The rising popularity of the Internet and cellphone apps has created vast interactive social networks that not only affect the way people interact on a social level, but also how we do business.
The way that people interact is changing rapidly: 91% of South African Internet users have a Facebook account and the average Facebook user is logged on for 700 minutes every month. That’s a significant window of opportunity for getting in touch with an online consumer base. Mxit alone boasts 10 million users, and other social media like YouTube and Twitter also offer impressive market penetration rates.
Before the evolution of social media, an employee caught playing around on Facebook or watching YouTube videos during working hours was deemed to be wasting time, would have had to account for all hours spent on the computer and in extreme cases have to start hunting for a new job. Today, social media is seen as the key to success in many organisations. If a company doesn’t have a Twitter profile, Facebook page or even a blog, they are missing out on a chance to market themselves to millions of potential investors and customers. This is precisely the reason why having a career in social media is no longer just the pipe dream of eager trendsetters and gossip bloggers.
Many businesses have created roles devoted to social media while others have opted to incorporate social media in the more traditional roles of marketing, research, communications and public relations. If you are looking to start a career in marketing, then a focus on social media will prove invaluable. Some career opportunities include:
The Community Manager
Every company needs to make contact with its investors and clients. The Community Manager is responsible for interacting with clients and customers. They need to build client relations by ensuring the company knows exactly what its clients are expecting from them and so ensure their continued loyalty.
Social Media Designer
The designer is responsible for making sure the visual aspects of a company’s image, what visitors will see of the company on social media sites, is attractive and appealing. This in effect helps the company establish a social media profile.
Social Media Strategist
This role involves a lot of market research in determining how to clarify social media goals and outline the paths to accomplish them. It entails developing an entire social media strategy for the organisation – establishing a target market and marketing strategies to draw in potential investors and clients.
Here, the role focuses on the content of the messages that will be sent through the social media platforms. The content specialist will be looking at blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages and promoting the company’s content from newsletters to advertisements.
This role encompasses the use of analysis to monitor the social media presence of a product or an organisation. In business analytics, an employee may use YouTube Insight or Google Analytics to determine how much a brand or company is being spoken about online.
Social media is no longer an area of speciality merely used by the tech savvy, but a part of skills expectancy associated with digital media. From journalism and graphic design to psychology and organisational information, employers are expecting potential employees to know enough about social media to help them expand and develop their organisations.
To learn more, consider the part-time University of Cape Town Social Media short course, which starts on 27 August 2012. For more information contact Roxy on 021 685 4775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit: www.getsmarter.co.za