Getting paid to tweet is many people’s dream job, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Jonny Excell (yes, that is his real name) is the social media manager over at O2 and since social media is the gift that keeps on giving – for careers and social lives – he gave his 5 top tips on tweeting as a job.

Read, read, read…

You can learn so much about what does and doesn’t work in social media by making sure you read up on it when you’re first starting out and seeking different points of view. Get to know which brands are doing the best things and be able to explain why they’re awesome if anybody asks you in an interview. I started out in sport by knowing what was going on in the industry around the world and helping adapt the best bits to the rugby club I worked at.

Practice makes perfect

Like with loads of other industries, you’ll be well ahead if you’ve done some kind of hands-on social media work for a brand or business – actually tweeting, Facebooking and responding to people. You don’t need to try and get yourself into a massive company to do this, loads of smaller businesses without dedicated people looking after social media would love to have someone come in and help them out for a few weeks.

Carefully select where you start if you can

Some industries lend themselves to social media a lot more than others. People are always tweeting and Instagramming cupcakes for example, but not necessarily so much about IT solutions (sorry, IT people), so it’d make more sense to go in and help a cupcake shop get started on social media. You just need to think about what people find fun at the end of the day – that’ll give you a much easier introduction into social media.

Learn to spell. Srsly…

Apart from knowing the difference between Facebook and Twitter, the most important skill in this job is being able to spell and write sentences properly. If you tweet a typo, you’ll know in a couple of seconds and you can’t cut corners too much to try and fit into 140 characters. Most of the time, you might be trusted to get on and put your own posts out so it’s down to you to be as thorough as you would if you were writing your mum’s birthday card.

Have a thick skin

A lot of the time, it can be quite hard not to take criticism or negative feedback on social media personally, even if it’s directed at the business or brand you work for and not you. You’ve got to always remember to keep a cool head and not rise to it – always be friendly and helpful if you’re dealing with customers on social media. If you can do that, you’re half way to solving the problem.

If all else fails, just tweet pictures of cats and dogs…

Because who doesn’t love that?


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