Social Media

A new category of marketing jobs began to emerge with the introduction of Web 2.0, a more interactive interface between those who create websites and those who visit them. This phenomenal breakthrough has given rise to the so-called social media, comprised of sites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Reddit, Blogs, Flickr, Delicious, and many more.

Prestigious publications are still trying to decide whether to dedicate one editor to the whole social media spectrum or to make it everybody's job to interact with readers in all the multiple arenas. Marketing departments are also making certain adjustments, whether to outsource the social media function to an agency or take it on in-house-again, as one newly created job or as part of everybody's job.

The consensus is unanimous: this is a task that must be done, and it's a big one. With the competition communicating constantly with consumers, the new two-way avenues cannot be ignored.

Social media has, in effect, torn down all previous barriers to building social and business connections, sharing information, and collaborating on projects. A particularly effective social media optimization (SMO) program can inspire readers to adopt your company's message as their own and share it with their friends and family. The message is enriched by their endorsement, gives it the look of a partnership, and the readers' social network will look upon it as coming from a trusted source.

Never before has the ability to measure the efficacy of a marketing campaign been a conversation between the company and its customers. Prior to the social media phenomenon, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns has always been measured in dollars, and marketers have been left to draw their own conclusions. Now with feedback more available and more voluminous than ever, the drawbacks also seem to be growing in size and strength.

Information sharing will always give rise to privacy concerns, and the policies of the foremost social media sites seem to be based on shifting sand. News media outlets constantly break stories about the changing practices of Facebook. Some people are afraid of using the sites for this reason while others are reluctant to share very much information. But the assets of using social media as a marketing tool by far override the liabilities. Studies show that half of all Twitter users are outside the United States, illustrating the global reach of this vast market.

For someone who enjoys the chat function-and apparently there are quite a few such people out there-the social media specialty would be prime among the various types of marketing jobs.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014