Today is the Social Media Day, started 5 years ago by Mashable an online technology news service. Here in Kenya, we were not left behind with a meetup organized at Nailab and on Google+. This is a clear indication of how connected the world has become and how global influences are catching up with us and affecting our way of live both socially and in business.
One of the areas that have adversely been affected by emergence of social media is doing business. Entrepreneurs whether big or small can no longer ignore this new media. They have to embrace it or become obsolete.
Now this notion of getting social has left many companies and business owners at loss of how even start. Most are grappling with the fact that they already have a policy in place barring employees from accessing social media while on duty. Then comes this pressing need to utilize the same outlawed platform to create visibility.
Apart from struggling with implementation issues, there is also the need for a resource, well trained professional to handle this new function. The main reason being, companies that have attempted to venture and launch their brand on social media have taken to it as a bulletin board for their marketing campaign, hence missing the mark.
Social media is more about creating conversation and relationships online than selling. I however, like this turn of events, because it creates a problem that opens doors to companies embracing a new breed of professionals – Social Professionals.
Embracing Social Media Careers in Kenya
Being a social professional is more than just tweeting, pinning or posting on Facebook. It is about being able to start or sustain conversations on various issues or topics online. It is about communicating which involves both conversing and listening to those around you, about you or your brand.
It is about not losing your cool even when you have goofed, saving face even it looks like there is nothing to save. Being passionate about your customers and developing lasting relationships with them, and they will reward you by becoming loyal brand ambassadors of your brand.
Companies are looking for professionals in social media who can represent their brands and enhance their visibility and sociability online, this is not a Kenyan phenomenal alone but across the global. If you visit most popular job sites they have huge numbers of inquiries from employers looking to employ social media personnel from the management level to entry level.
According to an article by Andrea Fisher, some of the social media positions that are fast opening up in companies include:-
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist
Companies want to be visible to potential and current customers. To do so, SEO specialists are essential. SEO specialists wear many different hats, each of which are designed to boost website rankings within relevant search results.
This job involves analyzing websites, testing different marketing techniques and creating new quality content. SEO specialists also use social media websites to market new content. In an age where digital technology outperforms print sources, social media is a quick way to spread more than status updates and commercial information.
- Social Media Strategist
Social media strategists work on creating a public profile for companies, allowing them to interact freely with customers on social media sites. Though posts are about company services and products, these business social media accounts help develop an interactive business-customer relationship.
It’s marketing by humanizing a company through online social interactions. The more social media followers a company has, the more their products and services are recognized.
- Online Community Manager
An online community manager is a liaison between a company and an online community (e.g., social networks, message boards and email groups). As more people come together online to share similar interests and ideals, online marketers have the perfect opportunity to target these groups and pitch their own products and services.
The online community manager’s goal is to use online communities to increase brand loyalty and Web traffic and to maximize their company’s social media marketing strategy.
It involves analytical, creative and business-oriented skills to promote a company, products and services. An online community manager never has the same job any single day; it involves adapting to new online technologies and social media tools.
- Social Media Marketing Manager
Social media marketing managers oversee the design and execution of social media marketing strategies. Their goal is to drive audience growth and bring their company and brands to the forefront.
A number of social media tools are used to analyze the best marketing tactics for each social site. Since each social networking platform works differently, content has to be adapted to maximize its effects. The social media marketing manager oversees the communications strategy for these platforms and delegates their goals and expectations to the rest of the online marketing team.
- Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Social media marketing coordinators write unique content and take photos and videos for the social media accounts they administer. The position involves frequent social media post updates (hours on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.) and use of social media analysis tools.
- Blogger/ Social Media Copywriter
The word “blogger” has become overly generalized as a simple hobby for some people. But for businesses and marketing firms worldwide, bloggers and social media copywriters are essential in creating an online presence. It’s a strategy of numbers, and the role of the blogger is crucial for receiving online attention.
There’s a dual function behind this position: 1) create engaging and factual online content via blog posts, social media networks, message boards etc.; and 2) attract readers and followers.
Posts often include keywords that, when clicked on, redirect readers to a specific company website or related page. Where a spammer presents irrelevant, flashy content to readers, bloggers and social media copywriters deliver valuable online information to their readers.
So by positioning yourself as a social professional you stand to gain from companies seeking to employ those who have embraced social media careers in Kenya.
Look out for our upcoming forum on Positioning Yourself as a Social Professional in Kenya.