Earn your salary working on Facebook


Earn your salary working on Facebook

A few years ago, making a career in social media was not only unfeasible but simply impossible. But fast forward to 2011, and it’s a different ball game — many specialised social media companies are helping brands, organisations, non-profit organisations and celebrities navigate the social media landscape.

Two crucial factors have helped create a new sector under the IT umbrella — the emergence and absolute explosion of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc, and the speed with which many corporates in India (and abroad) are embracing this space and looking at it as both an alternative and a complimentary platform for branding, marketing and advertising.

Careers in this area revolve around managing the presence of a brand on social media platforms and overseeing marketing performance. Social media related jobs are wide-ranging — from creating applications on Facebook, to creating quality content that is used to populate social platforms, or planning a brand’s social media strategy over a quarter or a year.

The reason this field holds a lot of promise is not because there are several social media start ups that are looking to hire. It’s also because large organisations themselves want social media experts in-house who become a part of the company’s marketing team.

Another reason is that traditional branding and marketing agencies are actively working to strengthen their “social media arm” so that many of their clients don’t migrate to other agencies that are willing to provide a 360 degree solution that includes social media management.

The other route that large agencies adopt is to partner with smaller specialised social media agencies to help their clients. The bottom line is there are numerous opportunities in the sector, and here are a few social media related jobs that might interest you.

Social Media Strategist: A social media strategist holds an important position. This position, unlike a community manager, does not involve working directly with the social media websites on a daily basis. The strategist’s job is to mainly consider all the possibilities and create a strategic plan for the company in terms of marketing.

A critical aspect of this job is to first understand the product/service that has to be showcased on social media, then assess what social platforms are ideal to communicate based on target audiences, reach, objectives set (i.e. is it a campaign to increase brand awareness, or to drive footfalls, or to generate a database, or to get leads, etc.), and finally integrate the social media plan with on-ground communication to make sure the tone, message, etc. are consistent both online and offline.

Social Media Developer: This is a very technical role that only individuals with prior knowledge of web or software development can undertake. As brands leverage the various possibilities of Facebook (besides just pages), the need for experienced developers to build engaging, interactive and brand-centric application is only going to increase. A few other responsibilities of a social media developer would be any customisation required for brand blogs, building a branded YouTube channel, etc.  

Copywriter or Content Specialist: Content is king on social media, it is literally the fuel that drives a social media campaign and content specialists can help writing articles for brand blogs, status updates for Facebook, tweets for twitter, etc.

It’s a belief that anyone can “write” a Facebook status update and that you don’t require any skill for this. But writing a Facebook status update or a tweet for a brand page is an art by itself. A content specialist is gifted with the foundation of good English language, on which they have to build and learn how to effectively write Facebook brand updates and tweets keeping in mind a     few things like:

*Facebook EDGE ranking system (basically — the higher the number of likes and comments you get on a wall post, the more impressions it receives). So how can you mix humour, news, sensationalism, and the brand message in a status update?

*There’s information overflow in your Facebook and twitter feeds — so how will your 1-2 line status update catch eyeballs and convey the message at the same time?

* You want your content to be shared on Facebook, re-tweeted on twitter and your articles re-posted on other blogs, how can you generate content keeping this in mind?

Community Manager: A community manager has the responsibility of overseeing the various day-to-day activities on social platforms that the brand is present on.

The responsibilities include making status updates on Facebook brand pages, posting blog articles, uploading videos on YouTube, scheduling tweets on twitter, moderating conversations and comments on these platforms, keeping in mind the brand’s tone, communication style and severity of any complaints or issues.

To be an effective community manager, an individual should have a marketing or communications background with good experience of using various social media tools. These are just a handful of the many social media jobs there are out there.

Jobs are available in other important aspects of social media like social media analytics, listening on social media, online reputation management, social product management, etc. The bottom line is this — going forward, this sector is poised to grow and the opportunity to create a career in social media is very real.

(The writer is founder & CEO, AliveNow - Social Media Management)

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