3 careers options for people who master social media


Social media skills could help you pursue social media jobs.


There's no denying the drawing power of social media. What began as a way for people to gather and communicate online has grown into a powerful marketing, revenue-generating, and community-building medium. It has been a somewhat logical evolution; where people are, and businesses want to be. And people are using social media.

What you might not realize is that your social media skills could help prepare you to pursue jobs in social media.

This social media transformation has brought about a lot of changes for business. Some companies were very slow to catch onto the idea. Traditionalists, might have believed social media was strictly social, and not useful for much more than sharing cute kitty memes. But the more forward-thinking businesses may have seen it for what it would become -- the next wave for business to reach more people than an offline strategy could.

Embracing social media for business means new, niche jobs have emerged out of necessity. Most anyone, probably including you, can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites. And businesses may need those skills and certain special ones, such as SEO, communication, research, HTML, and CSS.

If you've got a knack for social media, you might want to pursue one of these jobs, or others.

Career #1: Social Media Manager

The role of a social media manager can involve a wide range of duties, says social media consultant, Lauren Mikov, in an article titled, "What is a Social Media Manager?" published by Social Media Today, an online community for PR, marketing, and advertising professionals. She explains that on any given day, these managers might oversee and work hands-on across every social media platform that the company uses.

For example, they may develop unique social media strategies for their company, write up the company bio on Facebook, post content on Twitter, interact on social media with industry experts, create and manage YouTube accounts, and develop and manage visuals for Pinterest. This is the short list, and may vary based on what the company wants.

Career #2: Copywriter

The words you read online come from somewhere, and that "somewhere" is often the copywriter. Copywriters who generate content for social media may write Facebook posts, Tweets, ads, press releases, blog posts, or a number of other things. The difference between conventional and social media copywriting is the social element. Each piece the social writer crafts may be designed to grow the company's social media presence and community through comments, shares, likes, and re-tweets.

Three elements combine to make social media copywriting work well: pre-content development, content development, and post-content development, explains copywriter Stephanie Mihalopoulos, in an article published by Web SEO Analytics, a company that creates SEO tools. Each step is often built around reaching the right people and encouraging them to like and spread the word.

Career #3: Online Community Manager

It's not enough to create a social media presence and give them worthwhile, original, engaging copy. The followers that a company attracts need a reason to stick around, and that's a job for the online community manager.

Jenn Pedde, Co-Founder of The Community Manager, a source for community management-related information and news, offers her insight about what an online community manager is in a post titled "What a Community Manager is Not." She says community managers might play a role in social communities, but their primary jobs may include communication, moderation, engaging with users online and offline, writing community guidelines, and many other jobs.

Social media jobs are relatively new. As such, there is precious little data available at the U.S. Department of Labor to guide you toward the right education. Your best bet may be to go straight to the source. Contact employers and others in the industry, and ask them what it takes to get there.

Signs point toward even more evolution in social media, especially as it applies to business. Chances are, jobs in this field may follow the same trends. Businesses have the best opportunity to reach people wherever their attention lands. At one time, this was newspapers and radio. But social media, and the people who use it, opens a whole new door.

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