How to Get a Job or Internship in 2019

Copy of Current Interviews.png


446. That’s approximately the number of jobs I applied to from June 2018 to January 2019. At least through Linkedin.

However, this figure doesn’t include applications sent through Glassdoor, Indeed, or those applied directly through the company’s website (Scroll down for a more detailed breakdown, month by month).

While i’ve recently been hired as a Social Media Intern, the details of which i’ll mention a bit later, this is not meant to be a vainglorious attempt to wow you at my hustle.

Instead, I want to lay down all of the unglamorous trials and errors I made along the way so that you can see the effort it took a newly-minted coding bootcamp grad with a few years of experience in marketing to land a new role.

Below, i’ve outlined some of the things that helped and hurt me in the job search process.

But please keep in mind that even the things that worked for me are much less a blueprint for success, than an acknowledgement of the creativity it takes to get a job or internship these days.

As always, feel free to share your own tales of the struggle in the comments below.

---

Helped

I had a planned, detailed trajectory of all of the major and minor paths my skillset could take me.

daniele-riggi-635135-unsplash.jpg


In 2017, I started my first coding bootcamp.

Before then, I was a Content Writing & Social Media Intern for an online marketing resource, and had approximately 8 years working various roles in digital marketing.

So very early on I realized how important computer programming would be in helping to strengthen my digital portfolio (Visual Branding & Frontend Development + Content Development & Marketing).

As I started to apply for jobs, I broke up the categories I targeted into 3 areas:

  1. Marketing

  2. Web Development

  3. Hybrid roles that combine both (Ex. Frontend Developer, Marketing)

Some of the roles I applied for included Marketing Manager, Digital Content Manager, Frontend Developer, Marketing Internship, Social Media Manager, etc.

While I tried to apply for a mix of Junior/Entry Level and Associate level full time roles in the beginning, (With a few Senior-level ones throw in for good measure if it was for a particularly great company. I was willing to risk the chance they might not see my resume. You never know.), towards the end I started applying to more internship and junior-level roles in Marketing.

Simply put, it was a better use of my time.

I knew my ‘sell’ and the best-case scenario to get a proverbial foot in the door was in Marketing; namely because I had already developed a small body of work that demonstrated my understanding of the field.


I had cultivated a digital portfolio for at least a year

app-blurred-background-cellphone-1092671.jpg


You’ve heard it before.

A social media presence is no longer optional.

Regardless of your area, having one can be the difference between getting found and, well, not.

Over the last few months i’ve gone through several iterations of my digital brand:

  • I finally created 2 separate websites & Instagram accounts for both my personal brand and an Art blog I run.

  • I went from a this-screams-i’m-a-student portfolio site to one that is much more suitable to my niche.

  • I worked on consistently producing content around a marketing schedule.

  • I developed social proof of my ability to engages audiences.

This year, i’m working on building those KPIs with even bigger goals...

Essentially, I started doing entry-level tasks that would be expected of me as a possible hire.


I used marketing tools to promote my work

0.png


Whether i’m a student, software developer, content marketer, freelancer, or entrepreneur, marketing has always been at the forefront of my mind.

As a student learning web development the question was: Ok, i’ve created this awesome blackjack game. Now, how do I get people to see it? It’s obvious that letting it sit and collect dust in my portfolio wasn’t an effective strategy...

The answer was always social media.


Some of my more creative uses of social media marketing the past year:

  • Adding my resume to Slideshare, tweeting it with engaging copy, and then boosting it via a paid campaigns on Twitter.

  • Creating paid campaigns on Linkedin as a job seeker; either linking to my LI profile or portfolio site (I created multiple campaigns to test).

  • Turning sections of my resume into bite-sized chunks for Instagram and targeting relevant hashtags for those skills and experiences (As well as popular hashtags for my field in general).

  • Using storytelling in a way that is inspirational and helpful, but also communicates my skills and experience. Some of these IG posts have turned into light evergreen content.

  • Publishing a new press release for my freelance business as soon as I graduated from coding bootcamp and continuing every 3-6 months or so (As I had before).


I started going to more events in my fields


A prime example I have of how going to events can help you as a job seeker is attending the Game Developers of Color Expo last year (As volunteer).


I met the head of a Brooklyn-based gaming company, pitched what I do as a digital marketer, got a 2-week role as a Marketing Consultant...which then spawned into a long-term gig as a Marketing Specialist (freelance).


I also had a few other opportunities last year, such as meeting Editor-at-Large George Anders at Linkedin Headquarters for my #AcetheInterview video submission, going to the LatinoTech pitch night at Ebay headquarters, as well as attending my first hackathon - The Immigration Heritage Month Hackathon.


Go places. Meet people.


That’s how you can start to get on people’s radar.



I became way more active on Linkedin


Since I just picked up work as a Social Media Intern, i’ve found it difficult to be as active during the day.


However, I still plan to post at least 2-3 times a week and comment on other people’s posts at least once a day, if not more.


Before, I posted every day between work hours (9-5).


Whenever I read an interesting article about Marketing or Technology, I add it to a Google sheet and pre-plan content to be used another day.


This is great practice for developing engaging copy for other social media platforms; trying to get the perfect words to sum up your admiration for the article and why others should read it.


I went through the entire cycle of job etiquette with every job - before, during & after


When I was contacted about positions I applied to, I was very thorough about the entire process.


  • Being up bright and early for phone screens.

  • Arriving at least 30-45 minutes in the neighborhood where the interview would take place.

  • Asking about the follow up process and then promptly emailing when those dates had passed, etc.

  • Knowing when to send thank you letter after interview


I learned to gracefully negotiate and decline offers, while still being flexible to counter-offers or pitching myself for freelance work when opportunities weren’t favorable  


The more callbacks I got, the more confident I became in my skills and abilities. I had something both startups and well-established companies saw as valuable to their teams.

I re-researched my freelance + full time salary expectations, and compared/contrasted them using sites like Glassdoor.


Is the role i’m applying to paying the market value for this skill? Is it comparable to the range i’m seeing for similar companies or roles?


And, when I asked for a salary, I did so with conviction.


Me: My range is xx,xxxx.xx

Interview: Yeah...That’s perfectly within our budget.

Get used to that.


I made sure to highlight the fact that i’ve done a lot of self-learning in the past, as an employee, a programmer & student (teaching myself programming and spoken languages, as well as learning new software for jobs).


I highlighted things i’ve learned on my own in the company’s industry (Ex. SEO for websites and blogs); as well as people and companies whose content I follow (like Neil Patel).


Always reiterate your willingness to learn.


I used every opportunity to work as a way to build my portfolio

I had a Web Development & Digital Strategy Internship earlier in the year, before I graduated from coding bootcamp. And, later on I took a few smaller opportunities working with local startups to help further build my portfolio.

All of these have significantly helped direct my pitch in all of the interviews i’ve gone on.


Put yourself out there as someone who’s willing to work on projects.


Hurt

I didn’t hit the ground running

Jobs Applied To-2.png

So i’m going to be completely honest. The last time I applied for a job (The last 2 times in fact), which is when I was just starting the coding bootcamp and realized I needed a job that would work with that schedule, I was relentless.

I applied to at least 5 jobs a day, including weekends, spent a few hours cold calling, emailed founders directly about roles on Linkedin, etc.

But this time around, there were some days I applied to 20+ jobs, and others I didn’t apply to any. In the beginning I was very lax with the job search. I did apply to some; particularly in software development.

But zero of those were through Linkedin.

Looking at the chart above, over time you can see my desperation in the sharp incline of jobs I applied to; peaking at around 2-3 months ago. The fact that I really needed a job clicked somewhere and I went into berserker mode.

Unsurprisingly then, it was around this time that I started getting way more callbacks; roughly at a rate of about 2-3 days by email, Linkedin inmail, call, or text.

Not bad, as I was previously able to count the number of callbacks I received each month on a single hand. All of my efforts were starting to pan out and my name was making the rounds somewhere in the IoT ether.

Side Note: Even though I feel my efforts could have been a bit more streamlined, I think it was a good thing I wasn’t so much concerned with getting a job fast, as getting a quality job.

I didn’t always keep track of jobs I applied to as well as I have in the past

I allowed myself to get flustered by the arduous job of, well, finding a job. That hurt me. I usually take great notes in the job process; with rows and columns for dates applied, date to follow up, names and emails, etc.

But halfway into the search, I spent so much time applying to jobs and not as much keeping track of them, that I didn’t always know which needed following up with.

Where am I now?

I’m currently a Social Media Intern at a NY-based startup (Primarily working on Content Development and Marketing) and am excited about any opportunity to continue to grow with this company.

I’m also working on my first software program with a small team, as well. This was another one of the best-case scenarios I mentioned earlier.

While I am not currently working in technology, it remains a very important aspect of many of the ideas I hope to bring to life in the near future. And, even more, working on my own projects will inadvertently help me further develop my skillset in these areas.

If there was a takeaway from this article, it’s to remember to be creative in your job search. It’s as simple as that. It takes a lot of repetition to achieve results.

Applying to jobs, following up with them when you get the interview, but also not being let down when you’re not chosen for the role.

In fact, my eureka moment came a few months ago when I realized all of the companies I interviewed with found something worthwhile in my resume. Even the ones that chose not to move forward with my candidacy. Not getting interviews would have been a far worse fate.

That’s the little bit of juice you need to push you forward...To make you realize there is a fit out there for you.

You got this.

10 Ways to Develop Your Junior Level Brand

How to promote your webbed brand.png


More eyeballs, less eye roll 👀


As an entry level professional with a skillset in both technology & marketing, I understand how difficult it can be to get eyeballs on your work.


2 years ago, I began learning web development in an effort to further develop my marketing and (visual) branding skillset. For about 8+ years prior I had worked in various roles in content writing and social media…So when I learned about a software development program in my area, I knew it would give me the skills I needed to make my next vertical move upwards.


In the time I spent learning web development I went from not having a tech portfolio to having a small body of work that demonstrated the best of my abilities.


But one thing that has remained a constant, despite how much knowledge and skills I have accumulated in the process is that building an engaged audience while you are still an unknown and the most impressive program you have completed is a blackjack game (Edit: Thankfully, it’s now having been a Scrum Master and Team Developer on a 3-person project - An interactive grading platform app for a NY tech accelerator called The Knowledge House) is an Olympic-sized feat.

(Note: You can think of a Scrum Master as a Project Manager, of sorts.)

But not entirely impossible.

Below I have listed 10 ways that you can start developing your brand as an entry-level professional, regardless of the field you’re in.

Be advised, It is not a magic pill. You will not go viral anytime soon. 

But over time, with repetition, the level of engagement in your work will most likely increase.

While I cannot guarantee that you will get a job, internship or freelance work from this, I can tell you that I have, in fact, received freelance work that i’ve taken and while I am still working on the job or internship part, I have significantly increased the number of callbacks I receive and have also interviewed with a few companies, as well - including MongoDB, Cockroach Labs, Per Scholas, etc. These callbacks are a direct result of the work i’ve done on my brand; as much as the freelance prospects that have been steadily building through the contact form on my official site.

I’ll follow up with a part 2, about the entire insanity of this job process as soon as i’ve gotten a role.

Got any more ideas? Feel free to share.

1. Find Your Niche

  1. One thing you absolutely need to do before you start promoting yourself as an entry level professional is to identify your niche. What you are interested in as a person? Knowing this will help you understand what sort of roles you should go after, companies you should research and also what sort of content you should write about.

    A while ago I narrowed down my own list to MusicFilmWritingScreenwritingFuture Tech (AI, Robotics, AR/VR, etc)Science Fiction, and Art & Design. I now have 2 separate websites, one where I discuss topics in employment, technology or marketing (this one), and another where I write about the arts and entertainment.

    Now that you know your niche, you have a better chance of finding work that you are passionate about; rather than trying to simply earn money wherever you can.

    (Some people don’t believe that it’s important to love what you do. They also hold that your non-work life should reflect your passion(s), not your work.

    But I believe that it’s very important to love what you do, as well, as that is where we spend a good chunk of our life. We should align ourselves with companies whose missions we support or at least whose products we love.)

2. Paid Promotions

Linkedin ad, circa Fall 2018

Linkedin ad, circa Fall 2018


The majority of advertisements on LinkedIn are of individuals or organizations seeking leads for clients or job candidates to fill open positions.. This means that if you’re a job seeker placing ads to find work and target them towards recruiters in your city or zip code, you are in the minority.

It’s a great way to stick out.

I recommend you check out articles on the differences between CPC & CPM advertising before you start a campaign.

There are quite a few other ways to use LinkedIn ads for job seeking, but i’ll let your creative mind to its own devices…



3. Experimenting on Social Media

One thing I urge you to do once you have any sort of content or write ups on your thought leadership is to read articles on content marketing and experiment with how you deliver your copy on social media. Are there any variables, such as hashtags or CTAs, that gives you better response than others? How many times did you test your hypothesis?

Over time, most people will realize that not every social media platform will generate the same results for their content. Once you determine which those are you can either not use those as much, if at all.



4. Start A Blog

One of the easiest ways to get your thought leadership out there is to start a blog or write for one. While I’ve used Wordpress in the past, i’ve recently switched to Squarespace.

Wherever you decide to tell your story, make sure you tell it with your own authentic voice.

You can also guest write for an established blog — 

I am working on contributing to a new batch of blogs this year. I’ve written my for several print and digital publications in the past, such as Digital Branding Institute (As a Content Writing Intern) and Black Girl Nerds.

Provided the blogs you are writing for have a sizable following, this will be a great way to build your own readership.

What Should I Write About?

Your personal journey as an entry level professional. What’s helped you? Share your trials and tribulations, tips and tricks, etc. Based on your experience, how would you suggest that others get started learning web development? Talk about your successes and failures.



5. Attend Events

Sitting in front of your computer dressed in your signature Mr. Robot hoodie will not help you expand your network or land a job.

Research events that are happening in your area that align with your interests. Try to get out to at least 1-2 events a month.

Events include meetsups, demos, and conferences.

Here’s an example of how I landing a gig through an event

A few months ago I attended the Game Developers of Color Expo in Harlem, NY. While there I met a game developer who is heading a startup based out of Brooklyn. I pitched the work I had done and lo and behold - He was looking for someone to help with the marketing side of things. I got the job, and I didn’t even have to interview.

We started with a paid, 2-week consultation where I developed a series of marketing campaigns…Which gave him enough knowledge about my skillset to extend the offer to a long-term assignment.

Other event stories: When I first started learning web development I went to 2 Microsoft’s Playcrafting events, including a Breaking Into Game Design with Unity, and another on game writing (storytelling). While I don’t consider myself an expert level gamer (it’s been 10+ years since i’ve owned a console and a few years since i’ve actively played, though hopefully that will change by the end of this year), gaming is another space that I am interested in; especially as it crosses paths with VR. AR, and MR to give rise to new interactive experiences of gameplay.

After attending these events, I knew that learning how to make games, even as a secondary or tertiary part of my skillset, was something I wanted to do.

Meetup.com and Built in NYC are great resources for tech events.


6. Write A Press Release

One of the things that has helped me immensely as a freelance business owner is writing a press release every few months.

Within the first months that I started Nadia Carmon Inc. back in 2016, I was contacted by a venture capital-backed app based in Spain and Greece for a paid assignment. My press release had landed in the news and was making its rounds across the world wide web:

(Shown: An older one from Jan. 2nd, 2018. A more recent one was published in December, before that June-ish. Also my brand name used to be Wet Ink Press Co..)

pressr.png

Press releases are a great way to keep the world at large (i.e. not just your connections and supporters) aware of recent accomplishments and upcoming projects.


7. Interact On Linkedin

It goes without saying, networking is king for those trying to build their audience.

And on LinkedIn, it’s all about reciprocity and value.

Reciprocation — You interact with my content and i’ll interact with yours.

Comment on, like, and share other people’s content regularly.

Create projects that demonstrate an understanding of your field and then share your work.

Join Groups.

Help your connections network with each other or find opportunities that they might not have otherwise found.


8. Make A Website

You can choose whether you want to building a website from scratch or use a template via Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.

Look at design-centric sites such as Awwwards for inspiration.

Also, be sure to check out portfolios from other people in your field. What’s similar about them? Determine how you can mimic them while standing out from the crowd.

Tips:

  • Communicate your story through design

  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

  • Keep it simple. For now. You can always update it later.


9. Create Videos

Video production is such an underutilized commodity by job seekers, especially on LinkedIn.

Which is a shame, with platforms like Animoto that make them so easy to use. (Seriously, it’s like the Mario Paint of video making)

Developing your own channel on Youtube or even simply creating videos to upload on LinkedIn occasionally (<—-Where there’s less competition) can help you stand out in a big way to recruiters. Turn the thought leadership from your blogs into coherent points of discussion.


10. Then Repeat Repeat Repeat.

I can’t stress this enough. Marketing takes time.


Final Thoughts

The main takeaway here is that it takes a consistent marketing strategy to get your brand as an entry level professional off of the ground.

Whether you are a student or entry level candidate with a few years of experience that wants to find your 1st or next Full Time or Internship role, you will need to sit down and brainstorm your goals and get a little creative in order to stand out. One sure fire way to get ideas is to research influencers in your field. Every field has one. Who are the best know people in your area and how do they promote themselves?

A good brand is about more than having the skills or even a good portfolio. It’s about knowing how to showcase your expertise outside of your projects. Your projects will not sell themselves.

The most important thing is to understand that brands aren’t built in isolation; even in productive isolation. And yes, you are a brand.

Go where people in your field go, and then find where they go online…Be they Linkedin Groups, Twitter Chats, etc. Share your insightful views. Reshare theirs. With time you’ll see results….

5 Ways to Leave Your Job Gracefully & Like A Boss

5ways.png



At some point in your life you are going to leave your job.

Every job has its halflife; a period of time in which the perfect opportunity loses its sheen and becomes another day at the office. (That is, unless you’ve truly found your calling. For which, I commend you…)

For example, a few years ago I worked in sales. In the beginning my daily routine was challenging and consisted of cold calling and upselling.

Because I had minimal experience with either, I had to learn from the ground up. While I was articulate and likeable over the phone, my delivery was not perfect. So every day I devised to beat the number of open prospects and closed sales I got the previous day by working on how I pitched my company’s products to others. Over time I increased our revenue by leveraging this product knowledge…

But it was slow at first.

Before I had a roaster of frequent customers, I had to develop relationships with purchasing managers in order to build trust (a little Shakespearean B2B courtship).

But I had a goal.

At its peak, I came to work with the same level of enthusiasm and perseverance each day. I was satisfied with my role. Week to week, I could see my professional growth in action.

I rewrote my pitch several times and then stuck with the one that produced the best results.

I grew a higher tolerance for rejection (hang ups) and even minimized the amount I received as I got better with pitching.

I anticipated all of the possible roadblocks to closing deals and had an answer for each one.

I even took on roles outside of my job description (unofficial bookkeeper for a few months) and mastered new software in the process (Magento, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Braintree), etc.

But after nearly 2 years, the well went dry.

The well is my role in sales and the water symbolizes the fuel it had given me every day. The passion, energy and euphoria.

Quite simply, there was no more room for growth. And before you ask if I tried to articulate my desire for growth to management, I did.

My routine became so predictable that all of the roads formed through neuroplasticity (via Wired) had been worn into a dirt path. I wasn’t learning anything new.

So, when I was in a good position, I left.

It was not an overnight decision (i.e. I left when I was in a good position). There was a great deal of preplanning that went into it.

To help you gauge your own security with your current role, I have devised a 5-point checklist on when and how to leave your job gracefully. This list is followed by a few tips on how NOT to make your grand exit.

Got any more? Feel free to share.


  1. No More Juice

twist.jpg

A good day’s work will always come with a bit of stress. But a job should never become so routine that it feels like a chore. Or a bore.

If there is nothing else motivating you to get up every day, save a paycheck, I would reevaluate your position’s long term benefits. Personally, I aim for roles that are challenging; that will take some time to master and thus I will learn from every day. But I am also working on aligning myself with organizations whose work I support. Being passionate about a company’s offerings, mission or some other key aspect of what they do is essential to your overall sense of well-being and purpose.

Note: A job can be repetitive but not feel repetitive. The point at which repetitiveness becomes a depressing stagnation depends entirely on your own feelings. Are you passionate about what you do? If so, then the fact that it’s repetitive does not mean much.

However, understand that these feelings develop over time. Like water that gradually gets hotter, a job that was initially be “great” might turn into something else altogether later.

2. Money in the Bank

It goes without saying, regardless of how we feel about our jobs, we should never blindly leave one without having a safety net in place. An emergency fund is the backup plan you need to comfortably search for better-fit roles on your own terms. Ideally, you want to be job searching while you are employed. But everyone’s circumstances are different. Essentially, you want to save up your own cost of living (via Ally Bank) over the X amount of months that you will be searching for a new position. Rent + Groceries + Bills + Transportation (to interviews)..

The general rule of thumb is to have funds saved for at least 6 months to a year. Also take into account how long it has taken you to find a new role in the past.


3. Have Another Job Lined Up



Not so fast.

While most people are quick to start applying to new jobs, it is important to focus on the quality of roles that you are applying for. If you were unhappy in your last position, sit down and brainstorm what sort of roles you are interested in now.

What about your last role made you unhappy? Was it your job description or the industry sector?

Does it make sense to apply for the same role with a different company? If you are an unhappy burger-flipper, will a change of scenery really make a difference? Perhaps. But don’t make a mad dash towards your next gig. It’s not a race.

4. More Valuable Ways to Spend Your Time

The difference between a career and a job is passion.

If you are spending huge chunks of your time at work daydreaming about what you could do with all of that time — Start developing your app ideas into MVPs, finally get your small business off the ground, or taking courses to further develop your skillset, analyze the time that goes into your job and determine if the time you have left to devote to other things is truly worth it.

If not a part of your long-term career goals, your job should help you with your financial obligations while you pursue mini goals that will help get you to where you want to be; Until you can make your career your 24/7.



5. Too Attached/Afraid to Leave

Lastly, if you have found yourself in the grips of fear, unable to leave your job because you are not sure you can navigate the same rocky terrain to find a new one, you probably have an unhealthy attachment to your work and insecurity about your employability that is keeping you from growing.

Provided you have that safety net (new job or money) and a plan, take a chance and roll the dice. Have confidence in your skills and abilities.

Now for the Don’ts:

As for things you should definitely not want to do if you are preparing to exit from your job:

Don’t Burn Bridges. No matter how you felt about your job, leave as graciously as possible.

You don’t want to find out your last employer from Save-A-Lot is a 2nd degree connection with the technical recruiter from your dream company. Never give anyone a reason to give you a bad review. Edit: Though I’ve seen quite a few thought leadership pieces from folks on LinkedIn who think otherwise, and have recently come upon this quote:

“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.” ~Oprah Winfrey

So, I am willing to admit that my thoughts on this subject may just my millennial optimism. I haven’t experienced the horror stories of employment yet. But anyways, my gut feeling tells me that departing from roles as gracefully as possible will benefit me down the road…

Don’t Ghost . If you haven’t already, offer to connect with your employers and coworkers on Linkedin. You never know when you might need their help or expertise in the future. (But, of course, this depends on the nature of your relationships).

Don’t Clock Out & Never Return. Give 2 weeks notice. Don’t just walk out the door. Follow through until the end. (Or, if you absolutely can’t give 2 weeks notice, at least call and say so?)

Don’t Do Anything illegal. Duuuh.

Lastly, Don’t Apologize…Expressing gratitude and giving ample notice ahead of your departure is a must. But you do not owe anything outside of that. Don’t let things linger. If it’s time to move on, move on. Never say, “Sorry” for doing something that is in your best interest.



3 Ways Extended Reality (AR, VR and MR) Will Change Social Media

Linkedin 3 Ways Social Media Article #2.png

Within the past few years we’ve seen exponential growth in the number of companies dedicated to or experimenting with AR, VR & the hybrid world of Mixed Reality. Gaming, medicine, education & marketing are just a few of the industries that have made use of these technologies.

From a joint project by Oculus and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles which uses immersive VR tech to train med students for pediatric emergencies, to language-learning software company Mondly creating the virtual pen-pal experience, to even the surprisingly viral applications of the ARkit to the food industry, these technologies have paved a brave new frontier where solutions to old problems are accessible to anyone with an imagination.   

Yet despite progress made in other areas, and with the exception of Snapchat (Which is technically an augmented reality-based platform), social media networks have largely yet to incorporate AR, VR or MR outside of marketing ads and photo-taking features.

However, the potential for Extended Reality (The collective term for AR/VR/MR) to shape social media networks is huge. So here are my 3 predictions for how these technologies will influence the future of social media:


1. Social media networks will evolve from their static place on the net into, as an optional choice for users, an arena with Second Life capabilities.

secondlife1.jpg



What if Twitter was a place you went to in VR, rather than a website you visited?


Your next Twitter chat would take place in a room, perhaps on the University of Twitter campus where each room is a hashtag; Or even in a city where different neighborhoods represent certain interests. You could swing by the #Bandersnatch cafe on Film Row to discuss the implications of time in the latest Black Mirror film, or go to CBGB’s to see a VR performance from one of your favorite new indie artists.


Much like the future of gaming and filmmaking is the hybrid worlds of immersive storytelling, the future of social media is socializing in Extended Reality. In this way VR social networks will add a new and unexplored level of engagement for users and brands alike.


Side note: My original thought was that everyone would have customizable full body avatars and given the choice to shop for 3 outfits to start. After which there would be a paid upgrade (Nudge Forever 21, Express, et al for the VR shopping experience).

2. Extended Reality will force brands to find new ways to interact with current and prospective customers.

When you’re walking in the park and an animal has a side quest for you…

When you’re walking in the park and an animal has a side quest for you…


Much like how AI has powered the automation of customer service, Extended Reality would make it necessary for brands to develop new tactics to reach consumers. For example, paid advertising might take the form of a travelling VR salesman or woman (or if you’re an adventurous brand, an animal or mythical creature); where the ad is actually an animated demonstration of the product, an embedded Youtube video ad, etc.


Depending on the budget, this could be automated via AI . But like fake followers, brands would have to take steps to ensure their AI salesperson does not come across spammy and inauthentic.



3. The creation of new jobs, like VR Brand Ambassador or VR Marketing Manager.

Job_Simulator_screenshot_-_Office_02.png

As with any product, the realms of Extended Reality would require people well-versed in their technologies, as well as the brand's own products and services. Would this initiative be taken on by the current tech department, who would allot a budget towards educating their workforce? Or, would it would be a job outsourced to a contractor?

Gamers, preferably with experience in social media and marketing, would be a prime target for this role. Years of experience have taught them how to game. Now they’ll level up to using their gaming skills to engage VR users - current & prospect customers alike.

If not strategizing a brand’s marketing plan in the real world, their work week would consist of logging their hours in all of the locations (buildings, billboards, etc) their brand owns. Working on marketing campaigns, SEO, interacting with users, answering questions, tracking user acquisition and data analytics (VR foot traffic, mentions, etc), conducting market research, etc etc. Testing as many variables as they can to optimize the brand’s performance.

If the gamer has no experience in marketing, they would work closely with the CMO, Marketing Manager, or whoever else designs or oversees the actionable campaigns they would use in the VR world.

Likewise, the need to design new environments and characters, or update old ones would call for partnerships with game developers, big or small. Both would work with influencers and micro-influencers on creative campaigns.

___

The technology already exists...VR study abroad, language learning and similar platforms have already given us a taste of what this simulated experience would look like and the way it would enhance the dynamics of human interaction. But there are many applications of Extended Reality to social media networking sites that have not yet made an appearance. Perhaps some of these changes will come in 2019, with established social networks or new players coming onto the market.

How do you think Extended Reality will change the social media platform?



Originally published on LinkedIn, December 19th 2018
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-arvrmr-could-influence-social-media-nadia-carmon/