By Ryan Currie
Here’s a quick look at the social media industry jobs that are really taking off in 2014…
2014 will see the rise of the general Social Media Strategist, that is, a professional whose sole job it is to come up with an effective, measurable social media plan for the business. This career is taking off because it can be done on a freelance basis, often via telecommuting, and the first generation of college graduates with degrees in social media specialties are hitting the market. Some businesses are going to bring on full-time social media planners, some will roll this job description into the existing marketing team, and some will choose to work with contractors.
2. Social Customer Service Agent
Big businesses are making a big push to take customer service social. Companies like TD Bank and many of the world’s biggest airlines are asking customers to directly interact with agents via Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels. That means a need for some serious social support on the back end, and in many cases, these companies want the seats filled 24/7. For someone with a call center background or strong experience in customer service (and even in writing) this job may be a good fit.
3. Content Specialist
Google’s many animal-themed algorithm changes have shaken up the online world. Businesses are finally starting to realize they’ve got to regularly put out effective, sharable, topic-focused content in order to be ranked for the terms they want. Content creators or specialists are smart businesses’ answer to Black Hat SEO and the future of many companies’ marketing strategies. All in all, they focus on creating (typically branded) content like blog posts, slideshows, infographics, and more that they can disseminate on the web.
4. Brand Photographer/Videographer
Not too long ago, a brand really only needed professional pictures taken every once in a while for their main website, but creative brands are starting to realize the untapped potential on sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Photo-sharing is what’s happening now in social and video sites, notably Vine, are starting to catch on. Brands that want to be on the cutting edge are hiring full-time or freelance photographers regularly to ensure they’re putting out images that are consistent with the brand strategy.
5. Social Media Analyst
Similar (and sometimes overlapping) with an SEO specialist, social analysts are particularly interested in the metrics of social media campaigns. They want to know how many people visited the site from one popular Facebook wall post and if those people are converting to sales. These jobs are highly data-driven and in many cases, people who formerly worked in SEO or in less customer-facing roles tend to do well here. In 2014, businesses will increasingly want to get some measurable, traceable data behind their social campaigns.
Because social media is such a new field, it’s got a ways to go before all its many career opportunities are fully fleshed out. In many cases, social media professionals simply started by doing what they were good at and their employers or potential customers took notice. There’s no one way to get into the business of social.
Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with five years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.