Social Media Jobs: Not Your Granddad’s Editorial Job

How to Find Staff to Create & Manage Social Media Content

Marketers in companies and advertising agencies face challenges when it comes to staffing their departments. With social media’s expanded marketing and business role, companies need people to create and manage content that feeds their social media efforts. (Subtext: Job opportunities for those willing to adapt to the emerging market).

What’s in a job title?

One challenge for businesses and job seekers alike is that there’s no consistent job title across organizations for a social media content project lead. While the job function is managing editor meets project manager for social media content, the specific title that appears on business cards varies widely. Among the options are Vice President of Content, Social Media Content Manager, Social Media Content Lead, Social Media Campaign Project Specialist, Social Media Strategist or Digital Content Specialist, depending on company size and the breadth of responsibilities.

7 Skills social media content jobs require.

Given the evolving nature of these marketing positions, there may be flexibility in experience and skills requirements. Strip away fancy titles and here’s what’s involved in these jobs. Note: these positions are on-site rather than remote since broad company interaction is needed.

  1. Research skills. The combination of subject matter expertise and ability to delve into a topic is critical. This can translate to developing detailed editorial calendars and/or writing search-friendly content. Links to relevant information are an important by-product.
  2. Search optimization skills (aka SEO). While the position doesn’t require an SEO specialist, a strong knowledge of keyword research and analysis is important. This work must be translated into taxonomies and categories and incorporated into editorial calendars and assignments. Lastly, links to related internal content need to be structured to support search optimization.
  3. Editorial skills. This isn’t your grandfather’s editorial position. This new breed of social media content editor must be able to do old-fashioned editorial planning targeted at fulfilling an organization’s social media content needs. The editor may need to write all or part of the content himself and craft killer headlines to drive social media activity. Copyediting skills are required.
  4. Project management skills. These skills are critical because the job deals with different personnel and project details to meet on-going deadlines. The complexity depends on the organization(s), social media platforms and publishing frequency.
  5. People skills. While many writers prefer introverted, self-directed editorial positions, this new breed must be able to engage and manage a variety of internal creative, technology, account management and freelance resources.
  6. Technology skills. At a minimum, this position requires the employee to be able to use the firm’s content management system (CMS) or blog.
  7. Creative skills. A good creative sense is necessary to find and select relevant photographs and other media to integrate into the content.

Where do you find social media content specialists?

The biggest challenge for marketers looking to hire social media content savvy employees is that this is an emerging job function. Since most employers are looking for a combination of writing and project management skills, some creative thinking is required to find eligible candidates. Here are some options to consider.

  1. Journalism programs. The goal is to find recent, rather than current, graduates who have experience working for digital media entities.  Experience creating search-friendly, social media attractive headlines and content is needed, not old-fashioned editorial functions.
  2. Bloggers. An experienced blogger looking for a full time job with benefits has learned these skills. Look at their blog and stats to see how well they understand these factors. Make sure that you discuss the blogger’s motivation for taking a full time job! Alternatively, dip into BlogChat on Twitter.
  3. Freelancers. This segment understands the type of information that’s required to produce the relevant content. As a bonus, they can write your content in a crunch. They may need project management training.
  4. Social media platforms. Since you’re looking for a social media savvy employee, leverage social media networks to source candidates. Your options include networking and/or putting out requests, using LinkedIn job postings, LinkedIn or Facebook advertising, and/or participating in LinkedIn groups. Additionally, tweet the job using different hashtags.
  5. Advertise. Use a combination of free and paid job listings. Think about which website your target might read, such as Media Bistro and Paid Content.

As with any emerging field, finding employees with deep knowledge and experience in creating and managing social media content needs adaptability on both the part of the employer and the employee.

Do you have any suggestions to help marketers looking for social media content project managers?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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photo credit: carianoff via Flickr

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