By Shawn McGowan, JobsInME.com
If you're like me and have logged an extensive amount of personal time (out of sheer enjoyment) blogging or sharing on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, you've probably had a few interactions with corporate brands that have made a lasting impression.
Could you turn your love for the medium into your livelihood? Here are some pointers I've learned that could help you decide.
To start, there are some obvious must-haves for the Social Media professional:
- Strong knowledge of social media platforms and associated tools of the trade
- Strategic/analytical assessment skills
- "People" person, strong communicator/writer, relationship builder
- Professionalism, business savvy
- Results driven, creative, multitasker
Traits for Success
Beyond the obvious, I've noticed some traits in the past couple of years that may not appear in a job posting, yet they continue to be key in my daily operations. Do you possess the following four?
As an evangelist for your company, your job is time consuming and demands attention and dedication. If you don't enjoy it and have a real passion for it, people will know. You will be putting a voice to your company's brand, so maintaining a level of enthusiasm will be critical in conveying your belief and commitment to the values of your company. This must be genuine. Online or in person, people can tell if you love your job and that energy is contagious.
2. Customer Focus
Customers, partners and prospects will need and ask for your help via social channels. It's vital for you to be present and do all that you can to answer any questions quickly or escalate any necessary concerns to the appropriate parties. Fast, personable communication in an honest but firm/fair way is what people have come to expect. Collaborating with Customer Service to resolve issues and maintain a consistent message and level of efficiency is also a must.
You're not only an advocate for your brand online but the inward-facing bullhorn for your company's online community as well. Your level of interaction with your brand's social media communities will help you develop a meaningful sense of their unique wants and needs concerning your product or service, so let it be known! Acting as an internal advocate for your brand's community will bring concerns to light, help design new products and solutions and improve your company's level of services provided.
Keep an eye for an opportunity and a sense for when to take calculated risks in Social Media's new and ever-changing landscape. Try new ideas, develop new strategies, employ new tactics and approaches, and know when to quit and move on when something isn't working. This is a challenging skill that I aspire toward constantly.
If you love Social Media and want to pursue a career in it, there has never been a wider, freer platform to gain experience. Just log in and start "talking."