Coffee with Aaron: Laura Wong - 7+Year Social Media Professional (

For some of us, our dream job is to get paid to post videos, photos, and most importantly, memes on all of our favourite platforms. Social media has and continues to be a driving force for brands when it comes to growing their audience and reach.

As a fellow millennial or Zoomer—I honestly don't even know—I grew up being surrounded by social media, and that’s both as a consumer and creator. Starting the creator side with Beneath Vancouver and now working on Ampliar Creative, its journey has expanded to various different projects and opportunities within the space. As social media started to rise in popularity, businesses and brands started to leverage the influence social platforms had and eventually implemented it into their brand identity, and with this social media jobs were born!

These new roles also came with ambiguity, as not everyone was certain of what a "social media" job entailed. Does this individual automate posts? Do they create the posts themselves? Do they interact with the community? The point of this article isn't to argue what is right or wrong, but instead to help provide insight in navigating the social media industry.

The following advice came up during my coffee chat with Laura Wong, who has been involved in the industry for 7+ years and has worked in social media roles for various organizations, including the Vancouver Canucks and -- to say the least she has a bunch of experience. I hope that these points provide clarity for those who are wanting to get involved in social and can be used as a starting point in your career.

1) Create a Clear Path to Your Goal

It may seem simple enough: If you want something, figure out how you're going to achieve it. Whether it's a new job, fitness goal or personal goal, in the end, it's about figuring out how you're going to get to your final destination. After chatting with Laura, she described how she wrote down goals that focused on the kind of job she wanted to have and as well the type of company she wanted to work in. She used these goals as the starting point for her journey and took it upon herself to discover which steps would help her achieve the goal. She recommended taking a peek at any current related job postings, asking for a quick coffee chat with people in your network and lastly trying your best to create an application that stands out. (More info below)

As an example, if the role has a heavy emphasis on creativity you can create a video application highlighting examples of the type of content you would create if you got the role. These sorts of applications stand out a lot more to a potential employer, especially if they have to sift through hundreds of applicants. In the end, anyone can put text on a resume and say that they are adequate in "X" skill, however for certain jobs it is more crucial to show, not just tell.

2) Social Media Isn't Always Straightforward

The great –or bad– thing about social media is that it's constantly evolving, with new platforms being released or old ones adapting to industry changes. There is always something new with social. An example of that would be last year, TikTok - it went from zero to hero in about three months' time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it blew up exponentially. This led to Instagram having to adapt and put in their own version of TikTok into their platform, called Reels, to compete (which in my opinion didn't work, but that's another story). This shift caused industry professionals to adapt and see how they could benefit from this new roaring app. This kind of change is a prime example of how sometimes you may never be 100% sure if something is right or wrong with social media, and it emphasizes the importance of taking risks within the job. Be open to change, stay on top of industry trends and don't be afraid to try something new!

3) Keep On Learning

One of the most important things I got out of my chat with Laura was that your learning never stops. As mentioned earlier, the social world is always evolving and for you to be successful, you need to stay updated with current trends, platforms, etc. Thanks to the internet, learning now comes in various forms; like online classes and (virtual) networking with peers or mentors.

With so many resources made available online, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. There are both paid and free courses online that help you get a better grasp of social media overall, with some diving deep into specific platforms. I personally have used Skillshare and Udemy, and they both have helped me in different areas of social media. Right now you can sign up with Skillshare to get a free two-month trial, and there are courses on a bunch of other topics as well. Udemy's classes, however, are paid, but they are usually on sale and relatively affordable. But who doesn't love freebies right? Make sure to check out this article that Laura wrote on 20 free resources for social media marketers.

Aside from classes, networking within your community is a great way to hear first-hand from people who have experience with the job you're seeking. By doing this you can get a better understanding of the position, and also ask questions that can't be answered from a course. Don't be afraid to tap into your network and ask people for a chat, it can be daunting at first, but I recently found this article that highlighted a few pointers on how to best invite someone to a chat. However, with any coffee chat, it is important to come prepared with either certain questions or topics of discussion. These individuals are taking time out of their schedule to chat with you, so you want to ensure you maximize it (also shows respect towards them).

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and hopefully you can use these tips I got from Laura towards your dream social job. If you’re interested in chatting about the social media industry and want to connect feel free to add me on LinkedIn. Make sure to follow me on Instagram to stay updated with what I am up to!

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