What's the Deal with Sports Social Media Jobs? Work in Sports Podcast e016

By Brian Clapp | November 11, 2017

What's the Deal with Sports Social Media Jobs?

I promised a Friday edition of the WorkinSports podcast and here it is…our first Friday! But since I have to introduce each podcast in a similar manner… Hi, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast FRIDAY QA Session!

As you’ve probably heard, I’m getting in a lot of emails from all of you out there in sports superfandom land and I felt it was my obligation to bring you more content and more questions answered.Your Sports Career Questions Answered

I was checking out some other podcasts – you know doing some scouting and opposition research – and I can tell you I found out some very interesting things.

1: No one is doing what we are doing. There are no advice for sports careers podcasts out there. There are no interviews with sports industry experts sharing their roles and their advice for aspiring sports employees. It just doesn’t exist. So, if you know anyone - from a class, from your neighborhood, from your fantasy sports league or from your quilting circle who you think would want to work in sports - please tell them about the pod. We want to keep growing this thing.

2: The other thing I realized – some podcasters have really annoying voices. Which made me a bit paranoid, I mean I’ve heard my voice my entire life… it could be that mine is annoying and I just didn’t know it.

3: And finally, I learned that there are some prolific podcasters out there with daily podcasts and something like 400+ episodes in the bank.

If you guys keep sending good questions and telling me people I should interview, maybe someday we can hit that mark together.

My goal was to do one a week for the first year – we’re two months in and I’ve already gone to three. I love this stuff, I love helping you, so please keep it coming. Email me bclapp at workinsports.com or connect with me on LinkedIn and message me there.

So, now onto today’s question, which comes to us from Frank in Virginia:

How Do I Get a Job in Sports Social Media?

“Brian – love the podcast, especially the QA sessions – you share so many ideas I had never thought of, and you do it in a fun way. (Thanks Frankie) On to my question – I’m a millennial, I just got my degree in marketing and communication and I love the power of social media…how do I get a job in sports social media, and where can I grow in my career if that is where I start.

I love this question – two good parts, how do I get the job, and where can it eventually lead me. Good stuff Frankie.

I’ll start off by telling you there are currently 535 active jobs in sports social media on WorkinSports.com –that’s out of 5909 total open jobs …which is like 9% of our entire database, so that’s a lot of opportunities.

I’m looking at one right now that is for a social media coordinator at a regional sports network… which is pretty awesome.

But to your question –

A little background first – initially jobs in social media we’re delegated to interns or some junior marketing associate…but that was wrought with problems.

You see this position controls the brand image – an emotional tweet, or an insensitive facebook post can ruin a brand muy rapido.

In my experience and in talking to people in charge of hiring these types of roles, they are looking for 3-4 major attributes:

1: Maturity. I’m going to state what may be an unpopular position – but many who work in social media are women, you know why, they are more mature and less emotional than dudes. FACT. That is a compliment to all the ladies out there before you start saying “hey what did he just say?”

That doesn’t mean you can’t get these jobs, you just need to prove during any interview process that you are level headed, have good journalistic judgement and aren’t prone to foam finger outbursts and painting your face during business hours.

2:  Business saavy – social media serves two major purposes – push business and build a brand. Of course that is oversimplified, but it’s the two big buckets. Promo’s, sales, community events, upcoming games -l all business iniatives. If you have a knack for business and promotion, make sure you display that in yoru resume and your interview.

3: Communication skills – traditional media uses AP style and follows the rules of journalism class to make their point. Social doesn’t. You need to be able to communicate to your audience in the method they speak and the method they listen. Can you create catchy headlines? Can you relate to the audience? Do you know what is fun in social media?

4: Creativity – I’m going to lump things like graphic design in here too. Social media moves at the speed of light, you tweet and then it’s gone.  But the more things get shared and the more things get retweeted…it keeps the content you are sharing “in the zone” …and what I mean by that is, every time someone shares your social media content, it’s like they hit reset on a video game and the content gets a fresh start in a new land (i.e. their timeline) and it is then ready to be shared or retweeted again by a while new audience. The more creative you are and the more visual pieces you can create the better your chances of being shared.

Creativity wins in social media. If you can create visual elements, have a great tone to your writing. Come up with story angles or catchy headlines – you’ll be able to get a job in sports social media.

What is the Career Path for Sports Social Media Jobs?

Next part of your question  – once you get one of these jobs what is the ceiling – where can you go?

Well the most obvious answer is either marketing or journalism. Social Media is a natural extension of branding and marketing – you have a product, whether that is a team, a game, an event, a player – that you are trying to draw attention to…ding ding ding, that’s marketing! You could develop into a Director, VP of marketing…or even a CMO.

Also, you are using your communication skills, which you could turn into a career in journalism – digital, broadcast, print... you name it.

Couple others – media relations. Media Relations are all about communication, this role does prepare you for that as you engage and interact with your audience.

Sales and Promotions – more and more sales people use social to communicate deals and promotions to their base, if you have worked in social media and been successful – you could head down this direction.

So I hope that gives you a start here Frankie – I’ve outlined some skills you need for social media jobs, and the potential career paths. And don’t forget, you can find jobs in social media all across the country at sports networks, teams, non-profits, sporting goods companies, governing bodies and much more, right on WorkinSports.com –

You now have four things to do in your action plan

1: Make sure you have the skills I just outlined, and if not, go get em

2: Leave this podcast a 5-star review on iTunes, I think we’ve earned it.

3: Subscribe to WorkinSports and check out our near 600 jobs in sports social media

4: And subscribe to this here podcast…we love having you around asking questions.

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