How to Have a Superstar Career in Social Media - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

James Andrews made his biggest splash in celebrity circles when he helped actor and wellness guru Jane Fonda navigate social media, begin blogging, and set up a Twitter account when she was at the ripe young age of 71. Using his tutorials she took the blogosphere by storm eventually driving mass traffic to her blog JaneFonda.com

At the time Andrews was a managing partner/co-founder of Everywhere, a social media marketing and content development firm based in Atlanta, GA. In the 20 months since Everywhere started, the company posted $1.5 million in billings in a 20-month span by helping large brands drive eyeballs to their sites.

Late last year Andrews broke away from Everywhere and launched SocialPeople.tv, and in only a few short months he’s already breaking records.

“We helped the Grammy Awards achieve their best show ratings in ten years,” says Andrews. “Ninety percent of the Twitter conversations were about the Grammy’s for a 3 hour period.” James is also working with Jermaine Dupri and his social network, Global 14, an online destination for urban youth

SocialPeople was created to represent the digital assets of companies and celebrities and help them navigate and curate content for a consumer that is always multitasking. “The networks and TV shows are struggling with an attention war,” says James. “People are watching TV with a laptop on their lap.”

While these circumstances make it difficult to direct an audience’s attention and find ways to monetize social communities, Andrew says that it’s not impossible if you have the right strategy. SocialPeople works to grow a company’s PR team into better influencers by training their clients about social media governance policies, best practices, and execution.

Many people don’t understand why social media is so popular and they are struggling to organize their social media strategies. “The ability to tweet is so small and one dimensional. Companies are driven by people who know how to manage communities,” says Andrews. “The tools are free, but clients pay for strategy.”

If your goal is to work for an agency or brand as a social media strategist, it is important that you learn how to engage communities. Outside of tweeting and posting on Facebook, here are three strategies you can use to build a career in social media:

  1. Demonstrate that you have the ability to curate content and identify influences. James runs some 30 plus twitter accounts for different brands. It is his goal to tap into the news, information and blogs that would interest that crowd.
  2. Learn how to use your personal crowd to drive the social conversation through word of mouth. “It’s like being a mayor of a town,” he says. James started to perfect this skill when he appeared on Don Lemon’s CNN show every weekend several months ago. His strategy was to draw attention to the show by mentioning it to friends on twitter and Facebook.
  3. Participate and host Twitter parties and shows. Every night people schedule time to gather on twitter and discuss topics of interest, says James. For example, you’ve probably joined twitter discussions during major television events like the Grammy’s or the Oscars. People even tweet every week during and after their favorite television shows to discuss plot and character development with other fans.

 

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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