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Social media marketing job takes Hassler from UNL to Montana

Photo curtesy by Caitlin Hassler.

Caitlin Hassler, social media manager for the Montana Office of Tourism. (Photo courtesy of Caitlin Hassler.)

By Julio Toainga
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

When Caitlin Hassler was studying advertising at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she never dreamed she’d end up working in Montana.

She knew, though, that she wanted to work with tourism marketing.

And since graduating in May 2014, that’s exactly what she’s been doing as the social media coordinator for the Montana Office of Tourism.

“Being the social media coordinator is different because not every day is the same,” Hassler said. She manages every social media outlet associated with promoting Montana as a tourist destination.

Among other things, she monitors community engagement on social media, posts user-generated photos of Montana, answers questions visitors have and juggles the state’s editorial calendar. She also works with Montana’s advertising campaigns.

“Social media is constantly changing, and it is a big challenge to continuously look for new platforms or techniques,” Hassler said.

Anther challenge is that social media analytics platforms change rapidly.  Hassler has had to quickly adjust and find different ways to keep track of the content she publishes on the Web.

Although her career is less than a year old, Hassler loves being able to travel the state and help tourist destinations use social media to bolster Montana’s brand.

And as someone relatively new in her career, Hassler said she is always learning. One success has been overcoming her dislike of public speaking. In college, she was not a  big fan of talking in front of people. Now, she has been able to give pitches to various clients and make major presentations.

Hassler credits networking, college internships and her experience working at Jacht Club, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications student-run advertising agency with helping her land her job.

She encourages students to take part in activities like that.

And she offers this advice: “Write. Editing your own and other people’s work will help you think more strategically and creatively.

“The more subjects you learn in college makes you more aware of what is going on in other fields.”

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