Now Hiring: Social Media Strategists

First, I was wrong. In my previous post, I predicted that the Oregon Ducks would win a close championship game against the Auburn Tigers. Well, the Ducks lost. Sad, I know. In that same article, I also made some predictions in the social media and public relations field. Right or wrong is still to be seen, however, one thing I forgot to mention is the rise of social media jobs in 2011.

The words “social media” has appeared in job titles three times as much last year according to Indeed.com, a search engine for jobs. In addition, jobs with “social media” in the description has tripled — 14,000 in November 2010 versus 4,300 during the same month in 2009.

Social media is more than Facebook or Twitter. Just because you tweet about what you had for breakfast or update your personal Facebook status doesn’t mean you understand the intricacies of social media marketing. At the heart of social media is its ability to connect and engage with consumers. There was a time where commercials were the main source of marketing/advertising. Commercials became the best tool for marketers to gain your attention as consumers to buy their products. Those days are over. Sure, commercials are still around. Some are actually really good! But as author and marketing guru Seth Godin said in his book Purple Cow, the “TV-industrial complex has been canceled  — the model where we can interrupt people whenever we want to is over.” Enter social media marketing.

I recently came across a job posting for a part-time, contract basis social media position at Grady Britton (GB) — a multi-faceted advertising agency located in Portland, Oregon. GB is looking for a Content and Community Strategist to expand their social media marketing services and online content strategies for their clients. How do you know you’re a good fit for this position and the company? Here’s what they are looking for:

  1. You live and actively participate in the digital world already (blogs, Twitter, etc.)
  2. You have a flair for writing, but also deeply appreciate the nuances of brand authenticity and voice.
  3. You’re passionate about learning about new industries, topics and trends, but are even more eager to find how to tell client stories in a fresh and interesting way that’s relevant to the online communities in which your client plays.
  4. You work well in a fast paced, highly collaborative environment, spanning multiple disciplines (creative, PR, digital strategy, media and video/photo production).
  5. You’re as much a visionary as you are a practitioner.

How do I match up?

  1. Quick overview: What started out as simply playing around with Twitter soon exploded into Twitter 24/7. I actively participate in the micro-blogging site — personally and as a brand advocate for various businesses. Twitter chats are also a common activity for me. Two that I participant in are #journchat and #pr20chat which are about public relations and social media. I have experience with managing and creating marketing strategies for a number of Facebook business pages. I’ve also taken an interest in photography, so I’ve used Flickr to showcase my photography skills (still lots to learn). And obviously, I write and maintain this personal blog, Morning Roast, and have had guest posts published in other blogs as well.
  2. I love that! Having a “flair” for writing. AP style writing for press releases are nice, but it is when you have the go signal to juice up your writing with creativity and “flair” that makes it so enjoyable! When you’re participating online, it is so important to have a unique voice and brand identity. I think that’s one of the main reasons why the Oregon State Fair won several awards. As the leader of their social media efforts, I found a unique voice that made our Twitter and Facebook posts fun for people to read. And of course, transparency and authenticity are expected of brands. No longer can businesses get away with any sort of fabrication. Expect nothing less than harsh critics and a PR crisis on your hands if you’re not authentic in regards to practicing what you preach.
  3. Every brand has a story to tell. There’s always a time and place (in this case, online) to tell that story. I love learning about different clients in a variety of industries. That’s one of the reasons why I’m interested in agency work. It’s amazing how storytelling can connect individuals and work effortlessly with marketing, advertising and other strategies. Instead of just one or the other, the combination of PR, social media, advertising, etc. can effectively and efficiently amplify a brand’s message to their audience.
  4. I’m a gunslinger. I like my coffee black. I….walk fast? What I’m trying to say is fast pace is no problem for me. I can work independently, but it is teamwork that excites me. I think that started in school when I participated in a variety of sports. An example is track & field versus cross country. I participated in both and I can say I enjoyed cross country more because we were a more tight-knit team. With track & field, we were still a team but as competitors we were more focused on our individual events rather than battling along the same line. I enjoyed the benefits of jumpstarting a PR program for a tourism marketing agency. What are the benefits you ask? Whether it’s PR or creating digital strategy or producing videos, I benefited from being able to launch various creative programs and strategies within the agency. I don’t just do PR or social media. Instead, I used a variety of tools and strategies to advocate for brands. I think my title should of been Brand Advocate.
  5. Some people say they start as a practitioner and then become more of a visionary as they become familiar with what they are doing. However, I have to disagree. Why would they start participating in the first place? They must have some reason. Some sort of vision of what social media could accomplish. I don’t just do something just because. Unless it involves skydiving. I research, strategically plan, and work with colleagues to develop a reason…a vision, for what we can accomplish. We then take that vision to our clients with the goal of inspiring them.

Each time I update this blog, I like to ask myself why I’m writing about this subject. I’m very interested in working for an agency. I also love social media — both as a practitioner and as a strategist for brands. So when I came across the GB job posting, I decided to use my blog as a way to let people know about his great opportunity.

Now if you excuse me, I have to work on my rock, paper, scissors skills.

Original image courtesy of Flickr, antigone78

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