some of my favorite influencers to follow teach through their content. I learn so much on social media—whether it’s cooking, a new yoga post, or even a backflip (hasn’t happened yet but it could!).
Which social media platforms are you active on? I am on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Of those, which is your favorite social media platform? Why? I am going to have to say I am an Instagram girl. I have been on the ‘gram for 10 years. I know it like the back of my hand, and might have a minor addiction to cat videos and astrology posts on Instagram.
Which social media platforms are you not a fan of? Why? LinkedIn. I just go on LinkedIn to see people get a 9-5 office job.
Is there any aspect of working in social media that makes you nervous or hesitant to get in the field? I think it is super important to take breaks from social media. I catch myself not giving myself space from social media and not focusing on what is going on around me. Cleansing the mind and putting my phone down is my best advice to anyone who is on social media. So that makes me nervous because even now I need to remind myself of that.
What brand—or brands!—stand out to you as having really good social media strategies? Any social media manager that acts normal and comments like a real human. I love seeing @Wendys or @TacoBell commenting on TikTok. @Raminnazer is an artist on Instagram who I love. I think the content they post reminds me to grow as an individual. @nicolemclaughin also has the one-of-a-kind content that is art!! @theartofplating is also a favorite. I think that content creation on social media is super important. I love small businesses who go viral on TikTok, and then end up having a huge spike in success and exposure. @humansofny is also one of my dream jobs.
What do you think (or hope) the future of social media looks like? I hope video content continues to thrive. I would love to have a position in social where I am a storyteller, director, and photographer every single day. I hope social media is always positive and teaches people more. I love learning on social and I hope I continue to learn on social…and maybe watch some more cat videos along the way.
Lots of good new job postings on the Link in Bio job board!
Credit Karma is hiring a Social Media Copywriter. This is honestly a very exciting role! We talk a lot about how social media managers do 10 different jobs in one so it’s encouraging to see more specialized social media roles pop up. Seems like a great job for someone who loves the caption-writing, brand voice, storytelling side of social media. Get more info about applying here.
Plaza is hiring a Creator Community & Partnerships Manager. Cool job for someone who wants to get involved (early on!) with a company that’s changing the game when it comes to video and social commerce. This role is sort of social media adjacent, so ideal for someone who has a background in social but maybe wants to get out of the day-to-day posting side of it all. Get more info about applying here.
Naza Beauty is hiring a Community Manager: Social Media. Naza is building a new type of beauty company that centers on Black and brown women. “Starting with reinventing the salon experience for women with coily, kinky, afro-textured hair, we have big plans for more units on the horizon, the launch of products, expansion into skincare and wellness, and building a vibrant community of women to support and celebrate each other.” Seems like a great opportunity to get in as an early contributor and help the brand strategically grow their social media accounts. Get more info about applying here.