Social media is a very hot topic right now. It seems these days you can’t go online without reading something about social media. With the evolution of sites like Facebook and Twitter and their applications as marketing tools, the number of job positions in social media is rising at an exponential pace as companies try to keep their name in front of consumers.
- Indeed.com reports an increase in social-media job postings by more than 600%, from 3,000 in 2005 to over 21,000 in 2010.
- Yahoo HotJobs also reported a 974% increase from May 2009 to May 2010. Available positions range from Community Manager to executive to full time tweeter.
- Salaries for social media positions lag behind their counterparts in traditional PR, marketing and publishing, but this gap seems to be closing quickly according to a recent report from socialmediainfluence.com titled “The State of Social Media Jobs in 2010”
While many are interested in getting a job in social media, it’s probably obvious that qualifications require more than just someone who has 500 friends on Facebook and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Here is what companies are looking for:
- Exceptional communication skills – Social media is simply a new way for people to communicate, and you must be able to communicate effectively. Additionally, companies want to see that you can do this in a number of different styles to reflect the medium you are communicating in and adapt to the different personalities you will be interacting with.
- Traditional business and marketing skills – It’s very easy to get caught up in wanting to know the latest and greatest skills, but make sure you also have a solid background in traditional business concepts such as marketing, sales, and PR
- Customer-service focus – Good companies focused on customer service long before the advent of social media applications, but now it’s even more important. If a company hires you for a social media position, they trust you will be representing them in a manner that is consistent with their values and culture.
- Technology Savvy – An ideal candidate in this field is going to have a deep understanding of the different technologies available will keep his or her finger on the pulse of the latest trends.
- Analytical Ability– It’s important be able to spot trends, figure out why something doesn’t work, and make adjustments accordingly. Most importantly, you must not be afraid to try new things.
If you are interested in a job in social media but feel you are lacking in one or more of these areas, take heart. There are more and more college courses dealing with social media as well as local groups holding conferences and instructional sessions. There are also a multitude of resources online. Consider an internship to gain hands-on experience.