Social Media Muse

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Focus of a Social Media Pioneer

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This morning while enjoying a dark roast I opened an e-mail from a large on-line job board that targets the $100k+ job market. It was the Monday Newsletter from the founder Marc Cenedella, sent to 4 million people, mostly job seekers just like me.

In this newsletter he is talking about the importance of having a great elevator speech, something we had just covered a week ago in a workshop called: “Strategic Bragging for Job Hunters”. He had some valuable tips and several questions that will help you to formulate what your passions are, your motivations, and how you look at the future within your work environment. He suggested to make it sound like a conversation and test it with friends over a beer.

As I am preparing myself to re-enter the workforce I do often encounter the simple questions: “what do you do?” and “what kind of job are you looking for?” The short questionnaire from Marc really helps you to focus on who you are, what you have done, and what you would like to do.

In many recent articles about hiring Social Media staff, companies are warned for so-called or self-proclaimed Social Media Specialists. In an interview with the famous Amber MacArthur (a.k.a. Amber Mac) she also cautions businesses to do some good research and urges them to make sure that the person they hire has a visible track record and a passion for the industry, especially for the firm they wish to work for.

We all have to gain experience, and hopefully we’ll find a place and environment that allows for developing the necessary skills while receiving some guidance. I the past year I had the opportunity to gain such experience (on a volunteer basis) with 2 small businesses. With very little budget and no official marketing plan we did gain a lot of positive publicity with a mostly viral approach. We generated traffic (digital and physical), got many new members and clients, and of course followers and friends.

I am not an expert (yet), but I do learn something new every single day, I follow “my mentors” and try to help others who need basic Social Media advice. I am lucky because I started my career in 1993 in Direct Marketing research for the company called: “Who Mails What?” and gained so much insight in Customer Experience Management. The founder Yolanda Eijgenstein had one very clear mantra: Hug your clients (when communicating with them)! This early form of Social Media provided me with a strong foundation in both Branding and Communication.

I agree strongly with Amber that it is very important to have a deep affinity with the industry you’re working in and to have a passion for your particular service or product, in order to be a succesful Social Media Specialist. I would like to add that basic Marketing, (Copy) Writing, Branding, PR, Research, and Communications experience should be part of your back ground.

My elevator speech is almost ready, in the mean time I’ll share some of my answers to Marc’s questions.

  • I enjoy communication with a distinct audience, improving connections and processes, and help people improving their life in general.
  • It is very rewarding to see the results of gained knowledge and inspired actions.
  • I learn something new every day and it is such manifold and variegated content.
  • The Social Media field is rather young and has so much potential. I want to be a Social Media pioneer, exploring new grounds and working on fine tuning our communication around this planet
  • I have a passion for communication, research, writing, and refining.

“Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Briann Solis Principal of FutureWorks

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This position is a great resume builder!

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In other words: we want you to work full-time for us, create our on-line brand, and increase our revenue, but we’re not going to pay you.  Luckily most matured companies have embraced Social Media professionally and know the added value and opportunities this huge platform may provide to them. They are also aware of the fact that this is a very new, specialized, yet comprehensive trade.

A Social Media worker needs to have communication, PR, writing, (direct) marketing, branding, on-line media, Internet applications, and Social Media networks experience, besides your particular industry and market knowledge. This is the time for the Jack or Joan of all trades to flourish!

“Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one”

A Social Media Steward should possess a polymath* quality. Above all being able to handle multiple tasks, channels, and tools! If you want to reap the benefits of a consistently implemented Social Media strategy you’ll have to invest in a very broad experienced professional to execute this multi level challenge at a very high (real-time) visibility level.

*Polymath (Greek πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”)[1] is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.

Written by Monique DiCarlo

August 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

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