"You might have a Twitter account and a Facebook account, but you actually need to use them because you need to have that deep level of understanding," Alison Gow explained.John Barnes, Incisive Media
If somebody comes along to us and says I'm really switched on, I've got the potential to be a great journalist and they don't have any form of social media interaction at all, no followers, nothing, it is highly suspicious
"If somebody comes along to us and says I'm really switched on, I've got the potential to be a great journalist and they don't have any form of social media interaction at all, no followers, nothing, it is highly suspicious," John Barnes added.
"Simple things like do they have a picture on their account? Do they actually describe what they're doing? Do they have a consistent level of tweeting or commenting? Is it in and around a subject that they're developing an interest in or an expertise on? We will look at those things to get a more general picture of what a person is like.
"Obviously, in my day, it was 'had you worked on the university newspaper or magazine', and now blogs are slightly like that. But any experience that has been gained along the way, whether it's more formal experience through publications at college, whether it's work experience through courses that have taken place at college or holiday jobs, or whether it is actually just things like a really keen interest in a subject and therefore the go-getting nature of writing a blog or having a good social media profile, they're all things that definitely help."
And if you aspire to write for viral content sites such as BuzzFeed, being social media-savvy is obviously vital.
"If you're applying for a community management role and your Twitter feed is only updated once a week or has been left to rot, that's a bad sign", Cate Sevilla said.
"So having all of the usual profiles you expect people to have, having a blog where you talk about this stuff you claim to be interested in or be a specialist in, is really important.