Specialist roles for social media wiz kids

Love blogging? Find yourself addicted to your RSS reader, creating content or having conversations with your global network at odd hours of the day or night? Perhaps you are so passionate about social media that you are thinking you want to work in the area. “I want to be a social media specialist, you cry.

REWIND. I’ve met plenty of people in the past who wanted to work in traditional media, including myself. But if you want to stand out in the industry and position yourself as an expert, you should consider the unique experience and skills only you could bring to a job.

PAUSE. If you seem to be spending all of your time just trying to keep up with the shiny new things, pause for a second. If you could have a job in social media, what could you bring to the role to make it special?

FAST FORWARD. Many people are entering the workforce with “social media skills“and social media roles are still being defined and emerging. Take a peek at Jeremiah Owyang’s list of social media strategists and community managers to get an idea of the companies and roles currently filled in this space.

A recent post in Conversations matter breaks it down to several roles you could consider, including Social Media Strategist, Community Manager, Social Site Management, Blogging, Monitoring, and Web Innovations.

In addition, what about specialising in existing industries or roles aligned to social media?

Industry: Is there a particular industry you want to align yourself with? Eg telecommunications, accounting, not-for-profit sector, government, education, small to medium business, etc.

Demographic: Are you interested in enterprise-wide adoption of social media or do you prefer to work with individuals in small groups?

B2B and P2P: For instance, do you have a special interest in social lending?

Collaboration: Do you have a passion for collaboration and storytelling? Do you enjoy the conversation? Are you passionate about community?

HR, Change and Training. Do you have an appreciation for organisational change, HR, incentives, training, mentoring, business transformation, morale and productivity?

Social. Is your special interest in psychology or therapy?

Knowledge and Information. Are you experienced in knowledge management and intellectual capital?

Communications. Does the area of communication, marketing, PR, or branding appeal to you?

Technical, Programming genius? IT fanatic? Coding legend?

Mobile: Do you love all things mobile, are you crazy about your mobile phone or iPod Touch?

Media and design: Perhaps you like to create -you are a design superstar with a real zeal for creating beautiful things? Do you love to blog, make podcasts, animations or videos? Is your interest in the area of usability and user experience and information design?

Research and future trends: Maybe you like the area of business intelligence, analysis and research? Or are you a futurist interested in emerging trends? Innovation junkie?

And of course there is also the area of virtual worlds -which you could possibly break down to some of the above roles and skills..probably another post altogether.

So when you say you want to work in social media – where do you see yourself?

PLAY. Regardless of where you want to position yourself in social media in the future, you can make a difference where you are right now, by sharing what you already know. In addition, how can you build up a core competency and weave social media goodness into it?

This is by no means an exhaustive list or breakdown of roles, and some intersect and overlap. What would you add to this list?

5 thoughts on “Specialist roles for social media wiz kids

  1. David

    Nice write-up. I’m amazed there aren’t positions out there like this or are there? As more and more companies begin to look long and hard at figuring out a way to take advantage of the viral nature of social networks, positions like this will very quickly come into demand.

  2. epredator

    Brilliantly put. There is certainly interest from forward thinking organizations. Though the only thing to do, as you say, is just get on with it now.
    Wherever you are or whatever you do, chances are, most people will think this is a sideline, you blog “how nice”.
    The thing is we all know, those of us that have made a difference through this, how important it is. The trouble is, its not us doing the hiring (yet).
    The way the dmand for these skills happens is everyone who wants to and is good at it starts doing it for free, then become essential.
    Having had the uphill struggle as a metaverse evangelist, being a passionate, motivated, slightly insane ego maniac helps to keep you going.
    The cool thing really is, that everyone can have a go. It may not be for them, but knowing when someone is good will help set the levels that we need in companies and HR.
    Prime example our customers people just deleted a facebook group page through sheer ignorance. “You can create another” showing a lack of understanding of the time and effort to build up social capital and conversations.
    Now they know, and realize how it was used and spread was actually not effortless, but on the back of some other social capital.
    So stick with it everyone, the world will need us very soon :-)

  3. wonderwebby

    Thanks so much David, Michael, Adreich and ePredator! I always appreciate your comments!
    @David I agree specialist roles like this will come into demand.
    @Adreich that’s great! It’s excellent that you have a focus.
    @ Michael you are very welcome!
    @ ePredator thanks your tenacity and enthusiasm is always encouraging. Eightbar was a real inspiration to me when I discovered it a year ago and still is

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