• Part 5 of 8: Social Media Isn’t a Distinct Specialty

    In just the past year, many employers have come to recognize the power that social media has to address customer service, advertising, marketing, public relations and recruiting needs. As such, they are allocating more dollars for staff, software and other resources to support social media initiatives.

    In fact, when survey respondents were asked to name the most influential advertising medium in the next three to five years, social networking sites ranked high on the list, second only to mobile.

    But who will be responsible for executing social media tasks? Although jobs in this area are currently abundant, these niche roles may not be around long.

    George, of IPG Mediabrands, predicts that as the application of social media becomes even more mainstream, specialist skills and experience engaging with consumers on these platforms will become more integrated into other creative roles. That means even though there are specialists, everyone needs to understand the basic principles of social media. He also expects marketers to become savvier in building internal competencies so they can respond more actively to conversations in the social graph. Importantly, they’ll have response teams in place to deal proactively with consumer backlash, as witnessed on Twitter and Facebook (like the American Red Cross snafu and the viral “United Breaks Guitar” video, to name just two).

    Facebook Ad Spending Skyrocketing

    How ad spending is expected to change in the following social networks in the next three to five years:

    When it comes to social media, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Baglivo says the “innovators” and “pioneers” will be most coveted by employers: “Those who are on the frontier exploring the world of social media and technology will be the ones who find the ‘next big thing’ – and they’ll bring it to the party fast.”

    Although job requirements for social media roles have typically been nebulous due to its infancy, employers will expect more from marketing professionals regarding social media expertise. When looking to fill roles that involve social media tasks, employers will require candidates who can:

    • Understand a target audience’s motivations and develop persuasive, engaging copy that “cuts through the clutter”

    • Package messages for the appropriate media channel and target audience, and manage ongoing engagement to achieve desired business outcomes

    • Analyze usage metrics, such as open rates, click-throughs and conversions

    • Report on social media marketing efforts and their impact on the bottom line

    • Respond to customer service feedback and queries in a timely, candid and diplomatic way

    • Collaborate with other departments, agencies and consultants to position the company consistently across all channels and to reach the right customer base

    Donna Farrugia is Executive Director at The Creative Group, a division of specialized staffing leader Robert Half International Inc., which specializes in placing highly skilled creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations professionals with a variety of firms. Read the entire white paper, “The Creative Group of the Future.”

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