The economy continues to lose jobs with unemployment rising to 5.5 percent. As with all downturns, we are starting to see layoffs and marketing department cuts. But regardless of the impact on traditional media and marketing, new media seems to continue to thrive. Demand for social media savvy communicators remains high.
This is important because with oil prices rising, a certain administration change, we are likely to see unemployment continue to rise. Communicators that want to survive the forthcoming economic turbulence can beef up their resumes with bonafide social media experience (image: Cisco Virtual World Career Fair by Text 100).
While social media in many ways represents just another tactical tool set, the ability to execute intelligently is hard to find. I receive two-three calls or inquiries a day from folks looking to hire social media savvy people. It’s usually a low to mid-tier hire.
Here are some thoughts for PR and marketing folks that want to beef up their social media resume:
1) Highlight past experiences as much as possible. If your company doesn’t let you engage in social media, highlight your personal blog and social network accounts. I’ve hired several people based on personal social media involvement as this still provides a leg up over the generalist who has no experience whatsoever.
2) When you talk social media, don’t just chat up blogs or conversations. There is much more to offer companies, particularly from a relationship building standpoint. Be able to discuss how these tools can impact a company’s integrated marketing communications plan.
3) Be very aware of your personal Google search results. You can’t talk the talk without the walk. Make sure your discussion and commentary are in line with reality.
4) While social media may be the milk that brings the cat, be careful not to become a specialist — unless this is really what you love. In general, tactical masters can only rise to great career prominence in large companies or agencies, and the reality is that most companies are not that big. The rise up the ladder lies in general marketing or communications strategy with mastery of several tactics.
5) Be able to cite examples from other successful social media efforts besides your own. Remember this is new stuff for many people, so being able to highlight any success is a plus.